Broadcast History
Episode Guide
Express To Terror
And A Cup Of Kindness, Too
The Queen And The Improbable Knight
Hail To The Chief
A Very Formal Heist
The Green Girl
Where Have You Been Billy Boy
Unproduced Episodes
Lost Episodes
Creative Team
Route Map
Building Supertrain
Grand Central Set
In Action
NBC in 1979
Fred Silverman
Side Tracked
Home Video
TV Guide Review
NBC Publicity
Publicity Stills Collection
Super Stuff
About The Author
Sources and Links

Supertrain's Consist

     Here's a look at the fine amenities provided to Supertrain passengers and what was known of the consist of the train itself.  Though mentioned in TV Guide ads for early episodes, we never see the Movie Theatre that was supposed aboard the train.  You'll also notice that early NBC ads and publicity refer to the train operating on two sets of tracks.  Supertrain actually rode on a standard looking set of rails that were of a wider gauge than normal U.S. trains.

Control Room Engine

     The Control Room/Engine for Supertrain include all the necessary futuristic amenities like flashing lights, various knobs and buttons, a Commodore Pet personal computer, TV monitors, open reel tape units, and a large game-show like digit display to countdown the launch of the train.
     This is the only segment of the train that is not of two-level construction.  Though it does impossibly contain a basement entered via a trap door in the floor in the "A Very Formal Heist" episode.

Baggage Car

     Though not clearly identified from the outside, Supertrain does have a car or section of the lower level of a car that serves to store baggage.  Interestingly, though rather typical for Supertrain, we find little or no security for this area and the various belongings stored there.  Passengers have open and free access to Supertrain's Baggage Car and even can open the large sliding door while the train is speeding along at 200mph without anyone noticing!


     Located in the upper level of Supertain's first bi-level car is a parlor area that appears in numerous episodes.  This area is apparently accessed only by the elevator and one can see Supertrain's forward facing pair of windows located at the front end of this first double-decker car.  A piano is found here and used in the first episode and the second.  This parlor is the host for Supertrain's International Poker Championship in "The Green Girl."  The parlor also plays host to the society crowd attending Zsa Zsa Gabor's charity event in "A Very Formal Heist."  It is in the "Heist" episode that we enjoy Supertrain regular Ilene Graff's singing The Beatles' "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" from the parlor car.


     Home to Dr. Dan Lewis (Robert Alda) is Supertrain's Infirmary.  This section of Supertrain includes the doctor's reception area which connects to the examination and small area to house patients.  Among those visiting the Supertrain Infirmary are Dennis Dugan in drag, an annoyed Isabel Sanford demanding nerve pills, Joyce DeWitt in hiding, and regular Edward Andrews with a case of the mumps.  Robert Alda's character is joined in the first four episodes of the series by then cast regular Nita Talbot as the nurse/receptionist.  For Supertrain's final run, Alda is called to the Dining Car to help deal with the crisis caused by "Billy Boy" and passes an unknown new dizty receptionist on his way out of the Infirmary.

Dining Car

     No self-respecting rail operation is without a good food service and Supertrain was no exception.  Though Robert MacKenzie complains in his TV Guide Review that he found no one dining about Supertrain, this is simply not the case.  Supertrain's Dining Car is the focus for the series' entire last episode, "Where Have You Been Billy Boy."  The Supertrain Diner is also hosts Dick Van Dyke and Barbara Rhoades in "And A Cup Of Kindness, Too" as well as the all guests eating at the same time during the "Superstar" episode.  We also see the Supertrain crew discussing the jewelry theft problem over breakfast in "A Very Formal Heist."  So, Mr. MacKenzie needed to pay better attention or maybe he was out in the kitchen popping popcorn during this segments of "Supertrain."

Communications Center

     If you need to make a phone call, Supertrain as a section devoted to its passengers' communications needs.  An attendant is shown in this area and it appears to be a low-level residing part of one of the bi-level cars.  The Communications Center is seen when Steve Lawrence makes a call in "Express To Terror" and we also witness Lyle Waggoner's attempt to change his return reservations with Harrison Page during the "Very Formal Heist" episode.

Gift Shop

     Forget something in your packing?  Or did you decide that you have nothing to wear to the Supertrain Disco tonight?  No Problem, thanks to Supertrain's Gift Shop.  This small retail facility is found occupying what appears to be most of the lower level of one of the passenger cars.  It's here that Dick Van Dyke purchases a bathing suit for Barbara Rhoades in "And A Cup Of Kindness, Too."  We find Sylvia Sydney shopping for designer dresses, while Timothy Carey and Mills Watson ogle a toy gun and stuff bear in "Superstar." 

Theater Lounge

     It is a stretch, but we'll label this car the Theater Lounge in the Supertrain consist.  NBC ads and publicity materials included reference to a movie theater on board the train.  No movie theater is ever seen in the series and one wonders what use it could have been put to anyway.  Considering the quality of the series, perhaps they could have simply started a show with someone going into the movie theater and then NBC could simply run an old theatrical film in place of "Supertrain" that night.  Maybe this could have been an early start to the film commentary that began on LaserDisc and is found today on DVD releases.  You could have a guest star or maybe a film critic board Supertrain and sit down in the theater car and then watch and comment on a movie.  I can hear the announcer now, "NBC's Supertrain Night at the Movies will continue with Roger Ebert critiquing Charlton Heston in 'The Omega Man' after these messages and station identification."      
     Anyway, this room on Supertrain includes a pair of 19-inch color TVs facing a group of highbacked swivel chairs.  At the back end of the viewing area is a bar.  This room is featured in "The Green Girl" and "Where Have You Been Billy Boy" episodes.

Disco-Pool Observation

     The last car of the Supertrain consist really has it all!  The lower level included the famous disco and bar, while up the flight of stairs you found the train's pool.  Beyond the pool and the rear of the upstairs was an open platform observation area.  From the downstairs disco-bar, one is given a fish tank view into the swimming pool located behind the bar itself.  At Supertrain's 200mph, I see just one lawsuit after another with this part of the train's consist.  Could you disco and swim in a train moving at 200mph without injuring oneself?  And if you could, what would your chances be trying to stand outside on the observation platform at 200mph?  Guess folks weren't so litigation-happy in 1979 and this wasn't a concern. 
     The disco is given generous screen time in "Hail To The Chief"; "A Very Formal Heist"; and "Where Have You Been Billy Boy" among other episodes.  The pool is shown off in "Express To Terror"; "And A Cup Of Kindness, Too" and "A Very Formal Heist"; "Green Girl" and "Billy Boy" among others.