The General - 1926
Buster Keaton wanted to use the real locomotive "General", which was at the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St Louis Union Depot in Chattanooga, TN. The railroad initially permitted him to do so, even providing him with a branch line to film on. However, when it became known that the film was to be a comedy, the railroad withdrew permission, and Keaton had to look elsewhere.
Producer Joseph M. Schenck gave Buster Keaton $400,000 to make this film, so the production company moved with 18 freight cars of props and sets to Oregon. In the next two months the town of Marietta, GA, was built near the Oregon town of Cottage Grove.
There were three locomotives used in the film: one as "General", one as "Texas" and one for a spare. The spare engine had been originally intended to play Texas, but the engine that ultimately got that role was found to be in better condition. The spare engine played the role of the Union engine up to the bridge scene, where it played Texas as it crossed the bridge.