Marilyn’s ‘Tomahawk’ Train Vandalised

A movie prop locomotive used in A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) has been vandalised, the Durango Herald reports. (While it’s a stretch to call Tomahawk a Monroe film, she made a few brief appearances and performed a song with Dan Dailey in her role as chorus girl Clara in this enjoyable comedy Western, made in Technicolor.)

“Dozens of handcrafted wooden parts have been stolen or broken off the Emma Sweeney, a movie set locomotive displayed at Santa Rita Park, and the Durango Railroad Historical Society is unsure if, or even how, they might be repaired.

In 2011, Durango Railroad Historical Society began work to restore the Emma Sweeney, which was first used as a prop in a 1950 Marilyn Monroe movie, A Ticket to Tomahawk, which first brought attention to the railroad history in the San Juan Mountains. The prop was also used in as the iconic train in the introduction to the television series Petticoat Junction, which ran from 1963 to 1970.

‘Nothing like this has ever happened before in the park in my 20 years we’ve been working on it,’ the Society’s treasurer George Niederauer said … The parts broken or stolen probably are worth a few hundred dollars in material, but Niederauer said the real value was the hundreds of hours of donated time by woodworkers to craft the parts. Replacing the labour that went into making the parts might cost several thousands of dollars, he said.”

Marilyn with Dan Dailey in A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950)

You can read more about ‘le petit train du far west’ at the Crazy for You blog, and watch Marilyn’s scenes here.