Steam Giants Across America (VHS)

Steam Giants Across America

Green Frog Productions

Format : VHS

Length: 57 minutes

Time Period: 1940’s – 1950’s, 1990’s

Locations: Roanoke, Proctor, Cheyenne, Ogden, Feather River Canyon, Camp 14 …

Sources: Emery Gulash, Jerry Carson, Ted Carlson, Robert Flack, Tom Strid. All 16 mm color.

There is an illustrated DVD version reviewed here on ATVR:

Green Frog has a classic ‘big steam’  highlight show here. Huge articulated locomotives are  the featured subject matter. A quality production house, Green Frog has plenty of vintage film for this program. They have some additional modern, fantrip footage to round things out. There are numerous shots of steam led trains, in service, back in the 1940’s and 1950’s. I enjoy viewing the steam era freight cars as well.

Jerry Carson filmed the Norfolk & Western locomotive service area at Roanoke.  Great color footage, and plenty of mainline action. Some class A Mallets are shown in mountain helper service, shoving hard on the rear of trains , doubleheading the front or both! The 100 car coal trains are something to witness. Some class J locos are included. The long segment closes, with a parade of articulated powered trains, across Virginia and West Virginia. Sweet!

Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range fielded the massive Yellowstone 2-8-8-4 locomotives, which pulled long strings of ore cars to the docks at Lake Superior, for transloading on ships.

Union Pacific has to be ‘the mother of big steam’. Plenty of Big Boys are on display, pulling freight, in the western United States. Challengers are up next in action. Cheyenne shops are a steam lover’s dream, albeit a brief one. Pacing shots are excellent.

Logging railroads are represented by Rayonier. Engine #38, a 2-6-6-2, is dramatically filmed on the logging line. Grays Harbor, Washington area and Camp 14. Engine 120 is memorable, as it crosses an old wooden trestle.

Space age Norfolk Southern hosts a contemporary fantrip outing for N&W 1218 in Florida and Georgia. This portion is edited from the show ‘1218’. Good stuff.

Railfair ’91 attracted Union Pacific 3985 and 844 doubleheaded to the fair. Much more action, with some spectacular scenery, as in Feather River Canyon. Wow!

As usual, the Frog provides a smooth, coherent script. The narration is more laidback, this wisely lets the steamers natural sounds take center stage for much of the program. Classy, big band era music is present and enhances the presentation. Film quality is excellent throughout. The stereo sound it is excellent. A fine, well-paced program for any viewer. Youngsters will really enjoy the sights and sounds in this show. Very enjoyable!

Rating: 5 Stars


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