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Jamaican Railways (1993)

Rod Taylor appears in behind-the-scenes clips from the filming of "Dark of the Sun" (The Mercenaries).

"Jamaican Railways: The Friendliest Line in the World" is a nostalgic documentary about the island's railroad system, which was one of the oldest in the world. Jamaica ceased operation of its national railway in 1992.

The documentary was made in 1993 and released on DVD in 2010. The final two chapters of the DVD are devoted primarily to one of the highlights of the Jamaican railway's long and storied history -- the filming of "The Mercenaries."

The documentary explains that most of the filming was done on the railway's Frankfield branch near Suttons.

Rod is shown several times, including buttoning his shirt in preparation for a scene and talking with producer George Englund. Another shot shows Rod and Peter Carsten being filmed in a prelude to the chainsaw fight scene.

The documentary also shows:

  • Activity shot at the railway's Albany station, particularly the scene where Jim Brown is holding the (doomed) children.
  • A scene of the train passing through a U.N. checkpoint on a bridge. The narrator says this scene took several days to film but was never used in the movie.
  • The arrival of Yvette Mimieux.
  • The attack on and subsequent wreck of the train. The documentary shows a rehearsal of "rebels" running toward the train and then the actual filming of the scene.
  • Jamaica's Richmond Station standing in for the Congo's Port Reprieve.

The documentary describes the destruction of an actual engine as part of the filming of the movie. "Old No. 55" was pushed onto some undermined track at Grange Lane. As the narrator states, "It came to a final end in real blaze of glory."

 

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LINKS

Wikipedia

Jamaica Railway map

Dark of the Sun
(The Mercenaries)

 

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