1. Soo Line 2-8-2 1003: Excursions and Photo Freights 2. Frisco 1522: Steaming To Sesser (1993 runs from St. Louis) 3. Union Pacific Steam: 1990 to 2010 4. Union Pacific's Merger Years: The 1980's 5. Early Norfolk Southern: 1987-1988 6. Early CSX: Finding Its Own Image 7. Conrail's Last Decade 8. Burlington Northern's Southern Illinois Coal Line 9. Visions Of Contemporary Railroading (Footage filmed over the last five years on our various travels)
Steamin' In 2016
All aboard for a look at five different operations featuring steam power in 2016.
We begin in Roanoke, Virginia, in May, as Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 #611 hauled a series of excursions from Roanoke to Lynchburg and Walton. We focused on the grades surrounding Roanoke to present scenes of the locomotive at work. This segment features highlights of the weekend. For complete coverage, check out our program Norfolk & Western #611: Makin The Grade.
In July, we visited the Hesston Steam Museum, near Michigan City in northwest Indiana, which features steam locomotives of many sizes.
Next we visit the Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania, where 1924 built 2-10-0 #90 was in operation.
Then its on to eastern Missouri and southern Illinois, where Union Pacific 4-8-4 #844 was filmed en route from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to the Memphis, Tennessee, area. This was #844s first extended trip after returning to service following a three year overhaul.
The show wraps up in Dixie, as Southern Railway 2-8-2 #4501 heads up a pair of excursions between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Summerville, Georgia. We shot at several scenic locations, including Whiteside Tunnel through Missionary Ridge and the Missionary Ridge Grade near Rossville, Georgia.
In June, 1994, the annual convention of the National Railway Historical Society was held in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention featured two mainline locomotives: Norfolk Southerns former Norfolk & Western Class J 4-8-4 #611, and restored St. Louis & San Francisco 4-8-2 #1522.
#1522 is owned by the Museum of Transportation near St. Louis, Missouri, and was operated by the St. Louis Steam Train Association from 1987 to 2002. From her St. Louis home, the locomotive was operated to Atlanta via Springfield, Missouri, Memphis, Tennessee, and Birmingham, Alabama, on an excursion called the Peach Blossom Special. After the convention, she returned to St. Louis on the point of several freight trains.
In this program we cover 1522s run over the former Frisco on the Peach Blossom Special and the returning freight moves: including a run with no crew or passenger cars and a caboose bringing up the rear! Also covered are the steam powered convention specials to Macon and Lula, Georgia, and Chattanooga, Tennessee. These excursions included two double-headers, with #611 joining #1522 from Macon to Atlanta and Atlanta to Chattanooga. #611 handled the trip to Lula with a pair of GP59 diesels.
All aboard, for this look at what would be the last N.R.H.S. convention to feature the Norfolk Southern steam program.
The Norfolk & Western J class 4-8-4 is considered by many to be the best engineered passenger steam locomotive ever built. Designed to handle passenger trains in the mountains unassisted and to make time in the flatlands, the class had a combination of speed and power unmatched anywhere.
In May, 2016, the last surviving J returned to her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, to pull a series of excursions over the mountains she was designed to conquer. Diverging Clear Productions had three cameras on hand to capture the sights and sounds of the big 4-8-4 as she worked the Blue Ridge and Christiansburg grades.
This program begins with a look at the development of Norfolk & Westerns big steam power in the 20th Century, before looking at #611s returns to service in 1982 and 2015. From there, we see a few scenes of 611s April, 2016, runs out of Spencer, North Carolina, before heading to Roanoke and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In Roanoke, #611 headed up Saturday and Sunday trips to Lynchburg over Blue Ridge and Walton over Christiansburg. We visited location on the heart of these grades, concentrating on locations where the locomotive would be working and skipping the flatter portions of the routes. Locations include Bonsack, Blue Ridge, Montvale, Shawsville and Christiansburg.
For big steam working grades on the mainline, it doesnt get much better than this!
The Heritage Series The Illinois Central: 1990-1991
This is the fourth title covering The Mainline Of Mid-America in the Heritage Series: The Illinois Central Railroad - 1990-1991.
The first part of the program covers operations on the Edgewood Cutoff (Bluford District) in 1990, and the second part covers the original mainline through Centralia, DuQuoin, Carbondale and Cobden in 1991.
During the course of this program, the last of the pre-new image locomotives are either repainted, rebuilt or stricken from the roster. Paducah Geeps were plentiful at the beginning of 1990, but by the end of 1991 they were fast disappearing as SD40-2's from Burlington Northern were coming online as the new 6100 series.
Rare power includes a GP26 rebuild of a GM&O GP30, one of only six SD28's constructed and a rare GP35 repainted into the new image black. On top of that we see plenty of Paducah rebuilds in mainline service, including GP8's, GP10's, GP11's and SD20's. Most of these engines would be retired and off the roster soon after the footage in this program was shot, though the SD20's and GP11's would last a few years longer.
We make a short visit to the yard at Fulton, Kentucky, where a GP11 rebuild is busy switching cars. Trains struggling through the hill country of deep southern Illinois are featured, including a southbound freight doubling Cobden Hill. And of course there is plenty of footage of seldom seen lines in southern Illinois including the Bluford and Eldorado Districts.
Classic action for anyone who fondly remembers the Illinois Central Railroad!
Running time approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes
Note: This program is presented in standard 4x3 format. The top and bottom of the picture is clipped in the online preview. Click HERE to order