Denver & Rio Grande Western Volume 1: 1985- 1987

Denver & Rio Grande Western Volume 1cvr

C Vision Productions

Length: 1 hour and 49 minutes

Time Period: 1985- 1987

Locations: Moffat Tunnel, Tennessee Pass, Minturn, Soldier Summit, Castle Gate, Belden, Glenwood Canyon, and more.

Source: Bob Rivard

MSRP: 29.95

Rio Grande operated in scenic Colorado. Bob Rivard had used his video equipment from 1985 to 1987 here. Dominant locomotives are SD40-T engines, aka: Tunnel Motors. Electromotive GP40’s are the other ones seen. Cabooses are still on a few trains. A handful of run through power. Amtrak and Utah Railway, are additional inclusions.

Image quality is in the very good to mostly excellent range. While it is obviously a VHS transfer, the appearance is quite clean. Color balance is excellent. There are a minimum of minor video flaws. The program is smoothly edited.


Bob Rivard has done a great job with his videocamera. He has a steady hand and a good eye. The scenes are nicely done. Good angles and multiple viewpoints. Looks like a tripod was frequently used. We often chase a train for a short time. Overall, the pace is relaxed. At times it is a little slow. There is plenty of action. Visuals are the major highlight of the production.


The narration has an on/ off selection. Natural sound is the base audio. The levels are not evenly balanced, as far as the narrator being too loud, when he speaks. Being at multiple famed locations, the expectation was a historical and operational script. Instead, it is usually  simple and uninteresting. Brief moments of higher level detail, could have been expanded.


Lack of a more detailed narrative, does make the presentation seem long. When the voice does enter, the obvious scene is stated. Moffat Tunnel, Tennessee Pass and Soldier Summit, are all good subjects for discussion. Of course, the narration can be switched off.


Attention to location awareness is very good. There is the narrative and on screen graphics. There are no maps present. Some map usage would be helpful.

czSweet scene of California Zephyr traversing this riverfront canyon. Private varnish cars tail on some Amtrak moves, but no details are offered.

pace                                             Pacing sequence that is nicely done.


Denver & Rio Grande Western Volume 1 is a fine looking show. Everyone should appreciate and enjoy the trains in gorgeous mountain scenery. A better script would have improved the rating . Still, it is about the vintage footage. Recommended for the trains and scenery.

Overall, fans of Rio Grande will want this for the excellent videography.

Rating: 4  Stars

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s