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South African Railways Class 25s Final Years 1989-2004 2 DVD Set
 4 of 5 (2)

South African Railways Class 25s Final Years 1989-2004 2 DVD Set Goodheart Productions SAR-CLASS-25s-DVD
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Perhaps no other steam locomotives in South Africa inspired so much awe and interest among railway enthusiasts than the class 25 4-8-4 engines that look so much like New York Central Niagaras and pulled hard, fast and loud. Introduced at the end of the world steam era in the 1950s, these magnificent machines lasted until the bitter end. Professionally photographed and produced locally in South Africa by Vidrail, a widely respected railroad videography house, this program brings to you the best of the best action runbys shot over many years. This program covers the final years of the class 25 engines in regular service from 1989 to the end plus preserved operations and charters that ran through 2004. The main stomping ground for these engines was the Kimberley to DeAar racetrack, but they wandered off as the years progressed. The technical features of this engine class (both condensing and non-condensing) are reviewed here. The Red Devil class 26, developed from a class 25 in a successful attempt to demonstrate the possible performance and efficiency enhancements of steam locomotives, is seen a variety of times. Most of the Class 25s that were running during the years covered by this program appear on screen. We also have guest appearances of other classes of power (e.g. 4-8-2 and 4-6-2). Various special charter trains are given their due including the doubleheaded Trans Karoo express trips in the 1990s, a Class 25 venturing into Zimbabwe in 2001, plus special freights and unusual routings of the Red Devil. Appropriately narrated.

Running time 240 minutes on TWO DVDs

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TVD Price:$ 26.95
List Price:$ 29.95
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Runtime:4 Hours, 00 Mins ($0.11/min)
Producer:Goodheart Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

  • 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.
  • Some of the covers used from this producer may not properly fit the DVD cases.
South African Railways Class 25s Final Years 1989-2004 2 DVD Set
CSRY Alfred (Portland OR USA) on 2012-06-29 12:07:32.

People who found this review helpful: 4

  •  4 of 5

There is nothing quite so awe inspiring as seeing a double lash up of SAR Class 25's running at full power, at least in my opinion. This dvd is a collection of videos from the last decades of the SAR's 25's activities until 2004 +-
First of all, I loved the visuals, there are some excellent clips of the Class 25C during her last years of operation, and also of the Red Devil (Class 26). It was sad to see the decay that has set in on locomotives that are supposed to be part of a "preserved" national collection, but there are also moments when you see the ones that are still cared for putting on a show of what they are meant to do.
The major drawback of the video, which is why I have not marked it as excellent is the audio. The narration is to much and WAY too loud in comparison to the actual locomotive and train audio (Isn't that what we are watching the videos for?). I was constantly adjusting the volume up and down so that I could hear the sounds of a 25c howling across the Karoo, then back down again for the deafening voice overdub that followed. It would have been nice just to turn the audio off.
The second issue, not as major but still there, is that when showing the maps of the routes, they were not highlighting where the action was taking place on the map, and then fading the map out before you could search it out . Not a big thing, but it would be nice to improve on.
Going back to the positive, there is LOTS of Class 25 power and video, Lots of great scenery, and even a lot to be learned from the narration.
I strongly recommend the video, just because it has so much footage, and with 25C 3511 stealing the show for most of the first disk it was a delight. If you love South African superpower steam doing what it does best, roaring down mainlines at 70-100 KPH, then this is for you. If you love breathtaking scenery, it also is for you, just keep the volume control handy to turn it up for the run byes.

Additional remarks by CSRY Alfred:
Narration: A little bit too much.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? Yes.

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South African Railways Class 25s Final Years 1989-2004 2 DVD Set
Robert Elliott (MS) on 2013-02-28 19:43:22.

People who found this review helpful: 3

  •  4 of 5

This production appears to be one purchased from a South Africa producer. Even so, the detail of the production, in the video and narrative, is extraordinary and quite thorough. I was hoping it would be more of a one-all type collection of
of SA steam and was not disappointed in that regard. But it is in a different style than most US watchers are accustomed to seeing, so prepared to become very relaxed and perhaps dozing off watching this one. I was most impressed by the narration on this one and am glad to have it in my collection.

Additional remarks by Robert Elliott:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? I doubt it.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Yes.

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