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The Bethlehem Line - South African Steam Collection by Greg Scholl
 4 of 5 (1)

The Bethlehem Line - South African Steam Collection by Greg Scholl Greg Scholl Video Productions GSVP-151 604435015198
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In 1984 this 180 mile line from Bethlehem westward to Bloemfontein was 100% steam powered with Class 25NC 4-8-4's. This rugged line has hard working steam action including a daily passenger train, an overnight passenger train, plus freights throughout the day. Due to the draught there were daily water trains from Bethlehem as well. We visited this line twice during our trip and there are plenty of interesting locations and great scenes. Dawn shots of the overnight train, stalled freight, The Saturday Only passenger train which is chased, daily passenger train is chased, 19D 4-8-2 on the Ladybrand branch at dawn, plus visit the shed in Bethlehem. Informative narration and great live audio from these lovely locomotives.


In 1984 we made a month-long journey to the Republic of South Africa for an adventure shooting regular service steam operations. This was our second trip to this photographers paradise the first being in 1977. Steam in South Africa in 1984 was similar to late 1950's steam in America. It was declining yet there were pockets of great activity and fabulous action. When we photographed these images we had no intent on selling them, therefore there are some flaws, like rough pans, and camera clicks with still camera sounds in the background. These early VHS cameras were not as good as today's equipment of course, and things like color, and sharpness are 1984 technology not 2009. These videos do look better than films, and they have robust natural train sounds that will make you fall in love with South African Steam locomotives. This series was what started us into the railroad video business in 1984, and originally there were 4 hour long videos, without narration, and limited editing. These have not been for sale for several years, but in 2009, our 25th Anniversary, and 25th Anniversary of these videos being made, we have given them a facelift, with proper professional narration, better editing, updated information, and best of all there is more content. In 1984 when these were originally sold we were limited to 60 minute 3/4 inch masters.

Instead of 4 hours of content, today these DVD's total nearly 7 hours. In 1985 Railfan and Railroad Magazine's editor Jim Boyd stated something to the effect that if you did not like these videos you should not call yourself a steam fan. Remember this is not a fantrip, nor excursion, nor photo special, or festival. This is real everyday steam operations that we captured with live video and audio. If you are expecting state of the art quality, these may not be for you. But, if you love steam and great action, then you may well find these to be your favorite steam videos.

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TVD Price:$ 26.95
List Price:$ 29.95
Live Stock Status: IN STOCK!
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DVD Item#:GSVP-151
Runtime:1 Hour, 30 Mins ($0.30/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:604435015198
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
The Bethlehem Line - South African Steam Collection by Greg Scholl
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2017-06-29 11:30:26.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  4 of 5

From Humble Beginnings, this was the very first GSVP Video ever made. when re-edited, the Doubleheaded Cab Ride was removed due to time concerns, and were eventually seen on the Bloemfontein Area. Plus extended and never-before-seen scenes which were not shown the the original release.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: A little rough around the edges.
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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