By James Benning
1) Small town; sound of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic.
2) Desert; this is the only piggyback train
(semi truck trailers on flat cars) in the film.
3) Tennessee River Bridge; a fish jumps in the foreground
about half way thru; two speed boats pass.
4) City street crossing; mostly oil tanker cars.
5) Dirt field; the train comes to a stop;
half containers, half auto carriers.
6) White farm tanks; all box cars.
7) Amtrak; Pacific Ocean;
the only passenger train in the film.
Gaviota Beach, California
8) Crossing tower; this crossing (of North/South and East/West tracks)
in Ohio is a famous place to watch trains; there is a Rail Fan park
right at the crossing; box cars and tanker cars; a few empty flat cars.
9) Caliente Curve.
10) Cement coal tower; a local landmark.
Prichard, West Virginia
11) White building (dusk); very close up; this is the first container train.
12) Truckee River; in winter with snow on the ground; auto train.
13) Bonnet Carre Causeway; this is where the Kansas City Southern
line crosses the spillway from Lake Pontchartrain; the sound is
from a 1991 Nolan Ryan no-hitter and then a Karen Carpenter
Coke commercial from 1970.
14) Bonneville Salt Flat; container train.
15) Tehachapi Loop; the train loops over itself; the longest shot
in the film; you see the same train twice; all grain hopper cars;
almost all the same.
16) Small town; the train stops and starts again;
sound of the wheels overcoming its own weight
17) Hudson River; only shot of a work truck riding the rails;
sound of a Huey helicopter (from Viet Nam) passing overhead;
the river looks as if it is Viet Nam.
Bear Mountain, New York
18) Elburn Farm Coop; started as a communist coop
in the early 1900’s.
19) Vetter Manufacturing building; family business
from the early 1900’s; lots of graffiti; old box cars; one of the cars
is the same as from a train in 27 YEARS LATER;
the box car is blue, green and red and very recognizable.
Stevens Point, Wisconsin
20) Desert signal; two trains pass each other; the first carrying
automobiles in enlarged white carriers called AutoMax;
the second having many oil tankers.
21) Echo Canyon; old box cars and tankers.
22) Keddie Wye;
this is a famous railroad landmark in northern California.
23) Feather River Canyon; the train looks like a model; the sound
is of Gregory Peck reading from Revelations of the King James Bible.
24) East Main St.; this is the only work train in the film;
the train goes down the middle of the street.
La Grange, Kentucky
25) Lake Pontchartrain Causeway;
causeway was damaged in the 2005 hurricane and repaired.
26) Prairie; sound of coyote.
27) Kudzu; very green.
28) Weber Canyon; two tunnels and bridges; the trains ride
the rails in the opposite direction as normal; that is right side is up
and left is down.
29) Helper engines; 6 engines returning
from helping a coal train over the mountain.
30) Great Salt Lake Causeway;
famous landmark; 20 miles south of the Spiral Jetty.
31) Cornfield; old box cars; off screen sound of road crossing signal.
32) Train yard; two trains;
second one stops with a loud bang at end of shot.
33) Rice field; sound of Woody Guthrie singing
the original version of This Land is Your Land;
later the verse about private property was mysteriously dropped.
34) Tule River Bridge; river is covered with red alga.
35) Rat Hole; this is a nick name for an area of track in Kentucky
that at one time had many tunnels; now there are just notches cut thru
the rocky hillsides. This is the only example of a RoadRailers; that is,
a special semi truck trailer that takes train wheels; so the whole train
is just semi truck trailers held together by wheels;
there are no flat cars like the piggyback trains.
38) Coal train (flatland); a mile long coal train;
sound of President Eisenhower delivering his farewell address (1961),
warning the nation of the military/industrial complex.
39) Commuter train; the only commuter train in the film.
40) Old factory; a long train carrying automobiles.
41) Rincon Beach; sound NWA singing Fuck the Police.
42) Wagner Mills.
43) Wind farm; wind farm in background; old tires in foreground;
the train comes to a halt.
Palm Springs, California
Thanks to James Benning.
Dank an Reinhard Wulf (WDR Köln).