Railroadin’ 1941

Adverti-Films – Hollywood

Filmed in glorious Dunningcolor, today’s feature was sponsored by Alco Locomotives & General Electric, so naturally their railroad equipment was featured front and center. Released just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, America is already gearing up for World War 2.

What sets this movie apart is the absolutely priceless scenes of Pre-war steam and diesel trains in color, no less. There are enough Electro-Motive Diesel passenger locomotives to keep things interesting and I’ll try my best to identify each scene used.

For example, the above picture appears to be in Chicago where an orange & maroon Milwaukee Road “Hiawatha” passenger train is arriving as a CMStP&P commuter train is switched alongside.

Let’s check it out!

How far they’ve come. At first, railroads themselves were shunned as dangerous and foolhardy. Now this nefarious couple contemplate railroad travel on credit…to collect her husband’s double indemnity insurance policy!

New York Central owned quite a fleet of locomotives from on-line builder, Alco (Schenectady). Here we see a pair of 4-6-4 Hudsons: NYC #5264 J-1c built 1928 and NYC #5281 J-1d built 1929 outside Buffalo’s Central Terminal station.

First image is most likely one of NYC’s Mercury trains with its streamlined equipment. Second image is a speeding NYC mail-express train kicking up the snow at an unspecified location.

The ultimate in overnight travel was the NYC’s 20th Century Limited seen here with a Dreyfuss-styled Hudson rolling up its namesake river towards Chicago.

Denver & Rio Grande Western also had a respectable assortment of big Alco power. The first view is a double-headed eastbound at Glenwood Springs; the second a freight far below, in the Royal Gorge.

Alco goes to War! Somewhere on the Southern Pacific, a troop train loads up with a doubleheader up front. The second steamer appears to be a GS class 4-8-4. Salute!

GE Electric and Alco Steam meets the competition! Seen here in this publicity line up are four locomotives side by side. Location is probably somewhere near Washington, DC where all 4 carriers operated. From left to right:

Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 electric locomotive (originally) built by GE.

Chesapeake & Ohio 4-8-2 Mountain type steam engine built by Alco-Richmond. Note white cameo of G.W. on front of smokebox. This engine pulled The George Washington to Cincinnati.

Atlantic Coast Line EMC E3 diesel locomotive. This engine pulled The Champion to Florida.

Baltimore & Ohio EMC EA diesel locomotive. This engine pulled the Capitol Limited to Chicago.

Test Tube Babies! Just look at the equipment created and tested in the Alco and GE laboratories. Clockwise from upper left: Either a 4-8-2 or 4-8-4 Alco steam engine; an Alco diesel switcher; an Alco DL-109 passenger locomotive; a GE GG-1 electric engine.

Alco featured their DL-109 engine in these four views on three separate railroads: Southern Railway, GM&O Railroad and Rock Island. The last two views look to be the Rocky Mountain Rocket from Chicago to Denver/Colorado Springs.

Railway Express Agency was a little bit like United Parcel Service is today. They would handle local pickup and delivery in their green REA trucks with the railroads handling the long-distance shipping on passenger train baggage cars or in their own private REA box cars.

REA had a reputation of shipping just about anything…including a Tiger as seen in the above truck advertisement!

Alco’s big competitor was the larger EMC/EMD, a subsidiary of General Motors. Here we see four views of streamliners with EMC/EMD power:

1. Santa Fe EMC E1 arriving Dearborn Station, Chicago, pulling the Super Chief;

2. Baltimore & Ohio EMC EA;

3. Chicago & Northwestern EMC E3 in Chicago on The 400;

4. Union Pacific EMC E3 #LA-4-5-6 on the City of Los Angeles Streamliner.

I believe the following interior shots are from various railroads’ publicity film. Let’s take a look how things were inside passenger trains back in the day — compare to today’s spartan Amtrak experience.

A couple gals riding coach to the Big City; Here comes the train nurse/stewardess with a bottle for wee baby; A porter tends to grandma’s comfort; Dining Car steward comes down the aisle.

Grapefruit for breakfast should help me keep my girlish figure; Wow, what a spread. That’s a lot of dishes to wash.

First two shots appear to be on the same train (note the portholes). Milwaukee Road and Union Pacific are two railroads that come to mind with such windows.

Last two pictures look like an old heavyweight observation car. People really dressed up to ride the train in those days!

Final vistas are of a Pennsy GG-1 by GE leading a freight in electrified territory as the credits roll.

There are prints of this movie everywhere online. I reviewed this one, if you’d like to watch yourself:

Here’s what IMDb has to say (not much) about Railroadin’:

If you have ANY information about this movie you’d like to share, please contact me at: Lindsay.Korst@gmail.com, or leave a comment.  Thanks and enjoy the blog!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s