In 2008, Columbia Pictures released a movie about a super-here who has fallen out of public favor. Played by Will Smith (Men In Black, MIB II and soon MIB III), Hancock tends to cause more damage than good. In the opening scene, Hancock sees that his manager, Ray, is stuck on some railroad tracks with an oncoming train fast approaching. True to Hancocks way’s of recent, he rescues his manager, but derails the train. The public, again, sees nothing good about Hancock, who has been causing more damage than doing good in the city. We are going to take a look at the locomotive in that scene.
Pacific Harbor Lines Co-Operated in the filming of “Hancock,” and even re-lettered one of their locomotives for a fictional railroad. The locomotive they chose was PHL SD18R #40. The locomotive was relettered from Pacific Harbor Lines to he “Southland and Western.” In my opinion, they chose a good locomotive to be in the film, as the locomotive used, is a RARE locomotive model.
The locomotive started out life for the Southern Railway. The unit, built as Southern Railway #2509, was built as an EMD SD24. She carries the Serial #25660, and the frame number 5606-34. Constructed in the final month of 1959, She was delivered to the Southern a couple days after New Years 1960. Right away, The Southern put the 2509 in service, and she was mainly used on the CNO&TP divison, running along the famous “Rat Hole” Division through Kentucky. In the late 1960’s, 2509 was renumbered to Southern #6311. This time, she roamed all over the vast Southern Railway. However, in the early 1970’s, she was retired from the roster, when new, more powerful EMD SD45’s were being delivered. Her 2,400 horse’s were dwarfed in comparison to the SD45’s 3,600 Horses. After she was retired, she was sold to Locomotive Dealer, Precision National, of Mt. Vernon, IL. There, she entered the national lease fleet. She stayed in the lease fleet for a years before she was purchased by the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. After purchase by the CNW, she was sent to the former Chicago Great Western shops in Oelwien, IA. There, she had her problematic turbocharger removed, and hence, becoming basically an EMD SD18. When she entered service on the CNW, she became CNW SD18R #6628. She stayed with the Chicago and Northwestern until CNW was bought out and merged into the Giant Union Pacific Railroad in 1995. She was immediately stored, and officially retired from the Union Pacific Railroad on July 17th, 1997. Shortly after, the locomotive was sold to Midwest Metallics for scrap. Luckily for the 6628, the locomotive was purchased by the Pacific Harbor Lines, for use on switching the intermodal docks in the L.A. Basin area. She was rebuilt by the railroad, repainted and given her current number, PHL #40.
With this being 2011, the locomotive is one of the few surviving SD24’s that have survived, although she has lost her turbocharger. The sad fact is, that there are only 2 surviving True SD24’s left in existence. One is at the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the other is preserved at the Illinois Railway Museum. The one in the IRM was also used in the filming of “Groundhog Day,” a movie we will discuss in a future blog. I think I have bored you enough, so lets get to the photos already….
Here’s a photo of the PHL 40 when she was an SD24 on the Southern: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=738822
Here’s a photo of the PHL 40 when she was on the Chicago and Northwestern: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1918141
Here’s a photo of the PHL 40 as she looks today: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1209413
Well, I hope you enjoyed this piece about the locomotive used in “Hancock.” Hopefully, I will continue to be able to write these blogs you love to read! Considering that Obama has basically caused the SOPA bill to die, I should be able to! Again, if you have any ideas of movies that you want to see done, just click on the “Submitting Ideas” in the bar below the header. HAPPY RAILFANNING!