Legends of the Blue Ridge

Legends of the Blue RidgeNW

A&R Productions

Length: 75 minutes

Time Period: 1950’s

Locations: Petersburg, Blue Ridge Summit, Crewe, Christiansburg, Schaffer’s Crossing…

Sources: Blackhawk Collection, William Radcliff, Andy Schools

MSRP: 30.00

Norfolk and Western ran some big steam locomotives in the 1950’s. Huge mallets are the stars of this show. The Blue Ridge Mountains are where : 2-6-6-2s, 2-8-8-2s, 2-6-6-4s are seen at their best! A&R has a classic collection of Roanoke power, viewed in color.

Combinations of Y and A class engines crawl over mountain grades. with coal drags and mixed freights. Additional engine classes are the 4-8-0 Mastadons, 4-8-2s,  and 4-8-4s. An occasional early diesel , is as historical as the steam.


Various passenger trains get plenty of runbys. Powhattan Arrow behind J class. Some K class are shrouded, and look similar to the larger J power. We see this K2a mail train.

Narrated by Ted Dalaku. He does a good job. Dubbed train sounds balance the soundtrack.

Camerawork is good for the era. Various sources have some really smooth footage and sometimes things are a bit shaky. Appears to be original 8mm films. Very good overall.

y                                 There are numerous scenes with the big articulateds.

2178A variety of views are included in this action packed show.

M2480A nearly 50 year old M2c as NW 1159. A wide array of steamers are viewed around Petersburg.

mapThere are some map references. Always helpful ; especially in remote areas.

salem                                        A J class with a passenger move at Salem.

brsBlue Ridge Summit is a great location to watch these behemoths at work!

brsa                        The editing is nicely done. A smooth running program.

cr                                   An awesome pair of A’s in reverse, at Crewe.

hlpOne can appreciate why caboose personnel, felt safer in an all steel caboose.

y6bbrThose who witnessed these steamers were very fortunate. This show is the next best thing.

1aNumerous trains rollby this scenic viewpoint. Y6B class also are on the lead.

y6bhHelpers galore. A hallmark of mountain railroading.

There is much more to enjoy, than this review can provide. Anybody with an interest in steam trains should find this show will satisfy. Big eastern steam is just as unique, as the western counterpart. Real railfans need both. N&W puts on a memorable show.

Legends of the Blue Ridge, gives everyone a fine look into the prime era Norfolk & Western.

Rating: 4 Stars


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