Colorado Covered 3: Railroads South

Colorado Covered 3: Railroads South

Tell-Tale Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 2 hours 32 minutes

Time Period: 1987-2000

Locations: Pueblo, Tennesee Pass, Leadville, Alamosa, Cumbres, Durango, Antonito , Malta, Cimarron Valley, Raton, Creede Branch,more

Source: James R. Jones

MSRP: 25.00

This is the third entry in a series, on Colorado railroads. The focus on this volume is Southern Colorado. A best seller on Tell-Tale. Narrow gauge railroading is found here!

Standard gauge trains just run wild across the expansive territory. This is a mecca for Colorado railroading. All the railroads that you would expect are present. Surprises are some lesser known roads, and some remote branches.

James Jones has given us a very long, running time on this entry. There is much to digest. This is a Tell-Tale Productions ‘traditional train video’. They also produce some PBS style documentary programs like, Rutland Remnants 5. That is a very worthy show too.

James has a background as a syndicated radio announcer. His love of trains is obvious. A high level of dedication has gone into all of the traveling to record all of the scenes and many locations shown. A Colorado resident at the time, the advantage is all of the variations that a local can get, versus a weekend or even a week long shoot.

This program has a high level of production. Very well photographed, and crisp audio sound. You can tell, this man loves trains. It shows, definitely.

His smooth delivery makes this a comfortable couple of hours of viewing. One might expect endless babble from a radio announcer. That is just a stereotype. Jim sits back ‘in the pocket’. He lets the trains, and their sounds, often dominate. This gives viewers the feeling of ‘being there’.

James will sometimes give us some history on lines, locations and operations. I would say that his narrative style is; smooth and understated.

There is too much to list in detail. Major railroads: Rio Grande, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Burlington Northern, Union Pacific, BNSF and run-thru CSX. Many in pre-merger paint schemes. Some trains have cabooses.

Smaller roads: Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton, Cimarron Valley, Canon City & Royal Gorge, Rock & Rail, San Luis Central.

Locations are numerous. The settings range from prairie to mountainous. Some spectacular footage in beautiful gorges with colorful aspens and waterways. An extensive chapter menu will help sort it all out. Some computer maps help with locations and showing the direction we are headed.

Motive power varies as much as the scenery does. Late 20th century mainline locomotives had the newer 3rd generation and older 1970’s era engines. There is plenty of 2nd generation EMD to see. Cimarron Valley runs 2 GP30 locos in sky blue paint. Big surprise, are original 1950’s built ex: Southern Pacific GP9’s. They operate in decrepit condition, on a small line, still wearing SP paint! Looks like they were pulled off the deadline and put directly into service. Southern Pacific had some weathered Kodachrome diesels. Steam runs on D&S, C&T tourist lines.

Speaking of Cumbres & Toltec. Fantastic views from onboard the traversing train. An unusual view as the train enters the Chama area. An outstanding feature segment in this show. Durango & Silverton looks great, as well.

You will get a cornucopia of viewpoints on a mega assortment of trains and railroads. A mixture of common and obscure locations. Trackside, Cab Rides and scenic overlooking scenes provide a treasure trove of Colorado railroading. At times some still photos fill in the story. James artistry shines thru, as on the trip in Royal Gorge.

In summary, this is a fine program. Colorado Covered 3 is very comprehensive. The scope and style of this show make for great trainwatching. This is a railfan’s delight! I’ll bet the women will enjoy the more scenic parts of the show, use the menu to get her there. Kids will enjoy the multitude of trains shown, in action, at work. The wide array of trains promise a something for everyone program.

The generous 2 1/2 hour length, sets this one apart from the many single disc Colorado shows, on the market. Enough here for a double DVD set, on a single DVD. Combining the mega supply of fine Colorado trains, and the double-feature length, make this an  excellent value. This one is a ‘must see’ program.

Rating: 4 Stars

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