At the time, Dayton was owned by Paramount Pictures who loaned it out to various studios. Lots of good train action from start to finish with V&T #18 (renumbered as #7 for filming) smoking it up in most runbys. No massive explosions, although they tempt us with a couple scenes featuring barrels and barrels of blasting powder.
C’mon, let’s watch Roy Rogers and Dayton take on the bad guys in this action-packed thriller from the glory days of Hollywood!
Dayton is really laying on the smoke as it races along with the crooks at the throttle. Virginia & Truckee #18 is still with us…as a static display seen here in June 2018 at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City, Nevada. I just LOVE that blue boiler!
Judging from the opening credits, our story is loosely based on the Central Pacific Railroad in the 1860’s out of California. Black Bart??? HA! I know one little kid who could kick HIS ass… Adios, Bart!
Shortly thereafter, Roy and Gabby running a stagecoach encounter a “Central California Railway” train and decide to give chase. Pouring on the coal (or wood in this case), Old number 7 is pedaling along for all it’s worth. Uh-oh. Crossing up ahead. Who will get there first?
It’s going to be close! The train actually clips the back of the stagecoach in an amazing bit of live cinematography.
In the next train scene, disgruntled track workers are getting the bad news that the payroll has been stolen by Black Bart. From the locomotive steps, Mark Benton (played by Joseph Crehan) even volunteers to pay them out of his own pocket. Fortunately for him, only one guy takes him up on the offer.
Afterwards, Benton recruits both Roy and Gabby as troubleshooters for the railroad. I have included a studio still photo for a better look at the renumbered Dayton.
Close up of Benton with the curlicued Central California lettering visible on the tender. One more detail shot of the #7. I really like that “ribbed” steam dome!
At dawn, Black Bart’s gang hijacks the train in a blaze of gunfire.
Soon, the gang has #7 racing along with a load of blasting powder onboard the baggage car. Black Bart plans on setting it off inside a tunnel to further disrupt C.C. Railway operations.
Roy and Gabby are waiting trackside as the train races by. Exchanging gunfire with the villains, we get our best look at the entire train’s consist as it rounds the curve.
#7 is running flat out, but Roy is catching up on horseback.
In a spectacular stunt, Roy (or at least his stunt double) leaps from horseback onto the caboose. If Roy climbs any higher, he’s about to get a face full of black smoke and cinders!
Fortunately, the fireman has thoughtfully ceased the air pollution so we get a great view of Roy racing along the car tops!
In no time at all, Roy has subdued the engineer as the train slows and stops inside, “Three Pines Tunnel”.
Inside the tunnel, Roy climbs down from the cab and shoots it out with Black Bart and the gang. Naturally, the bad guys are all terrible shots while Roy picks them off one by one. At last, Roy climbs into the baggage car and diffuses the black powder bomb. Yay! Justice and Clean Living save the day!
Great, great train action in this movie. I include one more contemporary view of Dayton which the Mrs. and I visited in late June 2018. #18 had been rolled outside for the upcoming Fourth of July celebration at Nevada State Railroad Museum. You can read more about our visit to Nevada (and riding the Virginia & Truckee behind steam!) by CLICKING HERE.
If you want to watch, Nevada City can be seen on YouTube:
Here’s what IMDb has to say about Nevada City:
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