Length: 75 minutes
Time Period: 1950’s
Locations: Petersburg, Blue Ridge Summit, Crewe, Christiansburg, Schaffer’s Crossing…
Sources: Blackhawk Collection, William Radcliff, Andy Schools
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.
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