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Rio Grandes 4th Division DVD
 5 of 5 (1)

Rio Grandes 4th Division DVD Greg Scholl Video Productions GSVP-400
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Rio Grande ran steam right through 1968 being the last class 1 railroad to operate steam in regular service. The line from Alamosa was the last stronghold and we see footage from several different photographers. We begin in Alamosa with scenes of engine servicing and switching, plus see trains arriving and departing from the yard. This segment takes us westbound along the dual gauge tracks to Antonito, and on to Chama.

In Chama we arrive aboard the San Juan and see some late 1940's footage riding to Durango. We meet a doubleheader and pass the eastbound San Juan during this segment. There is a nice section in Durango showing engines near the roundhouse as well as switching duties. We then see a lengthy segment on the Silverton Branch with has several different mixed trains shot from the late 40's through 1951 or so, plus some later passenger trains. We will see the older K-27 class engines, and in 1951 the 473 painted in the Grande Gold (Bumblebee) scheme.

Next we head back to Chama, and show several trains heading toward Cumbres, which includes engines with helpers, mostly on the rear as they start up the 4% grade.

The last segment features the final years, with film from three different photographers. In 1966 we see a little action with 488 around Durango and at Carbon Junction, as it gathers a freight. In 1967 we see some wonderful 16mm film shot by Fritz Klinke. One day they got 497 and 498 from Alamosa to La Jara. This was the first run of 497 for the year, which would be its final year of operation. We pace it as a light engine to La Jara, then see 498 bring the freight past the depot. A few days later we are in Chama, and see 4 engines being readied for duty on one day, then enjoy a few scenes of 493 and 497 taking a freight eastbound.

Footage of 1968 includes scenes from Durango to Farmington with engine 478 on June 3rd, some scenes of 498 headed east on June 4th, and 498 doubleheading with 478 on June 5th headed back toward Durango. You will see class K-27, K-28, K-36, and K-37 engines mostly and a surprise or two. There is a lot to like in this vintage steam show.

Color scenes with music and informative narration.


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DVD Item#:GSVP-400
Runtime:1 Hour, 27 Mins ($0.31/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
Rio Grandes 4th Division DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-06-09 14:42:13.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


In this program, it starts with a map where the black lines are standard gauge, and the green lines are narrow gauge. The action begins at alamosa with 484 & 493. Here we see 493 taking on coal. This film was recorded before 493 was not only restored today on the Durango & Silverton, but also the first to be converted to oil. Note the orange or yellow truck next to the coal towers. 493 leaves the coal loaders and passes by some coaches, then we sister engine 492 switching freight cars on the dual gauge tracks for both standard & narrow gauges. Idler car number W499 was from the unitah railway. A mention of the 3rd division from 2015 is used. With switching finished, 492 heads for Salida with the gray painted cars in the middle and caboose 0586 on the rear. The caboose passes by some snow fighting equipment, and we see 489 heading to the roundhouse. Winter came to the Rio Grande as 492 & 488 are doubleheading light, then we see a panning scene of the alamosa roundhouse with 488 on the turntable, as the crew is removing the spark arrestor on 473. Afterwards, 488 takes a spin on the turntable, & passes by 481, 482 & 498 on the out of service track. Next we see 488 at farm yard, but without the pilot snowplow as it runs light on the dual gauge tracks. Moments later, 498 arrives with a freight, and on a different visit, 498 runs light again, this time with the pilot snowplow in front, & also includes some quick pacing. Next up is 491 heading to Antonio. Today the locomotive is at the Colorado railroad museum in golden. Some pacing is included. Then it's on to Antonio.

At Antonio, a westbound freight leaves the yard with one in the lead and another locomotive in the middle. This location is the dead end for standard gauge. The lead engine is unidentified but middle engine 486 is identified. Back at farm yard, 494 & 495 are picking up its assigned consist. Sadly both engines are scrapped. The Camera man's car is shown on the right as the 2 engines leave. East of osier, the same train negotiates multiple curves. Today it's marked as the halfway point & lunch stop on the cumbres & toltec. 495 is in the lead with 494 in the middle. The station sign at osier is included as we see 495 leaving with a wheel slip after stopping for water. Now it's 494's turn to leave osier after leaving the maintenance cars. Rejoined with 495 again, 494 is in the middle as it heads for cumbres.

As we arrived in chama on the westbound san Juan, engines 483, 482, 487, & 486 are on the service track. It's winter at chama, and we are back onboard, this time we are riding on the since abandoned chama to Durango line at carracas in milepost 395 which is led by 473 or 478. Power for the eastbound train is 476. The journey to Durango from chama resumes as we are West of Arboles, & Allison. At Oxford, a doubleheader with 481 & 484 leads with a freight at milepost 432.9. With the freight gone, the passenger train gets the right of way. At tiffany, another westbound doubleheader freight is shown, then we see the same train at Ignacio. As sunset falls, the doubleheader is between Florida & Falfa. On a different day, 483 is on a freight at Aztec New Mexico as it heads to Farmington.

Moving onto Durango, consolidation number 375 is switching with the ice depot in the background. This engine had different names over the years: it was built by Baldwin in 1903 as 103. later in 1916, it was renumbered to 432, & in 1924, it was renumbered to 375. Sadly on June 21, 1949, the locomotive was gone for scrap in alamosa. Next we see 453 taking a spin on the turntable for the preparations of the mixed train to Silverton. As 453 leaves the turntable, 346 is on a siding with 2 boxcars & 488. Like 491, 346 is also on display in golden Colorado. Onboard the mixed train from the caboose, we are on train 461 heading north to Durango with train 462 being the return trip. It operates once in Wednesday only. It's winter in Rockwood as well as near the Tacoma bridge. Hunt shoofly is located at milepost 482.5 which is east of needleton. The mountains look splendid in the snow. North of elk park, look carefully for the snowshed slide. The caboose ride in the snow comes to a close as the mixed train arrives in Silverton. On July 15, 1947, everyone is enjoying a nice ride on the open air car during the Silverton mixed. This special was organized by Nolan black. Power for this summer special is 463. West of rockwood, 463 is on the high line. The July 14 trip can bee seen in Rio Grande steam passenger trains. A mention of Rio Grande southern memories from 2014 is used. Today 463 is on the cumbres & toltec. Here's a fact: 463 was once owned by Hollywood actor gene authry. The only trackside clip of 463 was on a photo runby near the high line. This scene was shot by Jack Alexander. In 1948, more riding footage is shown in the Silverton mixed train with 453. 453 crosses Hermosa hill from Hermosa to Rockwood. At Rockwood, there is an empty siding, as 453 negotiates the curves on the highline. Later the locomotive crosses a bridge over the animas river, then we see some footage from The rear of the caboose as the Tacoma power plant is seen on the right. 453 makes a stop at the AH! Wilderness guest ranch. Not only do people love trains of all ages, but sometimes there are dogs that adore these iron engines. The ranch went out of business in 1981. More footage from the rear is shown as a speeder follows behind, then we witness 453 taking on water at tank creek. On the way to Silverton again, the scenery is spectacular. Almost to the assigned destination, there is a brief look at the actual town itself as 453 approaches. On the ground, the weather is beautiful during mid-september. Look carefully for the Bulk oil plant, & the North star mill. Back at the depot, 453 is turning coaches around on the wye, then it heads for the coal area. On the return trip, we are back onboard heading home to Durango. From the rear of the train, 453 crosses the old animas river bridge south of elk park, which was bypassed in 1963. Again the scenery of the Colorado Rockies are beautiful. Leaving needleton, the locomotive rolls along the animas river, then it crosses the teft spur bridge. Unfortunately, 453 was sadly gone for scrap in 1954. A brief look at the Tacoma power plant is shown, & We are leaving the highline. Since 1951, the K28s took over. Leaving Rockwood cut, the speeder follows behind, as we are passing shalona lake. Leaving the high line area, you can barely see the Hermosa water tower in the background. Some horses are shown as we conclude the 453 films. In 1951, Russ Ahrnke made a visit to Rio Grande territory to film 473 in the bumblebee scheme. A stop was made at the AH! Wilderness ranch as some kids are riding on horses. On the road again, 473 rolls along the animas river. A water stop was made at tank creek, & 473 finishes its chores for the day at Durango. Consolidation number 319 is painted in blue that was built in 1896. A mention of the movie: Denver & Rio Grande was used as evident by some behind the scenes photos. 319 & 345 were scrapped after the head on scene of the movie. Back in black paint, 473 switches cars tender first. This segment was recorded by Maynard laing. On one scene, a truck ignores the railroad safety & dashes through the crossing before 473 couples up to the freight & backs up. Later it pushes some chute cars with coal. Today 473 is on the Durango & Silverton. Running tender first, 473 is crossing the animas river on the old Rio Grande southern Connection as it passes by the graden flower mill. Back in Durango, 480 runs light, then we get a good look at the station & downtown district with a storefront that was later referenced to the 1987-1995 ABC sitcom. Back at the depot, 473 is wearing the diamond stack cover.

Back at chama, it's winter again as 492 is in the middle of the freight. The freight leaves chama, & in the fall of 1961, a going away scene of another freight was filmed by the producer's father. 491 is on the 4% grade West of lobato with 486 on the rear as it has some traction troubles. This scene was one of Greg's favorite film clips that was recorded by his dad Warren. East of the previous scene, 491 & 486 are still climbing the grade on this line which is now today's cumbres & toltec. Another look at their car is included. A nice going away scene from a mountain is shown as the camera pans right to the other mountains, then we see the same train negotiating the bends & heads for coxo which concludes the Warren Scholl films. On June 1 or 2, 1960, Raymond pelot shot 491 & 486 on a different mixed freight. The train is seen at the lobato trestle. Note the heavy black smoke coming out of 486& 491 as they are trying to battle up the steep grade to cumbres.

Moving Onto the final years of the D&RGW narrow gauge in 1966-1968 before it was today's Durango & Silverton & Cumbres & toltec, it begins with 473 crossing highway 550 at Hermosa. This film was shot by Steven hatch on May 16 or 17, 1966. 473 heads for Silverton. The old 550 crossing is now part of country road 250. Note the crane on the flatbed. From the camera man's automobile, 473 makes a stop in Rockwood, then it runs light & switches cars. On the way again, 473 squeezes through Rockwood cut at a slow speed. A visit to Silverton was made in 1966 which includes some buildings & log cabins. A short segment with more of Steve's films were included on may 17, 1966 as 488 is on the since abandoned Durango to chama line, which includes the engine running light at Durango, then it couples up to the assigned freight, & also leaving town. The locomotive arrives at carbon junction. The Farmington line goes south, the chama & Alamosa line to the east, & the Durango & Silverton line to the north. Today 488 is on the C&TS. This segment concludes the 1966 films. Fritz klinke made a visit to narrow gauge territory on July 10, 1967. This is the first run of 497 as a helper with 498 in the lead on the chase to La jara. A still image of 498 on the alamosa turntable is used. Followed by pacing 497 on the dual gauge track as it heads light. An engine inspection was made at la jara as 497 takes on water. Some kids can get an up close look on the locomotive. Today 497 is on the C&TS but it's no longer operating after the 2002 season. With 497 gone, 498 arrives with a freight as it heads for Farmington which would take only 3 days. A no clearance sign is shown as 498 leaves town. From La Jara to Farmington, it's nothing but a quick still image showing the train West of apache canyon road. 15 days later on July 25, we are at chama as 497 & 493 are on a pair of the cumbres turns while 498 & 487 heads for the abandoned chama to Durango line. There are a ton of scenes around the chama yard. A cameo shot of one of the rotary snowplows are seen in the background. The following day July 26, 497 & 493 are east of chama as it heads to alamosa. 493 is in the lead with 497 on the rear. The final scene of the 1967 films shows 493 & 497 at lobato trestle. Again 493 is recently back to operating condition on the D&S especially being the first Rio Grande narrow gauge steam engine to be converted to oil. It's June of 1968 as these next films were recorded by Richard Traver. On the second day of that month, 476 leaves Durango as it heads for Silverton. With some scenes near Rockwood as 476 crosses Elbert creek canyon, then it arrives at the Silverton yard limits. The following day June 3, 478 leaves the roundhouse with 473 outside & 498 inside. On the freight, 478 is at cedar hill New Mexico. The caboose on the rear is on the D&S. A water stop was made at Bondad tank. After dropping the cars off, 478 is on a caboose hop as it heads back home. The Next day June 4, it's 498's turn to leave the roundhouse. As 498 takes a spin on the turntable, the tender for 464 is shown. That engine is on the huckleberry railroad in flint Michigan. These scenes were shown from a different camera man as on the same trip, Warren & a teenage Greg & Randy were also there for the journey. With cars coupled up, 498 heads to chama as it leaves carbon junction. The scholl trio footage of this same trip was mentioned in the last steam freights of 1968 2 DVD set from 2010. A wheel slip is shown as 498 negotiates the bend. With the la Plata mountains in the background, 498 is east of Oxford. This is the final film clip of 498. From here to chama it's all slides with one still image of 498 east of arboles. On June 5 while Greg Randy & Warren were chasing 483 while Richard chased 478 & 498 on a westbound doubleheader to Durango. With 478 gone, 498 has no problems as it arrives at carbon junction. The sun is setting as 498 is basking in the sun. One final scene of this program was on June 6, as 478 took 43 cars to Farmington, & 5 empties to Durango as it crosses over the Wilson gulch trestle.

Like many of Greg's 2018 titles minus 819 Arkansas steam from 1988 & the un-narrated return to deshler on Blu-Ray, this was narrated by Christopher Kovacs (Trainmaster844).

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

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