Here is the
story of the brief "Hollywood" career of former American
Freedom Train cars 201 and 204.
Both cars appeared in the Paramount Pictures television series
The Sentinel, which ran on the UPN television network from 1996
was a crime drama about a man with hyperactive senses who helped
police solve crimes. The series starred Richard Burgi and Garett
Maggart and was set in the fictional town of Cascade, Washington
(the city council of the actual city, Seattle, asked it not be
named, not wanting their city associated with crime scenes every
the AFT cars appear in is number 006 "Night Train",
from the first season.
In the episode,
our heroes find themselves stuck on a train with some bad guys.
Don't worry; everything works out fine.
Of more interest
is the appearance of former AFT cars #201 (the AFT sleeper) and
AFT 204 (the "parlor car", though sometimes the "Ethan
Allen car" for its furnishings, and finally the "Office
car" once some of the foundation executives started using
it as such).
featured in the episode consists of a diesel locomotive and four
passenger cars. AFT 204 is directly behind the locomotive. AFT
201 is directly behind 204. The last two cars can't be identified,
but they are clearly not former AFT cars.
(an SD40-2 numbered 758) is still in BC Rail colors but not lettered
"BC Rail". Instead it is lettered "OR" in
a small plaque on both sides. The train crew also sport the "OR"
logo on their uniforms and former AFT car #201 has a plaque on
one end that says "Olympia Rail". Apparently "Olympia
Rail" was not a real operation, but if you know otherwise,
please email the webmaster.
car #204 is the first car on the train. This was the "Office
car" on the AFT. The car is painted blue with thin white
stripes running down its side (with tiny red stripes within the
white stripes). The car is lettered "Discovery". It
provides the set of several interior scenes on the train. The
car interior now has a bar that can easily be seen in some shots.
The bar was added by BC Rail after the run of the AFT.
car #201 is the third car on the train (next-to-the-last car).
This was the sleeping car on the AFT and its interior appears
in several shots throughout the episode. The car is painted blue
with large white stripes and a yellow and red "Olympia Rail"
plaque on one end. The car is lettered "Norman A. McPherson"
on its side (readable, with difficulty, in a shot of the car passing
directly in front of the camera).
car on the train isn't clearly marked, but it'ss not a former
and last car is a heavyweight observation car named "Caribou"
with 6-wheel trucks and a short tail platform compared to the
AFT. The Caribou Business Car is not a former AFT car. (FYI: The
Caibou was built for the Missouri Pacific by ACF as a dining car,
but became Missouri Pacific Business Car #7 and is now in the
collection of the 3 Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town & Railway
Round House in Revelstoke, BC Canada. You can read more about
The cars are
featured throughout the episode. Near the show's climax, 204 is
separated from the locomotive with all the stars peering out its
side door as the locomotive pulls away.
Not bad for
two of the most nondescript cars on the American Freedom Train!
is now available on DVD from Paramount Pictures/CBS.