This film, a classic though it is, was a bit of a disappointment in the train department as we only get brief scenes at the beginning and end of the picture. Our star is the former Virginia & Truckee 4-4-0 #22 “Inyo”, an 1875 product of Baldwin Locomotive Works — at the time owned by Paramount Studios themselves.
The story is told mainly in flashback with the railroad representing progress and civilization brought to a small, lawless Western town. In addition to studio scenes of the Inyo, there is what appear to be stock footage of a train on the Sierra Railroad.
Let’s take a closer look at the three, distinct scenes in “Liberty Valance” of a steam engine-powered passenger train.
As the movie comes to an end, we see a mixed train (steam locomotive, flat car, two dark-colored coaches, one light-colored coach and caboose) rounding a curve away from the camera.
This is most likely a scene along the Sierra Railroad with possibly the #3 locomotive on the point.
The picture starts right off with the first train scene. Even with screen captures from the DVD, these are very blurry shots (damned black & white and back-lit also).
I’m not sure if this is a studio shot or on the Sierra, but that first car — the baggage door is definitely in a different location then subsequent views. Smoking it up and whistling for all its worth, that could be the Inyo.
The second train scene finds #22 leading its 2 car train into the “Shinbone” depot on the Paramount lot.
Much clearer views in the studio with some fine scroll work on the tender labeled, “CM&W RR”. Hmmm… Chicago, Missouri and Western Railroad, perhaps? ;p
Compared to the above views, yep, that’s a different baggage-combine car #21.
Vera/Hallie embraces old friend Link Appleyard (Andy Devine) waiting for them on the platform. Now the town marshal, Andy/Link has his buckboard ready to take the couple to their hotel.
Joseph/Charlie gets the skinny from the conductor about who the couple is, then calls his editor on the blower.
Nice view of the Shinbone depot bay window. Note the order hoop and railroad lantern around the telegrapher.
Entire movie (two hours worth) left off HERE
I really should go sit down and actually watch this movie. I hear it’s pretty good. ;p Okay, back to the trains.
The subdued Senator and Mrs. Stoddard are riding back to Washington (just a studio set here). They decide to retire from life in Washington D.C. and move back to old Shinbone.
The conductor stops by with a fresh spittoon for Ransom and tells him they’re gonna hold the express train for them at the Junction. Nice interior details of the coach set.
As Senator Jimmy prepares to light his pipe, the conductor tells him, “Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance”. (Jimmy/Ransom didn’t, but you’ll have to watch the movie yourself to find out who did).
Back on the Sierra Railroad as the credits roll. Note that yard limit sign in the second view, must be coming into a town…
I have a soft spot for the Inyo as my regular readers probably know from past reviews. The Mrs. and I got a cab ride on #22 in 2018 when we visited the Nevada State Railroad Museum. The Inyo is trotted out on special occasions along with several other steamers and has been beautifully restored to operation. The 1875 built 4-4-0 even still burns wood! If you’d like to read more about our visit to NSRM, CLICK HERE.
Here’s what IMDb has to say about The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:
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