Riding the Narrow Gauge in the 1950s

(2 customer reviews)

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Take a unique trip over the Denver & Rio Grande Western from Alamosa, Colorado to Durango and Silverton, via Chama, New Mexico in the mid-1950s.

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Take a unique trip over the Denver & Rio Grande Western from Alamosa, Colorado to Durango and Silverton, via Chama, New Mexico in the mid-1950s. Enjoy the 8mm movies of Warren Scholl from a 3-day trip in 1954, and another trip to Colorado in 1956. K-36 2-8-2 #487 handles the train the first day from Alamosa to Durango over Cumbres Pass, via Chama. From Chama we see views from the caboose cupola right behind the engine, on a section of trackage that was taken out after freight operations ceased in 1968. The second day we make a round trip to the famous town of Silverton along the Animas River. A rare diesel is used in the form of N4700, which is a helper for engine #7, which is really K-28 #476 in movie garb. This was a rare trip for the diesel which was seldom seen outside of switching in Durango. In 1956 another trip was made to the area, and the whole Scholl family was along for this adventure. K-37 #490 was used from Alamosa to Durango and return, and in one shot we pass a freight lead by 487.

Prior to this trip there are neat scenes pacing a doubleheader from Alamosa to Antonito with engines 486 and 495. Then the Scholl family headed for Durango and rode the Silverton train on the first trip of 1956. Engine 476 does the honors and once again we see nice view from the caboose which is behind to drop-bottom gondolas full of cinder ballast. Later we see these being dumped along the tracks where the Animas River has washed away the area close to the tracks. There are plenty of views onboard the train, as well as some switching. While the theme is riding in this program, it is not all aboard the train. There are nice scenes in Alamosa with engine servicing, and turntable scenes, as well as coaling and watering throughout the video. Normally riding footage can be pretty boring if you are shooting from a vestibule, or window, but much of this is shot from a caboose cupola near the engines which provides a much more pleasant vantage point. These were Scholl family home movies, that we have decided to share. Allowing them to sit in the closet where nobody can see them seems like a waste. There are no train sounds since, like most films of this era, they were silent. We have added some informative script, and appropriate background music to help you enjoy these rare color movies.

These are not Hollywood style perfect movies, but you will find some interesting things especially if you like the Rio Grande Narrow gauge.

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2 reviews for Riding the Narrow Gauge in the 1950s

  1. Chase

    This DVD has great footage of the Denver and Rio Grande Western in the 1950’s on both third and fourth divisions. There is nice music to go with the footage and narration. A great look into a great era on the Rio Grande.

  2. Ricky

    This was the Very First Warren W. Scholl program ever produced, and just like the previous 2 vintage diesel videos (New Haven RR) this was the third silent GSVP program ever made and the very first silent steam show. the bonus footage however? Well if you have the 2003 DVD release of the 1997 program “Rocky Mountain Snow Plow”, the bonus footage had been since reused.

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