In the 1930s, the railway system was hit hard by the Great Depression and the increasing number of automobiles. The response was one of modernization. New streamliners ran at record-breaking speeds, making sure the average citizen got to work, while the wealthy were encouraged to take cross-country trips on the diesel-powered passenger trains. At the same time, steam locomotives were still indispensable when it came to transporting goods and services vital to America's economy. Relive this bygone era with these six vintage short subjects.
EASTBOUND (1930): From Seattle's docks to the windy streets of Chicago, take a transcontinental journey on the North Coast Limited.
WHEELS A' ROLLING (1934): A documentary of the 1934 Chicago Railroad Fair, in which the history of locomotives was reenacted by performers alongside vintage trains. The film concludes with a parade of the more modern diesel engines.
THE RAILROAD SIGNAL (1948): The New York Central presents a look at advancements in railroad signaling, including some great views of the Art Deco-styled Buffalo Central Terminal.
THE FREIGHT YARD (1948): Part of the NYC's "Running the Railroad" series, this educational film shows the importance of freight yards to the nation's economy.
OPENING A NEW FRONTIER (1955): In this film made by the Pennsylvania Railroad, learn how far transcontinental travel has come in 100 years as we follow a freight train from Chicago to New York.
MR. DODDS GOES TO COLORADO (1958): Mr. and Mrs. Dodds take a sightseeing tour on the Denver Zephyr train. From their window, Mr. Dodds takes brilliant color home movies of Colorado...if Mrs. Dodds can just keep her husband's camera away from a pair of shapely young ladies on vacation!