Winter Steam Spectacular

Winter Steam Spectacular

Great American Train Ride (deluxe boxset)

Railway Productions/ Topics

Format: DVD

Length: One hour 30 minutes

Time Period: 2006 release

Locations : Durango, Ely, Heber City, New Hope, Cumberland

Producer: Les Jarrett

Steam engines in a winter setting. Cold temperatures and snow are railfan favorites. The locomotives take on a new appearance. Five tourist lines with photo charters are visited.

Durango and Silverton is first. A roundtrip from Durango to Cascade Canyon. There is some snow on the ground. looks like much has melted away. There is enough snow left to brighten up the scenes. Naturally, we get to enjoy that famous Colorado scenery.

On the turntable, back at Durango 473 gets a spin and is put away. Servicing is shown. A short tour of the working and museum side of the roundhouse. A small shock, as we are out again on the ds, this time, onboard a mixed train.There are two trips like this. Snow is nearly gone. Unusual views from the Animas River. A  featured chapter.

Heber Valley. Runs from Heber City to Vivian Park. A simple map illustrates the route. An ex: Union Pacific 4-8-0 is the power. Beginning in Provo Canyon/ Vivian Park. This is a photo charter freight train. This is a semi-convincing train. Looks better at a distance. Fine mountain scenery. The snow looks good, as it travels along a large water reservoir. The steam engine emits white, billowing smoke in the cold air. Some shots resemble holiday cards. A nice trip.

New Hope & Ivyland has just the tiny remainders of snow. looks very springlike. A mixed train runs here. They have a few old,  40′ tankcars that add spice.A lone coach brings up the rear.Calling this is ‘steam spectacular’ is a big exaggeration. Seems like filler. Just a fair chapter. This is one I would skip on subsequent viewings.

Nevada Northern Railway Museum. A gray sky and visible snow on the ground. Two steam engines operating at the station. Ely, Nevada has original buildings there. This looks promising. A photo charter freight will perform. A 2-8-0, #93 hauls some authentic, vintage freight cars. Some snow and sleet is mixed together and variable. The railroad structures create that atmosphere lacking on some museum lines. Besides, the charter freight, a short, passenger train is in service. Nevada Northern #40, A 4-6-0, with a baggage car and a coach..

The freight train is out on the mainline. The mountains aren’t as dramatic as some others. It is a good backdrop for the train. Not much snow on what looks like high desert. The sunny sky and long distance views show snow up in the high mountains.

Double-headed, the freight is the highlight. This equipment really is fantastic! Nice action at a tunnel. More snow at this section.See the engines park for the night.                       Overall, looks real, is real. A  highlight chapter.

Western Maryland Scenic at Cumberland, MD. The narrator admits another snow-less train. Yes, that’s the brakes of life. This train has a fake painted Western Maryland GP30 with a steam pusher. The freight train is satisfactory.  That GP30 should have been in B&O blue.Western Maryland #734, a 2-8-0 is the helper engine. Nicely shot over the run. Helmstetter’s Curve is a highlight. It’s single track nowadays. The bare trees remind one of winter.

Narration is adequate. This one feels like it should have some more detail presented.

There are a number of previews after this program.

This is a show that does have some good subjects. Obviously, the weather cannot be controlled. It is not, a winter spectacular. More like cool runnings. Misleading title.               There are some winter scenes, although, in the minority for the whole program.

Rating: 3 Stars


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