Rails to Roanoke 1987 NRHS Convention DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-07-30 10:44:51.
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First The program starts with vintage films of regular steam in Roanoke as a J class 4-8-4 arrives at the depot, followed by another northern passing by the shops, a Y class 2-8-8-2 on a coal train with another 2-8-8-2 number 2129 pushing on the rear, a class A 2-6-6-4 number 1217 passing by in the yard, another 2-6-6-4 on a freight, and a J class 4-8-4 follows behind. Winter came as a J class 4-8-4 is on a passenger run followed by A map of the route from Roanoke to blue ridge, & back to the films as a trio of Y class 2-8-8-2 engines are on a coal train with 2 in the lead & one on the rear. Another look at the map is shown from Roanoke to Christiansburg as a Y class 2-8-8-2 is on a freight followed by some Atlantic coast line E units on a passenger run, as well as GP9s on a coal train. A J class 4-8-4 is on a passenger run concludes the vintage films, as we fast forward to the modern era where 611 & a restored 1218 are making some preparations for the late July & early August event. Besides mark 1 video, pentrex, video rails, & Greg Scholl were also there for this unique event. A clip of 611 in the early 80s are shown followed by some pacing of 1218 in another video: articulateds -1218 vs 3985. Here's a fun fact alert: 1218 was originally on display at the F Nelson Blount years of Steamtown in bellows falls Vermont before most of the other locomotives that mr. Blount purchased were moved to Scranton Pennsylvania. During 1985, 1218 was swapped with 2 diesels: NKP GP9 514 & Wabash SW8 number 132 which was renamed & renumbered to Lackawanna 500. With the pacing segment finished, 1218 is at Fairfax on its way to Alexandria during July 18, which is 2 weeks before the NRHS convention. Another look at the map of the route is shown as 1218 heads from Alexandria to Roanoke while the southern FP-7s would handle the northbound run from Charlottesville to Alexandria. This trip was part of the preconvention activities.
The action begins with 1218 approaching Manassas on July 26 as the engine activates it's own hooter whistle. Moments later, 1218 is still facing south as it whistles for Buena. Note the wooden ties alongside the line. More ties are piled up as 1218 whistles for Orange. Not long after the last coach of the special clears the crossing, a pair of southern diesels with 4000 in the lead waits for the right of way. Afterwards, 1218 whistles through barboursville. Before approaching Charlottesville, 1218 heads for Rio as it was recorded from the pedestrian bridge. Leaving the coaches behind, 1218 handles a mixed freight while continuing south as it negotiates an S curve in arrowhead summit. Again this was recorded from the pedestrian bridge. More ties are alongside the tracks as 1218 rolls through a deep cut in Faber. A little red caboose is on 1218's freight. Meanwhile, the trio of southern F units with 3496, 3497, & 3499 handles the very first passenger special of the NRHS convention on July 29. Listen to the horn on 3497 as the diesels perform a photo runby. Moments later, the since been sold Green & white diesels roll through the trees & some signals while heading for Alexandria. Afterwards, another look at the map is shown this time for the schedule of the weekend long special.
Back on the mainline, it's July 30, as 1218 operates from Roanoke to Bluefield. The weather for that day is hazy & hot. First we see the class A whistling through glenvar, followed by a shot from under the bridge at wabun. Next, 1218 picked up some speed as it highballs through Elliston. One of the most photographed locations on the N&W is the twin Montgomery tunnels at Christiansburg grade as 1218 pops out of the portals, then it passes by Pembroke siding as some birds are chirping offscreen. Afterwards 1218 is alongside the new river at the narrows, followed by a big bend at Glen Lyn. The following 2 locations are at hardy. One shows the special at an S curve, the other for crossing a small bridge. 1218 is not only whistling by some chasers, but does approach the camera crew head on at Ada. We'll see 1218 a little bit later.
Moving Onto 611, the post-WWII built northern handles the coaches at Bluefield during the return trip to Roanoke on the Virginian line. First we see 611 at the narrows while backing up to get its coaches that 1218 brought as it passes by lots and lots of countless hoppers with coal. Meanwhile at Bluefield, 1218 is uncoupled from the train, & backs up as well. Once coupled to the coaches, 611 whistles off as it passes by the interlocking at Inglewood known as Blake interlocking. Moments later, the J class northern is at Oakvale as there is some zig zag position between the ground & onboard the train. Next, 611 rolls alongside a one way street as it continues to Roanoke while 1218 is being moved to the service track for inspection & refill. A work crane is on the siding as 1218 crawls to a stop. On the same day, 1218 would be on an eastbound coal train from Ingleside to Oakvale, which did include pacing for most of the way. Taking a break from pacing, 1218 crosses over the bridge while negotiating the bends in the Rocky part of the N&W system, then it's back to pacing the short lived beast in the modern era. On one scene the mark 1 video car crew almost sped up While a random chaser quickly dodges to the other side of the road for his car once again. Luckily no one was hurt. In no time at all, 1218 arrives in Oakvale. With pacing completed, 2 more runbys were made with 1218 on a coal train: one is at Glen Lyn as it makes a meet with An NS coal train led by A pair of the brand new C40-8s long hood forward, the other at ripplemead where it passes by A small yard. Of course the 1980s was the final decade where cabooses were used on mainline freight trains in America. Next, the 1218 is at Christiansburg depot followed by the junction at singer as the sun starts to set While some birds are tweeting offscreen.
The following day, July 31, 1218 & 611 are fired up for display as a 3 unit NS mixed train passes by the 2 engines. Besides the 2 giants, the earliest steam engine in America: the best friend of Charleston is also on display as well as the southern F units. Later that day, the best friend of Charleston backs up, While 1218 & 611 switches tracks for preparations of the night photo session. The light doubleheader takes some slow orders in Roanoke as 1218 released some steam from the pistons, then the 2 engines whistle off. Meanwhile, one of Norfolk southern's brand new C40-8s number 8678 backs up then F unit 3497 moves ahead. Some still images of the night photo session are used. Lawrence Smith does the lighting.
As we say goodbye July and hello August, 2 trains will be operated on the same day: 611 would handle the passengers while 1218 handles the coal train. The destination for these 2 N&W engines would be at Radford. Our First scene shows The 2 trains leaving Roanoke which does feature onboard footage from 611's consist. When was the last time you got an extreme close up look at 1218 in action? The Class A rolls through the small crossing & original signals while 611 follows behind. Moments later, both 611 & 1218 perform a side by side runby along the Rocky cliffs which does feature a whistle show. Best of all, there isn't a single diesel helper on both of these trains. It's elbow to elbow as everyone wanted to witness the duo at wheeling hollow. 611 steals the show on the first runby while 1218 catches up. More onboard footage from 611 is shown as 1218 whistles for the crossing. While the camera turns to 1218 note the camera strap on the northeast corner of the screen. Afterwards, the 2 trains leave the twin Montgomery tunnels on Christiansburg grade. More ties are placed alongside the rails as 1218 is still catching up. With the empty hoppers dropped off at Walton, 1218 joins 611 for a doubleheader as they are turned on the wye at Radford where passengers could have a lunch stop in town. With everyone back onboard, 1218 leads the 611 back to Roanoke. The 2 engines are alongside the wooden ties as they approach Christiansburg. Moments later, 1218 whistles for another crossing while 611 provides the extra power. Afterwards, the class A performs a whistle show while approaching the bends. This scene concludes the 8-1-87 special.
On Sunday August 2, 611 & 1218 are operating on an eastbound doubleheader to Lynchburg this time with 611 in the lead. Once at Lynchburg, the J class northern would be stored there While 1218 heads home, & the southern F units could handle the coaches to Alexandria. Our first scene of the one way special shows 611 & 1218 whistling at the blue ridge parkway overpass. Moments later, the duo highballs through thaxton, then it performs a photo runby at the overpass in Lowry. With the runby finished, the doubleheader backs up to pick up it's passengers, and once everyone is back onboard, 611 whistles off. After 611 was removed from the special, 1218 handles the westbound train back to Roanoke while 3496, 97, & 99 year north for Alexandria. Our first scene shows 1218 whistling under the pedestrian bridge West of Lynchburg. Meanwhile, the F units head for Alexandria. Back to 1218 however, the class A highballs down the line.
On Monday August 3, a pair of GP9s being N&W 232 & Norfolk southern 4151 handle a mixed freight with the some coaches that was sent from Alexandria.
On Tuesday August 4, 611 is near evington Junction which is south of Lynchburg on its way to Birmingham for a 5 year inspection. Meanwhile, 1218 is on a 40 car coal train at Montgomery tunnel where various animals are making noises offscreen. Once out of the twin tunnels, 1218 jumps on the bandwagon. West of the tunnels, 1218 whistles through the pedestrian bridge, then it switches tracks at Pembroke siding. Moments later, 1218 whistles by more pedestrian bridges West of Pembroke. At Glen Lyn, 1218 passes by some more hoppers. Moments later, the class A negotiates an S curve. Then it whistles for a bend & a crossing at Ada on the double track mainline. Afterwards, 1218 passes by lots of countless loaded hoppers with coal as a car honks it's horn offscreen. In the late afternoon sun 1218 backs up to drop off its freight train at Bluefield while the closing credits roll.
In the closing credits the Viacom cablevision of Cleveland was used in additional film footage section. While the case says 90 minutes it's actually 80 minutes for the main program while the extra bonus segment features the Song: cargo moving people. With the Song finished, an encore of the side by side runby with 611 & 1218 are included.
All in all the late railfan magazine editor Jim Boyd does an outstanding job narrating this program.
Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.