On Nov. 6, AMC’s latest original scripted series, “Hell on Wheels,” gets rolling. The Western genre drama chronicles the rebuilding of the United States after the Civil War, and follows the lives of the men and women affected by the railroad industry as tracks were built across the American West.

The show stars Anson Mount as a former soldier consumed by the desire to avenge his wife’s death, Common as an emancipated slave and Colm Meaney as a greedy railroad baron — but another central figure had to be created from raw wood, steel and Styrofoam especially for the project: the train that signifies the progress of American industry, promises hardship for the men laboring to build tracks across the frontier and spells doom for Native Americans.

In the exclusive video above, executive producer David Von Ancken and production designer John Blackie explain how they constructed the functioning period steam locomotive that plays a central role in the show.

Posted by:Liz Kelly Nelson