Alaska Railroad

Opening segment of PBS's Dome Car Magic: A History of Railroad Dome Cars

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Special thanx to tomas316 who was able to capture this on his Tivo for me. The camera flash 3 seconds in is from the paparazzi - yours truly. The show goes on for another 30 minutes about the history of observation dome cars - especially interesting if you are a fan of trains. Somewhere in the second half, there's a scene where you can see me in the background for about one second - don't blink! ;-)
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So how did this happen? In Fall/2005, I went with my wife Wendy on one of her company trips to Alaska. This was relatively tame compared to their more typical far-away trips such as polar bears in Canada or an african safari. Ironically, I went back up there a few weeks later to go salmon fishing in Seward Alaska as a surprise 40th birthday for my brother.

Wendy's company had a last minute cancellation, so we got a decent deal on the trip. And I was able to drop our kids off in Salt Lake on the way up thanx to another brother and join Wendy for part of the trip. We flew into Fairbanks and drove down to Denali National Park. After spending a few very cool days in the park, we boarded the Alaska Railroad for the trip down South and had some great views of the Alaskan scenery in this awesome observation dome car.

So after a while, I walk around the train to check it out, and see a guy toting some professional video gear. I strike up a conversation and turns out they are shooting a PBS special on dome cars. The producer is on the train, so I track him down in an attempt to get Wendy's company on National TV and mention that a fun group of people are up in the main dome car.

So a while later, they come up, chit-chat, etc. I figure since I had the childhood growing up with Lionel trains courtesy of my Dad that I have the inside shot on any interviews they might do for the show. But nooooooo - they end up talking with Wendy who tells them about her childhood dream of traveling on a dome car. They were there for about a half hour (and also shot some footage on the open observation platform) and it was condensed down to this 22 second segment that opens the show.

Wendy is, of course, wearing her Natural Habitat Adventures T-shirt ... too bad she wasn't wearing a Captain Crudd fishing shirt! ;-)