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Train Time

Reel Science

Reel Science: Train Time

with Bill Burgel, retired employee and consultant, Union Pacific Railroad

MAY 30, 6:30-8:00PM | Doors @ 6:15PM

Watch and learn at The Empirical Theater as OMSI brings the science of your favorite movies and documentaries to life on the big screen. Perfect for science and film lovers alike, this series combines the best Science Pub with the fun of movie night, bringing in experts to amplify your movie-watching experience. 

6:15PM | Doors Open

6:30PM | Train Time (43 mins)

7:15PM | Lecture and Q&A: Rocks & Rails: Geology and the Development of the Rail Industry

Tickets: Pay what you can sliding scale.


Train Time | Join the crew of a giant freight train for an eye-popping, music-infused journey across America. Giant diesels, spectacular terrain, tens of thousands of miles of track—and millions of pounds of freight that can’t wait.

Duration: 43 minutes | Rating: G | CC and AD


Bill Burgel | After graduating from the University of Michigan in the 1960’s, Burgel went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad in Pocatello, Idaho. In 1968, the Borah Peak earthquake made him concerned for the safety of railroad bridges, and this led him to develop an early warning system for shaking on the Union Pacific system.

Burgel arrived in Portland in 1986 when the dispatch center for UPRR moved there. He liked living in Portland and in 1989, when the UPRR moved the dispatch center to Omaha, Nebraska, far from earthquake country, Burgel opted to stay in Portland and work as a consultant for the company.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will food be available for purchase?

Yes, the Empirical Cafe will be open with prepackaged salads, sandwiches and movie snacks. The bar will be open to guests that are 21+. No outside food or drink is allowed.

Do I have to pay for parking?

OMSI has a new parking system via the mobile parking app, Parking Kitty, to create an easier and more streamlined experience for our visitors. Parking is $2 + fees for after-hours events.

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