List of Episodes on PBS
Colorado Steam Mecca
This show is a whirlwind tour of narrow gauge steam in Colorado. It covers the Colorado Railroad Museum and on to historic Georgetown, Colorado where the Georgetown Loop Railroad operates over the recreation of the Devil's Gate Bridge - the highest narrow gauge bridge in North America. Then on to the famous Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad and the Durango & Silverton Railroad for rides within and along side the gorges and cliffs of the Colorado Rockies.
Amtrak's California Zephyr
Take the ride of a lifetime aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr! This show starts in Chicago and winds through America's heartland on its journey westward to Oakland, California. During your 2400 mile trip you'll visit with some fascinating people including an indian medicine man and an editor of a western newsletter. You'll also meet Amtrak's most interesting and colorful crews and find out why a Colorado engineer says he has the best job in the world.
Florida East Coast
The Florida East Coast Railroad is a 365 mile Class 1 railroad operating exclusively in the State of Florida. In 1885 Henry Flagler began the railroad as a narrow gauge line in Jacksonville, and by 1896 it was standard gauge and extended to Miami. The Florida East Coast travels the length of Florida from Jacksonville to Miami. This show includes beautiful night shots, as well as daytime action galore as the railroad traverses many bridges along the Atlantic coast. We'll visit Bowden Yard in Jacksonville, Beaver Street Tower, the Jacksonville Container Yard, Miami's Hialeiah Yard and the FEC's locomotive repair shops.
Railroad Video Magazine
This episode contains a selection of different railroad sites from around the United States and Canada. It begins with the Godrich Exeter short line in Canada, with it's main cargo of salt and a port facility on Lake Huron. Serving the greater Orlando, Florida area is the commonly owned trio of shortlines; The Florida Northern; The Florida Central; and The Florida Midland. They share a common paint scheme, and are home to a group of former Santa Fe CF-7s. A brief view of Hump Yards, both past and present is the next stop. Winter operations in Northwestern Pennsylvania on the 150 mile Allegheny Railroad feature running shots in the snow. In the final sequence, viewers will enjoy the nostalgic visit back to the Mainline steam fan trips of the 1960's and 1970's.
This beautiful documentary covers the phenominal history of the railroad capitol of the South. A city "born of the railroad", Atlanta's history is traced from its beginnnings as a terminus for the state owned Western and Atlantic. The show continues with the development and growth of many lines that eventually merged to become CSX and Norfolk Southern.
Steel Rails - Private Varnish
When the railroads used wooden passenger cars, the fine finish inspired the nickname 'varnish'. While car technology progressed to painted and stainless steel, the nickname continues to be used. Although passenger cars have been one of the most romanticized aspects of railroading, the Private Car has always stood alone with it's opulent image. Once the exclusive domain of railroad officials and masters of industry, today's Private Varnish is more likely to be owned by individuals or groups seeking to preserve this unique physical and emotional means of transportation. Viewers will have the opportunity to go aboard and see inside these "Mansions on Wheels'. Numerous running shots will show a special train of 18 Private Cars in beautiful rural scenery.
Viewers will step back in time over 30 years to the closing days of the 3 foot narrow gauge operations of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad. The film was shot by noted railroad photographer Emery Gulash in the area from Alamosa to Chama. Actual freight operations of the period feature double heading and the use of mid-train helpers. There are many scenes in the yards with engines being prepared for runs, as well as trains being assembled with their respective motive power needs. The running shots display the narrow gauge engines working hard in the spectacular mountain scenery for which the D&RG was so well known. This is an incredible film time capsule of working narrow gauge freight operations long past.
Steam in the 50's
By the 1950's most railroads had made the transition from steam to diesel locomotives. Railfans back then took note of this passing and many documented the end of these operations with their cameras. These historic films will allow the viewer to see steam locomotives of all types from 0-6-0 to Shays an Climaxes right up to the massive Challenger and Big Boy. The scenes were recorded across the United States and Canada during the 1950's. These magnificent locomotives as shown as they spent their lives, working in revenue service. Journey back in time to this major benchmark in the history of North American railroading.
Norfolk Southern - Atlanta to Chattanooga
The Norfolk Southern Georgia Division runs 148 miles from Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga Tennessee. The line began as the Selma, Rome and Dalton Railroad in 1869. Later the route was owned by the Southern Railroad until it's merger with the Norfolk & Western produced today's Norfolk Southern. This route begins at Inman Yard, 6 miles Northwest of Atlanta, and runs to Chattanooga's DeButts Yard. As one of the heaviest traffic rail lines in the South, it hosts over 24 trains each day. The viewer will see Powder River unit coal train on their way to and from the world's largest coal fired power plant; molten sulfur unit trains; and the 'Triple Crown Roadrailer' service. All types of modern freight traffic will roar by behind the latest NS power as well as Union Pacific and Kansas City Southern pool locomotives. As a special treat a 1991 New Georgia Railroad steam fan trip is shown running on this line.
Michigan Fast Freight
In 1967, noted railroad photographer, Emery Gulash filmed the railroads serving his hometown area of Detroit, Michigan. During this year he recorded, in color, six major railroad company freight train operations. This presents the viewer with a complete record of what railroading was like during this time period. A full range of diesel engine models, including a trio of 'demonstrator' SD-45s, will be seen at work for their respective railroads. Many types of freight cars and cabooses, which have vanished from today's railroads, are clearly seen. Scenes include views of lineside signals, train order masts, and interlocking towers. This is truly a visual slice of history.
True to it's reputation as the 'Railroading Center of the United States', Chicago, Illinois puts on a full throttle show for the viewer. During 1987 fifteen different railroads were filmed around the greater Chicago area. Many of these railroads no longer exist, having been merged into the 'super companies' of today. There were many operational changes taking place, freight trains are still seen with a caboose, but there are several running with end-of-train devices. The ill-fated Southern Pacific / Santa Fe merger is recorded with several views of the 'Kodachrome' merger paint scheme. In addition to the extensive freight operations, a CNW inspection train makes an appearance with it's beautifully matched equipment. The METRA commuter rail system also receives coverage, providing a complete document of this city's rail activity.
Detroit Toledo & Ironton - Vol. 1
The Detroit Toledo & Ironton Railroad began in 1874 as the narrow gauge Springfield, Jackson & Pomeroy Railroad. It was standard gauged in 1880 and after a series of reorganizations, became the DT&I in 1914. Henry Ford bought the railroad in 1920, being dissatisfied with their service to his automobile manufacturing plants. After many improvements, and an experiment with electric power, he sold the DT&I to the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1929. Archival black & white film from the Ford Company begins this record of the DT&I's history. Beginning in 1963, noted railroad photographer Emery Gulash recorded the railroad's activities through 1975. The final scenes were shot by Steve Neff in the 1980s as the Grand Trunk Railroad took over ownership, and the DT&I passed into history.
Union Pacific - Super Railroad - Vol. 2
The long established image of the Union Pacific Railroad includes the latest in large powerful diesel locomotives pulling lengthy freight trains through spectacular Western scenery. Beginning in the Powder River Coal Basin, North of Cheyenne, Wyoming the viewer will experience the gigantic scale of the coal mining operations, and their seemingly endless unit coal trains. Many of the sites synonymous with the UP will be seen on the way to Ogden, Utah. Some of these long sweeping vistas of western mountain railroading include; Sherman Hill; Hermosa Tunnels; Walcott Canyon; Green River; Granger; Evanston; and the Weber River / Echo Canyon area.
Rails in Transition - Vol. 1
The 1960s was a time of many changes on the American railroading scene. Jerry Carson, a noted railroad photographer, captured operations on six railroads in the greater St. Louis, Missouri area. In this time before Amtrak took over operation of all US passenger trains, many of the railroads represented still had active passenger schedules. Many of these trains will show an assortment of equipment types and train lengths at the twilight of independent passenger operations. Motive power is represented by examples of late era steam and first generation diesels in both passenger and freight consists.
Amtrak's Empire Builder
The American Northwest was opened for development by the Great Northern Railroad in 1893. The Great Northern's premier passenger train was known as the 'Empire Builder', and this tradition is continued by Amtrak today. The train travels the 2200 miles from Chicago, Illinois to Seattle, Washington through the most spectacular scenery in the Northwestern United States. The viewer will enjoy all phases of this adventure from interviews with the crew to historical notes and the always impressive vistas. The train travels through both the rugged, and snow capped, Rocky and Cascade Mountains on it's way West to the Pacific coast.
Steam Locomotive operations in Canada lasted longer than it did in the United States. Both the Canadian National Railroad and the Canadian Pacific Railroad were still rostering a substantial number of steam locomotives in the 1950's. This period film will show a number of these locomotives in mainline service on both railroads. Both freight and passenger trains from Eastern and Western Canada are featured. Just as interesting as the steam locomotives are a fascinating assortment of freight and passenger cars, from ice reefers to truss rod passenger coaches in active service.
The Pennsylvania Railroad
Begining in the summer of 1952, Emery Gulash, highly respected railfan photographer, began capturing prolific amounts of activity on this well known railroad. This tape covers the time frame from 1952 to 1969 in color, the end of steam and the transition to first generation diesels.You'll see Decapods, Baldwin Centipedes, and Sharks, "F" units, early Geeps, GG-1's, and Alco RS-3's, just to name a few.
Rails to Steel City
Shot on video in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area in the late 1980s, the viewer will see five major railroads serving the freight needs of this region. The PAT commuter rail system is also featured, with it's 'push-pull' service utilizing F-7 diesels. This service was discontinued in 1989. Many of the exciting running shots of the freight operations are from the Beaver Falls area. This rural area provides a rich setting for the heavily trafficked freight lines operating in the Allegheny Mountains. The rolling hills surrounding Pittsburgh provide outstanding views overlooking the city and it's railroad operations.
Narrow Gauge Passenger Chase
On May 29,1965 the Rocky Mountain Railroad Club arranged for a passenger train on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. This 3 foot narrow gauge line ran from Alamosa to Durango through the majestic San Juan Mountains. This special run was shot by noted railroad photographer Emery Gulash throughout the trip. With Class K-36 locomotive #483 this train of all passenger equipment ,borrowed from the Silverton Line, traverses areas of the railroad which are not in service today as tourist operations. The high mountain scenery is awe inspiring, with many areas still blanketed in snow from the previous winter.
Illinois Central - Vol. 1
Filmed over a 30 year period, from the 1950s to the 1980s, this episode records a very active period in the history of the Illinois Central Railroad. Beginning in the late steam era, many of the IC's massive locomotives are recorded in both freight and passenger service. Scenes of these locomotives were shot on the mainlines, in the yards, and at servicing facilities. The transition to first generation diesels continues this history. In the mid 1970s the IC merged with the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio to form the Illinois Central Gulf. The ICG owned over 9500 mile of track, and began selling off branch lines. By 1987 the railroad had trimmed the track to 3000 miles and it's name back to Illinois Central. The viewer will be intrigued by several rare scenes of night operations.
Rockets & Rails
In Central Florida at the Kennedy Space Center, one of the oldest forms of transportation technology, the railroad, plays a major role in future transportation, the space program. The NASA Railroad uses 3 rebuilt SW 1500 diesel locomotive to haul freight on the 40 miles of track at the KSC. Among the freight handled by the NASA Railroad are the solid rocket boosters for the Shuttle, and sections of the Titan rocket boosters. Many operations of the railroad are seen which are not accessible to the general public, including the recovery and reloading of the Shuttle booster casings aboard their special cars for reuse. As many areas of the KSC are a wilderness preserve, the trains are shown running along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline under pristine conditions, with occasional views of launch towers in the background.
East Broad Top
The East Broad Top Railroad holds a unique position in American Railroad history. Although plentiful at one time the EBT is the last remaining 3 foot narrow gauge railroad in the Eastern United States. Originally built in 1871, to haul coal and coke to the Pennsylvania Railroad, and service a major brick manufacturer on line, the EBT exists today as an intact historical record of those days. The viewer will see the EBT in operation during 1953 as a commercial railroad. The Railroad was finally abandoned in 1956 due to the decreased use of coal. Following this closing the property was untouched for nearly 20 years, not a tool in the shops, not a locomotive or car, and not even a paper on a desk. To celebrate the Bicentennial the scrap dealer who bought the railroad brought back limited operations, some of which are seen here. Holiday card perfect views of the train running through the beautiful Aughwick Valley in the snow, complete the scene.
The Norfolk Southern Railroad under the guidance of Chairman Robert B. Claytor operated restored steam locomotive in fan service. Unfortunately, the railroad recently ceased these operations and returned the locomotives to retirement. The viewer will experience the thrill of the largest locomotive the NS had in this service on a National Railway Historical Society trip through Northern Florida and Georgia. The #1218 is a Class A 2-6-6-4 articulated, originally retired in 1959, it was used as a back-up steam boiler for an industrial park and as a museum display. It was returned to operating condition in 1987 after a 2 year rebuilding program at the NS shops in Birmingham, Alabama.
Santa Fe Odyssey - Vol. 1
Emery Gulash, noted railroad photographer, documented the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad from a period of almost 30 years! From 1952 until 1980, Emery shot the Santa Fe from Chicago to the west. Starting with some steam and diesel of adjoining railroads in chicago, the tape displays the Santa Fe FT freight units, the PA passenger power, and a variety of switchers and road trains. The "war bonnet' paint scheme and the change to the Santa Fe blue scheme is also covered.
Rock Island RR
The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad was begun in 1847 as the Rock Island and LaSalle in Chicago, Illinois. It has the historic distinction of being the first railroad robbed by Jesse James. The Rock, as it was commonly known, was famous for it's fast freight service and passenger trains running between Chicago and the Western United States. The viewer will see many examples of both of these types of service, including Chicago area commuter service beginning in the 1950s. A June 1973 steam fan trip with the Southern Railroad's Mikado #4501 is featured running in Chicago and further West. The time coverage in this program continues up to the late 1970s, when despite a new paint image the Railroad declared bankruptcy. The Rock passed into history on March 31,1980 having reached 14 stated with over 7500 miles of track.
Search for Narrow Gauge Mikados
In the late 1960's the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad ceased it's narrow gauge operations. The most significant steam locomotive class used by this 3 foot railroad was the K Series Mikado. Since the end of operations many of these locomotives have been put back into service on tourist lines. During this program the viewer will see over a dozen of these locomotives, from 4 Classes, running on three different railroads. From the forest scenes of the Huckleberry Railroad in Michigan, to the sheer rock cliffs of the Durango & Silverton Railroad and the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad in the high mountains of Colorado, the scenery is breath taking. These locomotives are shown hauling passenger and freight trains, performing work train duties and being serviced before their daily runs.
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