Rocky Mountain Express
Available on Pluto TV
Rocky Mountain Express tells the story of the remarkable, almost impossible, feats of engineering and construction it took to create the first Canadian transcontinental railroad. As a refurbished steam train, Number 2816 retraces the original route carved out of mountains, rocks, and riversides from west to east. Narrator Michael Hanrahan details the genius and courage of William Cornelius Van Horne, who supervised the entire endeavor and is now a revered hero in Canada. An American by birth, Van Horne oversaw the project from its earliest stages of design through to the train's earliest arrival at the seaport of Montreal. The viewers meet an assortment of other influential people (including A.B. Rogers, another American who significantly affected the design, making some grievous mistakes in judgment along the way) and learn of the overwhelming challenges, accidents, and natural disasters tens of thousands of men faced as they worked. It's clear that many men died as the dangers intensified. The Selkirk Mountains, the Rockies, Lake Louise, and Banff National Park are the visual headliners, but the engineers and crews get lots of attention, too. As director Stephen Low has stated, "Every single shot is an illustration of the courage of these (workers), in my view."
Starring Michael Hanrahan
Director Stephen Low