Tag Archives: D&RGW

Duel 1971

Universal Television

I want to dedicate this movie review to two people. First, Jim Tiroch, whose Cinetrains blog was a tremendous help researching this movie.

Second, my old roommate at college, John C. Mendenhall, Jr. “Mongo” used to walk around our dorm room in his shorts going, “HONK! HONKHONKHONKHONK! HOOOOOOONNNKKKK! just like the truck in this film.

Duel is an early example of what we now call “road rage”. Our protagonists are:

1 – David Mann (played by Dennis WeaverMCCLOUD!!) driving his red 1970 Plymouth Valiant 4-door, California License Plate 149 PCE.

2 – “The Truck Driver” (played by Carey Loftin) driving a 1955 Peterbilt 285 with oil tanker trailer who is never actually seen clearly. The entire plot of the thing is the truck driver suddenly goes bonkers after being passed by the little red car.

Okay, you get the idea. Now, lets examine the train stuff. Southern Pacific Railroad provides the motive power, rolling stock and location (I believe the train scenes were filmed on SP’s line from roughly Saugus to Palmdale, California.). There are 3 separate encounters between combatants with Espee freight which we’ll examine.

Yaaarrrrgh! Dennis Weaver makes a great face inside his car as an SP freight train rolls by in the background. How about that triangular vent window to the left of McCloud’s snarling countenance? You don’t see those anymore…

Continue reading

Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971

United Artists

James Garner is riding the narrow gauge rails of the Denver & Rio Grande Western (D&RGW) Railroad in this Western spoof follow-up to 1969’s Support Your Local Sheriff!

Train scenes in this film were brief, but feature 4 different steam locomotives, one of which I’ve not been able to positively identify. A big shout out to Larry Jensen whose “Hollywood’s Railroads, Volume 3” book helped me identify one engine used on the CBS Studio City (CA) lot.

As usual, I’ll concentrate on the railroad scenes in my review, even though the movie itself is great fun to watch — back when Tinseltown knew how to make an enjoyable, entertaining picture.

Let’s take a trip on the 3-feet-between-the-rails Rio Grande railroad. Highball!!


D&RGW #478, a narrow gauge K-28 class 2-8-2 Alco class of 1924, leads a short train of “Grande Gold” and silver coaches along the Animas River on the Silverton Line.

Helicopter shots of this train were used at the beginning and ending of today’s reviewed movie.
Continue reading