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