The Railrodder 1965


In this National Film Board of Canada production, Buster Keaton plays a proper Englishman who, reads in his newspaper of an ad to “Visit Canada”, (cue flashes of Mounties, Eskimos, Logging, Indians, Stampeders, etc.).  This convinces him to jump off a bridge into the Thames and presumably walk underwater to Canada.  We next see him trudging up out of the surf somewhere in the Maritimes.  He stumbles across a Canadian National Railways  speeder, takes a seat, then accidentally starts the motor which begins to take him  clear across Canada by rail.

See what IMDb has to say about “The Railrodder”

I first came across this short (24 minutes) film when I was a kid living in British
Columbia (West Vancouver) in the late 1960’s. I was watching CBC and this feature
would show up from time to time on our little black and white set. It was fascinating
to watch – trains flashing past, and a quick geography lesson of what Canada looked
like from east to west.

We moved back to the States in 1970 and I sort of forgot about the film. It wasn’t
until the internet came along that I started looking for this movie again. I found a
copy through Ebay, popped it into my DVD player and….WOW…the movie is actually
in COLOR! This was a big surprise as Buster Keaton was more well-known as a B&W
silent film star in the early days of cinema. His most famous silent picture was a
classic 1927 train movie called, The General.

True to form, he said nothing during The Railrodder, but there are sound effects and
music to keep everything rolling along. If you’re a fan of Canadian Railways, or just
trains in general, you will like this 24 minute short.


Buster Keaton blows the whistle as he rolls across Canada on his CN speeder

If you have ANY information about this movie, please contact me at:

About Lindsay Korst

Webmaster, Blogmaster, Ferroequinologist - Lindsay Korst works for a nationwide home improvement center after a 20+ year career supporting computer users. A resident of the Seattle area since 1976, he has had a life-long interest in railroads, particularly those in the Pacific Northwest. He is an enthusiastic participant in the Great Northern Railway Historical Society. He and his wife reside in Redmond, Washington.
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