Steam Over Tennessee Pass

Steam Over Tennessee Pass


Format: VHS

Length: 1 hour 30 minutes

Time period: 1997

Locations: Denver, Tennessee Pass, Royal Gorge, Soldier Summit, Castle Gate, Green River, Helper, Salt Lake City

Source: Pentrex : 5 camera teams

Union Pacific’s classic 844 is a very popular steam locomotive for train videos. Here is a show that was filmed in 1997. The 844 will lead an E8 set in an A-B-A lashup. An 18 car matched consist in Union Pacific colors will be the passenger classic consist equipment.

Timetable of 3 days will travel from Denver to Salt Lake City. Along the route are the famous locations. Royal Gorge, Tennessee Pass, Soldier Summit, Green River and Castle Gate are highlights. This event was filmed before the closure of this scenic line. A map is displayed as the narrative outlines the itinerary, and highlights along the route.

Day one leaves Denver, southbound on the joint line. There are on-screen graphics with location and part of the route map displayed. Multiple views show the train at various points as 844 moves out of Denver. The joint line has heavy traffic. A trio of Burlington Northern SD70MAC engines have a unit coal train that is one of the delays encountered by 844. The excursion operates under yellow signals, at restricted speed.

Colorado Springs and Pueblo, will be on this leg of the trip. After passing Colorado Springs the special proceeds under green signals, and is able to ramp up the speed. At Pueblo, the station is also clearly shown, along with a static Santa Fe Steam Locomotrive on display.Thousands of people have witnessed the train, along the highways and at the right of way. The train will then turn westward, heading to Canon City. An overnight stay there until the train resumes travel on day two.

Day two is full of spectacular scenic highlights. This segment contains both Royal Gorge and Tennessee Pass! Grand Junction will be the destination for another overnight stop. Pentrex has added a camera onboard the train, for even better coverage of this area.

Royal Gorge is a fantastic scenic wonder! The camera from the train, does provide a you are there viewpoint. Narration is great, describing some engineering marvels with some bridges. There are interesting  historical discussions.The sights along the river, at the bottom of the gorge are memorable. An outstanding highlight of this program.

Tennessee Pass has the tunnel at the summit. The Continental Divide is crossed. More of that fine mountainous scenery. Exterior and onboard views are both used effectively. Another tape highpoint as the train heads to Minturn. The Tennessee Pass subdivsion completed, the journey continues. The Colorado River and Glenwood Canyon are additional must see sights in the show.

Day three shows the train racing across the Utah desert. See 844 battle the mountain grades at Castle Gate, and Soldier Summit. Later in the day, traveling downgrade, the Thistle Tunnels and Provo. The excursion arrives at Salt Lake City to conclude the trip. Another map is reviewed for the daytrip. Helper, Utah is a crew change point.

Pentrex has delivered a thorough show. The cinematography is the high quality that they usually attain. Live audio sounds are well done. Script and editing is also solid.

That being said, it does seem to run a little long. The shots along the basic open countryside, and river rafters get somewhat repetitive.

My copy is a VHS tape. So, it can be revisited when a DVD becomes obtained. Meanwhile, this gives you a detailed review of the program.

Rating: 4 Stars


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