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'Rocky Mountain Express' steams into Science Center's IMAX theater

In a new IMAX film, viewers will feel like they are flying over, or riding on, a train that cuts through rugged, steep mountains in one of the planet's most breathtaking spots, the director says.

"Rocky Mountain Express" -- which opens Friday at the Carnegie Science Center on the North Side -- immerses audiences in a journey through the Canadian Rockies. A restored steam locomotive engine, No. 2816, make its journey across the country's first continental railway, completed in 1886 from Vancouver to Montreal. Shots alternate among aerial views, side views and the sensation that one is on the nose of the engine.

"It's one of the great railway stories in history -- how bad it was, and how it succeeded in the end," says Stephen Low. The award-winning Canadian filmmaker is the director of "Rocky Mountain Express."

"There's something haunting about the whistle and the presence of the steam locomotive," Low says. "I think people are moved emotionally by that. It's romantic, melancholy and beautiful."

The Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park contain some of the greatest beauty on Earth, with snow-capped mountains, glacier lakes, wildlife and more, he says. Watching the movie in the panoramic IMAX format offers the next-best experience to actually being there, says Low, who is based in Quebec.

Low and his crew finished the move a few months ago, after five years of filming.

"It was breathtaking; it was awesome," says Beth O'Donnell, 59, of Ruff Creek, Greene County, who attended a preview of the movie with her husband, Mike. "You felt like you were right on (the train)."

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Additional Information:

'Rocky Mountain Express'

The film opens Friday and will stay at least several months. Showtimes vary. Tickets are $8; $6 for ages 3-12.

Details: 412-237-3400 or website

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