Supertrain is an
American television drama/adventure series that ran on NBC from February 7 to May 5, 1979.
were made, including a 2-hour pilot episode.
The series took place on the "Supertrain", an imagined nuclear-powered bullet train
that was equipped with
amenities more appropriate to a cruise
than a train, such as swimming
and shopping centers
was so big it had to run on very broad
track (not two sets of tracks
as depicted in some advertising). The train took 36 hours to go from
City to Los Angeles.
Much like its contemporary The Love Boat
, the plots concerned the
passengers' social lives, usually with multiple intertwining
storylines, and most of the cast was composed of guest stars. The
production was elaborate, with huge sets and a high-tech model
train for outside shots.
time, Supertrain was the most expensive series ever aired
in the United
The production was beset by problems,
including a model train that crashed, and while it was heavily
advertised during the 1978-1979 season, it suffered from bad
reviews and low viewership; despite attempts to salvage the show by
reworking the cast, it never took off and left the air after only
three months. NBC was never able to make up the production losses
(it produced the show itself, at first with help from Dark Shadows
producer Dan Curtis
), and combined with the U.S.
of the 1980 Summer
the next season (which cost NBC millions in ad
revenue), it nearly bankrupted the network. For these reasons,
is usually cited as one of the greatest
A portion of the theme music to Supertrain
, composed by
, would later be recycled for
the NBC game show Chain
, while the Chain Reaction
can be heard during a disco scene on the Supertrain