Harrison Ford is a well known actor. Made famous by the blockbuster Trilogy “Star Wars.” In the early 1990’s, he was cast as Dr. Richard Kimble, a wrongfully accused doctor who was convicted of Murder. In one of the scenes of the movie, the convict transport bus crash’s, and ends up on some railroad tracks. After saving another convict and the guards, the bus is destroyed when it is hit by a train, causing the said train to derail. Lets take a look at the history of those locomotives, starting with the lead locomotive.
The lead locomotive in the train wreck scene is a General Electric Product, a Model U18B. The U18B was part of General Electrics “Universal Line” of locomotives that were produced up until the late 1970’s. The U-Boats, as many called them, were the replaced by the Dash 7 Line. The U18B was the lowest in the line up of the line, and sold to the Maine Central (10 units), Texas Utilities (2 Units), The Providence and Worcester(1 unit), The Ferrocarriles Nacionales de Mexcio(45 units) and to the Seaboard Coast Line(105 Units). The Particular locomotive used in the filming was built for the Seaboard Coast Line. She was originally built as Seaboard Coast Line #301. (Serial # 38848) Constructed in March, 1973, she served the SCL until the railroad was absorbed into the Short Lived Seaboard System. The locomotive became Seaboard System #301. When the Seaboard System merged with the Chessie System 3.5 years later to form today’s CSX Transportation, she was renumbered to CSXT 1901. CSXT 1901 was retired from the roster after her 15 year lease was up in 1988. She was stored, pending sale at the railroads Cumberland, Maryland shop. It was during this time, that the producers of The Fugitive purchased the locomotive at scrap value. She is a complete shell, all the internal parts and traction motors were removed to reduce the environmental impact during the wreck scene. Today, the “Illinois Southern 1901” is a tourist attraction, still sitting where she was intentionally derailed for the movie. She sits along the tracks of the Great Smokey Mountain Railroad in North Carolina, where the scene was filmed.
Here’s a photo of the “Illinois Southern 1901” working for her original owner, Seaboard Coast Line: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2324891
Here’s a photo of the “Illinois Southern 1901” as she looked right after the CSX Merger: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=79639
Here’s a photo of the “Illinois Southern 1901” working for CSX Transportation, after being repainted: http://www.trainweb.org/csxphotos/photos/U18B/1901CSX-b.jpg
Here’s a photo of the “Illinois Southern 1901” as she looked a month after filming:http://www.flickr.com/photos/hunter1828/1183941029/
Here’s a photo of the “Illinois Southern 1901” as she looks today: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=14668
In the wreck scene, Harrison Ford’s character gets chased by one of the locomotives that is derailing. The locomotive is ex-Norfolk and Western High Hood GP30#536. Like the 1901, she has been stripped of all internal components. You can tell this locomotive is a shell in the movie where Harrison ford walks under the locomotive, and all you can see is the bare axle with a gear on it. She is the oldest of the two locomotives in the film, built in June, 1962 as N&W 536. She carries Serial #27369 and Frame #5637-15. She spent her entire career on the N&W, lugging coal trains out of West Virginia and Virginia, and later in life, working local trains around the system for N&W successor, The Norfolk Southern Corp. She was also purchased for scrap value from the railroad. There’s not much history in form of ownership changes, but the locomotive is a rare variation of the EMD GP30. Only the Southern Railway and the Norfolk and Western ordered the EMD GP30 with a High Short hood. For a comparison, look at this in service shot of the Norfolk and Western 536. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=286942 She clearly shows that she has a high Short hood. Now take a look at Soo Line GP30 #704. http://www.locophotos.com/PhotoDetails.php?PhotoID=112594. See the difference? Today, she sits along the right of way of the Great Smokey Mountain railroad, along with the 1901, and is a tourist site for movie and railroad buffs. She may not be properly preserved, but at least she has survived almost 19 years in the woods of North Carolina.
Here’s a shot of the “Illinois Southern 536” as she looks today. http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=387948
I hope you enjoyed this look into the locomotives of “The Fugitive”. I hope that you have enjoyed this presentation, and please, take a look at the posts that I have posted about the history of the railroad equipment in TV’s and Movies. If you have anything that you would like me to take a look at, shoot me a message and I will be glad to look into it! HAPPY RAILFANNING!