The 1218 – All Aboard Series – PBS

The 1218 – All Aboard Series – PBS

Green Frog Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 30 minutes

Time Period: Modern Fantrip

Locations: Jacksonville, FL. to Valdosta, GA. (Norfolk Southern)

Source: John M. Koch

 Another entry in the PBS broadcast All Aboard Series. Howard Goodwin is our host. He’s looking good on the observation end of a vintage passenger car, in Tennessee Valley colors.

This program is about Norfolk & Western steam locomotive #1218. A Railfan excursion.

Built in 1943, the massive 1218 had 11, 000 man hours and was completed in 3 weeks. Retired in 1959, the locomotive was restored to active service in 1987.

 Norfolk Southern operates the 1218. An original Norfolk and Western A class articulated. This is one huge locomotive! The train leaves Simpson Yard with Langdale Yard as it’s destination. This will be a roundtrip and Green Frog will travel on and alongside the move.

 This is a well-balanced presentation. A mixture of action, yard, cab, passengers ( with band) and even a few diesels to record the full day. A private car, Georgia 300 gets a tour from the owner.

 The 1218 is the star of the show. Many varying aspects keep things interesting. Those 1218 pacing shots are a highlight. There are the expected runbys, but there are many more quality shots to be seen. Nice view of the engineer operating the controls on a reverse move.

 My favorite moment is up in the domecar, leaving the yard. For a moment, it felt like Emery Gulash was there, camera whirring…

 Included are some background scenes of what actually goes into staging a fantrip. The North Florida NRHS chapter is a key. Safety, food, beverage and itinerary are a few responsibilities. Volunteers get the actual work completed.

 As usual, Green Frog has high production standards in the All Aboard series. Excellent film, sound and a to-the-point script, get it done. Fine narration and smooth editing.

 This is good for the whole family. Youngsters will enjoy the whistles and airhorns. Of course, the big steam engine will please everybody! Nice, solid program.

Rating: 4 Stars

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