The Big Train (in the Ephemeral section of Open Video Project. Also, film #216 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Industrial]

Made by the New York Central Railroad, this 50s film tells us how railroads are modernizing in standard industrial film style. It goes into a great deal of detail about this in a rather dry fashion. Railroad buffs will probably find it interesting, others less so. The last part of the film is a rather whiny lecture by Alfred Pearlman about how the government subsidizes other forms of transportation, but lets the railroads shift for themselves. After learning about how many government perks the railroads were given back in the 19th century, I can’t say his little talk stimulates much sympathy in me. Still, this is a quite historically interesting record of where the railroads were at in the 50s.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: **. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***.

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