Rio Grande Rememberances

 

bXtW2TRyRuP1ycodRTR0_RGNGremembrances

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1954- 1969

Locations: Durango, Arboles, Salida, Antonito, Gunnison, Farmington…

Length: 1 hour 36 minutes + previews

Sources: Andy Payne, Fred Hust, Harvey Laner

A fascinating, time travel visit, into vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge steam. Andy Payne was a Rio Grande Engineer. He was also an independent Railfan / Cinematographer. Early on, he acquired a Bolex 16mm movie camera. Filmed mostly in 16mm. All films are full color. Only some highlights here.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h42m45s238Harvey S. Laner digitized Payne’s film collection in 2008. Three narrators on this show. Harvey, Andy and Charles Smiley.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h58m04s178The earliest films are in 8 mm. Those are very good, for their age. Durango is above. The gems are the 16mm films. Excellent quality! Nearly all freight trains.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m11s365The custom Charles Smiley maps are extremely helpful. Also, explains other lines.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m40s564Alamosa to Antonito dual guage trackage. This on the San Juan Extension. This line continues towards Laboto Trestle.

 

The old freight cars are bursting with character! Railfans and Model Railroaders will have a grand time, with the varied equipment.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h24m54s770Various class Mikado’s are reviewed. 480-489. K-36 seen here.These 2-8-2 are seen with close-ups. Maintenance functions.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h20m08s102Andy has detailed Hostler duties and discussion of steam locomotive fire. This is unique amount many steam shows!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h12m42s404Soundtrack is mixed. Authentic steam sounds, background music and narrative. All interwoven in that Charles Smiley style.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h44m32s005Old Arboles area is shown, before a water dam project buried this area. A highline is being installed. Navajo River.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h55m54s838Gunnison in 1955.  The 268 was Baldwin built in 1882. Leased here for a scrap train.

Salida in 1955. Dual gauged.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h03m38s252The Durango Loop was Railroad built around 1967.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h09m15s939Andy rode freight trains on off days. Filmed from assorted viewpoints. Here, on a revenue stock train.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h22m14s966

See how to get a Mike rerailed, without a crane.

A number of Hollywood feature films were filmed, in part at or near Durango.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h06m27s780

Oil and the Freight business. Farmington Branchline in 1955. South of Durango. Carbon Jct. had a small switch yard.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h55m02s160Model Railroaders will get a kick out of seeing GRAMPS oil tank cars!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h27m57s907Declining traffic spelled the end of the San Juan Extension.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h29m15s953Andy filmed Springtime snow and slide clearing of the Silverton line. An old Caterpillar bulldozer does the job!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h51m12s828

This is a wonderful collection of vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge action! Inclusion of rare locations and singular viewpoints, set it apart from the competition. Not too mention Andy Payne’s first person accounts of the action. Harvey Laner provides the bulk of a clear narrative. Many are interview style, with his friend Andy.

Starting as a Los Angeles Transit Motorman. Andy hired on as Fireman with DRGW in 1957. He loved his work and filming the trains. He passed away in 2012.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h14m54s921Charles Smiley organized everything, into a highly enjoyable viewing experience! As usual, it shall take multiple viewings to get it all in. The 90 minutes literally fly-by. Always the mark of a fun program.

This is a must see, for Rio Grande and Narrow Gauge steam fans.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Steam Rotary Snow Plow OY

ROTARY-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1991 (2019 Reissue)

Locations: Chama, Cumbres Pass

Length: 39 minutes

Sources: David Busse, Martin Orozco

Narrow gauge action, on Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. Watch, Steam Rotary Snowplow OY. It operates, on the 10,000 foot Cumbres Pass, with two Steam locomotives! Plenty of additional C&TS, train moves. Classic Museum Railroading.

This show is on a DVD-R. There are no extras. Save a preview, at the conclusion. Familiar voice of David Drui handles the narrative. Script is nicely written. High quality production throughout!

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-10h58m08s998The show begins at the C&TS yard in Chama, New Mexico. An operational steam rotary is a rarity. This vintage OY unit, was from Rio Grande. Actually, this was first OY usage in a decade.

Engines 487 and 488 are the steam power, for this snow removal train. A couple of work cars and a caboose


vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h06m18s699Water stop. All this steam equipment needs to be topped off.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h13m36s937Plow and locomotives work hard upgrade.vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h09m27s754Some heavy snow encountered at Windy Point.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h22m46s405Cumbres Pass Station. Deteriorating weather conditions.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h29m02s605 A passenger special. The Chama Turn, it was once called.  Would turnback at Osier, Colorado. The run was 32 miles. Not discussed, although it might be the same move.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h41m55s355Now, the opposite direction. The downhill snow removal train, only requires a single locomotive.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h37m54s371The other engine, follows with passengers. Doesn’t this scene appear to be a Model Railroad?

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h35m00s474This show has recently been reissued in 2019. Likely, a fresh remaster. It looks great! Never saw the original. The rather short running time, makes the most of it. The chief concern for value.

vlcsnap-2020-02-14-11h33m09s265The trains are naturally, a slow paced affair. By using multiple camera angles and creative editing, it appears to pace faster.

There is everything here for steam fans. It reaches beyond, being a boring, watch the rotary turn endlessly, type of show! Smartly produced and a worthwhile additional to any Railfan’s collection.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

 

 

Denver & Rio Grande Western

DRGW-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1986

Locations: Denver, Royal Gorge, Moffat Tunnel, Tennessee Pass, Winter Park,…

Length: 1 hour 52 minutes

Rio Grande’s entire mainline, is covered from, Denver to Salt Lake City. The year of 1986 had, many solid DRGW lash-ups. Some of the best scenery in the United States, is on this railroad.

All of the major locations are visited. Moffat Tunnel. Climb to the summit of Tennessee Pass. Ski Train at Winter Park. A bonus Cab ride through the beautiful Royal Gorge. This program is jam packed, with a non- stop tour across this historic line.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h23m24s548A detailed Chapter Menu, allows convenient navigation over the single DVD. No on screen graphics. Basic maps for the straightforward line routes. On/ Off narration.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h09m07s182View from Rio Grande tracks, in Royal Gorge.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h05m14s938David Drui, with his smooth and professional narration. Classic Pentrex, with high quality in all departments. 

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h08m45s072Action at six mile long, Moffat Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h29m09s600Viewing a Rio Grande diesel that is this clean, is rare!

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h13m07s456Model Railroaders. Quick quiz. How do you justify double the locomotives on a regular California Zephyr?… Answer… Add some private varnish on the rear!

Quite a few Amtrak views in this show.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h38m13s876Excitement as we are transported into multiple views from, a cab.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h45m20s607Another Cab ride. This time, in Gore Canyon

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h48m03s191In the hole we go.. Meeting a Coal Train.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h40m46s695Checkout those Missouri Pacific units in Canary paint.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h06m21s654Red rocks provide a scenic backdrop. Spectacular scenery throughout this program. Cameras have viewpoints both, near and far. A sense of scale, will be communicated to the viewer.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h12m48s269Glenwood Springs has always been a popular tourist destination. Scenery is highlighted, along with the station.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h20m03s353Minturn Yard is a busy place. Here, a meet. Just a fast look here.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h52m57s972The Joint Line has been the subject of it’s own shows. A brief visit in this program. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe shared this trackage with Rio Grande.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-16h06m01s862Ski Train has a Chapter. Denver to Winter Park.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h33m14s117Tennessee Pass at over 10,000 feet. Power is largely SD40T-2 locomotives. The newer SD50 class are out in force. GP40 engines round out most of the DRGW units. Perhaps, older locos were in less critical service. 

 

Besides Cotton Belt and Southern Pacific. Burlington Northern run throughs will frequent the lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-18h03m25s451An add-on Bonus coverage feature. A 23 minute Cab Ride. A GP40 pair with a local. Tours Royal Gorge Canyon! November, 5 1986. Other trains are encountered. Awesome!

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h35m34s174One of the very few cabooses that appear. Was tough to find this one, with a clear view. Doesn’t meet advertised. Promised many cabooses. A few is the reality. Not a deal breaker.

Denver and Rio Grande Western. An excellent visual overview. Seemingly endless viewpoints.  Narrative is an early Pentrex. Lightweight on details. They make up for it with later releases, that cover the same territory.

This show has great mainline coverage of a pre-merger Rio Grande. They did a fine job of filming the railroad. A show that fans will want to rewatch multiple times.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Tribute to Tennessee Pass

 

TRIBUTE-DVD

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Royal Gorge, Minturn, Mitchell, Salida, TP Summit, more

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

In 1997 the word was given. Historic Tennessee Pass was going to be closed by the railroad. Pentrex then documented the Tennessee Pass subdivision. A 200 mile line.

The show is organized into three main sections. One third from Pueblo, Colorado. Another third from Dotsero. A middle section with the Summit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h27m07s992Actually, the Summit is also acheived via another Chapter. Tennessee Pass Tunnel. Twice visited. Great!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h37m20s380

There is so much to see. Let’s hit some highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h21m56s489In 1997, the SD40T-2 were still to be found, in Rio Grande paint.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h15m24s105Pentrex extras include many reference maps. On screen graphics with; train designations and locations.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h36m58s470Dave Drui narrates in his smooth as glass style. A smart script matches the professional Pentrex production.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h12m35s521Expert videography is on tap. Beautifully shot. Encompasses the magnificent mountain scenery along with the centerpiece trains. Well done!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h42m05s914Audio is live sound. Pro sound throughout. Some obvious video source flaws late in the program. Minor glitches. No worries. Part of the review.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h08m11s617The program begins on the Western end and travels towards the center. A rather sharp decision. Viewers end up at Tennessee Pass Summit. The tunnel is the Summit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h13m49s629

Restart at the opposite end of the sub. Achieve the summit twice! Brilliant.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h49m46s976Relentless train movement. Ever changing scenic vistas will keep eyes on the screen.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h31m14s382At Minturn. The pace slows down. Watch the process. Mid-train helpers are cut into a heavy, unit coal train.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h21m13s805Royal Gorge is a scenic highlight.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h56m50s242A hard to find (in 1997) Rio Grande GP30 is out on the mainline.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h58m37s198Several out of staters do appear. CSX,NW, and CNW. Here is one. CNW SD40-2.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h23m03s880

Although the GE AC4400 were dominate. Tunnel motors and the The Rocky Mountains. Go together like peanut butter and jelly. A classic!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h47m10s366Union Pacific locomotives are plentiful.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h54m18s899Those sweeping curves at Mitchell. They have been filmed since the steam era. Still exciting, even with diesels!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h58m54s556Here we are…

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h14m04s018Not a caboose to be found in this show. There is this vintage DRGW boxcar. Close enough for horseshoes. Ain’t she sweet? Let’s go with this for the closer.

Tribute to Tennessee Pass. Has all the elements. Mountain territory, good mix of power and freight. Excellent visuals with a sharp narrative. A fine program for the whole family. This amoung the top Pentrex shows!

Rating: 5 Stars

Steam Across America: Combo DVD

SAA-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1950s- 60s

Locations: many

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes

Source: Bruce Ward

A combination of two shows on this single DVD. East and Western steam in the United States. Filmed in 16mm. All color and multiple railroads. End of the steam era. Late 1950s into the early 1960s.

Interested? Step right in…

Choices on the Top Chapter Menu offer: East, West and Bonus Material. Leads to detailed sub Chapter menus. No maps. On-screen location graphics.

Dave Drui with a good narrative. Detailed soundtrack with environmental sounds. High level of Pentrex production.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-09h47m25s153

NW in 1957. Portsmouth, Ohio. Plenty of action in the state.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-09h48m33s892

196 switches at Columbus, Ohio.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-09h54m44s268

Bluefield WV in 59.vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h07m15s783

Baltimore and Ohio in 1957. Yellowstone EM- 1 type being chased.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h01m01s902

A B&O freight train, smokes it up.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h02m57s347

Street running at Grafton. The B&O added larger tenders to it’s switchers in later years.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h08m00s647

Pennsylvania Railroad.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h11m08s477

A J1 class 2-10-4 on the turntable at Columbus.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h24m40s323

Nickel Plate Road in 1957. Berkshire class. A Hudson class with rarely seen Elephant Ears on a freight.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h28m59s396

Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. 1961 in Illinois and Wisconsin. Burlington Route ran fantrips. This one was The Illini Special.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h31m32s813

Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range.  The Illini Special in 1961.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h42m28s777

Union Pacific in 1957. Grand Island, Nebraska. Elephant Ear Northern’s in freight service.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h39m47s955

Diminutive switchers were once ubiquitous.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h43m36s511

At Cheyenne, Wyoming. Class locomotive, Big Boy 4000, rolls in with smoking brakes.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h51m46s919

Challengers are abundant! Compare the exhaust on this somewhat ailing Challenger to the GP unit, as they shove on a freight in the Wahsatch Mountains.

Southern Pacific. San Francisco and Oakland terminals.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-11h01m41s179

Bakersfield in 1957. More shown in 56.  A GS 4 meets a Cab Forward .

Colorado and Southern. Various scenes.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-11h03m57s867

2-10-2 predominate. Note the double tender

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-11h10m46s126

C&S #641 was well suited to operate to Climax, at over 10,000 feet. Ran until 1961.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-11h13m09s687

Great Western Railway steamer, is used at the sugar Mill. Loveland, CO. They used 0-4-0 saddle tankers too. Even more than expected is seen.

vlcsnap-2019-09-02-11h09m21s389

Steam Across America. Covers the advertised in fine fashion. Two packed shows of vintage steam action. The 16mm films look great! Fine viewing for anyone with an interest in steam locomotives.

Rating: 5 Stars