Here's how they made the train move in Petticoat Junction

"When it runs, we all get seasick," said Bea Benaderet.

CBS Television Distribution

No matter how many special effects your fancy computers can achieve, nothing beats good old-fashioned practical effects in film and television.

Practical effects are just one part of the uphill climb that is making a movie or television show, but any good director is willing to go to great lengths to create a believable and entertaining program for their audience.

For a show like Petticoat Junction, the effects were fairly simple, but it took a lot of effort from the cast and crew. You might remember the train that ran through the series, known as the Hooterville Cannonball. The train was so iconic, it's often considered a character on its own by fans and cast members alike.

In an interview with The Ottawa Citizen, Bea Benaderet, who played Kate Bradley, proclaimed that she wasn't the main character of the series. Instead, it was the Hooterville Cannonball.

"They tell me that I'm a star, but I don't feel like one," she said. "I'm glad to be a star, but I really think the train's the star."

According to the article, The Hooterville Cannonball wasn't specifically created for Petticoat Junction. The train was leased to the show after it was bought at an auction. Originally, it was used in the film A Ticket to Tomahawk.

The actual Hooterville Cannonball was made of plastic, and obviously couldn't move like a regular locomotive would. Instead, to make the train "run" during scenes where the cast was inside the train, crew members would simply shake the train from side to side, much to the discomfort of the cast.

"When it runs, we all get seasick," said Benaderet. "They shake it from side to side."

Of course, it's probably for the best that the Hooterville Cannonball wasn't an actual train, considering no one actually knew where its final destination was.

"I'm never quite sure just where it's running," said Benaderet. "Because I don't really know where we are."

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