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Author Topic: Extreme Trains
yukon11
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"Extreme Trains" is a new series on the History Channel. It airs every Tuesday, at 10PM or 9PM Central. Last week the program was on coal trains.

http://www.history.com/minisites/extreme-trains

Richard

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Mr. Toy
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I saw the coal train show last night. Very interesting. I like the way they dump the coal cars by rotating the entire car while its still in the consist! I always assumed they opened a chute in the bottom. For those who missed it, the couplers on the adjoining cars rotate right along with the car being dumped. Slick.

But I think members of this forum will be especially interested in the upcoming episode Overnight Traveler coming up on December 16th. My calendar is marked!

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Jerome Nicholson
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The "High Speed Train" episode looks promising, too! Especially the part about why Pennsylvania Station "had to be" demolished. [Frown]
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yukon11
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I will be sure to try to watch the "Overnight Traveler" and "High Speed Train" , especially after the passage of Prop 1A here in Calif.

I just got through watching tonight's episode on frieght trains. It concentrated on a BNSF container train from LA to Fort Worth, Texas. Shots of the train going through the Alameda trenches in LA and over the Cajon Pass. Also the Abo Pass area in New Mexico and the congestion associated with the pass...and the dangers of flash flooding and detectors for such.

An interesting program. I could have done without the commentator jumping up and down and shouting. He looked like Billy Mays on amphetamines.

Richard

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Henry Kisor
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I caught the BNSF LA/Cajon Pass episode last night, too, while ensconced in the Pullman Room of the Depot Inn in La Plata, Mo. It doesn't get better than this.
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amtraxmaniac
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AMazing-just ten years ago, the trench didn't even exist. What a nightmare that must have been for commuters. I'm thinking the flyover south of LAUPT was built about the same time. I remember being fascinated with that going over it the first time.

Being the sarcastic person I am, Richard, I was thinking the same thing about the commentator. I wonder what the engineers were REALLY thinking about this guy. Maybe 'what an @$$#0!&!!!'

Just curious, but part of that route last night caries the Southwest Chief. At what point does that line split and head towards Texas or go NE towards the Kansas and Missouri?

--------------------
Patrick

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HopefulRailUser
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The commentator, like Billy Mays! Exactly. He drove me nuts on the coal train show. He is supposedly a conductor. The show itself was fascinating.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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TNCMAXQ
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Very interesting show. I had not heard of that trench in L.A. before. The guy kept saying we are "under L.A." but it somehow wasn't the same as a subway.

I look forward to next week's show about high speed trains and Acela.

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RR4me
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I just happened across the coal train episode. Thanks for the update on the Overnight Traveler date. I have to agreee - the commentator/host is annoying, but if this is what it takes to get more programs on the air, so be it. The few train episodes I used to catch on RFD TV were way too amateurish to catch on. Perhaps that's why I don't see them there anymore.
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yukon11
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quote:
Originally posted by amtraxmaniac:

Just curious, but part of that route last night caries the Southwest Chief. At what point does that line split and head towards Texas or go NE towards the Kansas and Missouri? [/QB]

***********************

I don't know, Patrick. My guess would be at Albuquerque.

Richard

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Joe Urda
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What a great program!

Viewers are finally able to experience, to a degree, what railroaders do every day. I have to agree with some viewers though, that the host, Matt Brown, does get on ones nerves with his incessant talking and gyrations for the camera. On the other hand though, if I was in his shoes and getting to do what he's doing, I’d probably be wetting my pants with excitement.

Joe

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TwinStarRocket
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Patrick:

The Southwest Chief splits with the main BNSF transcon route at a point called Dalies, NM., 10 mi west of Belen and 28 mi southwest of ABQ. The mainline transcon crosses the Rio Grande at Belen, while the SWC heads northward along the Rio Grande to ABQ.

Belen is also the southernmost end of the Railrunner commuter line. I believe the state of New Mexico has purchased the BNSF line used by the SWC all the way to the CO border.

To get to Ft. Worth, a train would have to leave the transcon at the Texas border near Clovis or at Amarillo.

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Southwest Chief
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Patrick, as TwinStarRocket said the line cuts off at Dalies. Here's a portion of an older Santa Fe map that should help:


 -

--------------------
Matt
Visit gallery for photos of our train layouts

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amtraxmaniac
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Awesome. Thanks SWC.
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Joe Urda
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Hey, if you watching Law and Order right now, 10:12 PM, you're missing Extreme Trains (The Acela)
Flip that channel.


Joe

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HopefulRailUser
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That was very interesting. I need to ride on that Acela sometime.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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Gilbert B Norman
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Somehow I wonder what, if anything, I missed. The High Speed Train production was on my "to watch" list, but 830PM (CT) is my customary bed hour and neither Hannity and Colmes nor Rachel "Madcow" Maddow were going to keep me awake until it started at 9.

Unfortunately, Extreme Trains does not appear to be a Comcast On Demand offering; my VCR went to charity about two years ago and I've never bothered to replace it with any of the new fangled contraptions out there (which like the VCR I wouldn't know how to work anyway). However, it appears that on Saturday November 29, History Channel will air an Extreme Trains "marathon'. High Speed Train will air 4PM ET.

"Once upon a time" I was an avid History Channel viewer; that was when they explored historical events to the same depth and with the same decorum found on PBS's American Experience. But I guess in the quest for ratings, they lost sight and so today, they are airing tripe such as Ice Road Truckers. The station's content today more resembles a reality show than it does an educational resource.

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TNCMAXQ
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The show is on the DVR and I will watch all of it soon. I just caught the tail end and found it very interesting. The segments taped aboard the train made me want to take a trip. [Smile] I did not know Acela Express reached its top speed of 150 in RI and MA. I have only taken it from New Haven to DC so I will have to take a trip to Boston some time to experience the train at its fastest.

The scenes inside the control center at Penn Station also were very interesting. It looks a little like space shuttle mission control in there.

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HopefulRailUser
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Gil - it does appear that the first three hours of Extreme Trains are being repeated on Saturday. At our end of the world it begins at 11:00 am. I missed the freight train one, which I was most interested in as they are a mystery to me, so plan to catch it then.

I agree about the general content of the station - used to be actual history stuff.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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RR4me
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I caught the Acela program, and it's on my to do list, someday. There are some lightweight shows on the History Channel now; but still some good programs. Not too long ago, whenever I was watching History Channel, my kids would shrug that Dad was watching the WWII channel again. Some expansion is necessary.
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yukon11
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I checked the History Channel schedule for this coming Sating..yes, as Vicki mentioned, they will repeat episodes of Extreme Train from 2PM until 5PM Pacific time.

I agree with Mr. Norman, and others, in that there are of lot of uninteresting programs on the History Channel. Ice Road Truckers, Ax Men, Cities of the Underworld, etc don't do anything for me. They do have some interesting programs..as a recent program on Albert Einstein and a program called "Mad Electricity" about Nikola Tesla. I wish they would do more biographies ..possibly one of Napolean, W. A. Mozart, George A. Custer, would be interesting.

On Extreme Trains, the next two episodes should be worthwhile.."Steam Train" on Dec 9 and "Overnight Traveler" on Dec 16th. I hope, on Overnight Traveller, they talk about some of the great overnight trains of the past, such as the Sante Fe Chief and Great Northern. Later on, they will have one on "Train Watch Hotel"..which I thought might be about the Isaac Walton Inn..but watching a trailer from that program, it appears to be something else.

Richard

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amtraxmaniac
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I failed to realize that Penn Station is the busiest. Well, makes sense considering the NEC. Would that make DC second busiest? I always thought Chicago was the busiest. Where does it rank?

I found it facsinating how sections of track are assembled off site and then transported to Penn Station when track needs to be replaced.

The whole segment on maintaining cantenary was my favorite. What a task! I wonder how many workers have been killed or seriously injured on the job. NO matter how many safety precautions there are in place, there is the possibility for an incident. I'd hate to be the guy who 'flipped the wrong switch' and fried somebody....or accidently cut off power to the wrong track leaving passengers stranded.

--------------------
Patrick

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Gilbert B Norman
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Chicago is fourth, Patrick.

Station State FY2007 FY2007 FY2008 FY2008 Change
Passengers Rank Passengers Rank
New York Penn NY 8,027,976 1 8,739,345 1 8.9%
Washington, DC DC 4,108,569 2 4,489,955 2 9.3%
Philadelphia PA 3,674,255 3 3,968,278 3 8.0%
Chicago IL 2,774,651 4 3,104,151 4 11.9%
Los Angeles CA 1,464,289 5 1,582,364 5 8.1%
Boston-South Station MA 1,154,178 6 1,393,691 6 20.8%
Sacramento CA 970,939 8 1,146,308 7 18.1%
Baltimore MD 977,379 7 1,020,304 8 4.4%
San Diego CA 867,456 9 912,096 9 5.1%
Albany-Rensselaer NY 774,458 10 830,740 10 7.3%
Wilmington DE 704,387 11 731,539 11 3.9%
New Haven CT 640,281 12 705,458 12 10.2%
Newark NJ 625,853 13 679,279 13 8.5%
Irvine CA 623,292 14 669,405 14 7.4%
BWI MD 587,845 15 644,640 15 9.7%
Seattle WA 584,753 16 617,067 16 5.5%
Providence RI 565,701 17 608,417 17 7.6%
Portland OR 532,645 18 598,633 18 12.4%
Milwaukee WI 471,752 20 565,009 19 19.8%
Emeryville CA 482,777 19 528,203 20 9.4%
Harrisburg PA 464,924 21 527,056 21 13.4%
Lancaster PA 420,524 24 484,102 22 15.1%
Davis CA 401,138 26 451,995 23 12.7%
Trenton NJ 418,112 25 451,090 24 7.9%
Solana Beach CA 424,789 23 448,081 25 5.5%

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HopefulRailUser
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Yukon - where are you picking up the subjects for the scheduled shows? And is there no show on December 2nd?

As to the time for next Saturday's repeats, be careful. I have Direct TV and the shows will be on from 11-2:00. As they say, check your local directory.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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amtraxmaniac
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NYP, Washington DC, Philly...yup. ALL NEC.

--------------------
Patrick

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yukon11
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quote:
Originally posted by HopefulRailUser:
Yukon - where are you picking up the subjects for the scheduled shows? And is there no show on December 2nd?

As to the time for next Saturday's repeats, be careful. I have Direct TV and the shows will be on from 11-2:00. As they say, check your local directory.

*****************

Vicki: I just wanted to mention a couple of Dec programs which look interesting. Dec 2nd is a program called "Ice Cold Express" about modern refrigeration cars.

If you go to www.history.com
then click on "TV Shows" in black at the top, then pick "Extreme trains", and finally "Episode Guide" at the bottom you can see what is coming up.

Here is the link to coming episodes:

http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=60922&display_order=4&mini_id=60798

Richard

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HopefulRailUser
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Thanks Richard. Looks like I can read more about the "host on steroids" too.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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Santa Fe buff
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The high-speed trains one was pretty good, I so far, enjoy this series mcuh. I believe it as pretty good.

--------------------
Modeling the ATSF-BNSF crossover times of the 1990s. HO scale.

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Henry Kisor
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Like GBN, I am not great friends with electronic doodads, but the knowledge that three hours of Extreme Trains are being repeated Saturday sent me to learning how to work the "My DVR" button on the Comcast clicker.

I can hardly wait to see these shows in wide-screen high-definition TV. Pray that I managed to set all the menus correctly!

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HopefulRailUser
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I got caught up on the series, saw the Freight Train episode today. Wow, very interesting. I recently took a cruise from San Pedro and watched the cargo activity on Terminal Island from the ship with great interest. And I have driven through the El Cajon Pass many, many times. Loved seeing how the trains handle it.

They finally answered my question about what keeps the cargo containers, one on top of the other, in place. On the ships we saw in the Panama Canal this was a question no one really could answer for me.

I just wish the narrator could be sedated prior to each show. And maybe raise the camera up off the ground? Although my husband pointed out that position allowed us to see Matt and the train at the same time.

--------------------
Vicki in usually sunny Southern California

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Just saw all 3 previously run shows for the first time (I just can't stay awake til 9pm central). Glad I was warned about Matt. Mucho coffee just before the show got me closer to his wavelength.

I never knew Abo Canyon was single track and a bottleneck. All the more reason to keep the SWC on the current (and more scenic) route).

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Gilbert B Norman
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Now that I have seen all three episodes aired to date courtesy of a "marathon" just completed, the show is clearly targeted to the age 18-34 demographic having little if any knowledge of railroad industry affairs. After all, that's the demographic that thinks it "cool " to stand out at 3AM in front of Wally World to get the latest "must have" electronic plaything, and accordingly is the one advertisers pitch to.

Regarding the Amtrak episode #3; the show clearly illustrated that if there is to be a lengthening of the existing six car Acela consist, part and parcel will be lengthening of the car barns. The show clearly establishes that to be able to service the entire train set at once is part of the high utilization Amtrak now attains from the equipment.

Otherwise my consensus...."that's entertainment"

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Henry Kisor
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I also saw all three shows in one swell foop yesterday evening, having DVRed them on Saturday. Yes, they're for the young and naive viewer, but I enjoyed them anyway -- except for Mr. Bown, who clearly was force-fed WAY too much sugar before each episode. What's with all the arm-waving and herky-jerky weird camera angles?

The coal train show needed a better continuity editor -- we were treated first to long shots of two pusher engines, then four, then two again, then four, then two, without explanation. Looks like more than one coal train was videographed for the episode.

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Southwest Chief
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quote:
Originally posted by Henry Kisor:
The coal train show needed a better continuity editor -- we were treated first to long shots of two pusher engines, then four, then two again, then four, then two, without explanation. Looks like more than one coal train was videographed for the episode.

Not surprising. They obviously don't shoot these in one day but spread it out over several days. I bet they don't count on most people except us train guys to even notice the differences in consists.

In addition to the continuity issues you mentioned in the coal train episode don't forget the mix of EMD power leading and then some shots clearly showing GE Dash 9s in the lead. The BNSF episode also had multiple consists edited somewhat to make you think it was the same train. One led by a new swoosh loco (heritage III) and then led by a standard (heritage II) BNSF Dash 9 and then back again to the swoosh...making us believe it was the same train.

As long as there are trains on the show, I'll keep watching it [Smile]

--------------------
Matt
Visit gallery for photos of our train layouts

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Southwest Chief
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quote:
Originally posted by TwinStarRocket:
I never knew Abo Canyon was single track and a bottleneck. All the more reason to keep the SWC on the current (and more scenic) route).

Yep, it's the last great bottle neck on the former Santa Fe...excluding Raton of course since few freights use this now.

BNSF is ready to double track it but things have stalled somewhat. No major easements of the curvatures or grades are planned, just double tracking.

--------------------
Matt
Visit gallery for photos of our train layouts

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Geoff Mayo
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I won't post links as this is of dubious legality... but those of us who haven't, or can't, view the series can get at least some episodes on YouTube by looking up Extreme Trains. The UK History Channel doesn't list any programming for Extreme Trains as far as I can tell - though we do get a whole load of imported junk on there.

Last night I watched a programme on the Acela, split into 6x 9 minute segments.

Quite interesting, especially the dispatching centre for the NEC - but then that's my area of interest.

Geoff M.

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Henry Kisor
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Just watched the UP 844 episode on the DVR, and enjoyed that more than the one on the Empire Builder.

I might have missed it -- did Bown explain what the diesel locomotive was doing in the consist behind the water car? Was the diesel just along for the ride to serve as emergency power if 844 broke down, or did it do some (or much) of the actual work of pulling the train? I looked for telltale exhaust smoke but didn't see any -- maybe the oil smoke of 844 obscured it.

Posts: 2236 | From: Evanston, Ill. and Ontonagon, Mich. | Registered: Feb 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
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Now on UK History Channel (channel 529 for Sky viewers). Tuesdays at 9pm.

Geoff M.

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Geoff M.

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Gilbert B Norman
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To enumerate the episodes:

BNSF Container train LA-Ft Worth
Acela
Empire Builder
CSX RBBB Circus Train
UP-CSX Refrigerated train
UP 844
UP-NS Powder River-Penna Coal train
UP Council Bliffs-Roseville

Total eight epsodes - did I miss any?

http://www.history.com/minisite.do?content_type=Minisite_Generic&content_type_id=60922&display_order=4&mini_id=60798

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Geoff Mayo
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I'll rephrase myself - it's "The History Channel" rather than UKTV History or whatever it's called this week. Also in HD on Sky channel 545.

There do indeed appear to be eight episodes but I can't find a full list of what is in each. But this first week is "Coal train", next week unknown, week after "Ice Cold Express", then "Steam train".

http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/site/tv_guide/full_details/Technology/programme_746.php

Geoff M.

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Geoff M.

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