Railway Preservation News

Mystery movie engine.
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Author:  Mason G. McAllister [ Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Mystery movie engine.

The person who posted this claimed that this loco was U.P. 618 now preserved at the Heber Valley railroad. When I posted it on my own page that is all about the History of the HVRR, Some of the experts and people who worked there during the time it was changed had no Idea what to make of the picture. So I was wondering is this engine even 618? Does anyone have additional information about this disguised engine?

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Author:  J3a-614 [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mystery movie engine.

Warning--I am not positive about any of this, but. . .

I happened to catch the very, very ending of this Disney movie years ago on TV. It's been described as a variation or take on "The Wizard of Oz," in which a boy, with his father facing pressures from villainous land developers, dozes into a dream, and faces parallel challenges with the aid of Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, and John Henry in the old west.

From what I remember, you never did see the whole locomotive. I recall the front of the locomotive coming out of a tunnel, very ornate as the artist contemplates, but I also recall two headlights, and that in this scene it looked like a prop of some sort. It was very much a fantasy (steampunk?) machine meant to look menacing (ARRRGH!! The real thing looks better and is more impressive!! Why do movie people muck things up so?) There were other scenes in this that I remember, such as closeups of driving wheels, water dripping from something, that sort of thing, but I never saw the whole machine.

I do recall there was a line in the end credits to a railroad, and I recall thinking at the time that the closeups may have been Great Western 75, which was on Heber Valley for a while.

Having said that (and not having seen the whole film), the artist's work does look like something based on 618 (the tender looks "bashed" from the Vanderbilt tank that 618 pulls).

Sorry I don't have any more on this. Did anyone else see the movie or know anything?

If you didn't, don't feel too bad. Looking for material on it, I find that it cost an estimated $32 million or so, but only made something over $8 million in the US and $11 million total (including the US) worldwide. Ouch!!


Author:  Mason G. McAllister [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 12:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mystery movie engine.

Only problem is, that 75 came to Heber in 99. But this engine looks more like 75. In the drawing. I have never seen the movie so I don't know what to think.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Mystery movie engine.

The only decent video clip I can find:


At least it doesn't look too expensive to see the movie and check out what we're trying to see.

Author:  boilerwash [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 3:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mystery movie engine.

Yeah, "Tall Tale" a movie so horrible that even I had forgotten about it and train movies are kind of my thing. I remember that I went on a school field trip in the early 1990's to go actually see this thing in theaters and we all hated it. Anyway this is one of those movies that did so badly and was so forgettable that even the INTERNET seems to have left this thing behind because there's next to no information about this thing.

The only couple of things I could find was first this:
http://media.baselineresearch.com/image ... 0_full.jpg

Secondly I found the website for James Clark & Company who handle the rail equipment needs for movies and claim to have done Tall Tale as seen in this picture:
http://www.jamesclarkandcompany.com/PRO ... S_1.html#2

You'll notice in the second photograph that the smoke is not coming directly from the smokestack but is coming from just behind the stack and in the film you never actually ever seem to see the locomotive much past the smokebox.

Now filming for this film was done in Utah according to IMDB so filming on the Heber Valley was possible. My theory is that the "locomotive" you see in the movie is actually a prop mock up of the smokebox and back a couple of feet along the boiler that ends there. From the second pic I would say this prop was on its own set of wheels and pushed from behind by a steam locomotive and then filmed head on to give the illusion the prop was live.

Thus 618 may possibly been the locomotive used to push the prop but wasn't dressed up to act as the prop itself. Therefore I say on technicality that what you see in the movie is NOT the 618 but the prop built for 618 to push along.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Mystery movie engine.

Thanks, Boilerwash, for finding more material.

Egads, and Disney paid $32 million for that (and the rest of the movie, too)? That thing was uglier and crazier than I remembered it.

And we thought things were bad for "The Lone Ranger."

I suspect the $32 million went a bit further then than it would now.

I wonder what Kelly Lynch could do with $32 million today.

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