Money Train


SPFX Coordinator, Phil Cory , Phil Cory Special Effects Inc.

Fabrication Foreman, Richard Cory and Phil Notaro, Thunderstone Inc.

Motion Control/Electronics Foreman, Doug Calli, CALLICO

Lead Electronics Technician, Terry Chapman

Electro Mechanical Computer Interface Design, Leif Larsson

The pictures below are two angles of the same scene.  Two, of the three Money Trains, are shown at the north end of the subway set.  In the  foreground is the motion controlled slider car, on its flatbed car. The slider car could travel from 0 to 20mph in 30ft., while the subway trains pulling the flatbed car traveled through the station near 40mph. Repeatable and predictable crashes allowed the director to stage precise events with full scale effects.End view of the moving gimbalTwo Money Trains

Furthest away from us, is the actual "Money Train".  In place of the high current electric motors, used by the New York subway, Phil Cory designed a power plant using, 4, tandem, turbo charged, propane burning, 454 chevy engines, powering high performance hydraulic pumps and motors.  This power plant gave the director the speed he needed to sell his shot.  That's 120,100lbs' moving at 40 mph, in less than 400 ft.!

The Money Train, Moving GimbalSide view of the "Money Train" slider, as it sits on a flatbed car. The rear end of the subway car has been crushed, by the motion controlled crash of the "Money Train"


StuntsOn the right, Stunt Coordinator Andy Gill sets up a stunt, The motion controlled slider (money train) approaches to ram the end of the subway car as two stunt doubles make the leap from car to car. The combined speeds of the subway cars and the slider  produce a 60mph stunt, where accuracy is life. The MC system gave the stunt coordinator precise timing to rehearse by and later to perform the stunts.

Mark Lilienthal, Mike Tice and Ken EbertFabricating the "crushable" end of the subway car, was supervised by, special effects master Mark Lilienthal (pictured in foreground).  Mark also worked on company (on set SPFX) with Mike Tice pictured on the left in the background. Ken Ebert (right, background) provided automotive expertise for the many turbo charged, propane burning chevy engines used to power the trains.

Money Train and TunnelThe "Money Train", inside the 3000+ foot long, 20 foot high, 60 foot wide, tunnel and subway station. Built near Chinatown, north of downtown Los Angeles, the set is the longest in film history.

The third "Money Train", was a set of semi-stationary motion controlled gimbals.  These gimbals were made to perform the same crash as the moving train, but in a much safer environment.Stationary Gimbal

The Money Train gimbal could traverse 30ft of floor, while rocking from 4 points.  The subway car gimbal (to the right, out of frame), could yaw its front cabin 6ft side to side, while rocking from 4 points.

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