I would like to know how they computed that.

First off, which Trolley? There was the "G" sized Trolley and the HO sized Trolley?

That aside, I highly suspect there is error involved.

The track either Trolley ran on wasn't all that long, maybe 10'? Shucks, let's say 20'.

So, if a run was 20' long, and given that one mile is 5,280', Trolley would have to make 264 passes over that in order to only do ONE actual mile.

5,000 actual miles in a season? Let's see, 5,280' x 5,000 = 26,400,000'

26,400,000' divided by 20' equals 1,320,000 passes.

I don't think so.

Andre

@laming posted:

26,400,000' divided by 20' equals 1,320,000 passes.

I don't think so.

Andre

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Mike

A generation of PBS-fed youngsters loved Mr. Rogers and knew the task of the trolley was to travel the distance from the "reality" of the neighborhood to the "land of make believe" and back. That  clever metaphor bridged that gap.

Although Lionel and other train makers have produced trains for kids -- the THOMAS series, Disney trains, Star Trek trains,  and others -- no one has made in O-gauge the famous trolley from the Mr. Rogers episodes.  Perhaps there are underlying trademark, copyright, or royalty issues. If so, IMHO, PBS or Mr. Rogers Production Company should find a way to make a deal -- for kid's sake.

Mike Mottler    LCCA 12394
Former Exec at PBS Stations

Last edited by Mike H Mottler

Yeah, that distance doesn't sound correct. Here is something interesting though. The first season was 130 episodes, starting February 19th('68) and ending August 16th('68). That I would have given more thought to the possibility but season 2 is only 65 episodes. Season 8 is the last one at 65 episodes. Season 9 is only 5, season 10 is 15. 15 is the standard of episodes until season 24 where it is only 10. Season 25 is also 10 but season 26 is 20, 27 is 10, 28 is back to 15, 29 also 15, 30 is 10 again, and the final season, season 31 is only 5. 896 episodes in all.

One thing that is off is that not every episode did the trolley travel the same distance. In some of the shows, it only went a little bit here or there because of the lack of interaction with certain character that in other episodes required longer running. Even if the castle set the trolley had to travel 15-25 feet alone just on that part of the set, it still wouldn't make the numbers to get a mile let alone 200 feet in an episode(IMO).

Maybe 5,000 scale miles over the course of the whole show?

I once had a MTH bump and go under the Xmas tree where I worked.  I calculated that over a 10 hour shift, it traveled about 13 real miles, but that was running continuously on a large oval.

Mitch

I remember an old article from Model Railroader magazine about the television show. Due to budgets and Fred's last minute idea to include it, the opening sequence trolley is actually just pulled slowly along by a string.

Maybe 5,000 scale miles over the course of the whole show?

I once had a MTH bump and go under the Xmas tree where I worked.  I calculated that over a 10 hour shift, it traveled about 13 real miles, but that was running continuously on a large oval.

Mitch

I don't know, Mitch. Who knows?

I was just going by the title of the article:

## "The red trolley on “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” traveled 5,000 miles annually."

Reading the above I was immediately skeptical, but I was downright startled when I did the math.

5,000 miles per season is just simply not possible.

Andre

@laming posted:

I don't know, Mitch. Who knows?

I was just going by the title of the article:

## "The red trolley on “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” traveled 5,000 miles annually."

Reading the above I was immediately skeptical, but I was downright startled when I did the math.

5,000 miles per season is just simply not possible.

Andre

Exactly. When I first saw how many episodes season 1 was, I thought maybe there could be some merit to this. After seeing the episodes bounce around, it became clear there was no way that it was possible. If you think about the way some of the shows worked, some segments aren't there. I think in 1975(or one year either way), he visited a factory of some sort. Think about how many minutes that segment takes up. That could be half of the show at least, more likely a quarter or better. That is no trolley action during that segment.

Who knows how many miles it is from reality to King Friday XIII's castle in the land of Make Believe?

As Mr. Rogers said "because in make-believe, it is whatever time you imagine!", so I guess the distance is whatever you want it to be!

Who knows how many miles it is from reality to King Friday XIII's castle in the land of Make Believe?

As Mr. Rogers said "because in make-believe, it is whatever time you imagine!", so I guess the distance is whatever you want it to be!

Plus, there's reuse of existing footage. In other words when the layout was up, they shot several sequences of HO Trolley being pulled (via string according to the linked article) through the scene and shot it from various angles.

That footage can be reused mixed/matched and used all season or more.

Example: All of the combined footage of the Gomez Addams train wrecks totaled about 12-14 minutes for the entire series. The same footage was replayed over and over again mixing/matching the various angles that were shot for that session of "layout scene shoots".

None of this is any biggie or going to cause us to lose sleep, but it's amazing the inaccuracies that can be passed off as "fact" to the masses.

Andre