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Assault on Snow DVD

Assault on Snow DVD WB Video Productions WB027
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Note: Cover image may differ from actual product

FEBRUARY 1988 - HEAVY SNOW SWEEPS ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS AND PLAINS OF WYOMING AND COLORADO

Suddenly both branches of a new shortline, the Wyoming & Colorado are snowbound. The line consists of two ex-Union Pacific branch lines, the 92 mile Coalmont Branch from Laramie to Walden, Colorado and the 24 mile Encampment Branch off the Union Pacific mainline near Rawlins to Saratoga, Wyoming

February 17, 1988 - Three FP7's off the Alaska Railroad provided by Mountain Diesel Transportation set out to clear the Encampment Branch. When they become stuck in a massive snowdrift, rail photographer Dave Gross is there to record the struggle by the FP7's to free themselves with spectacular "punch and back out" plowing.

March 7, 1988 - With the Coalmont Branch snowbound, rarely used Union Pacific Rotary 900080 leaves Laramie, Wyoming to clear the line. Shooting under difficult conditions, Dave Gross captures the glorious show put on by the rotary.

Narrated by Rege Cordic, this classic story of Winter Railroading is yours to relive again and again.

62 minutes

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List Price:$ 29.95
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DVD Item#:WB027
Runtime:1 Hour, 02 Mins ($0.43/min)
Producer:WB Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

ITEM NOTES REGARDING THIS PRODUCER
  • This producer has been known to change the cover design, so the cover image you see here may differ from the actual product.
Assault on Snow DVD
Boxcar Willie on 2010-08-09 07:30:13.

People who found this review helpful: 3

  •  5 of 5


"Assault on Snow" was a charming video about clearing snow on the Wyoming-Coloraqdo RR in 1988, it featured great video work of F-units as well as UP-GP38's pushing UP Rotary # 900080. It was a really good video however, I feel a graphic showing a map of the lines in question would have greatly added to the feature, but with or without it, the video holds up!!!

Additional remarks by Boxcar Willie:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.

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Assault on Snow DVD
rrvideoman (Delisle Saskatchewan) on 2020-04-07 15:14:51.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


Fighting snow is always a challenge. Watching people fighting snow is always interesting. Here we see FP7's get stuck and have to be saved from the huge snow drifts that clearly the crew did not realize how much snow was ahead. Then.... bring out the rotary to open another line so trains could move. This heavy duty equipment is awesome to watch. A great show for all to enjoy.

Additional remarks by rrvideoman:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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Assault on Snow DVD
railbuff (Southern California (Snow? What's that?) :>)) on 2015-08-21 14:02:52.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


For actual rotary action, this is the best I've seen. It even has a momentary non-speaking "cameo" appearance by Steve Lee who, in Pentrex's "California Rotary Action, UP's Feather River Rotary" described the workings of the rotary. While most of the film was devoted to the rotary, it opened with scenes of two F-7s being used as battering rams against the snow. One can actually see the lead F7 raise up off the rails as it rammed into the snow. A good, interesting and entertaining show and well worth including in one's rail library.

Additional remarks by railbuff:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? Yes.

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Assault on Snow DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-09-04 22:17:51.

  •  5 of 5


In this program from 1988, it starts with an opening monologue of a brief history of the branch lines featured in this program which the Wyoming & Colorado railroad was still one of the newest shortlines in the western region of America. The coverage begins with former Alaska railroad F-7s 1510 & 1512 at milepost 6 on Saturday February 13, 1988 where a caterpillar D7 bulldozer tries to get the early diesels out of the deepest snowbank as well as some workmen digging out with shovels. Dave gross of willow creek productions filmed this unusual event on this new railroad. The D7 tries its best to push the diesels out of the heaviest bank. On Tuesday February 16, 1988, a cab ride is shown as on one of the F units are finally free but on Wednesday February 17, a front loader helps out with some more snow removed. The track is mostly clear until it reaches south of interstate 80 at milepost 2.5. From the cab as well as on the ground, the 1512 continues to try pushing through more heavy banks, as it pushes forward & goes reverse & vice versa. At the same time period where these F units are pushing through the snow banks, Greg Scholl was also filming a ton of snow busting action, but it's in Ontario Canada where it was covered in plow extras. With another heavy snowbank clear, the diesels continue South for Saratoga.

A look at Saratoga Wyoming is shown as the Louisiana Pacific lumber mill is shown in the background on Thursday February 18, 1988. Union Pacific 2001 ran longhood forward as it carries 9 loaded cars. The same train is seen busting through the snow at milepost 6. With the loaded cars dropped off, 2001 ran light as it heads back to Saratoga while continuing to push through the snow. Coupled up to the second set of 9 loaded cars, 2001 ran longhood forward once again, until it couples up to the middle for some switching. These cars are heading for snowflake Arizona on the apache railroad. On the third trip of the same day, 2001 is carrying empty cars at highway 30.

Leaving the freight behind, we're at Laramie Wyoming which is at the western end of the Sherman hill line from Cheyenne. Here we see diesel powered rotary snowplow 900080 heading for the North park branch. Power for pushing the plow is Wyoming & Colorado B unit 1511, & a pair of Union Pacific GP40s: 633 & 643 although 633 is still wearing the Missouri Pacific logo. Not only is the tool car behind the diesels & The plow, but also Great western caboose 3870 in union pacific colors. We see the plow clearing some huge amounts of snow at Albany Wyoming in milepost 38. Listen to the horn on 900080. Moments later, the rotary is at the second crossing in Albany while this is the starting point of the 2% grade as well as the start of 21 12 degree curves for about 9 to 11 miles between milepost markers 38 & 47. Some railfans from the area and beyond wanted to get a rare sight of this snow monster clearing the tracks.

It's already Tuesday March 8 1988, & The rotary is at Fox park Wyoming where it tests the chute switching in both directions. Yesterday on Monday March 7, 1988, the bolts on the right wing broke off while plowing through Harrison cut. Moments later, the workmen use a steam hose to remove the ice & snow on the blades of the rotary. Operating the rotary is none other than the chief engineer of 844/4 & challenger 3985 (once a coal burner but since converted to oil in 1990) Steve Lee. With service complete, the plow heads for the highway 230 crossing. The weather for the 3-8-88 battle through the snow was beautiful. Not a gray cloud in the sky. Still on highway 230, the rotary plows through Wycolo Colorado under an overpass. Afterwards, the horn on the plow is activated as it leaves the forest while continuing to remove more snow off the line. Another crossing is shown at Camp Colorado where it's at an elevation of 8629 feet in milepost 70. Again, listen for the horn on the rotary. Some chasers wanted to get a glimpse of this rare operation from union pacific. Moments later, there is some pacing going on as the plow continues for kings Canon, not to mention some more panning shots. Once at kings Canon, the 900080 passes by some small houses while it stops for a brief rest as the front rotating blade gets some exercise. The blade measures at 11 feet 2.5 inches & turns at 260 RPM. Before entering the narrow part of the Canyon, the plow negotiates a curve as the GP40s & B unit continues pushing the machine. Moments later, the plow is removing snow on a hillside. Northgate Colorado is located at milepost 80 with an elevation of 7316 feet. Here we took a ride on the great western caboose after the snow busting train has turned on the wye as it heads back to Laramie. Along the way, there are some radio communications as well as the history of the union pacific rotary snowplows. The 900080 was the very first diesel powered rotary snowplow built in 1957. The rear trucks on the plow was taken from the tender a 7000 series Mikado or one of the since been scrapped 4-12-2 9000 series engines although the first UP 4-12-2 number 9000 is still on display in Pomona California. The steam boiler is from a passenger unit, While the air reservoir is from an SD24, & The control stand are from one of the Alco switchers. The length of the rotary is 50 feet 9 inches long, 12 foot 6 inches wide, & 16 feet 7.5 inches tall. It weighs at 347,240 pounds, & carries 1500 gallons of fuel, with 950 gallons of water from the steam boiler which helps out the heat of the interior of the plow. The top speed is 25 miles per hour when operating. When towed, it's 25 miles per hour on curves, & 35 miles per hour on straight track. In the late afternoon, the sun is starting to set as the plow arrives back at Fox park Wyoming where its at an elevation of 9058 feet in milepost 55. This arrival back in Fox park ends the caboose ride as well as the Tuesday 3-8-88 battle.

Returning to Laramie on Wednesday March 9, 1988, some close up looks of the rotary are shown before it tows back to Cheyenne over Sherman hill, as the crew is installing the tool bar back on with some help from a construction machine. Meanwhile, the 2 GP40S & B unit 1511 are assembling it's own short freight to Walden with 3 tank cars & The same great western caboose 3870. Underway now, the diesels are swooping through the curve out of Laramie as the first revenue freight train since January 22, 1988 heads west. Next, they negotiate an S curve in wind mill hollow at milepost 15 as they descend the 2% grade. The rails from Laramie to Walden are 131 pounds. Between sheet mountain & centennial, there is a great pacing sequence going on as 633 leads the short freight. Prior to working for Union Pacific, both 633 & 643 were originally built for the rock island. Centennial Wyoming is 29 miles West of Laramie, & From here to Walden, a cab ride on the 633 is included. Once in the cab, the short freight clears through spring creek at milepost 33.5, before it loops at Albany. The 3rd crossing at Albany is located at milepost 40. Throughout the cab ride, there are water drops on the Windows. While approaching for the 4th crossing, the snow is filling up the horn on 633 as it sounds very different. Although the rotary cleared the whole line, the front snow plow on 633 does some work removing some small drifts. Afterwards, the diesel heads for the forest & deep cuts on the 2% grade. Lake owen is located at milepost 47.1 which is at the end of the 2% grade. Operating the throttle on one of the 2 rock island GP40S is Ronald Lyons. The cab ride portion of the route is finished as the short freight arrives at fox park. Here the crew will grad some food. Back outside, we're at camp Colorado as the short freight plows some more snow while the horn on 633 sounds much better. Throughout the journey, more snow is covering up the front of 633. Below kings Canon, the diesels descend the 1.7% grade as it negotiates the 8 & 12 degree curves. The grade eases as the GP40s & B unit arrives at north park. North of brownley, the 633 pushes some more snow drifts off the track. Once after removing the snow, the 3 tank cars would be dropped off leaving only the former rock island GP40s, & B unit 1511 carries only Great western caboose 3870 at Walden which is at an elevation of 8048 feet near milepost 92.2. Returning to the Louisiana Pacific mill area, the wood chip cars are not only full, but also going to be placed on a siding as the diesels with caboose 3870 pushes them into the storage track while 633 is still covered in snow. The conductor for this lash up is Guy Sniveley as he is having some trouble with the switch that won't cooperate with him. Once the switch is settled despite in freezing cold weather, the diesels head for the next track, While there is some commentary from another Railfan offscreen. After coupling up to the empty cars, the diesels head for the mill. The train won't get back to Laramie until Saturday March 12 and/or Sunday March 13 due to a forecast of a blizzard with 14 inch snow.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? Definitely.

Did you find this review useful?