The Birth of TrainMasters TV, part 2

14 Oct 2013

TMTV Station Agent

In part 1, I pitched my idea for a railroad hobbyists' TV series called Wheels on Steel to the TV network and they liked the idea, so I set out to make a pilot short for the series.

I chose United Aircraft's Turbotrain as the subject matter and told the story of the Turbo through Jason Shron whose company, Rapido Trains Inc., produces an HO-scale model of the Turbo.  It took weeks to get around to shooting the segment, and for many months the footage sat untouched while work took precedence.  

I was impressed by how much good archive footage of the Turbo was available, thanks to Canadian National's enthusiasm for the promoting the train back in the late 1960's.  Eventually the demo pilot was ready for an audience.  

I showed the video to an exec at the network who sent back an email saying "I love it."   That was the good news.  However, it turned out that the station had recently changed hands, and the new programming staff had plans to re-brand the network.  Shows about cars and trains just weren't on the drawing boards anymore.

Not to be so easily defeated we pitched the idea to some other parties, including a network that aired programs about history.  The word came back that "it wasn't very historical."  Hmmm.

So into the mothballs went Wheels on Steel.  In part 3, learn more about this show idea that  refused to die.

Barry Silverthorn
Executive Producer/Editor, TrainMasters TV