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Rio Grande Snow Freight DVD
 5 of 5 (1)

Rio Grande Snow Freight DVD Mark I Video M1RGSF
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On the weekend of May 8th and 9th, 1993, the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad operated several chartered freight trains for a select group of railfan photographers. The locomotives and equipment were all authentically lettered Rio Grande to perfectly recreate the imagery of a bygone era.

A number of trips were made over an eight-mile section of the line, featuring such famous landmarks as Jukes Tree and Lobato Trestle. The hard-working narrow-gauge 2-8-2 Mikado-type locomotives put on a memorable show featuring beautiful white exhaust plumes and great stack talk.

You'll see single-and double-headed freight trains powered by three different locomotives. Some runs even had a steam-powered mid-train helper!

As a special bonus, we've included John Briggs' 16mm color archive films depicting regular-service Rio Grande freight trains operating between Chama and Cumbres in the late 1950's. A superb hour of narrow-gauge steam acton!

60 Minutes *DVD* Full Color * Stereo Soundtrack
Produced by Marc S. Balkin
Written and Narrated by Jim Boyd

TVD Price:$ 26.95
List Price:$ 29.95
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Runtime:1 Hour, 00 Mins ($0.45/min)
Producer:Mark I Video
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

  • Some or all of the DVDs or Blu-rays from this producer are manufactured using DVD-R or BD-R material.
  • This producer chooses not to shrinkwrap most of their products. All the products we sell are brand new direct from the producer. We never sell used or second-hand products.
Rio Grande Snow Freight DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-08-30 07:40:27.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5

In this sequel to Rio Grande rotary spectacular, the program starts with 487 & 488 idling in Chama. Meanwhile, 497 goes moving around the yard area for preparations of the may 8 & 9 freight specials which were organized by future famous America by rail producer Greg Scholl along with his brother Randy. Afterwards, 487 runs light as 488 (without the pilot plow) follows behind. Some clips of the rotary spectacular with snowplow OY are shown as it & The mikados battle through the heaviest snowbanks. In addition to GSVP & Mark 1 video, machines of iron and video rails were also there for this interesting event. The entire may weekend for the special would go as far as a spot before milepost 336.1. Meanwhile a look at the map of the Chama to Cumbres portion of the line is shown. Back in Chama on Saturday May 8, 487 goes backwards while coupling up to 488. While the 2 engines are being serviced, Jackie the border collie wants to look at these machines before the 487 & 488 performed a runby at the tracks near the wye on the since been ripped up Chama to Durango line as the opening credits roll.

Back at the depot, the doubleheader rolls by the yard, then it comes to a stop to allow 497 to be placed in the middle of the freight with only 12 cars deep. Once coupled up, the railfans who participated in the GSVP special are boarding for the caboose & The open air cars. It's all aboard time as the 3 engines that were the main power for pushing the rotary gets underway. Meanwhile, the camera cuts to the caboose as the mikados whistle off. Away from the yard, they crossed over the Chama river bridge, & passes by the Fred Jukes tree as everyone admired the early spring scenery. Back on the ground, the first freight special passes by lobato lake with highway 17 on the left side of the screen as 487, 488, & 497 took turns whistling while negotiating a bend. Many minutes later, 497 was removed as 487 & 488 performed a runby at lobato between the lake and the trestle over wolf creek. Listen carefully for the wheel slip on 487. Afterwards, a snow fall is happening as the crew and participants took a lunch break in Chama while 487 is behind the caboose, as it pulls the train tender first while rearranging again. Meanwhile, 488 is at the head and of its own train while moments later, it ran light while stopped to allow the clearance of 487 as it passes by 492 & rotary OM. Afterwards, 487 rolls backwards to be the mid helper of the second freight of the Saturday special while 488 takes on water. Once the tender is full, 488 passes by some tank cars that were on the way to the white pass & Yukon in Alaska, then it couples up to the rearranged cars for its second climb to the miles before the derailment site of milepost 336.1. More riding footage from the caboose is shown as the second Saturday special was underway again passing by the Chama river, the Fred Jukes tree, & heading for the lobato lake and trestle. Snow is still falling from the sky as the second Saturday special passes by the location between the lake and trestle at lobato. Once at the trestle, the cameras click as 488 & 487 cross over the trestle without stopping. The 488 approaches the crew as some water drops begin to block the lens. With the camera cleaned, 488 & 487 are negotiating an S curve about less than a few miles beyond the derailed site of milepost 336.1. The snow stops as the second Saturday special is getting closer and closer to the dead end before the derailment site. From the location, the train would soon slow down for the heavy snow bank. Listen to those legit sounds of steam locomotives hard at work. More snow is on the ground as The second Saturday special crawls into a complete stop. On the return trip, there is more footage from the caboose as it crosses over lobato trestle. While 487 & 488 are heading back to Chama for dinner, let's rewind the clocks to 1958 & 1959 as we see some 16mm films from a young John Briggs. The vintage films began as 489 crosses over the bridge and passing by the Fred Jukes tree on a freight as well as passing by lobato lake, the original highway 17 crossing in Coxo with 493 in charge (thankfully it was recently restored and converted to oil on the Durango & Silverton), another freight with mostly cattle cars led by 481 in 2 scenes: one at a bend, the other at wolf creek trestle as it heads for Chama, and 488 during normal service with 482 on the rear. Afterwards, 481 crosses the crossing with 489 on the rear. Then we see the same train in another location. Moments later, 491 leads a mixed freight with a since been scrapped 485 on the rear. 2 scenes were made: 1 at a grade, the other at an S curve. This scene concludes the flashback films as well as the Saturday may 8th 1993 trips.

On Sunday morning may 9, there is more snow on the ground as 487 & 488 are being prepared for the second & last day of the GSVP chartered trips. First 487 leaves the fire pit, While 488 took its turn for service as 487 heads for the twin spout water tower. With a full tender, 487 heads for it's assigned consist. While 487 goes backwards after switching tracks, it's 488's turn to take a drink. Moments later, 488 heads for the coal tower. The first train of the snowy Sunday special finds 487 leading an empty pipe train as it passes by the station with a 1940s pick up truck that was owned by one of the employees of the railroad. After 487 is placed in the middle, 488 leads off as it passes by the Fred Jukes tree once again. Afterwards, the 488 & 487 are Highballing for the lake and trestle at lobato before slowing down for the climb uphill. Meanwhile, the camera cuts to the open air car as the 2 engines chug for lobato trestle while heading for the milepost 336.1 derailed site. Then we're zig zagging back and forth from caboose ride to trackside as 487 & 488 are approaching it's dead end marker. At an S curve the 2 engines whistle for a complete stop as the show is getting deeper. Back in Chama, 488 leads a 13 car freight in the afternoon without a helper. Here we see the plowless Mikado coupling up to the second Sunday special as it leaves the yard area. Away from the depot, the 488 picks up some speed While in the next scene, the locomotive is having some traction troubles on wet rails before crossing the trestle. Only 1 locomotive is allowed to cross the wolf creek trestle due to weight restrictions. Beyond the bridge, 488 passes by some ties alongside the track. Meanwhile, 487 is facing the opposite direction after using the wye at Chama. Here we see the engine as it moves the caboose to the opposite end of the freight at weed city siding as well as the return trip to Chama. This is the spot where Greg recorded these movements in the reflections video from 2002. Beyond the siding, 487 crosses over the wolf creek trestle, and heads for the lake which includes a caboose on as it passes by the fred Jukes tree and over the river bridge. Already back in Chama, 487 passes by the tank cars and the twin water spouts while passing by the coaling tower. On some of the rails that were on the since abandoned Chama to Durango line, 487 whistles through a crossing while passing by A pick up truck. The mark 1 video version of the may 1993 freight specials come to a close as 497 is being serviced in to followed by some shots of the border collie itself looking at the big machines.

Sadly the Scholl brothers weren't mentioned in this program as well as in the closing credits, but at least the steam locomotives on the Rio Grande were interesting to see in action.

Overall, the late railfan magazine editor Jim Boyd does an excellent job narrating this program.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.

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