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Challenger Union Pacifics Legend of Steam DVD Railway Productions

Challenger Union Pacifics Legend of Steam DVD Railway Productions Railway Productions UP3985 616964397706
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If you like big steam, there nothing running bigger than Union Pacific's massive #3985, "The Challenger".

This program follows the 3985 from North Platte, Nebraska to St. Paul, Minnesota, then from Fremont, Nebraska, through North Platte, then on to the Challenger's home base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

There's many great runbys, as well as mile after mile of pacing, some at 60 mph or faster. If you like big steam, then you'll love this program.

DVD features chapter menus, and the ability to turn the very limited narration on or off. Approx 85 minutes.


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DVD Item#:UP3985
Runtime:1 Hour, 25 Mins ($0.26/min)
Producer:Railway Productions
Aspect Ratio:Wide Screen
DVD UPC:616964397706
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
Challenger Union Pacifics Legend of Steam DVD Railway Productions
armchairrailfan on 2008-12-24 03:03:13.

People who found this review helpful: 4

  •  5 of 5


This video covers Union Pacific's #3985 4-6-6-4 Challenger on a run from North Platte NE to the Twin Cities in Minnesota. It is big steam on rail lines that has never seen a UP Challenger. And it is in 16X9 Widescreen!

<p>The program starts out at the annual September Railfest in North Platte NE, then covers the ferry move with a short 5 car train to St. Paul MN. This video includes A LOT of pacing scenes. And it includes a couple scenes of very rare late night running to avoid track work the following day.

<p>One remarkable (and depressing) scene shows 3985 crossing the famous and historic Kate Shelley Bridge over the Des Moines River. I was very shocked to find out that UP is building a new concrete bridge next to the Kate Shelley Bridge, and that there is probably more than a possibility that this piece of railroad history may soon be gone! Please UP! Say it isn't so! Please say the Kate Shelley Bridge will be preserved! (Those who are not familiar with the Kate Shelley story can find it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kate_Shelley )

<p>Narration is minimal. The photography is sharp and clear. There are location markers for many but not all scenes. This one is a MUST HAVE for fans of Big Steam and UP Steam Fans! The kids will probably like this video for the loud steam whistle and the occasional fast moving train.


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

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Challenger Union Pacifics Legend of Steam DVD Railway Productions
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-04-03 10:55:42.

People who found this review helpful: 3

  •  5 of 5


In the Railway Productions Version of The Challenger's journey from Cheyenne to the Twin Cities in September of 2008, the program starts with a pacing sequence during the opening titles. Afterwards, we are at North Platte Nebraska AKA: The town with one of the World's Largest Railroad Yards: Union Pacific Bailey. The Date is Sunday September 21, 2008, as 3985 is on Display for Railfest. Here the Late RP Narrator Lane Venardos talks about This event at Cody Park, as Live steamers of Union Pacific 800, a Chicago Burlington & Quincy Northern, Plus real machines that were bought by the railroad such as the Hi-Railer inspection truck, and Multiple Sponsor booths & food stands. A brief tour of the Golden Spike Tower Near Bailey Yard is also included. Besides the once largest operating steam engine in the world, Heritage units 1988 in Red Missouri Kansas Texas colors, & 1982 in Missouri Pacific Colors are also visiting Railfest. Like the Challenger, the Heritage Units are also popular for railfans everywhere. Between 3985 & the heritage units are Centennial unit 6936 which came with the Challenger from Cheyenne, and also a Brand New GenSet Fuel-Efficient Switcher 2622. Next, Lane does the history of 3985, as well as Jack Thalken talking about sister engine 3977 in the Two tone gray scheme which is also on Display at cody park as well. Not to Mention another Centennial Unit number 6922. 3977 was donated to Cody park on October 19, 1968. It took 8 hours to move 3977 from 8th street to Silver street. Across town, 2-8-0 number 480 is sitting on display in memorial park. Back to 3985 however, It's the following Monday September 22, as the challenger leaves the Bailey yard area for its continuous trip to the Minnesota twin cities. The Next overnight stop on the List: Missouri Valley Iowa. Before 3985 leaves North Platte, a freight train with a southern pacific unit arrives alongside the challenger while being serviced. It's cloudy while 3985 is being serviced but a couple hours later, the sun is finally in the sky as the challenger bids farewell to North Platte. Besides Les Jarrett, Peter Crooke of Highball Productions was also on the Challenger chase as well despite that Peter's version of 3985 in 2008 started at Archer hill East of Cheyenne & ended South of Saint Paul. More pacing is shown as 3985 is at Maxwell. Some chasers want to get a close up look at the challenger before the Railroad decided to Restore a Big Boy (4014) Back to Life. On one scene, 3985 makes a meet with a westbound coal train that was led by wide cab units 7086 & 8149. Taking a brief break from pacing, the challenger is Whistling east of Brady, then its back to the pacing once again. With pacing completed, 3985 passes by the Grain Elevators at Cozad, as a Blue diesel switcher appears in the background waiting for the hoppers to be filled with grain, as well as 3 Diesels parked on a siding. Afterwards, the challenger is alongside the Highway which is west of Elm Creek. Moments later, 3985 Arrives at Kearney for a service stop. With Maintenance complete, the Challenger is East of Kearney. Next, we see 3985 east of Wood river, then it's time for more pacing. Afterwards, the Challenger is at Central City, followed by a scene passing by the Silver Creek grain elevator. Moments later, There are lots & lots of people looking at 3985 in Columbus while the challenger slowly stops to a halt for being refilled with oil. On the way again, 3985 is Leaving Columbus, then the endless pacing continues as the challenger is west of Fremont. East of Arlington, 3985 passes by fields of grain. The sun is Setting as the challenger crosses the Missouri river bridge and enters the State line of Iowa. Darkness falls as 3985 arrives at Missouri Valley with a decent Whistle show for the chasers and other people. On Tuesday September 23, the challenger picks up 3 more coaches as it slowly leaves Missouri Valley for its Trip to Boone Iowa, which is located not Far from the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. More people wanted to get a good look at this machine as it leaves town. From the Bridge at Logan, 3985 whistles at a bend, then it chugs alongside the highway east of Denison. West of Carroll, the challenger stops for a red signal, then it gets the green during a departure. Afterwards, it leaves Carroll passing through a crossing. One of the Most iconic railroad locations in America is the Kate Shelley Bridge over the Des Moines River, which is west of Boone. At the same time 3985 was traveling from Cheyenne to St. Paul, the Railroad is Building a Brand new Sturdier & Stronger Bridge Next to it, so this would be one of the final times the challenger crosses over this iconic landmark. Afterwards, 3985 is being serviced & cleaned while being on display the whole Wednesday September 24. In the meantime, Crew member Lyndon Nystrom talks about the controls & gauges of the challenger. Some commentary from Les himself is also included during the cab tour. On Thursday September 25, 3985 leaves Boone. The Next Overnight Stop on the List: Mason City Iowa. Our First Scene shows the Challenger Meeting a westbound Coal train with a Southern Pacific Unit in the Consist. The Sun is Finally out of the sky as 3985 blows its whistle for the crossing at Nevada after turning North. Note the Firebox Flickering as the challenger goes by. More fields are shown as 3985 is North of Fernland, then it is south of Iowa falls. North of Hampton, the challenger is climbing uphill. South of Hurley, 3985 is at limited speed. Arriving at Mason city, the Challenger is being serviced while kids & adults get a good glimpse of the locomotive. On Friday September 26, 3985 is North of Mason city. The Next/Last Stop on the List: St. Paul. More Grain elevators are shown as 3985 is at Kensett. Some birds are being interrupted by the whistle. More railfans joined the chase as the challenger is north of Glenville Minnesota. Another Grain Elevator is Shown. This time its at Clark's Grove. Some of the sounds of the wind are being recorded as 3985 is north of Medford. Some children are heard off-screen as the challenger is North of Northfield. Arriving at Dayton's Bluff in St. Paul, A pair of Diesels: 1 from BNSF, & another from Burlington Northern are in the background passing by some auto carriers. Here the red signal is activated, as 3985 does some nice articulated demonstration. More people and automobiles are also heard off-screen. Near union station, the challenger backs up to be put for 3 days on display. With a visit to the twin cities Completed, 3985 is getting ready for its return trip home to Cheyenne. We fast forward to Wednesday October 8, as it is Still dark in Fremont. The challenger is making its ultimate rare Post Midnight & Pre-Sunrise run to avoid getting caught for track work in Nebraska. When was the Last time You Chased a Steam Giant in Post Midnight Hours? As the Clock stroke 4:00 AM, 3985 is still whistling at Columbus through multiple railroad crossings in the same town. Let's hope that None of the residents and/or visitors get a rude awakening from this one. Still Waiting for the Sun to Rise, the Challenger is at Central City. At last the Sun is still rising as 3985 passes by 2 coal trains while it Leaves Lexington. Some kids are heard off screen. West of Lexington, there is more pacing. Afterwards, the challenger is at Buttermilk curve East of Brady where it makes a meet with a pair of eastbound freights: One Mixed & one coal. On Thursday October 9, we are back at the Golden Spike Tower as 3985 rolls & whistles through bailey yard once again. This Day would mark as the Challenger's final day of its 2008 tour. West of North Platte, 3985 is at Hershey where it makes a meet with an eastbound 3 unit coal train with 7171 in the lead carrying 5781 & 7042, and also passing by the grain elevators. Afterwards, the Challenger passes by some people at Paxton, then it negotiates a bend at Ogallala on the triple track mainline. Next we see 3985 west of Julesburg Colorado which is located at the far northeast corner of the state. Still in Nebraska, the Challenger is west of Chappell as it passes by signal 3838. East of Sidney, 3985 is Alongside the highway behind the camera crew, as it makes a meet with an eastbound 2 unit grain train, then there is some final pacing of the challenger west of Sidney before it arrives at Cheyenne. With the final Pacing of this program completed, 3985 passes by signal 4318 at Jacinto on the double track mainline. Between the coaches, there is a special flatbed with 3 circular tanks inside. Crossing the State line one last time, the Challenger is at Pine Bluff Wyoming, then it makes a meet with a 3 unit eastbound mixed train as a bonus for the pacing sequence. From the Bridge, 3985 makes a meet with an eastbound 2 unit coal train at archer led by Diesels 7316 & 7140. All too Soon the Journey with the Once largest operating steam engine in the world arrives back in Cheyenne for a well deserved rest after concluding the tour. To close out the program during a credit roll, a bonus scene of 3985 is shown as the challenger is approaching Bailey Yard in North Platte on the return trip.

While Union Pacific restored Big Boy 4014 back to life after being on display in Pomona California at the RailGiants museum near Fairplex, 3985 was only operational in the Modern era from 1981 to 2010. Some of these Scenes were also shown in the Lots & Lots of Really Big Trains DVD by Marshall Publishing, and this was one of the selected railway productions titles to be streaming on Amazon Instant Prime Video.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Narration CAN be turned off in special features.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.

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