PBS Documentary “End Of Track” Premieres March 10th [VIDEO-AUDIO]
END OF TRACK, Premieres Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. on Wyoming PBS
We had the pleasure of having the man behind the development of this outstanding documentary in the KING FM studios this morning! If you like trains and their history in our state, then you better make plans to catch this tonight or when it comes to PBS! Listen to the interview from this morning here;
An Exploration of the Construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in Wyoming and the ‘End of Track’ Towns that Popped Up Along the Way
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In the fall of 1867, a single railroad track reached the southeastern corner of Dakota Territory—today’s Wyoming state line. The Union Pacific had been pushing westward from Omaha for the past year and a half. Beyond this “End of Track” point, there was nothing but open prairie, mountains and rolling hills for hundreds of miles. No cities or civilization to speak of, no ranches or farms, and not much population. In fact there was no Wyoming.
The Transcontinental Railroad changed all that.
With the coming of the railroad, Wyoming soon achieved territorial status and eventually statehood. With the coming of the railroad, cities like Cheyenne and Laramie, Rawlins and Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston were created. But there were other Wyoming railroad towns that today are little remembered. Places like Benton and Bryan, Piedmont and Bear River City flourished for a time during construction, then simply vanished as the railroad moved on.
End of Track, which premieres Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. on Wyoming PBS, is the story of the Transcontinental Railroad’s construction march across southern Wyoming and the growing pains of a state in its infancy. It’s a story of incredible engineering achievements and boisterous “Hell on Wheels” towns. A story of greed and corruption, murder and mayhem; of a clash of cultures and Native American retaliation. But it’s also a story of hope and ambition, determination and unimagined success.
End of Track follows the progress of the surveyors and engineers, the graders and tracklayers from Cheyenne to Evanston in 1868. It delves into the lives of merchants and saloon keepers, gamblers and outlaws, new residents and famous visitors. Along the way the story moves up vertically in time at various locations to fully explore how the railroad changed the lives of people along its path.
You’ll meet characters like Chief Engineer Grenville Dodge and the scandalous Union Pacific Vice President “Doc” Durant. The no nonsense Casement brothers, who as construction bosses drove their work crews to ever higher standards. The outlaw Big Nose George, who because of the railroad came to a strange and untimely end. And the Ames brothers, railroad financiers to whom a little known massive monument still exists just off present day I-80.
Many of the events that surrounded the building of the Transcontinental Railroad nearly 150 years ago embody themes that reverberate throughout the world today: The promise of a technology connecting the nation in a new way. The collision between industrialized and traditional cultures. The greed and hubris of the captains of industry. The corruption, schemes and complicity of government officials. The huge amounts of taxpayer money going into the pockets of the few. A plan to jump-start economic growth after a long and divisive Civil war. A huge infrastructure project to create jobs and put people to work. These are themes that give perspective to events taking place today and perhaps serve as lessons on how to proceed into a turbulent future.
Featuring hundreds of historical photographs and lavish high definition video, dramatic readings and historic recreations, this compelling documentary paints a picture of frontier life in Wyoming during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. An incisive narrative plus interviews with historians and railroad experts, presents an accurate account of how the Transcontinental railroad changed America. Ultimately, End of Track is a story about the beginning of Wyoming.
To learn more about the documentary, go to http://wyomingpbs.org/programming/end-of-track/, which features information about the film, including a producer blog, photos, and information about the upcoming screening tour scheduled for February 25-28 in Cheyenne, Laramie, Rock Springs and Evanston. The site also features a story share section, where viewers can share their own family stories of the Transcontinental Railroad’s construction march across southern Wyoming.
About Wyoming PBS:
Wyoming PBS is a non-commercial, educational institution and cultural resource dedicated to connecting and enriching Wyoming lives through innovative media. Wyoming PBS can be found on various channels across Wyoming; for more information, check local listings, or go to www.wyomingpbs.org for a complete schedule of channel numbers.
About the writer/producer:
Tom Manning has conceived, written, produced and managed communication materials throughout his professional career spanning over 25 years. Specializing in documentary scripting and production, Tom has planned, penned and produced a tremendous variety of informational, educational, historical, wildlife and entertainment projects.
His award winning work has won Western Heritage, Telly, Golden Cine, International Wildlife Film Festival, National Educational Media and Historical Society Media prizes. Tom’s productions have appeared on Public Television, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel as well as in visitor’s centers and museums, throughout the country. He currently resides in Bozeman, Montana.