Rio Grande Rememberances

 

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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.

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

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

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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!

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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

 

Espee Hall Of Fame

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Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1991-95

Locations: Sacramento, Elvas, Roseville, Stockton, Ione, Antelope

Length: 2 hours 42 minutes

Source: Gino Pagliaro

A long look at the 1990s era Southern Pacific. All of this is pre- merger to Union Pacific. Videographer was centered around Sacramento CA. Hence, the locations are centered from that area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h39m59s632Charles Smiley Presents, has the most comprehensive Southern Pacific coverage overall. This program adds to that fine catalog.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h02m40s326All of the usual, and generous extras are included. A factory pressed silver DVD. Chapter Menu. On screen graphics. A preview section. Venerable SD7/9 units have good coverage.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h26m40s237Plenty of his wonderful, custom made maps!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h48m26s281Obviously, only a small portion is review able here. Should be about what you will expect. High quality in all areas. Predominantly, 2nd and some 1st generation EMD power. Some newer wide cabs. General freight traffic predominates. 

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h42m50s163The trains are running at City speeds. The slower pace allows for good trainwatching.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h36m40s300Memorable, are these five GP9 locomotives. Nice catch!

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Someone always asks, Are there Tunnel Motors? Plenty! These SD40T-2 units, are on the line to Donner Pass.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h37m59s146Model Railroaders will love the long strings of freight cars, as they leisurely pass before the camera. American River is crossed here.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h19m38s046Gino’s videography is excellent! Very aware of lighting and composition. He spent years shooting this footage. There is so much more, than simply pointing a camera.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h02m41s269Much time is spent at Elvas Junction. Shot with the Tower standing, and after it’s removal. An inside look there is interesting. Highly enjoyable Chapter!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h27m04s315Haggin Jct. crosses a former Western Pacific line. A couple of Union Pacific trains are shown, on that lower track.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h18m54s472Just past the picturesque Davis station, some Soo Line power is on the lead.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h22m19s396Sugar beet operations are reviewed around David. California Northern also serves this area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h27m32s409A Rio Grande GP30 smokes it up at Antelope.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h28m50s166Out to the rural Ione branch. This segment runs long.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h30m15s800Last licks for the Amador Central. Finally, behind an Electromotive diesel. See another Charles Smiley shortline show, for the Baldwin era.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h31m58s782Stockton is next. Tower is there. Now gone. Check a Santa Fe move. Purely for variety!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h01m25s151Although many of the locomotives are heavily weathered. Everything runs! Again, note how Gino gets perfect lighting. Textbook examples, on how to film a train.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h53m27s566Roseville yard is visited. The hump operation, receives an up close visit.

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There are assorted views at Roseville.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h59m33s369The flat end of the yard, with assembled trains. The Eastern line to Oregon has some trainwatching, as seen below.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h28m18s770Espee Hall of Fame is a long show at over 2 1/2 hours. Naturally, this inclined will still want more. Others, may best view it in chunks. It is a huge amount of Scarlet Grey to digest in a single sitting!

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The program is top shelf from end to end. Expert videography. Rather quiet for a Charles Smiley show. Mostly narrative and train sounds. Very little music or even locomotive horns. A high level of detail on the passing trains and locations. Plenty of historical references. Overall, another great entry in the CSP Southern Pacific shows.

Rating: 5 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!

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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.

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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.

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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

Soldier Summit Assault

SOLS-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 2000- 01

Locations: Helper, Gilluly, Thistle, Colton, Price River…

Length 1 hour 53 minutes

Visit the scenic Wasatch Mountains in Utah.Union Pacific owns the tracks in year 2000. There is still variety to see. Utah Railway, with unique power. Rio Grande and Southern Pacific, as part of the UP. BNSF operating with trackage rights. Amtrak has The California Zephyr.

Nice extras. Detailed Chapter Menu for easy access to favorite sections. Choice of on/off narration. On-screen graphics. Plenty of maps are referenced.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-12h03m50s510Dave Drui with the informative narration. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h11m14s032Memorable scenery, as this red rocks area.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h14m45s313Coal train moves along, behind UP and SP locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-09h43m19s464This is now, Union Pacific Provo Sub. Although still commonly called, Soldier Summit.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h10m18s884The still painted Rio Grande SD40T-2, are stationed at Helper Yard. They are assigned to helper service. Main attraction in 2000.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h27m02s904Castle Gate is a classic Railfan photo spot.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h51m39s605Soldier Summit was the highest point on the old Denver and Rio Grande Western.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h59m59s400Southern Pacific units lead a train.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h17m14s140Utah Railway receives plenty of attention.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h27m21s588At Kyune Tunnels. Train Z-DVRO is led by this Chicago & Northwestern engine.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h43m08s767Real men love a Beer Train! Here is Union Pacific. Supposed to be 12 cars of Coors Beer.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h46m32s441Amtrak California Zephyr nears the Summit.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-10h53m02s982Gilluily Loops. Long visit. Assortment of views.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h06m06s552Thistle is where the flood and landslide, occurred in 1983. Rio Grande raised the line through this area.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h18m36s670A separate bonus film. A Tribute to Utah Railway SD-40s.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h26m27s065At Helper, a six unit set is cut into a coal train. At Soldier Summit, the helper set is removed.

An Epilogue then updates with additional 2001 information!

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h37m33s933Key updates to the Utah Railway roster. MK5000 series locomotives. Australian built SD50 engines. The Caterpillar motors are a must hear!

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h54m23s455Follow a sample of these locomotives, as they take a train up to Soldier Summit.

Wait! There’s more…

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h54m55s261BNSF gets Utah Railway helpers.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-12h02m07s488DRGW Trash Train at Mounds still in 2001.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-12h06m05s667Another part of this update, although less visible. Union Pacific went to unmanned helpers.

vlcsnap-2019-08-23-11h14m44s661Pentrex has an entertaining program here. Plenty of variety combined with great scenery. An interesting script, keeps viewers apprised of everything being viewed.

This one should satisfy anyone with an interest in railroading. Excellent videography and equally fine natural soundtrack. The extended updates add more to this winner.

Rating: 5 Stars