Big Boys and Challengers


Producer: Greg Scholl

Timeframe: 1950s + 1981/82 Challenger

Locations: WY, UT

Length: 45 minutes + 23 min. bonus

Sources: Perry Brecker, Everett Roher, Fred McLeod, Warren Scholl

An intriguing, color film collection. Covers Big Boys, Challengers and more! Mainly in the late 1950s. Predominantly shot in 16mm color.


A wide territory, covering the operational area of articulated Union Pacific steam. The most interesting facet, are the alternate locations. North Platte, Laramie, and smaller places, along the line. Salt Lake City , as well.


Earliest is, Warren Scholl’s footage in original color 8mm. The lone exception to the other assemblage, of 16mm sourced film.


Fred McLeod’s films, include original live audio. They are grouped together at the end. No narration overlay. Only graphic indications of relevant information.


Long reefer blocks were, and remain a staple of Union Pacific high priority traffic.


The visual quality ranges from the good to mainly excellent, of the higher quality 16mm sources.


Fine cinematography. One generally gets that to this level in 16mm. Think about the monetary investment. Serious hobbyists behind the cameras!


Rawlins, Wyoming coaling tower. Now that is something, that you don’t usually see in vintage Union Pacific films!.

Regular professional sounding narration by our usual host. John Hingsbergen with a fine script.

A detailed Chapter Menu is a welcome extra. No maps. None really expected on this collage. It simply jumps around too much. The show is well organized.


A Challenger on the turntable. North Platte roundhouse. Different locations make this show well worth having.


Sherman Hill sees plenty of action here. So does Cheyenne. Hermosa Tunnels too.


Audio is backed by various musical background. Nothing intrusive. Some solo piano. Other instrumentals, with a mild country flair. Tasteful and balanced.



4000 class locomotive on the move.


Back to those Sound Films. The film looks fantastic! Original live audio is super. Outstanding!


Dead Lines. Long lines of past glory are seen. As are single engines. Interesting.


Challenger 3985. A chapter about the post- restoration return to service. Salt Lake City.


Scholl pays a nice slide tribute sequence. To Big Boy survivors. Big Boy 4014 is shown, with an in service picture.


5000 class 2-10-2 are in this program. Double-header action of assorted pairs.

An extended bonus preview section. A full 23 minutes of assorted DVD shows.

Big Boys and Challengers. Greg Scholl is a dependable producer. He is no- nonsense type. One has to give GSVP kudos for this.


Delivers on the advertised. I would have liked synced sound throughout, to push it over the top. Still it is a fine show. Worthy to add to the collection.

Where the Union Pacific cabs  once read…. Dependable Transportation.  I would say this show accomplishs likewise, as in Dependable Production!

A must have for big, articulated steam UP fans!

Rating: 4 Stars

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