Steam Rotary Snow Plow OY


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



Pocahontas Glory Volume One


Producer: J.R. Herron

Locations: Kenova, Columbus,Portsmouth, Abingdon, VA.

Timeframe: 1950’s.

Length: 39 minutes + previews

Source: Ben T. Young Jr., CH Snyder, Howard Robins

Herron Rail offers an all color show of Norfolk and Western vintage steam. This was filmed in the 1950’s. Areas focused on are: Kenova, Columbus, and Portsmouth. A special segment following the Abingdon Branch is included later in the show.


This is high quality film. Program was originally released in 1989. Although there are no maps. Narration by Ralph Morse, is descriptive. He sounds like a professional.  An earlier train video era, 1989 release. The age of VHS tape.vlcsnap-2018-12-29-01h10m33s570
Direct and detailed narration. There is a ‘slide-show’ section near the beginning. Various locomotives on the steam roster are covered.

Audio has musical background with narrative overlay. Environmental audio, with frequent narration is used. Brief scenes of train only audio, are interspersed throughout the program. Dubbed with great care seems to have been done. Maybe even some live.

Script is thought out and well composed. Overall, an emphasis on sound balance. Good levels everywhere. Smoothly presented show!

This is a quality program. Action galore! Steam power is nearly constant. Towards the end, early diesels do take over. Historically accurate.


Of course, N&W steam power often are big locomotives!


Yard scenes give trainwatchers the chance to see smaller, switch engines.


The 600 class ‘J’ locos, were the premier passenger engines at the time.Being located in the heart of coal country. Norfolk and Western kept steam going late, as far as dieselization. This was a boon to those with film equipment. Yet, the roads did not make the areas easily accessible.

vlcsnap-2018-12-29-01h28m17s109Abingdon Branchline operated over 100 bridges. What a contrast to the heavy mainline , steam power .

vlcsnap-2018-12-30-07h49m13s878Steam on Norfolk and Western was filmed, right up until the fires were dropped, in the winter of 1958.


The story concludes in chronological fashion. It appears to be EMD GP9 diesels for the closing chapters. Some are factory fresh!

vlcsnap-2018-12-29-01h20m35s329There are additional previews of upcoming Pocohontas volumes. Approximately ten minutes of run time.

This is the first Herron Rail Video reviewed on ATVR. Obviously, they care about issuing high quality product. Attention to detail, is evident in all areas of this production. Nicely done show!

vlcsnap-2018-12-29-01h03m02s866Pocahontas Glory Volume 1 does give a satisfying look at Norfolk and Western. This is a fine program, and suitable for family viewing.

Rating: 4 Stars

Union Pacific Odyssey Volume 1 (Remastered)

Union Pacific Odyssey Volume 1 (Remastered)

Green Frog Productions

Format: 2 DVD set

Length: One hour 55 minutes

Time Period: 1952- 1960’s

Locations: Cheyenne, Denver, Chicago, Ogden, Green River, North Platte, St. Louis, Sherman Hill, Council Bluffs, and more…

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 29.95

New in 2011, a Digitally Remastered Green Frog Odyssey program.

The combination of Emery Gulash and Green Frog have created a tradition of high quality train videos. Green Frog has released Union Pacific Odyssey Volume One in an upgraded version. The latest technological advance has been a 2011,digital remaster. A  fine original 16 mm film source, in full color. Green Frog has used their broadcast masters and enhanced the film.

Naturally, the big question. How does it look? In short… Amazing! The images are extremely clean. The colors are accurate and vibrant. Armour Yellow can sometimes look too deep or way too light. The color looks just right. The Northern #8444 has a high level of detail. Those rivets are clearly seen on the front of the smokebox. The puffing exhaust has even more of a billowing effect. Burlington Route’s stainless steel Zephyrs really shine in a new way. The reflective steel jumps out from the screen. The scenes have an added depth to them. Scenery is another benefactor of the remaster. Really, the entire program is visually enhanced.  Having seen nearly all of the original Odyssey series , this remastered volume is a major improvement.


Emery Gulash is one of the greatest train cinematographers of all time. He had that great eye for composition. Most Emery shows will have a few mood shots. Spectacular sunsets, fading light, and the resultant silhouettes. Scenic viewpoints are another highlight. Trains up close, 3/4 wedge shots, across the field type views and more. His camerawork is equally as interesting as the classic railroads that he had filmed. We are fortunate that this talent was out in the field, during some very interesting times for American railroads.

emd gp35 up

His use of the 16mm color film format, has kept the original footage, quite contemporary. Certainly, his sheer volume of footage has left a remarkable legacy. A true master of his craft. Consider for a moment, how important a competent production house plays into a worthy presentation. Green Frog has proven to be the perfect partner for Emery’s work. Their top of the line production standards are splendid, especially with this digital remaster.

Union Station has a variety of passenger trains. Union Pacific, Burlington Route and Missouri Pacific. Norfolk & Western runs the Wabash Cannonball. Crandic EMD SW-type switchers are in UP identical paint..

up big blow locomotive

Gas Turbines are featured throughout the first disc, Rated at 8.500 horsepower, they were the most powerful locomotives of the time. Another name for them was Super Turbine. They sound unique among all locomotives. The viewer will get numerous views of these ‘Big Blows’ at work. Some rooftop views are at a railyard. The 3 part locomotive sets are impressive. UP always favored the big engine concept.

up 8444

Union Pacific  #8444 is on the second disc in this set. During this time period, it wasn’t assigned the 844, as it would conflict with an in service UP diesel. Emery spent the better part of a year chasing this classic steam engine. Of course, the remastered views of the scenery, locomotive and the trains are exquisite.There are some long passenger trains hauled by the 8444 alone. Various consists are behind the 8444. The matched UP cars look like the steam era never ended!

e8a e8b

Other freights and passenger trains are encountered. Some long distance city trains behind multiple E units appear. Huge EMD DD35, Alco U50C and a few more Super Turbines are leading freight trains. Some GP30 units are also seen in mainline service.

Both of the DVD’s are very satisfying. The wide array of locomotives and trains are great on the first disc. The 1944 built 8444 steam locomotive is the focal point on the second disc. There are some other trains in that portion of this program too. A nice comparison for those that have only seen the renumbered 844 in modern times. The entire show has a nice pace.

The DVD case has the: Advanced Digital Software, Re-Mastered and enhanced from original D-2 Broadcast Masters, information on the back cover.  The DVD’s have All New…Digitally Remastered, printed in smaller lettering.


Fantastic, is the appearance of the newly remastered films. Details are easily discerned. Computer enhancements have the picture looking like it was shot more recently, than the 1960’s.

The script and professional narration are both excellent. The train audio is also high quality.

Green Frog has given us, a super nice version of, Union Pacific Odyssey Volume One. They highly recommend the Blu-Ray version, to those that have the equipment to play it.

up steel caboose

This is a fine vintage view of much classic Union Pacific action. Any railfan would be pleased to have this in their collection. If you are wondering if this is worth upgrading from previous VHS and DVD editions. This is the premium edition that is available now. A very noticeable, enhanced program. A must have for Union Pacific fans.

Any viewer should find more fun in this enjoyable edition.

Rating: 5 Stars