Back to the Future Train

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Furtak, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. Furtak

    Furtak New Member

    Can someone tell me what the Train Engine was that pushed the Delorean in Back to the Future part III?

    Can you name a resource on the web which may have the information?

  2. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I have the movie. I'll check in the credits and see what it says.

  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I checked the movie credits and only found two references. "Industrial Light & Magic" and "Railtown 1897". Try

    Railtown’s locomotives and cars have appeared in over 200 film and TV productions, including Back to the Future 3, Petticoat Junction, and Little House on the Prairie.

    Try a yahoo search on "railtown 1897 back future" scored heaps of hits.

  4. Furtak

    Furtak New Member


    I appreciate you reply. The site you provide was great but they still didn't tell me what type of train it was. I searched Google for railtown 1897 and came up with the following link:

    I sent them an email so we'll have to see if they reply. They mentioned on the site that the #2 train was a Shay.

    Once again thanks,

  5. skytop45

    skytop45 New Member

    I love the BTTF movies, and i can tell you , the engine that was destroyed was a 12 inch gauge (i think that was the gauge) replica specially made for the scene where it plunges into Shonash (Clayton, Eastwood) Ravine.

    Regards, Justin Nelson
  6. hooknlad

    hooknlad Member

    any real movie train crashes?

    Besides the obvious model train crashes, does anyone know of any movies, where the crashed life sized trains???
  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    One of my favourite movies is The General, starring Buster Keaton. It's a silent film, with lots of action, and some really superb camera work, especially considering that it was shot in the 1920s. Keaton did all of his own stunts, and if I recall correctly, there are some real locomotive crashes. These would have been old locos at the time, probably destined for scrapping anyway, but it's still kinda sad to see them wasted.
    Years ago, Trains magazine used to have ads for railroad videos that included one called, I think, Cornfield Meets, and another, More Cornfield Meets. I've not seen them, but they were supposedly nothing but crashes (all staged for the film, again, probably using old surplus locos.)

  8. liven_letdie

    liven_letdie Member


    To answer which engine it was, the typical movie train the 3 which is a Baldwin 4-6-0 and yes it is from railtown 1897 (Sierra Railroad) in Jamestown CA currently awaiting restoration. If you would like pics i could post some or i could rustle up some more info.

    See ya!

  9. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    The train from Back To The Future III was actually the "Cannonball" that used to run through Hooterville.

    That's right... the same locomotive they used in the scenes of Petticoat Junction and Green Acres TV shows.

    For more information:

    And yes Doc Wayne, the climactic scene in Buster Keaton's General where the locomotive stops on the burning bridge and collapses into the valley was done with a real locomotive.

    According to the scene was very expensive:

    "In an unbelievable sequence filmed in long-shot - and most likely the most expensive sight gag in silent film history at $42,000 - (it was filmed in a single take that had to be perfect with an actual full-scale train - not a miniature, and a 'dummy' engineer at the controls), the pursuit train confidently moves forward onto the now-feeble, burned-through bridge. When the train is half-way across, the bridge weakens, sways, and then gives way. The belly of the train droops and falls downwards through the burning portion of the bridge as it opens wide under its weight. Both the train and collapsing bridge plunge into the river, a mass of hurtling metal, exhaling/hissing smokestack steam, burning bridge logs, spraying water and a geyser of belching smoke".
  10. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    The train/bus crash in the movie "The Fugitive" was an actual train that was pushed from behind. I heard that the wreck is still track side and is part of a scenic railways tour in North Carolina.
  11. matt fisher

    matt fisher Member

    re back to the future 3

    i am to a fan of back to the future 3 and i enjoyed the scenes with sierra railway 3
    here forget those yahoo links and go straight to the california state railroad museums and you'll get a link , are planing to make the no 3 ? if ever want to see the old west town were no#3 made its last stop well if your 're going to which is in jamestown ,ca when going east in to jamestown the tracks follow the highway so the last curve that points south east or go right walk or ride a bike back about 2miles following the tracks and you'll come to the old west town of hill valley , or what remains of it after it som how caught fire ,i think all there is the barn thats left .
    if you ever wanna go see it let me know at :)
    matt fisher
  12. Engineer141

    Engineer141 New Member

    Sierra # 3

    The locomotive is not a Baldwin. It is actually a 4-6-0 built in 1891 by the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson, New Jersey. Originally used on the Prescott and Arizona Central Railroad, the Sierra No.3 made its way to Jamestown in 1897 when the Santa Fe built a parallel railroad and put the Prescott and Arizona out of business. This steam engine is in the process of restoration and the lagging is completed and will have it's jacket installed on Monday May 3rd.

    It's debut will be on the July 4th weekend where it will make special trips on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and the 5th.

    It will run once a month pulling special excursion trains and when needed for movies and TV.

    It has been used in over 100 movies, Documentaries, TV commercials, TV shows.

    Some of the most notable are: Back to the Future III, High Noon, Petticoat Junction, Rawhide, Unforgiven, Chattanooga Choo Choo, The Virginian, Bad Girls, The Wild, Wild West (TV show), Dodge city, Santa Fe Trail, Go West, My Little Chickadee, The Cimarron Kid, The Great Race, Finian's Rainbow, Nickelodeon, Redemption of the Gost, The Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day, The Lone Ranger, Lassie, The Big Valley, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, Little house on the Prairie, Adventures of Brisco County,and A Woman Called Moses.

    Go to
    and see the progress that they are making. You can go back to see when it was taken apart to when it will be running.

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