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The Cannonball - 1890s steam engine locomotive that serviced the small towns of Pixley, Crabwell Corners and Hooterville on the rural situation comedy PETTICOAT JUNCTION/CBS/1963-70 and GREEN ACRES/CBS/1965-71.

The Cannonball Locomotive - PETTICOAT JUNCTION

Opening Theme Song

Come ride the little train
That is rolling down the tracks
To the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
Forget about your cares,
It is time to relax
At the junction. (Petticoat Junction)

Lotsa curves, you bet.
Even more when you get
To the junction, (Petticoat Junction)

There's a little hotel
Called the Shady Rest
At the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
It is run by Kate,
Come and be her guest
At the junction. (Petticoat Junction)
And that's Uncle Joe,
He's a movin' kind of slow
At the junction (Petticoat Junction)
(Lyrics by Paul Henning and Curt Massey)

Cannonball Locomotive - PETTICOAT JUNCTION
Cannonball Locomotive - PETTICOAT JUNCTION
Bradley Girls Petticoats on Water Tower - PETTICOAT JUNCTION
Bradley Girls in Water Tower - PETTICOAT JUNCTION
Water Tower Near Shady Rest Hotel - PETTICOAT JUNCTION

Screen captures from the series opening credits

The Cannonball was owned by the C. F. &W. Railroad Company. Its Vice-President, Homer Bedloe (Charles Lane) wanted to put the train out of business and thus fire the life-long conductor, Floyd Smoot (Rufe Davis) and engineer, Charley Pratt (Smiley Burnett). Later in the series, Wendell Gibbs (Byron Foulger) became the engineer.

The train consisted of the Cannonball (Engine No.8), a coal car and a combination mail/baggage/passenger car. When children in the valley area heard three toots of the train's whistle they knew their ride to school was on its way.

Betty Jo Bradley (Linda Kaye Henning), a young woman from the nearby Shady Rest Hotel got her jollies occasionally driving the Cannonball. On hot days Betty Jo and her sisters swam in the railroad water tower.

Engineers Charley and Floyd - PETTICOAT JUNCTION
Engineers Charley and Floyd

The stationary prop train used for the series was actually a large plastic shell first used for the movie Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) starring Marilyn Monroe. A real train located in Sonora, California, (Provided courtesy of the Barbary Coast Hoyt Hotel) was used for the live footage and traveling shots.

The Cannonball (built in 1891) is now the No. 3 train at Railtown, a twenty-six acre state historic park located at 5th avenue at Reservoir Road in Jamestown, California that displays steam and diesel trains (used for location shooting for TV series & movies). The Cannonball, like many of the trains at Railtown, were once the property of the Sierra Railway.

TRIVIA NOTE: In addition to its tenure as the Cannonball, the same train was used as the rolling headquarters and home of frontier government spy James T. West (Robert Conrad) in the hit western series THE WILD WILD WEST/CBS/1965-70.

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