Library to serve as train station in 'West Wing' episode
The Bridgeville Public Library temporarily will be resurrected as a train station for NBC's popular "West Wing" series.
A crew from Warner Brothers, which produces the Emmy-winning drama, is scheduled to spend Aug. 26 at the library filming scenes for the show's season premiere.
The library, on Station Street, is in a former Penn Central Railroad Station that was purchased and renovated in 1968.
Steve Hough, assistant location manager for Warner Brothers, said the exterior of the library will be used as a train station. Hough said crews will begin today building a deck that will extend from the library to a train that three "West Wing" characters will be rushing to board.
Hough said the scene will include deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman (played by Bradley Whitford), communications director Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff) and Lyman's assistant Donna Moss (Janel Maloney). The three will be in a car that speeds down Dewey Avenue and turns onto Station Street toward the train station. The actors will run frantically to the platform and jump onto the train.
"We picked this spot because Bridgeville has a very unused railroad track and it was very easy to basically buy the track and the six-car train for a day," Hough said, adding that the area looks "historic."
More segments will be shot on the train as it travels to Washington, Pa., and stops at the Pennsylvania Trolley Museum. Everything will be shot in one day, depending on the weather, Hough said.
Library Director Elaine Downing said the library board worked over the years to keep the former railroad station "authentic-looking." In recent years, the exterior was painted and lanterns consistent with that era were installed.
Hough said TV and movie crews have used areas such as Sewickley, Shadyside and Squirrel Hill, but Bridgeville was the "breath of fresh air" needed for the scene.
Final decisions will be made Thursday when show officials will be in town.
"That's when we will make sure that everyone is happy with everything we plan to do," Hough said.
Bridgeville Parking Authority President David Regine said the production crew has yet to tell him how much of the parking lot adjacent to the library they want to use. The authority will decide Monday whether to charge Warner Brothers for use of the 32-space parking lot.
Regine said parking is "tight" in that area, but residents and employees should be able to manage for a day.
"Railroad Street will probably be blocked off; there will be less parking spaces — yes, it will put people in a bind. But you have to think of the benefits. They are bringing in a large crew that will need food from our businesses. It will be nice to see our town on television. I hope we are a friendly enough town where they would want to come back again," Regine said.
Warner Brothers will shoot scenes in various rural locations from Aug. 20 to 27. Much of the filming will take place in Volant, Lawrence County. Although the crew is shooting in western Pennsylvania, the action will be set in a small town in Indiana.
Lyman, Ziegler and Moss get left behind and spend much of the two-hour episode trying to catch up to the presidential motorcade.