Emma Sweeny

Late in the afternoon I ended up in Santa Rita Park, one of several very nice city parks in Durango.  I saw a colorful train under a canopy and assumed it was one used on the Durango-to-Silverton line (which I will be taking on Monday).  I was wrong.  This is a movie and TV star.

The Emma Sweeny appeared in the 1950 film A Ticket to Tomahawk (before my time, I was born in 1954).  This is the actual engine and coal car but a horse-drawn mock-up was used to shoot some scenes here in Durango.  That model has been acquired by a local group and is being restored and will be placed in the railroad museum.

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Kind of hard to see in the picture above but note the elk antlers above the headlight in the photo below.

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This engine was also used (with a different headlight and smokestack) in the opening sequence of the TV show Petticoat Junction (1963-1970).  That show I do remember….

In the show it was called the Hooterville Cannonball.  There is a town just north of Charlotte, North Carolina called Huntersville (I lived with friends in north Charlotte for 6 months in 1994 when I moved to NC from Pennsylvania).  To this day, I like to call it Hooterville.