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Mythical Trains, Legendary Landscapes: The Latest Rail Adventures

It is a stunning comeback! Left in the shadow of the plane and the car, the train is taking its revenge in the United States. Cheaper and more ecological: Americans and tourists are rediscovering the fabled tracks that have shaped the country. 

President Joe Biden is to be thanked for this revival. The train enthusiast – whose nickname is “Amtrack Joe”, after the American rail company – has launched a sixty-six billion dollar investment plan to resurrect the railways.

At Union Square, Chicago’s mainline train station, a beautiful train sets off everyday at two o’clock, bound for the other side of the country: San Francisco. The California Zephyr reaches the West Coast in 52 hours. 4,000 kilometres, three time zones and breathtaking panoramas! In the heart of Colorado, in a Western setting, it’s precisely these landscapes that have made the Durango-Silverton so famous. Pulled by a century-old steam locomotive, this train winds its way along the canyons of the Animas River. A spectacular site, accessible only by rail.

Strengthened by this new-found success, trains are now attracting businessmen. Billionaires are investing fortunes to privatise entire lines and renovate the carriages in luxurious materials.

But traintracks are also the historic playground of the homeless. George Graham is one of the heirs to this great American tradition: since the 1930s, vagabonds have been clandestinely boarding goods trains in search of odd jobs. Today, George is thwarting the railway authorities. He films his adventures and posts them on the internet.

PRODUCTION INFO

  • Year: 2024
  • Duration: 53 mins
  • Production: Yemaya Productions
  • Director: Jérôme Dion
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France