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  Photo of the American Freedom Train 1976 Video Documentary by Accuen


The American Freedom Train
The Year in Pictures

The Year in Pictures 1976 follows the train back across the United States. In Texas, the former Texas & Pacific steam locomotive #610 is restored to pull the train through the Lone Star state. The trainís interior is revisited on the trip through the Mid-west. Horseshoe Curve and the Pentagon pass by on the way to closing day in Miami on New Yearís Eve. . The story of this incredible journey is illustrated by hundreds of never-before-seen photographs by the trainís staff, designers, builders and the railfans who chased it!

Companion volume to
The Year in Pictures 1975.



  Video Description

The American 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.

The American 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.

Highlights include 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 did.

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.

In ceremonies 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.

You can read some Production Notes by clicking here.


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