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Rocky Mountain Express Starts at IMAX in October

10/2/2013 12:04:35 PM

Retracing the original route aboard the majestic steam engine 2816, Rocky Mountain Express 2D arrives at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater this month.


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Rocky Mountain Express Thunders Into Chattanooga Oct. 4th
Epic Railroad Journey Set Amidst Breathtaking Canadian Vistas

Chattanooga, Tenn. (October 2, 2013) – Audiences will be transported back to the golden age of railroading when Rocky Mountain Express opens at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater on Friday, October 4th. The six-story screen becomes filled with some of Canada’s most stunning scenery as “The Empress,” a steam locomotive built in 1930, chugs to life on this romantic excursion across a continent. 


The Canadian Pacific Railway started as a dream: a ribbon of steel that would stretch across a wildly rugged continent, through thousands of miles of wilderness and then, through three mountain ranges to reach a remote colonial outpost on the Pacific coast. It was a bold vision that led to one of the greatest engineering feats in history.

An American link to the Pacific had just been completed in 1869, connecting Sacramento, California with Omaha, Nebraska, and ultimately the eastern seaboard via multiple railroads. The Canadian venture, hundreds of miles to the north would be very different. A single sea-to-sea line would be constructed stretching more than 2,800 miles over such craggy mountain landscape that few had ever crossed on foot. Many said the Canadian Pacific Railway could never be built and that it would be foolish to try.

The very existence of the young Dominion of Canada hinged on the decisions that were made about where to build the railway and on its success or failure. It was a compelling story that captivated award-winning filmmaker Stephen Low. “There just isn’t a subject more perfect for the big screen that a giant steam locomotive,” said Low. “This is a film I’ve wanted to make since I was a kid.”

It took Low’s team five years to bring Rocky Mountain Express to life in theaters. They filmed extensively from the air using a helicopter to capture the train’s journey and the breathtaking Canadian wilderness. “Ultimately, we mounted IMAX cameras all over the train as well,” said Low. “We wanted to give audiences an intimate ‘being there’ experience of steam power and this magic place that even train engineers don’t get to experience.”

As the film unfolds, the kinetic train journey is punctuated with richly animated maps and lovingly restored archival images. Audiences gain deep insights into the dramatic story of shaping a transcontinental railway through some of the most beautiful, yet forbidding, terrain on Earth.

Sound is also a vital part of experiencing Rocky Mountain Express. Low’s team carefully and faithfully captured and rendered the remarkable symphony of sonic moods produced by the locomotive. “Steam locomotives always provide a moving experience featuring the sights and sounds of one of the most powerful forms of land transportation ever invented,” said Steve Freer, spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. “This film is a wonderfully immersive experience featuring incredible footage of a majestic, vintage steam locomotive. We invite those who see the film to then visit us and experience a historic train ride in Chattanooga.”

Rocky Mountain Express, sponsored locally by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, was named the Best Film of 2012 by the Giant Screen Cinema Association.

This film is rated G and runs 47 minutes. Purchase tickets online at: www.tnaqua.org/IMAX 

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