St. Louis Southwestern Railway, better known as The Cotton Belt had some lovely 4-8-4 dual service locomotives. One such locomotive number 819 was given to the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas and was restored back to operating condition in 1986. The engine was only used for a few special appearances over the course of 2-3 years. So at the urging of one of our customers we made a trip to Arkansas for the once per year event held in Fordyce, Arkansas.
The day before the run, we are at the Cotton Belt shop where 819 was restored and kept. We then see the preparations, and the fire-up. Then we view action shots of the train running from Pine Bluff to Fordyce. We see it cross the Saline River bridge, and a photo runby among other shots. There is a day off between the two runs, and Sunday we are back at Fordyce. The engine is pulled out of the siding along with the passenger coaches. The train has to head southwest to a wye where the engine will be turned for the trip back to Pine Bluff. This allows us a couple of extra shots. We then chase the train back to Pine Bluff which includes a brief pacing scene. This was all shot during April of 1988. This was trackage owned by Southern Pacific.
This video was originally released in 1988 on VHS. We were able to capture the entire 3/4 inch master to digital some years ago. It was imported into our editing system where we made a few transition changes (dissolves and dips to black for better viewing). The video has been repackaged, but the content is pretty much the same scenes. Due to the short distance the train traveled, the video length is shorter. However, we have added 35 minutes of previews at the end to basically double your viewing experience.
Another video we have available, Steam In St. Louis 1990 also has more coverage of this engine.
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35 Mins ($0.51/min)
Greg Scholl Video Productions
0 Worldwide NTSC
819 Arkansas Steam DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2018-11-25 08:02:42.
People who found this review helpful: 10
5 of 5
30 years ago in April of 1988, the St. Louis Southwestern Railroad or The Cotton Belt Route For Short, Class L1 4-8-4 number 819 operates a special weekend run from its Birthplace/Restoration Point at Pine Bluff Arkansas to Fordyce and return throughout the weekend. Only Greg Was There to witness this seldom seen northern for both the preparations and good trackside action with pacing, and a couple of Southern Pacific era diesels with a trackmobile at 819's homebase. Initially, this now 30 year old video was shown in the marathon of steam volume 3 video from 1994 by countertop, that has been renamed to TOPICS entertainment since 2000. The late John Edward Hingsbergen did an excellent job narrating this show, and if you love taking a trip down memory lane to Greg's JVC/Umatic (1986-1991) era, this is a really good program for railfans to discover what railroading in the 80s were like before today's technology.
Additional remarks by Steamboy: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:Good. DVD Value:Excellent Value! Recommend to others?A "Must Have"!