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Destination America to Air Hours of Mind-Numbing Train Ride on Thanksgiving

While Thanksgiving is a day for much of America to not think about the slow-moving trains many encounter each workday, Destination America taps a plodding locomotive to entertain the masses as they chow down on turkey and stuffing. Over the course of five hours, Destination America (DA) will air the real-time journey of a train traversing Alaska’s 500-mile railway system, a stunt tied to its series Railroad Alaska.

DA calls the special “mesmerizingly monotonous” and “a classic cure for insomnia, sure to induce ZZZs from Anchorage to Atlanta and guaranteed to make you lose your train of thought.”

Railroad Alaska: Real Time Train Ride airs Nov. 26 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and then is followed by an encore airing.   

As Henry Schleiff, group president at DA parent Discovery Networks, puts it: “It’s for the person who finds the Yule Log too exciting.”

“Most networks compete to produce the most exciting show, which we already accomplished with our first, ever, live televised exorcism last month,” said Schleiff of Exorcism: Live! “We also want to own the other end of the spectrum, providing viewers with the single most boring program ever to appear on television during Thanksgiving…even more boring than the Detroit Lions football game.”

Railroad Alaska returns for its third season Nov. 14. The series and special are produced by Windfall Films with Carlo Massarella and Jane McGoldrick as executive producers and Gwyn Williams as series producer.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.