Hollywood has come calling in Fairfield County and thanks to local residents’ passion for trains history, Fairfield was able to answer.
This fall NBC is launching a new series “Revolution” on Sept. 17.
It is being shot in Chadbourn, N.C. which is near Wilimington.
The premise is that all technology from computers, to cars, to cell phones to lights has been blacked out and cannot be turned back on.
In the aftermath society must re-adapt to a less technologically advanced environment. The theme of family becomes more important as well.
In episode five, the characters come across a steam engine and realize that they can power it using coal or wood.
The 70 ton locomotive is coming to the set courtesy of the South Carolina Railroad Museum in Winnsboro. The Number 44 engine fits the scheme of the show.
This round of filming will take place on today, Wednesday and Thursday. The pilot show runs Sept. 17 and If the show is successful, then the locomotive may be used in more episodes.
NBC contacted the South Carolina film office for leads on trains in the Carolinas they could use in the production. The S.C. Film office then contacted the railroad museum and the match fit.
This is the first time a train engine from the museum will be featured in show business. Years ago a few of the cars were filmed for “Glory, glory” but museum volunteers said that show never went into production.
Railroad museum workers had to put oil boxes back beneath the axles, grease the bearing joints and drive rods. They also had to remove the smoke stack in preparation for transit.
The engine will be right at 145,000 pounds when it is loaded on to the truck.
Built in 1927, this was one of twelve steam locomotives constructed in South Carolina and until this week the train had never been out of this state.
The wheel arrangement is unique. It was used in Hampton County and Branchville for logging and for hauling freight.
Volunteers Marty Chaney, and Tim Hill with the railroad museum have accompanied the train to N.C. and Chaney will be in charge of greasing and maintaining the train during production. This is his first time working with a filming crew and he is excited.
They will use the actual train whistle, too, Chaney said, but the train will use simulated steam and smoke.”
He said the producers did not plan to modify the engine. “They like it pretty much the way it is. It fits the story line well,” Chaney said. He is on the museum board of trustees and hopes that this project can help the museum increase its visibility, foot traffic and influence.
This summer visitors came to the railroad museum from Great Britain, Puerto Rico and even China. He hopes to grow the museum and help stimulate the local economy.
“If this train were up and running it would be the only one like it in South Carolina and be a big draw for Winnsboro,” said Rufus Timms.
The train was shipped out over the weekend to N.C. “Maybe we will finally have a television star from Fairfield county,” Timms quipped.