Steam in the Spring

Steam in the Spring

Railway Productions

Format: DVD

Length: One hour 45 minutes

Locations: Cass, Horicon, Dennison,Cumbres..

Time Period: Contemporary

Producer: Les Jarrett

This is another of the ‘Steam in the Seasons’ series by Railway Productions. They have modern footage of vintage trains. Museums, excursions and tourist trains are the focus. Results vary, by equipment and scenery.

Production values are excellent overall. Narrative is informative and relaxed. Some of the issues with this show are beyond the videographer’s control.

Cass Scenic opens things up with 3 steamers having a race. Talk about contrived. The museum looks good, but the whole segment has a fake feel to it. Too clean, park bench seats for the riders. The least favorite tourist operation, that I’ve seen in this series.

Soo Line steamer looks great. The train itself isn’t all that. A string of big, black hoppers. Some ex: Rio Grande markings, others have some local Wisconsin line reporting marks. Yawn. Caboose is fine, scenery isn’t the best of the state. Fairly flat farmland.

Pere Marquette #1225 looks like a nicely restored Berkshire. Drags a GP38 at the end of the train, yuck! A tender labeled Polar Express does not add to a vintage vibe. The Berkshire itself is a winner. Via and C&O passenger cars, with others. A motley assortment, this certainly doesn’t present this classic locomotive very well. The engine also has a load of bad water. Has operating problems today. Seems to me, the cameramen should have tried on a better day. Seeing how this is a commercial release. Hey, this segment is sub-standard. Fast forward…. next.

Ohio Central has the familiar ex: GTW #6325. Today’s operation is over a former Pennsylvania ‘Panhandle Route’ route. Stylish matched consist of OC maroon cars. After the first three fell flat, this chapter offers better…everything! Still, a bit of a typical excursion.

Cumbres & Toltec is a fine tourist train line. The heavy, K36 class is featured in this chapter. Nicely filmed from the train. Spectacular Scenery. Receding snow and spring water run-off provide a unique setting for this heavily filmed train. They do cover the highlights of entire line here.This feature chapter is the best in the program, by far.

This is the weakest of the 3 seasons that I have viewed. Difficult to even seriously recommend this one. Look at the much superior Autumn and Summer volumes.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars


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