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Rio Grande Vintage Steam Narrow Gauge Steam 50s to 70s DVD

Rio Grande Vintage Steam Narrow Gauge Steam 50s to 70s DVD Greg Scholl Video Productions GSVP-102A 60443501292
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This is a quality show with 16mm original films expertly transfered to video for your viewing pleasure. There is a wealth of material here with both riding and trackside views between 1954 and the early 1970's.

First we see 1954 servicing and turning of engines in Durango, plus see a freight with 492 on the line to Farmington. In 1956 we return to Durango, and ride the train to Silverton, followed by some trackside views, and more scenes around Durango of servicing. In 1958 we are in Alamosa and see servicing near the roundhouse before chasing a doubleheader south toward Antonito. Then we board the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club trip of 1958 with engine 476 headed for Durango. Lots of scenes from the train, plus some runbys, and a freight departing Chama with a mid-train helper. At Durango we have more engine scenes, including 493 being prepared to take the train to Farmington, since a flood on the Silverton line prevented the use of it on that day.

After this we chase an Illini RR Club trip with engine 476 before arriving in Chama. We then see a two engine freight from Chama to Cumbres with engines 480 and 491, with some very nice scenes late in the afternoon.

In 1963 we visit Durango once again, and see some interesting switching moves with yard engine 473, which has been freshly shopped. K-27 464 is seen being moved with the help of a bulldozer and then 473, as it is parked by the car repair shop where it rested until being sold many years later. We then see more switching in the yard, plus a speeder being unloaded from a pick-up, and some 473 shots near the depot switching freight cars, making up a freight for 497.

We then see 497 back onto the train, and chase it eastward toward Chama. There are several good scenes of this train including the climb on Bocea Hill, and switching cars at Ignacio. A couple more scenes before the final shot near Arboles.

There is also a little bit of footage of the Silverton Train from Durango, which we believe to be the early 1970's.

This is classic material, and the quality is quite nice for films this old. Lots of good historical narration with appropriate relaxing background music.

All Color, 98 Minutes plus Previews


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List Price:$ 39.95
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DVD Item#:GSVP-102A
Runtime:1 Hour, 38 Mins ($0.37/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:60443501292
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
Rio Grande Vintage Steam Narrow Gauge Steam 50s to 70s DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-09-15 14:48:57.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


In this nearly 100 minute program from 2017 which is the longest in Greg's vintage steam titles, it starts with a montage of clips which the theme song was previously used on N&W in 2014. The coverage begins with 1954 films of 492 being prepared for the trip on the since been ripped up Farmington branch which includes taking a spin on the turntable, followed by 491 backing up as well as the fireman shoveling coal. Today 491 is at the Colorado railroad museum in golden. 491 leads a light doubleheader with 488 to be turned on the loop. A track map of the town is shown where it connects with the Rio Grande southern until 1951. 491 was retired from regular service on April 19, 1963 while 488 last ran in normal service during December of 1966. Today 488 is on the Chama to Antonio line known as the Cumbres and Toltec. While 491 is taking on water, a brief look at a passenger train is shown, followed by the doubleheader backing up. Meanwhile, 492 runs light as it heads for carbon junction while picking up cars that are bound for Farmington. Once coupled up, 492 leaves the junction as it heads for the destination along the animas river which includes a little bit of pacing. Once again, we're back in Durango as the camera pans for the roundhouse on the right. A quick look from a cab with the truck in the background is shown, followed by 476 leaving the roundhouse & entering the turntable. Nowadays, 476 operates from Durango to Silverton along with sister engines 473 & 478. During the 1954 films, 476 is being prepared for Silverton. This song with a choir in the background was also used on western steam loggers in 2015, & German steam 72 & 75 from 2019. One scene shows a gang car rolling while 476 has been turned around after using the loop. While the majority of the Rio Grande narrow gauge is all steam, former US army diesel switcher 4700N is used to move equipment around the Durango yard. As the coaches with the caboose are assembled, 476 backs onto the train for the climb to Silverton. Onboard now, 476 leaves Durango while passing by a pair of dogs. The main base/town itself has since been changed over the decades. Leaving Durango behind, 476 crosses over the animas river bridge, passes by some mountains while passengers are having a splendid time on the rails, entering the mountains after passing by the Hermosa water tower, passes by a flag stop in El Rancho Encantado, rolling by Shalona lake near Rockwood, squeezing through Elbert creek canyon after a passenger stop in Rockwood which also has a wooden cowcatcher in the middle of the wye, passing through the highline above the animas river, & descends for Silverton with other locations like the Tacoma power plant, drops some passengers off at the since been closed AH! Wilderness guest ranch, stopping for water at tank creek, passing by the water tower at needleton, roll through the elk park wye, & Arriving at Silverton with fall colors on the trees alongside the animas river once again. This arrival concludes the 1954 films from Mr. Holmes.

2 years later in 1956, we're back in Durango as 491 & 499 are on a light doubleheader while Turning on the loop. 499 was retired from regular service on December 4, 1963. Note that 499 is wearing a pilot snowplow up front. At the service area we see 476 being prepared for Silverton once again, this time the headlamp that was used in a movie prop has since been removed. Away from Durango, 476 makes a reflection shot on the animas river after crossing the bridge. Beyond Hermosa, 476 negotiates the S curve while entering the high line, then a gang car with 2 workmen follows behind. The Colorado Rockies are spectacular as we see another engine being turned on the wye, some onboard footage, as well as leaving Durango with 476 once again, this time it's from behind the tender. Much of the look of the automobiles has too since been changed over the decades. While 476 makes a stop at the AH! Wilderness guest ranch, a mention of Riding the Narrow gauge in the 1950s from 2003 was heard as This film from Mr. Holmes was recorded months after Warren W. Scholl visit this location. While stopped, people, dogs & horses are experiencing the scenery. Back onboard now, 476 arrives at tank creek as the water is leaking from the tower. This scene concludes the 1956 films.

2 years have passed & it's already 1958 as 492 is being prepared at the roundhouse in Alamosa on May 29. While 482 was retired from regular service in April of 1959, it was restored to service on the Durango & Silverton in 1992. A spilt second scene shows one of the 490 series engines pushing on the rear, then we see 492 & 493 running on a light doubleheader as it will soon couple up to the freight for the 4th division to Antonio. Recently, 493 was not only restored to operate on the Durango and Silverton, but it is also the first Rio Grande narrow gauge steam locomotive to be converted to oil due to increase wildfire concerns. The doubleheader leaves Alamosa at 3:20, & arrive at Antonito at 5:30. 492 is still standing silent. Underway now, the freight runs on the dual gauge track while heading south. The following day, may 30, 1958 finds 476 once again this time it's being prepared at Alamosa for the excursion that was sponsored by the Rocky mountain railroad club. The 3 day journey would be on the entire 4th division from Alamosa to Antonito, Osier, Cumbres, Chama, over the since been ripped up line West from Chama to Durango & arrive at carbon junction. There is some service from both outside & in the cab as the workmen are servicing the engine. Already serviced, 476 heads for it's special train. While coupling up to the coaches, 476 is next to the standard gauge equipment. There are some last minute inspections which includes checking the condition of the Firebox, & lubricating the traction rods. With everyone onboard especially from the open air car on the rear, it's all aboard time as 476 leaves Alamosa. First it passes by the motel with some locomotives sitting on display. Everyone is having a great time as 476 has already left Antonito, backs for a photo runby at the Lava water tower, continuing West through whiplash curve, passes by the section house at big horn, entering the New Mexico state line, passing by the big horn siding, see more people enjoying their journey which includes a look in the kitchen car, entering Mud tunnel, performing a photo runby at rock tunnel with toltec gorge & The Garfield monument at the same location, continuing West through Osier as it passes by the water tower before the lunch hall was built in 1989, over cascade creek trestle, around tanglefoot curve while approaching the 10,015 ft Cumbres pass as well as some snow on the ground, passing by the wye with a snowshed in the summit, rolls downhill through Coxo with a culvert & fences, & arrives at Chama to take on coal, then departs as it passes by 492, 491 & 499 with rotary snowplow OM in the background. On the ground, 499 moves with a freight as the driver waves while assembling for the climb to Cumbres. 491 would be placed in the middle of the freight train behind 499. Back onboard, 476 heads for the abandoned Chama to Durango line while more passengers are enjoying the ride, & passes by 494 on a siding which ended the 5-30-58 films. The following day may 31, finds 476 in Durango near the roundhouse. The original plan was to go north to Silverton, but unfortunately due to the rails that are underwater from The already rising animas river, the new plan was to go South on the since been ripped up branch to Farmington, this time with 493 in charge, as 476 arrives for a rest in the roundhouse. Meanwhile, 493 & 494 are turning on the loop. 494 was retired on May 14, 1962. A quick head on shot of 476 in the roundhouse is shown, & we see 493 clearing its own Firebox out while workmen handle the chores. Again 493 was recently restored to operate on the Durango & Silverton. Halfway into the program, another US army diesel switcher number 3000 moves the coaches on the loop with passengers onboard. Today the 3000 is at the white pass & Yukon in Alaska as number 81 since 1960. Back at the yard, a workman is turning the speeder car around, as 493 is waiting for a clear signal. At this point, this was the only excursion that the club uses the Farmington line. Underway now, a cab ride is included, followed by a photo runby over the wooden trestle known as Wilson gulch trestle which is south of carbon junction. Unfortunately, this was the only runby scene on the 5-31-58 films by Mr Holmes. Mentions of some future titles by different photographers are included. As we say goodbye to may & hello to the first day of June 1958, 499 will be helping 476 out of Chama for the eastbound climb to Cumbres. Leaving Chama, there are several locations along the way with more onboard footage which includes a photo runby at windy point near the station at Cumbres. East of here, 499 has been removed, While 476 heads for tanglefoot curve as it continues to Antonito & Alamosa. 2 days later on June 3, 476 is operating the excursion sponsored by the illini railroad club as it leaves Alamosa behind, then it heads for Cumbres while passing by the water tower at Los pinos. Moments later, 476 is passing by some freight cars as it passes by the station at Cumbres without a stop. West of Cumbres, 476 passes by Coxo, crossing over wolf creek at lobato trestle, leaving the Chama river bridge in the background, & Arriving at the depot. At the same location, 476 is passing by a regular freight train with 491 up front, & 480 on the rear. Nowadays, 480 is on the Durango to Silverton line. This departure of a freight leaving Chama ends the coverage in 1958.

On an unidentified year, 491 is at the Chama yard while assembling the freight train as 480 would be in the lead, & 491 on the rear. Even though 480 is still operating on the Durango and Silverton, it was retired from regular service on may 31, 1965. Leaving the service yard behind, the freight crosses over the Chama river bridge, enters the narrows West of lobato lake & trestle, pace the freight as tons of cows are chasing the train while Mr. Holmes follows carefully behind the animals, rolling through the highway 17 crossing east of Dalton which was once an all gravel road until it was transformed to the concrete pavement type in 1969, entering the Colorado state line West of cresco, crossing highway 17 from windy point, approaches the spot where Mr. Holmes was filming, & arrives at Cumbres station in the background while curving at windy point. With the freight dropped off, 491 & 480 took turns running light to Chama. 491 is carrying caboose 0517 while 480 runs alone as it follows behind.

It's already May of 1963 as 464 is being shown on the storage track which has since been moved to the huckleberry railroad in flint Michigan while 473 runs light as it passes by the double spouted water tower in Durango. At the roundhouse, 497 is shown. 497 used to operate on the Durango and Silverton but since the transition of 1991 into 1992, it was moved to the Cumbres and Toltec. As 497 leaves the roundhouse, it passes by an orange painted 25 ton boxcab which was used for the Navajo dam relocation, then we see the engine passing by a spreader & The coaling tower, before it takes a spin on the turntable. After leaving the turntable, 497 passes by the other side of the coaling tower followed by another look at the original roundhouse which was destroyed by fire in 1988 or 1989. At the service yard, 497 is still being inspected. Meanwhile, 473 is switching some cars tender first which 497 would carry them on the since been ripped up Chama to Durango line. Once uncoupled, 473 backs up as a workman is removing the speeder on his pick up truck while others helped him out. At the same time, a bulldozer uses a cable to tow a non-active 464 on the turntable as the headlamp & bell have been removed. 473 continues to assemble the freight for 497, then it couples up to 464 out of the turntable. Once again, 497 takes a spin at the turntable while 473 & a non-active 464 switched directions. Steve Conner is the engineer of 473. Once parked near the equipment, 473 uncoupled once again as a bulldozer pushes a gondola with some ballast while 473 performs a flying switch. There is still more freight switching for 473 however. During 1963, the station is undergoing for renovation, as well as a look of downtown Durango itself. With the cars already assembled, 497 couples onto the train as it heads for Chama, Antonito, & Alamosa. By the way, the date for the chase of 497 on a freight was on May 6, 1963. Bocea hill on the Durango to Chama line is now the Wal-Mart Durango location. There are some pacing sequences along the way as well as passing by Oxford & other locations, like switching at Ignacio.

The final 10 minutes of this program were filmed in the early 70s. This was known as the early years of the Cumbres & Toltec from Chama to Antonito only. For this program, 473 leads a passenger train through Hermosa on its way to Silverton, 476 departing Durango in the early morning, 478 at Hermosa heading for Silverton, waiting for the return trip with a close up look at the bridge & water tower, see a speeder passing by, 476 leading the return trip with a pace on state highway 550, note the red coach on the rear, crossing over the animas river bridge, & arrives back in Durango Before a ride on parlor car B7: the General William Jackson Palmer. This ride behind 478 ends a short segment on the Durango to Silverton line in 70s, as well as This program.

Like many of Greg's 2017 titles minus the original 1987 editing of N&W 1218 rebuilt & Roanoke bound, this was narrated by Brian Sellers.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Overpriced for the amount of enjoyment I got out of it.
Recommend to others? Yes.

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