Rio Grande Rotary Spectacular DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-08-07 19:51:53.
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In the Mark 1 video version of the run for the 1923 built snowplow in 1993, it starts with a look at the summit of Cumbres pass which is at an elevation of 10,015 feet above sea level. The summit is really deep in snow which is at 6.5 feet tall. In other places, the drifts are more than 23 feet. Meanwhile in chama, 487, & 488 are standing by the depot as they are being serviced. On Monday may 3, 1993, 487 & 488 are behind OY as they are making some final preparations before the biggest snow busting battle in C&TS history. Not only this was the second time that 487 & 488 would be pushing the snowplow since 1991, but it's also the first time that 1902 built Mikado number 497 would also be assigned for the battle. Before the train leaves Chama, a look at the snowplow is shown by a blueprint which includes some still images of the rotary, as well as 1889 built rotary OM in the 70s. That snowplow is still on display in Chama. A mention of 2 more Rio Grande rotary snowplows: ON & OO are heard. The last time a rotary snowplow was used in regular Rio Grande years was in either 1962 or 1963. With the brief history of the plow finished, the map of the route from Chama to Antonio is shown. Another look at Cumbres station is shown & we are back in Chama as the opening titles are shown. As snow signal switched to green, the snow busting tripleheader gets underway. Besides the Mark 1 video crew, other producers like Video rails, machines of iron, & Of course Greg Scholl who organized the May 8, & 9 1993 specials, were also there for the entire battle. A few moments later, the OY & mikes negotiate a bend at lake lobato with highway 17 in the background as the 4% climb begins. East of the trestle over wolf creek, the snowplow begins to clear the line as more people inspected the tripleheader in action. The OY & mikes whistles through communication. Note the black smoke billowing out of the snowplow funnel. All to soon, the tripleheader snow busting train negotiates an S curve at the new Mexico/Colorado state line. This is one of the deepest points to battle through heavy snow during 1993. Due to the weight of the heavy snow for the 1993 season, the track is getting soggy at milepost 336.1 which causes multiple derailments. More whistle communications are heard. Only in 1993, when the water towers are too far away to reach while the locomotives & The snowplow are really low on water, the workmen are shoveling snow in their tenders. After pushing through the S curve, the tripleheader rotary approaches the cresco water tower. Note the flanger underneath the OY. 487 is the lead locomotive of the snow busting train behind the rotary, followed by 497 in middle, & 488 between the 2 engines, & The rolling stock on the rear. The OY removes more snow while passing by the water tower. All the mikados especially the snowplow must take turns at the cresco water tower. With water filled in their tenders, the snow busting train passes by the Coxo telephone with as well as the highway 17 crossing to finish day 1 of the snow busting battle for 1993. While stopping before the crossing, there is a brief strategy conference, then the 487 whistles for the crossing While the OY was unaware that the snow which used to be on the tracks have accidentally landed on a few automobiles as evidenced by a red car on the left side of the screen While the plow removes some snow on the line. The snow between coxo & The summit of Cumbres gets much deeper and deeper as the crew calls it a day. Before that happens, they decided to plow a bit further from the highway 17 crossing, then it was decided to call it a day. As 488 heads to chama with the camp train, 487, & 497 are with the rotary. Unfortunately on the return trip to Chama, 488 was derailed at milepost 336.1 due to the amount of heavy snow on the ground, as evidenced by a still image. Meanwhile, some night scenes are shown as the OY with 487, & 497 have decided to spend the night at the cresco water tower to avoid anymore problems on the derailed site of milepost 336.1.
On Tuesday may 4, 1993, it's after 8:00 in the morning as 488 is still In Chama due to some emergency repairs on the trailing truck. With repairs finished, 488 heads to reunite with the snowplow & The other 2 mikes as it passes by the Fred Jukes tree, followed by lobato lake. Meanwhile, the water tower at cresco is almost empty as the snowplow & other engines are stopped while the crew shoveled snow in their tenders. Shortly thereafter, the coal is almost empty on the snow busting train as they have to be stopped at the highway 17 crossing while it waits for a truck with a front loader to put more coal into their tenders. With both the water & coal loaded into the tenders, the OY and mikes continued to where they left off: the horseshoe curve near windy point. Suddenly, 497 is running out of water quickly as more snow is filled into the tender, then it's onto the battle once again as more people are inspecting to see this important piece of railroad history in action. While approaching the middle of the horseshoe curve near windy point, the snowbank is getting much deeper and deeper as the plow is continuing to battle through the deep mountains of white fluff with some planks of loose wood flying away. During the battle at windy point, the snowplow must do some back and forth movements to remove the snowbank which is almost taller than the tripleheader itself. More people have joined in to see this winter chomping monster in action. All of a sudden the OY comes to a stop with the standpipe at Cumbres being so close, but due to more amounts of heavy snow, it's still far away. It was decided to call The Chama fire department to send The hoses for The water on 497 As night falls, the entire snow busting tripleheader arrives at Cumbres as The clock stroke 9:30 PM. More still images are shown.
On Wednesday may 5, the snow busting train had a well deserved sleepover at Cumbres as The meeting was called at 11:00. Before the OY gets underway again, the workmen are shoveling snow to clear out the switches as well as maintaining the engines & snowplow. Like the Monday run, coal is transferred from a front loader to the tenders. First it loads the coal to the Snowplow's tender, then the engines, and also clearing the wye tracks & switches at the summit of the pass while the rotary gets underway again. Some more people have decided to see the tripleheader in action. After clearing the wye & also the switches, the entire snow busting train continues east to tanglefoot curve or Cumbres loop with only 487, & 497 pushing the plow while 488 heads back to Chama. Throughout the entire snow busting journey, 488 is using 484's tender as it backs into the wye. The eastbound downhill trip from the summit of Cumbres is almost easier to remove more snow on the line. After stopping at Los pinos, 487, 497, & OY heads back to Cumbres for another sleepover.
On Thursday may 6, 488 is being prepared to push a pair of gondolas with ballast to the derailed site of milepost 336.1. Throughout the night, it snowed in Chama. Again, throughout the entire snow busting special for 1993, 488 is using 484's tender. With a workman up front, 488 heads for milepost 336.1 as it whistles by the water tower while leaving Chama yard. Moments later, 488 chugs cheerfully through the snow With a maintenance speeder following behind, then it passes by lobato lake with a whistle show as it passes by highway 17. Beyond the lake, 488 is still making some good progress at the engine & The maintenance speeder continued to the derailed site. Meanwhile at Cumbres, the OY, 487, & 497 are filled up with coal once again as it is being loaded by a front loader. Before that happens, a workman released the chute on the gondola which carried extra coal. More workmen are removing coal from the gondola as the John Deere front loader loads the coal into the Snowplow's tender. With coal filled in the tenders, the doubleheaded snow busting train leaves the summit as it heads for where it left off: Los pinos. Once at Los pinos, the rotary clears some more snow on the line. At last, the locomotives & OY arrive at the Los pinos water tower. Here they clear some snow, & also back into the water tower to take turns. Once the tenders are filled with water again, the snow busting train heads for the horseshoe curve east of the water tower. This made plowing much better and much easier, until it reaches osier where it is a halfway point between Chama and Antonio, as it is also a lunch stop for the hungry passengers. Once at Osier, 497 heads back to Chama with the camp train, followed by 487 with the snowplow. At Cumbres, 497 has been turned on the wye and heads back west for Chama. 487 has also been turned on the wye as it pulls the rotary back to Chama until it reaches the derailed site of milepost 336.1.
The entire epilogue that was organized by both Greg & Randy Scholl on May 8, & 9 which can go as far as a couple of miles before milepost 336.1 are included as some scenes can be shown in the sequel: Rio Grande snow freight. Here we see 488 up front with 487 in the middle as a helper. 2 scenes were made of this special. Next we see 488 having some slipping issues as it rolls by on a different freight. In the closing credits, another look at Cumbres station is shown, followed by the OY with 487, & 497 on the rear.
Overall, the late railfan magazine editor Jim Boyd does an outstanding job narrating this program.
Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.