Steam on Film: “La bête humaine” (1938) – Slides & Vids

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Some of the most beautiful scenes of vintage European steam in film were crafted in French filmmaker Jean Renoir’s 1938 film entitled La Bête humaine (English: The Human Beast; and in the UK released also as Judas Was a Woman).

The film centers on an express train engineer who discovers his wife was seduced by a wealthy godfather and plots their murder. This murder is witnessed by a co-railway worker.  The plot complexifies further with the ramifications of this murderous path.

The express steam train pulled by French steam type 231 plays a major star role in the movie throughout, representing and symbolizing the human journeys, with beautiful photography and atmosphere.

Read more here:

Wikipedia

IMDb site

Here are some clips:

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Regular Steam “Plandampf” in Germany: Gerolstein Photo

In Germany, for either a weekend or one week, several counties and regions run regular, yes: REGULAR steam trains on their main and branch lines.  These are not “special” or tourist or excursion trains, but running regular scheduled runs.
Thousands of fans from around the world, visit the Plandampf to experience true steam.

This photo is one glance at the Gerolstein Plandampf.  Photo by Peters.

Switzerland steam in June 2007. Photos by Brian Stephenson

From the great website of rail photography: Railpictures.net.  Photo by Brian Stephenson

“Two four-cylinder compound locos, Nos 705 (built 1904) and 2978 (built 1917) are seen in heavy rain below the church at Wassen, which they will pass two more times as they climb to the Gotthard tunnel, with the special train from Erstfeld to Bellinzona celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Gotthard Railway”

CHASING the SP 4449 !!! July 2011

Photo by Steven M. Welch at Rail pictures.net

On July 2 -3, 2011, the Southern Pacific 4449 pulled trains from Portland, Oregon to Wishram, Washington.

This is a great video of “Chasing” the locomotive on its trip.  The Photographer rides to shoot the video, while the famous steam chasing driver “Rich” shows his skills at providing ample and exciting distance and speed in order to capture the beauty and power of steam and the environs.

Video is posted by gregudolph.

The SP 4449 was called “The Most Beautiful Locomotive in the World” at the Height of Steam train popularity in the 1940s and 50s.  It is now housed, along with one of my all-time favorite steam locomotives of the US, the SP&S (Spokane, Portland & Seattle) 700.