Tough Guys 1986


Touchstone Pictures/Buena Vista Pictures

Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster, yeah!  A pair of train robbing “tough guys” sent down the river in the 1950’s are released into the New Wave 1980’s.  Lancaster (Harry Doyle) is the brains and Douglas (Archie Long) is the weightlifter muscle of the outfit.

Things have changed, to say the least.  80% of the movie is the duo’s comic efforts at dealing with modern L.A. society and trying to fit in.

But then, all we’re interested in is the last 20 minutes of this flick – starring the famous Southern Pacific 4449 “Daylight” GS-4 class steam locomotive.


Dashing through the desert goes the “Gold Coast Flyer” (the famous SP 4449) in a scene filmed along Kaiser Steel’s Eagle Mountain Railroad in Riverside County, California.  This line was closed shortly after filming wrapped.

Eventually Harry and Archie realize the only thing they know is a life of crime.  Watching TV in a bar, they discover the train they robbed 30 years ago is about to make its last run.  For old times’ sake, the dynamic duo decide to pull one more heist and make a run for Mexico on the Gold Coast Flyer.


The boys see on a bar TV that the “Gold Coast Flyer” is about to make its last run; Nice view of the engineer’s side of 4449.


In a stolen cop car, Archie defies physics in trying to halt 4449.  Fortunately the engineer is able to stop in time.


Archie marches up to the locomotive cab;  Harry gets the drop on the Gold Coast Flyer’s hogger (in a cameo by Doyle McCormick — SP 4449’s actual engineer).


Harry and Archie detrain all the members of the press (after posing for pictures, of course); Nice rods down shot of 4449.


Dana Carvey having a blast at the throttle; Archie firing back at the cops as the train leaves the yard.


The Gold Coast Flyer farewell cake; Archie appropriates the cake’s brass locomotive as a souvenir.


SP4449 trundles under the footbridge at SP’s Taylor Yard; The Gold Coast Flyer heads for Mexico with a police helicopter alongside in pursuit.


Eli Wallach’s stunt double leaps from the cab of 4449 into the river; Archie waves goodbye to Dana Carvey after uncoupling the train from 4449.


Burt Lancaster notches up the 4449 as it speeds toward Mexico.

Burt Lancaster also starred as Engineer Labiche in “The Train” from 1964, probably the most famous train movie in cinema history.


As the train speeds towards the border, Burt and Kirk engage in a rousing rendition of “I’ve been working on the railroad”.


Boys, I don’t think bullets are going to stop an onrushing steam locomotive….


Crazy credits:  The Producers wish to thank….

Both my wife and I really enjoyed the entire movie.  It is a good evening of light entertainment and of course with that beautiful Daylight 4-8-4 as a chaser, you can’t go wrong.  Two thumbs up!

Here’s what IMDb has to say about Tough Guys:

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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3 Responses to Tough Guys 1986

  1. s/John Cunningham says:

    That “brass” locomotive looks suspiciously like a Bachmann el cheapo GS-4 spraypainted gold…


  2. Gary Adams says:

    At the end of this production the wooden mock up of locomotive 4449 was given to Stanly Ragsdale owner of Desert Center. As of this last August 2016 it still rests in the garage next to the Restrant in Desert Center Ca.


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