Rockford Files and Railroads?

I guess an alternative title could have been “Railfanning through watching shows from the golden era of television,” which is to me shows from the 1960s-early 1980s.  Wait, before you say that’s kind of pathetic, think about it.  When you watch shows like Rockford Files, Mannix, McCloud, etc., you are seeing a slice of America from that era.  You see what automobiles and trucks looked like, advertisements, architecture and sometimes rail action.  A recent Rockford I watched, Gearjammers, Part II (second season), featured tons of rail action–a lone Seaboard boxcar spotted at a building, lots of Railboxes and SP boxcars, UP and SP bulkhead flatcars loaded with lumber and a scene at a dock where Rockford and Becker are hiding in a UP boxcar.

IMG_2306 Here’s the car from which they doing their stakeout.  I wish someone would do this car in HO!


The episode also had numerous scenes in industrial locations to give you a feel for what industry looked like in the mid-1970s.  There was even a vintage Taco Bell that looked like this..


If you model what I think is the golden era of railroads, then these great shows offer you a wealth of information about how to capture these eras, from the autos, to the trucks and trailers, industries, businesses, advertisements, etc.  Rockford Files just happens to be one of my all time favorites, but there many awesome shows from this era.  (For another post explaining my use of “Golden Era” or even my take on “my” transition era, click here.  I heard a lot from steam fans on the post!)

Here’s another site that might be helpful concerning scenes from Rockford Files.  The one the link goes to, checks out the “Elmira” passenger station from that era.  It is reportedly actually the ATSF depot in Pasadena, CA.

So if you model the 1960s-mid-1980s, enjoy some good shows and help yourself capture the “aesthetic” of your selected era.


3 thoughts on “Rockford Files and Railroads?

  1. I like watching a # of movies which were obviously filmed post Amtrak but the stock footage used was of other RR’s trains. There was an Episode of the Incredible Hulk which takes place in Wilmington Deleware (can’t remember the name of the ep off the top of my head) but David steps off a train pulled by a battered New Haven painted FL9, the producers could have at least used a GG1 !!!! There is also an episode of the Andy Griffith Show where after Barney left and returns to Mayberry by train no less he steps off in Mayberry from a Union Pacific Train!!!!!


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