Producer: WB Video
Timeframe: 1940s- 1950s
Locations: Durango, Salida,Marshall Pass, Tennessee Pass, more..
Length: One hour
Source: Irving August
Here is Irving August, with his own collection of vintage Rio Grande films. Steam to diesel transition era. Color with Black and white film.
The quality 16 mm footage includes various classes of steamers. Standard and Narrow gauge! There is much coverage.
The cinematography is nicely done. Sometimes, there were 2 cameras to record scenes. Excellent views. Well positioned on S -Curves. Onboard views.
This old program is pro edited. Now appears dated. Picture is soft, on a large, modern screen. Shot quality can vary, as this was filmed over the years. Still very watchable.
No Chapter Menu. No maps. Has a small transfer flaw or something, across the bottom of the screen.
Narration by Irving E. August himself. An oldtimer’s voice. Reading a script from a page. Every bit as stiff, and dry as it sounds. This was how some houses, were doing videos in the 1980s.
Rege Cordic performs a smooth introduction. They should have stayed with him. Oh well, moving on.
At Minturn. Locomotive servicing areas are shown.
Natural sounds let the viewers hear the engines operate. Dubbed of course. Some scenes work better than others. Levels are even. Good balance.
Tennesee Pass in color, with mid train steam helpers.
Irving is knowledgeable. An excellent cinematographer! He is informative. He is also somewhat tedious, to listen to in this show. Like a very old fashioned school teacher, reading from a book.
By the fall of 1956. Steam on the standard gauge is almost through. That white plume blows high in the zero degrees!
These men did a great job of capturing the last days of these steam engines at work. Tough guys. Out in some very cold temps.
South of Littleton. Check those automobiles!
Narrow gauge is also visited. Again, very well filmed. A little fuzzy on some locations. Mumbles it sometimes.
Clarity returns! The mine runs. Monarch. Switchbacks. Awesome close-ups. Action packed. Superb presentation.
Fascinating operation to see now…
There wasn’t any 911 this far out! Seriously, probably more for possible predators.
Irving visits Durango in 1951.
K27 Mudhens at Durango in 1951. The Silverton train ran behind 478 that day. Additional locomotive classes too. An outbound train to Salida.
The 318 with a rare freight train. This locomotive survives today.
The 268 at Gunnison, on it’s final workday. City park retirement will be follow.
In the snow 1952. 100 cars. Gunnison -20 and a train leaving for Crested Butte…
Hardcore action. These men were all about getting it on film. No food and a surprise invitation. Below zero weather. Let’s ride!
May, 1955 last run over Marshall Pass. Depart Salida, with empty gondolas for otherside cleanup. Return with any cleanout cars remaining on the line.
Once, was the location of the highest Post Office in the United States. Snow drifts could cover the entire structure.
Delivery has been made at Sergeant, Co. Return trip. Final run over Marshall Pass.
DRGW caboose was out in any color you like. As long as it was black.
Exception… Narrow Gauge in Brown.
Rio Grande of the Rockies. Covers the subjects as stated. Much of this film is rare. Especially in 16mm and color! Solid show.
WB Video, Irving August and Rocky Mountain Railroad Club deliver the goods.
Rating: 4 Stars