BNSFs Butte Subdivision - The Crawford Hill Line DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2021-01-04 19:43:42.
In this recent program from 2020, it starts with an early morning sunrise over a farm in Nebraska as a 3 unit doublestack rolls by. Next we get to see a 2 unit coal train, followed by a quickie from a drone, & another 2 unit coal train during the title card.
The action begins in Edgemont South Dakota where it is at milepost 476.1 at an elevation of 3458 Feet. During the Drone Sequence, the La Junta to Trinidad Colorado from America By Rail Route of the Southwest Chief in 1997 was used, which includes a map of the Route into the Nebraska State line as well as the grade chart itself. Back in Edgemont, Countless diesels from both Today's BNSF as well as the Pre-Fallen Flag units are included as this visit was made during the outbreak of the invisible Villain from China. Meanwhile, a 2 unit empty coal train with a single pusher on the rear passes by the stored diesels waiting for their call of future service as well as waiting for all things to be back to normal once the virus is dead. East of Edgemont, a loaded Geoffrey Energy coal train is shown with a pair of Union Pacific units up front: an ES44AC & an AC4400CW numbers 7705 & 5813 with SD70MAC number 8351 pushing on the rear. They are heading from the Wyoming Powder River Basin at Milepost 472.2 where they'll head for the crossovers while battling through Provo hill. Meanwhile, a loaded grain train is shown at Milepost 468 as it crosses FT. Igloo road. This train is heading to the Pacific northwest that is led by 2 units upfront. Note the birds flying across the screen. At the same time, a loaded Coal train with 3 units are making a meet with the Grain train. This uphill bound freight is heading for NRD Energy in Houston Texas. It's led by an ES44AC, with a pair of SD70ACEs. While the coal train is longer than the grain train, this grain train has a pusher on the rear. Pushing on the rear of the coal train are 2 helpers: an ES44AC number 9237, & an SD70M number 5937. East of Rumford near milepost 459, an empty westbound coal train heads for the Powder river basin in Wyoming while switching to track 2 in the going away shot. Number 8385 is the pusher on the rear. At the same time, an eastbound makes a meet with the empty coal train, then we get to hear the horn on Lead unit 5246 which its still wearing the 1999 Logo. The next location on the route of the Crawford hill line is Ardmore near milepost 451.1 at an elevation of 3556 feet. This loaded coal train is led by Union Pacific 8234 with BNSF 9373. While the sound is recorded from the ground, there is some extra footage from the sky. It's heading to Orella hill before Crawford hill. On the rear of this Geoffrey Energy coal train, UP 7964 is pushing on the rear. Note the pile of iron rails. At the SD/NE State line, we're at milepost 448.9 as some buffalos are grazing in the field while an eastbound 2 unit coal train appears in the background, while at the same time, it makes a meet with an empty westbound coal train led by 8570 while 6411 is in graffiti paint. Note the pusher on the rear of the loaded coal train as well as another pusher of an empty coal train. At Hat creek road near milepost 448, we're on the .60% grade as a 2 unit Union Pacific loaded coal train rolls by, where the lead units are still wearing their building America logos, as well as 8351 pushing on the rear. Moments later, a westbound empty NRG coal train is shown at the same location. It's led by 9177 in the post-2006 livery, while 5681 is still wearing the 1999 logo. There are 2 helpers on the rear: 8522 & 9128. Next, we moved to the Oglala national Grassland where we witnessed a 2 unit westbound grain train passing through signal 14430 at milepost 443. The farm-like scenery is always spectacular. The rear pusher is still wearing the 1999 logo. West of Signal 24430, an eastbound 2 unit loaded coal train rolls through milepost 443.1 on the .80% grade. It's led by 8990, & 9226 with 2 units pushing on the rear: 9339 & 9294, as they head for Georgia. At the same location near signal 24431, this coal train is heading for La Grange Texas. It's led by 9210 & 8768 with rear helper units 5655 & 5608. The front units are wearing their 2006 logo while the rear helpers are still wearing the 1999 logo. Shortly after the previous train, the same coal train with UP 8234, 7964 & BNSF 9373 are heading back for the next load. Still on the .80% grade, we're at milepost 442 as an eastbound loaded coal train with 2 units negotiate the S curve on this double track freight only line. They are led by 6856 & 6205 with rear helper 5679 that is still wearing the 1999 logo. In Orella during the drone sequence, the Omaha to Denver portion on the California Zephyr from the heartland in 1994 was used. This tiny farming town is at an elevation of 3724 feet which is near milepost 440. Out on the mainline, an eastbound loaded coal train with 8471 & 9211 are going at a slower speed. Pushing on the rear is 6127. Meanwhile during the Drone Sequence, the piece for a silent film of Former President Eisenhower making a stop on the AT&SF in Texas during 1963 was used as the East Slope of Orella hill was shown. From far away, an eastbound loaded coal train is rolling through milepost 439.8 where the second unit is from the Kansas city Southern as a BNSF unit is pushing on the rear. At the same location, a Doublestack/Mixed freight combo is shown with 3 units leading Elephant style or face forward. While the sound is recorded from the ground, there is some splendid footage from the sky. At Orella NE near milepost 440.1, Norfolk Southern AC44CSM number 4224 leads a La Grange Texas bound coal train while going over the hill. Pushing on the rear is BNSF 9069. At Orella road near milepost 439, we're on the .83% grade as an NRG energy train eases down the hill, which is led by 9290 & 6412 upfront, & rear helper 8405. Note the Inspection car in the going away shot. At the Same location, an Eastbound loaded coal train is shown in the late afternoon. It's led by 8451 & 6343 in the 2006 scheme with rear helper 5621 in its 1999 livery while heading for the James H. Miller Generation plant in Birmingham Alabama. Moving onto milepost 436, we're near the Our Heritage Guest Ranch, as a meet between a single rear helper & a 2 unit coal train is shown in the background, while we witnessed another 2 unit Union Pacific loaded coal train with a rear helper on the rear. Afterwards, the Loram Rail grinding train is parked on a siding as we wait for a westbound at milepost 435.6 which is led by 5699 in the 1999 livery with 6071 in the 2006 livery & pushing on the rear is 9265 while at the same time, an eastbound arrives making a meet which is led by 6044 & 5880 upfront & pushing on the rear is 5695 in the 1999 livery with 6125 in the 2006 livery. Still on the .80% grade, an eastbound blares its horn through Sand Creek Road which is led by 9175 & 9278 making a smoke show, as well as 8418 pushing on the rear. At sunset, the Loram Rail Grinding train is finally underway as it gets ready for its track maintenance. We see the same MOW Set at milepost 434. The following day, we're at Crawford Nebraska which is at an elevation of 3676 feet near milepost 423.1. Here we get to see a brief look at the town itself, the small BNSF office, as well as a special yard for helpers. A westbound set with 8440 leading takes a break as a Bentonite train follows behind. It's led by 6 units: 7797 with an interesting horn, 6524, 7516, 7627, 7471, & 5404. The 5 units upfront are in its 2006 livery while 5404 is still wearing the 1999 logo. Pushing on the rear is 7944. With break time over, 8440 is going to couple up to the Texas Utilities coal train while heading over the hill. The second unit behind 8440 is 9306. Meanwhile, we get to hear the horn of the coal train which is led by 8471 & 9211 once again this time with 3 units pushing on the rear: 6127, 9306, & of course 8440. We saw 8471 & 9211 at Orella. At Saw Log Road near the base of Crawford, We're at milepost 418.9 as a 2 unit loaded coal train rolls at a slower speed. This is led by 9304 in the 2006 livery, & 5618 in the 1999 livery which it is heading for Kansas. Pushing on the rear is 6659 with 9306 & 8440 once again. In the going away shot, you can see the lead units of this coal train in the background while battling the 1.55% grade. At the same location, a westbound empty coal train arrives which is led by 9063 & 6293, while the rear helper is 5643 that is still wearing the 1999 logo as the lead units are still in their 2006 livery. Meanwhile, a meet with an eastbound Sand Train appears in the background as it is led by 7856 & 7433 upfront without a single helper on the rear. Moments later, a 4 unit lash up of helpers are heading back to Crawford. They are consists of 8440, 9306, 5780, & 6242. Next, we moved to the lower horseshoe curve at milepost 416.9 as a westbound Tennessee Valley Authority empty coal train is shown that the second unit number 9675 is wearing the final Burlington Northern livery which was made in 1994 about less than a year before it merged with the AT&SF. BNSF 7552 leads the consist while the rear pusher is BNSF 6217. Just a few minutes later at the same location, an eastbound loaded NRG coal train arrives which is led by 9298 & 6412 upfront while the rear pushers of this really long one are 3 units: 8405, & of course 9306 with 8440. Afterwards, we moved to milepost 414.5 on the 1.55% grade where an Eastbound Union Pacific loaded coal train is seen from a drone while there is sound recorded from the ground as it climbs the upper horseshoe curve, & negotiating a bend at Breezy Point. There are 3 helpers on the rear. West of Belmont Nebraska, we're at milepost 411.5 as an eastbound loaded coal train is seen from the ground, then we are back in the sky where during the Drone Sequence, the Colorado Railroad Museum piece from Colorado's scenic train rides in 2000 were used as we get a good look of Belmont Hill which includes the abandoned single track tunnel that was built by the CB&Q & was measured at 698 feet long. At one time it was the only railroad tunnel in Nebraska, but since the 1982 double track reroute, the rails in the tunnel have since been removed. Near Belmont which is at an Elevation of 4498 feet, we're at milepost 409.7 as a 2 unit empty coal train passed by the junction which is led by 9304 in the 2006 livery, & 5618 in the 1999 livery. In the going away shot, it makes a meet with an eastbound which also has a pair of units upfront: 8761 & 6322. Pushing on the rear of the empty coal train is 6659 while the rear pusher of the loaded coal train is a set of 4 units: 5848 in the 2006 logo, 5838 in the 1999 livery & of course the Crawford Helper duo: 9306 & 8440, which are being uncoupled at the summit, & later switched directions & tracks. The final 10 minutes of this program features a meet at Marsland Nebraska where it is located along the Countless S curves at milepost 390. Here an eastbound empty grain train passes by a mixed freight, then the 4 unit mixed freight enters the horseshoe curve at milepost 391. While there is sound recorded from the ground, there is still more footage from the drone. Filming from both the ground, & up in the sky, the same westbound enters the Marsland crossovers at milepost 392.2. It's led by 8038, 8289, 8080, & 8240. Meanwhile we moved to Hemingford which is at an elevation of 4265 feet near milepost 384.7, & later witnessed a westbound that is passing by the tall grain elevators, which is led by 7843 & 7811. This is the end of the Double track Mainline & the start of the single track line. At Nance road near milepost 368, the Geoffrey energy coal train heads back to the mines which is led by Union Pacific 7381 & BNSF 6906. A meet is shown in the going away shot as the rear helper of this empty coal train is BNSF 6553. With that out of sight, an eastbound is shown at the same location which is led by Union Pacific 5583 & 6794 upfront while the rear helper is BNSF 6215. Arriving at Alliance Nebraska which is at an elevation of 3967 feet (referenced to challenger 3985 wearing that number in May of 1993), near milepost 365.5. The only steam locomotive that is sitting on display is CB&Q 4-6-0 class K4 (Not the Pennsylvania Pacifics) number 719 which was built in the Havlock NE shops in 1903. A brief look at one of the Biggest BNSF Yards is shown, where we see an eastbound empty grain train arriving at Milepost 366.17. This is led by 7139 in the 2006 scheme with 4103 in the 1999 livery. Pushing on the rear is 6650 that is in the 2006 livery. The program comes to a close as we are back in milepost 436 as the 3 unit mixed freight rolls right into the sunset.
The music in the Main Menu features the first song from the Moffatt Tunnel To Glenwood Springs portion from the Heartland in 1994 which was also used in the Greg Scholl Version of the Revival of Rotary Snowplow OY on the Cumbres & Toltec.
All in all, Les Jarrett did a decent job narrating this program.
Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Narration CAN be turned off in special features.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Yes.
BNSFs Butte Subdivision - The Crawford Hill Line DVD
Curt Cruthirds (Ojai, Ca.) on 2020-12-01 12:15:27.
I purchased this release primarily for the footage covering Crawford Hill. Having railfanned this area, I've always liked the spectacular scenery and the grueling climb of coal trains out of Crawford. What I didn't expect was the nice coverage of the rest of the subdivision, featuring the fantastic rock-formations of the Badlands, as trains leave the Edgemont area. The dvd nicely utilized drone-footage to show the massive rock-formations, which looked almost like the surface of the another planet, dwarfing the trains in the distance. The videography was good, and the narration was informative. I would have preferred to see more footage of the Crawford Hill area, and less of the area south of Belmont, as the trains travel the plains to Alliance, NE. While the footage of Crawford Hill was good, I would have liked to have seen shots from more areas. If you like trains running the cornfields of the high-plains, as well as stiff grades and twisting curves, in a wide-variety of scenery, then you will probably enjoy this release.
Additional remarks by Curt Cruthirds:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.