Freedom Train was the greatest railroading event of the 20th century.
For 21 months in 1975 and 1976 this 25-car steam-powered train crisscrossed
the nation in celebration of the Bicentennial of the America Revolution.
Over seven million people would seek out the train on its 25,833
mile journey - venturing aboard to witness over 500 precious artifacts
significant in the shaping of their country. Forty million more
would watch the train go by at trackside.
Freedom Train: The Year In Pictures 1976 covers the second year
of the AFT's life - illustrated through hundreds of never-before-seen
photographs from noted railroad photographers, AFT staff and locomotive
crews. From the New Year's Day trip to Santa Barbara to closing
ceremonies on New Year's Eve in Miami, this tape follows the AFT
back across America and into history.
aerial photography of the train displaying in Long Beach next to
the famous ocean liner The Queen Mary. Stops in Tempe, Albuquerque,
Austin, Houston, Dallas, Ft. Worth, Wichita Falls, Kansas City,
St. Louis, N. Little Rock, Birmingham, Knoxville, Cumberland, New
York, Washington D.C., the Carolinas, and Florida are all featured.
In Texas, the
story of the restoration of former Texas & Pacific #610 is retold.
In 1969, the
huge 2-10-4 steam locomotive #610 had become the property of David
Pearson of Ft. Worth. As the Bicentennial approached, word of the
AFT reached Pearson. After discussions with Ross Rowland and the
AFT Foundation, it was decided that if Pearson and his friends could
get the 610 restored, it could pull the AFT through Texas. And with
the backing of local millionaire Amon Carter, Jr., restore it they
The third and
oft overlooked steam locomotive to pull the American Freedom Train,
the 610 took the point on runs from Austin to Houston, Houston to
Ft. Worth, and from Ft. Worth to Dallas and back. This DVD covers
the restoration and the short, but distinguished career of #610
for the Freedom Train.
After the stop
in Kansas City, this volume explores the insides of the AFT. Many
of the 512 artifacts are depicted in rare photos by the train's
designers and staff (rare because the public was not allowed to
photograph anything inside the train). Look for George Washington's
copy of the Constitution, Joe Frazier's boxing trunks and robe,
Martin Luther King's Vestments and Bible, the Louisiana Purchase,
artist Thomas Hart Benton's study for the mural inside the Truman
Presidential Library, Judy Garland's dress from the Wizard of Oz,
the Gadsden Purchase and the Oregon Compromise, Amelia Earhart's
flight goggles and scarf, Alan Shepard's Apollo mission practice
suit, the Heisman Trophy, Bob Lanier's size 20 basketball shoes,
and, yes, a rock brought back from the moon.
at Birmingham and at the Pentagon the two steam locomotives (4449
and 2101) trade duty at the head of the train.
In Miami, on
New Year's Eve 1976, a somber candlelight ceremony transforms the
American Freedom Train, itself, into history. And so ends this documentary
tribute to the Train, its creators and staff.
can read some Production Notes by clicking here.
- CLICK HERE