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"Extreme Trains"

13405 Views 114 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  tparone
A new series, "Extreme Trains" begins next Tuesday eveing on the Discovery Channel.

I found it on the listings for Discovery high-def, and assume it's also on the standard-def channel.
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

I missed the Modern Marvels show on the history, but I did manage to catch the one on high-speed trains.


Other than there poor choice for a commentator the show hit its mark.. As some have guessed yes it geared to the younger set and the overall general public so that folks can understand the RR. For the FRN folks that think they know all about RR then I can see why you have taken exceptions to the show. Later RJD
I didn't get to see the show and from what folk have had to say about it, I am glad I didn't. Granted, there needs to be some "action" and maybe a bit of sillyness to grab the general pubic's attention, but if they present factual error, then the general public is even more missinformed for having watched it. That is NOT needed, no matter how cute or artsy the presentation. The show is not on the "Cartoon Network" nor on the "Fantasy Channel"... from the channel is was on one would expect it to be an educational and factual error is not education.
Posted By aceinspp on 11/12/2008 12:22 PM
geared to the younger set and the overall general public so that folks can understand the RR. For the FRN folks that think they know all about RR then I can see why you have taken exceptions to the show. Later RJD

If the FRN's saw those errors, geez, I wonder what a railroad employee would have spotted.
I did think the roller coaster ride at 4 MPH was a real stretch.
RE: "Extreme Trains"

I caught the show last night..

and yeah, the host could be better..
but apart from that, I quite liked the show!
I thought it showed an aspect of railroading most people never really get to see..
(if you missed it, it was about taking a Norfolk Southern coal train across Pennsylvania)

The filming was very good..very good and unusual railroading scenes..

not the kind of kind of thing you see just standing next to the tracks!

I only caught a few minor annoyances:

In the beginning, he was very clearly saying Nor-(F-word) Southern..
very clearly enunciating the f-word..
he then later changed to the proper Nor-folk..

its "Horseshoe Curve".. its always been "Horseshoe Curve"
no one, ever, says "THE Horseshoe Curve"!
that annoyed me! ;)
He kept saying "The Horseshoe Curve" over and over..

Did you know early brakemen used to stop a train by sticking their feet out in front of the locomotive?
I didnt either..because it never happened!

creative editing messed up the train a few times..
they started out over the Alleghenys with a SD70 in the lead..it later magically changed to a GE!
(it was obviously footage from two different trains, meant to represent the same train)
but probably no one but me would notice that.. ;)

I plan to watch more episodes!
I thought overall it was pretty entertaining..
It really showed railroads in a very positive light, talking about how vital and important they are..
which is a good thing for the general public to see IMO..

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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Scott, the local pronunciaton of "Norfolk" (and it's neighbor to the soutwest, "Suffolk") is almost always "-uck" or "-ick", not "-olk," leastwise as I heard it growing up in that neck of the woods. It's one of those quirky pronunciation. (Not that Rochester has any of those. [;)] )

Personally, I wish he spent a bit more time on Horseshoe Curve (minus the "the"), talking about the museum and whatnot that's available there for people to see. I did like the tour of the Juniata Shops. Seeing that locomotive just picked up like one of our models was pretty friggin' cool, even for a steam guy.

I noticed the change in motive power on the various trains, too, but that's an occupational hazard for me. Those things tend to jump out. I especially liked the one where they shot the helpers on a container train. Credit the editor for not making the differences too glaring.


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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Ditto on K's comments. Been vacationing down on the Outer Banks for better than 20 years. The local TV channels are the Norfolk ones and the local news anchors use the "-uck" pronunciation. Come to think of it, Suffolk county on Long Island was always "-uck" too.

RE: "Extreme Trains"

I watched the show and although the host was goofy and it wasn't spot on with all the details it was still way better than watching extreme make over or the runway show stuff. Anybody who thinks they're too sophisticated to watch a show that isn't 100% correct in every detail is missing out on a lot in life. I worked 12 years in the coal mines of West Virginia back in the 70s and early 80s. After moving to Florida I worked for a company that built, installed and serviced overhead bridge cranes. The show may have been titled Extreme Trains, but people had a chance to learn a little about coal mines and overhead cranes. As for the coal and the power plant, how many people do you think knew the coal used at a power plant was ground to a dust? Most people think of large chucks when they think of coal. So, I'll be watching every episode. Goofy host or not.
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As has been said, the host is too erratic. Why is it that, in modern filming of these types of shows, the camera moves around like a chicken's ass? It must be my age, but whenever I saw an informational show years ago, the camera would focus on the subject for at least more than a millisecond. Other than that it wasn't half bad.
I just finished watching the first episode. The topic is, of course, fascinating and the show has potential but needs to fix 3 serious flaws first:

1) The host is an idiot on camera. He may be a nice guy, and is narration is good, but his on screen presence makes the show unwatchable.

2) Too little information, too much fluff. Spend less money on stupid graphics and more on telling us facts.

3) Accuracy. Folks who make a show about trains should actually know about them. The dynamic brake misinformation is a good example.

Greg C
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I didn't find the host all that annoying.. Goofy at times yes, but his job is to "host" the show not narrate it. That implies that some personality is required. I'm also from the younger set and am used to that form of hosting. I thought the program was quite well done, and the filming was great. There were some breathtaking shots that looked incredible on my HD set. It's much better than the other regularly aired train show, Tracks Ahead. I've set a season pass on the Tivo.. I'll be watching as long as it airs.
RE: "Extreme Trains"

I only got to catch part of it and I liked it. Modern camera operation is a bit annoying especially for detail stuff. I hate it when they flash a picture for half a second, it reminds me of watching MTV.
I live at the end of the Norfolk Southern yards in Conneaut, OH and thinkin about it, we pronounce it with an "uck" as well. But, we're all hillbillies 'round here. :)" src="http://www.mylargescale.com/DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/smile.gif" align="absMiddle" border="0" />

My favorite train show is the the one on the travel channel that shows all the tourist trains around the counrty and world. Usually they will show them all in a marathon for about 6 hours, lots of good narrow guage steam in there!

RE: "Extreme Trains"

I agree with the majority here, host could be better, text more accurate... and the outer rail is affected by centrifugal force, the train stays on the rails because of centripetal acceleration.. but what the hey.

The most obnoxious thing to me was really the camera work jumping around. Luckily I have a tivo-style recorder on my HD satellite system, so it was easy to stop and go back and look at things in detail.

But I'll watch anything on trains once!

Regards, Greg
I like the show. The host must be the brother of the guy from TUFFER IN ALASKA. They both were anoing. But I got through it.
I watched the first episode this afternoon, and thought it was good. I liked that they actually talked with a real operator and real crews. The guy hosting the show is suppsed to ham it up, guys. This show is geared toward guys like me and Shad. Short attention spans. What are we talking about?

I also liked that they mixed some historic equipment in there.

Not much mention of the wet limestone scrubber shown in all the power plant shots. You know it is a wet scrubber because of the white plume of steam coming from it. The dirty stacks are the ones without any steam coming from them.

All in all, for what it is, it is 95% better than the Dancing with the Stars that MB likes to watch. Talk about mind numbing!!

And I liked that he pronounced the name of the railroad properly. If he was really trying to insult the RR, there are a whole lot more terrible things to say than the proper pronunciation of the city of Norfolk, VA.


PS- did any of you crazy old dudes watch "Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia" last night? Now that was an extreme show.
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It is said : "The more the host irritates you the more intelligent you are."

The next statement in the equations is " The shows are gear for the average person"

Then you come to the sad conclusion that " Not Much is Geared for YOU"

PS I can't wait to see what the next train is.
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Giving more thought to the subject at hand, I must conclude the following; Our hobby gets little recognition beyond being a novelty. Other hobbies have stadiums built for them, and entire swaths of grass maintained beyond the realm of the sane among us. So if a network wants to devote an hour, less commercial and redundentcy leaving probably 20 minutes of actual new information, to trains we should be pleased that the general public is getting some exposure to it. And the general public needs to be enticed to watch, so the more like a reality show the more they will watch it.
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RE: "Extreme Trains"

Good call on the Norfolk pronunciation. It is either "uke" or "ick" but saying FOLK will get you laughed at...as I have done to many folks (pun intended). I work in Norfolk every few weeks right near where the NS trains depart from some of the docks.
Keep it going guys, we could use a Siskel and Ebert for Railroad documentaries!!
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It was ok......but I'm a noob, the 3 year old watched it all week long about 4 times a day!
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