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.