Mallet In The Mountains: Black Hills Central 2-6-6-2T #110

Mallet In The Mountains: Black Hills Central 2-6-6-2T #110

Diverging Clear Productions

Format: DVD-R

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes

Time Period: 2010 release

Location: Hill City to Keystone, South Dakota

Source: Mary R. McPherson

Producer: Mary R. McPherson

MSRP: 20.00

Black Hills Central has been hauling passengers on it’s scenic line, since 1957. The featured locomotive, #110, is the only operable compound mallet in the USA. This is one of the oldest tourist lines in the United States. Mary gives a good history in the narrative.

Baldwin built in 1928. Weyerhauser Lumber was the original owner. Rayonier was the second owner, another logging line. This logging lines engine had always worked in Washington state. Weighs 111 tons. Most of those pounds are over the drivers. Steam is used twice with 2 boilers. The secondary boiler reuses the steam at lower pressure.

By the way, 2-6-6-2T… the ‘T’ stands for tanker. No water in a separate tender. This is a one piece locomotive. The water is in the tank, mounted on top of the boiler.

Purchased in 1999 from State of Nevada, and returned to service for the 2001 season. The look at the 110 starts with the engine being warmed up and serviced before the days work. The weather is clear and there is plenty of sunshine. Bright sunlight is great to illuminate the dark locomotive and it’s complex running gear.

Mary gives viewers a nice, balanced narrative. Natural environmental audio contains the 110 as it is working the route. The soundtrack is excellent! No map or chapter menu. Use the next button to access the chapters. The DVD is packaged in a slimline case.

The train gets the highball and departs Hill City….

   Tin Mill Hill,and the train encounters some local wildlife along the track, on the 4% grade.

There are some views within the cab of engine 110. Too tight to see much. An occasional glimpse is all that is needed here. We can watch the engineer control the throttle and steam whistle cord. This is the cab scene, and not too much timer is spent on this.

Onboard a coach, the train and scenery are combined in a pleasing manner.

Ground level shots are sweet. Smart camerawork with high and low angle shots added. Editing is the key. Multiple viewpoints are well-balanced, and the pacing is just right.

                      Beautiful scenery as the train navigates through the hilly forest.

The twisting line is reminiscent of those old logger railroads. A detailed map of the trackage would have been a big asset. Granted, it is an out and back roundtrip. Just would have liked to see the twisting line, from a map overview.

Arrival at Keystone seems to come quickly. Time flies when you are having fun!

The Black Hills Central public address announcement is made, and the return ensues.

                  Running with the engine in reverse, this is mostly an uphill run.

This show is value priced, as are the other DCP releases. Buyer’s receive a fine, basic train program on DVD-R. Housed in a slimline plastic case. DCP has upgraded the labeling, with directly labeled discs.

Mallet In The Mountains is a fine program. The Black Hills Central is located in a highly scenic region. The ultra rare compound Mallet is worth the price of admission. If you find this type of steam engine compelling, check out some logging lines shows too. This one is tops for the cinematography. DCP really has a winner here. This is a nice entry point,  to watch one of their best productions.

Diverging Clear has a wonderful program. The whole family would enjoy this tourist line.

Rating: 4 Stars

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