Screen Gems Television
Update 12-25-2019: Thanks to readers Daniel & Matthew (see their comments below) who have helped identify Oahu Railway and Land Company #85 as the locomotive used for many of the shots in this movie. You can read more about OR&L #85 HERE.
“Come all you rounders if you want to hear, a story ’bout a brave engineer…”. Alan Hale, Jr. stars as Casey Jones in this early television series which ran on independent station KTTV in Los Angeles for one season (1957-58).
I was able to obtain the entire series on DVD, but for the purposes of this review will concentrate on the pilot episode, “Night Mail” — which seems to have the most train action per square foot. Indeed, Night Mail features a race between two rival railroads AND footage lifted directly out of the 1950 movie, “A Ticket to Tomahawk”.
Sierra Railroad #3 and Rio Grande Southern #20 are the 4-6-0 steam locomotive stars in this action-packed show. Let’s take a closer look.
It’s amazing what you can do with a little trick photography. Here we see two versions of Sierra #3 racing itself with a split screen. In these shots, there always seemed to be a tree or something vertical to break up the “seam”. Different appliances (fake headlight, smokestack, etc.) completed the illusion.