Search for Narrow Gauge Mikados – All Aboard Series – PBS
Length: 30 minutes
Time Period: Contemporary
Locations: Durango, Silverton, CO. Chama, New Mexico. Flint, Michigan.
Sources: Tim Lab, Rob McCormack, and John M. Koch
Host Howard Goodwin is all smiles in this installment of the PBS aired All Aboard Series. This is one of 26 episodes in the series. Many other episodes have been reviewed here. Use the search box for the others.
The Denver & Rio Grande Western fielded a fleet of narrow gauge steam locomotives. The late 1960’s spelled the end of Rio Grande Service. Many were restored to active tourist line duties. We will visit three railroads with a dozen examples of the world-famous K class Mikado steam engines. They were filmed in both passenger and freight service.
As Howard Says…. All Aboard …
Huckleberry Railroad at Crossroads Village is our first destination. Located outside of Detroit in Flint, Michigan. A K-27 class Mikado 464, is our initial entry. Purchased from Knotts Berry Farm, the loco looks fine in its proper DRGW colors.
Travel to Silverton, Colorado for the Durango & Silverton. A fan favorite and a world class narrow gauge operation. Nice views of the towns. Naturally, a trip across this very scenic mountain line is a must. Classic views of the little train clinging to the mountainside!
K-28 426 is shown with The San Juan Express, and described in detail. K-36 480 arrives on the scene. Animas River provides more splendor. The train seemingly time travels into town, as it passes behind a McDonalds!
The Durango roundhouse and turntable spin are great. Closes with another K-36 led train.
Proceeding to our third tourist line at Chama, New Mexico. The Cumbes and Toltec, leads off , with a springtime maintenance train. K-36 484 pushes its old time, drop-bottom gondolas. This is a Baldwin locomotive built in 1925, last new narrow gauge ones for Rio Grande. Facilities at Chama are viewed,
Quite a sight, doubleheaded steamers smoke it up, as they pull a passenger train outbound! More beautiful scenery and I just love those doubleheaded mikes! A variety of stunning scenes, and assorted trains provide some nice action.
The films look really good. Modern equipment and natural sounds, as we expect from the frog. Pro narration with Bob Carrera, conveys much information in the relatively brief segments.
All in all, this is a fine program. One of the best in the series. Enjoyable for the entire family. Yes, even Grandma should like this one.
Rating: 5 Stars