PROFESSIONAL RAILROADERS SERVING THE PRODUCTION INDUSTRY  



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P R O D U C T I O N  M A N A G E M E N T  S E R V I C E S
 

 
 
Rail Transportation Management Specialists (RTMS) is North America's Premier Railroad Coordinators.

We're experts at aligning a production's creative goals and budgets with appropriate railroads, locations, equipment, and operations. RTMS will also create the culture of teamwork essential to bring the Railroad and Production industries together for a safe and successful shoot.

The services listed to the right, and detailed below, provide production companies with everything to design and produce cost-effective railroad scenes with outstanding on-screen production values.

Film commission inquiries are welcomed and will receive immediate attention. All inquiries are accorded the strictest confidence.



 DEVELOPMENT AND PRE-PRODUCTION
 
[FEASIBILITY ASSESSMENTS & BUDGET ESTIMATING]
 

RTMS personnel have decades of experience in conducting realistic assessments of available railroads, equipment, and locations and then creating realistic budgets based on those assessments. Meaningful railroad cost projections should:

 
(i) be developed as early as possible in a production's planning;
 
(ii) utilize established rail industry cost categories and revenue requirement protocols; and
 
(iii) reflect current market lease, rental and operations rates. RTMS has handled more than dozen Budget Estimating projects. References from major studios, production companies, and railroad managers are available on request.
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LOCATION SCOUTING
 
 
RTMS can dramatically reduce the time and cost of railroad location scouting because -- simply stated --
We Know Railroads.
 
Our professional railroaders have seen thousands of miles of track and hundreds of shops, yards, and rail-served industries in the past 35+ years. Once we understand a production's artistic goals, budgets, and geographic focus, RTMS can immediately identify a list of candidate locations and railroads. Then our staff will step out smartly and start a flow of photos, maps, and assessments heading your way in only a few days. This industry knowledge can shave days (and dollars) off location scouting costs. (See Location Scouting & Management page for additional information.)
 
 
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EQUIPMENT SCOUTING, ASSESSMENT, LEASING AND TRANSPORTATION
 
RTMS railroad professionals will help productions find locomotives and cars that fulfill artistic goals, PLUS are useable and affordable. We have years of experience in passenger and freight car and locomotive leasing. If repairs to historic equipment are considered or required, RTMS will develop clear benefit:cost analyses and guide the production company through this often-complex decision process. For transportation to and from a location, RTMS can arrange and supervise all aspects of these special railroad moves while controlling Special Train and equipment deadhead expense.
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CARRIER ACCESS
 
Railroad executives and historic railroad managers across North America know RTMS project management strategies always provide the basis for a safe and successful production experience. The RTMS safety record is recognized throughout the rail industry. In addition, railroad managers know an RTMS project will be properly planned and well organized. RTMS has designed dozens of production projects that created WIN-WIN situations for both the railroad and the production.
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RAIL OPERATIONS PLANNING
AKA
Never forget: Trains are big and heavy and take time to go anywhere, do anything. RTMS will help design attainable shooting schedules based on the unique characteristics of each production’s selected equipment and locations. If required, detailed operations and switching diagrams (like the one shown in the pdf file linked to the right) also will insure both train and production crew efficiency.To insure precise day-of operations – particularly when complicated operations or switching are scheduled – RTMS may recommend a rehearsal. Rehearsals definitely enhance film crew productivity and help insure safety.
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Sample Switching Diagram 
 
Sample Switching
Diagram
 
 
 

 
CARRIER SERVICE CONTRACTS
 
Creating effective railroad Service Contracts can be a nightmare for the inexperienced. Skillfully-crafted Railroad Operations and Service Contracts secure a production's filming requirements and concurrently allow a railroad or museum to maintain its operations metrics and meet customer service commitments. The document will reflect applicable principles of commerce law; rail industry regulations; railway labor contracts; and include equipment leases, Maintenance of Way work, and car and locomotive repairs and inspections unique to each project. A Contract prepared by RTMS also will provide the flexibility a production needs to handle weather, talent availability, and allow for the creative genius and serendipity that are hallmarks of film makers. In summary, RTMS writes Contracts to provide value to both the railroad and the production company ~~ they are based on realistic budgets and Operations Plans so film crew productivity is assured.>
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MOVIE TRAIN OPERATIONS SUPERVISION
 
When the railroad scenes go to camera, RTMS personnel will be on hand insure all the planning and preparation come together to create smooth and productive shooting. We’re expert experienced rail operations supervisors, so expect safe, crisp, and on-schedule Movie Train operations.
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RAILROAD SCHEDULE RETIMING
 
In many situations, even a slight change in existing railroad operating schedules can significantly enhance a film company's productivity. Designing railroad schedule adjustments — known as "operations retiming" — is not for amateurs. It is a highly quantitative process based in advanced quantitative logistics science. RTMS has attained outstand results in previous retiming efforts. Not every project is a candidate. We can advise if a particular production may benefit from schedule retiming.
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STUNTS & SPECIAL EFFECTS (SFX)
 
Creating illusions of danger and building dramatic impact with railroad equipment and on railroad locations are particularly challenging endeavors. Railroad equipment is big, heavy, and always potentially dangerous when stunts/SFX are involved, there is no place for amateurs and guesswork. RTMS brings an essential set of skills to every stunt and SFX project. These include decades of practical railroad and production management experience.
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LOCOMOTIVE AND RAILCAR RIGGING & CONSTRUCTION

RTMS personnel are experts at all types of locomotive and railcar modifications ~ ~ ~ from touch-up painting to custom engineering and construction. Our experienced professionals also will work in concert with Art, Camera, Electric and other departments to help design and implement all types of decorating, painting, and rigging plans. For larger productions, RTMS previously has designed and built custom Camera Cars and Video Village Cars.
 
 
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RIGHT-OF-WAY IMPROVEMENTS
 
RTMS personnel have extensive experience in track inspection; cost-effective repair program design; and Maintenance of Way (MoW) contracting. This comes in handy since productions occasionally find that the perfect location has a rail line not able to withstand the rigors of planned production work.
 
The selected track may be perfectly safe and suitable for normal freight traffic. However, even after a healthy application of "movie magic," a production still may require higher speeds, faster acceleration and braking, and heavier locomotives.
 
In these cases, track improvements -- ranging from a "light touch-up" to major rehabilitation -- may be required. Bridges and overpasses always present special challenges as federal regulations and industry standards require higher margins of safety. Maintenance of Way (MoW) projects require expensive materials, labor, and equipment. It ain’t cheap.
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CREATIVE SERVICES AND HISTORIC RESEARCH
 
RTMS expertise extends beyond railroad and production operations, economics, and management. This firm’s principals have a deep appreciation for the creativity, artistry and beauty found in railroad cars, locomotives, structures, and the landscapes traversed by railroad routes. (Hopefully, this sensitivity is reflected in the photographs displayed on this website . . . . and by the website itself.)
 
RTMS can provide Production Designers, Art Directors and other members of a production’s creative team with advice and counsel concerning modern and period equipment, structures, and operating practices. We have extensive experience in railroad history research and without fanfare have contributed to a number of railroad history periodicals and books. A 300 volume reference and extensive periodicals collection is available to help writers and production personnel tell their railroad stories.
 
All inquiries will be handled in strictest confidence.
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NORTH AMERICA'S PREMIER RAILROAD COORDINATORS

NAFTA

ALL TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS
© 2007 RTMS & Associates, Inc.
 d/b/a: RAIL TRANSPORTATION MANAGEMENT SPECIALISTS, INC.
UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED OR CREDITED
COMMERCIAL REPRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED.