614 Revival: It took the burning of a steam engine in the spring of 1979 to resurrect another one in the form of a Greenbriar class 4-8-4 that formerly operated on the Chesapeake and Ohio. 614 history is recounted as we see images of the American Freedom train and 2101 in action, which preceeded 614. By the fall of 1980 614 was ready, and we traveled east to Harpers Ferry, Cumberland, 17 Mile Grade, Sand Patch, Richmond, Balcony Falls, Clifton Forge, Huntington, Charleston, and New River trains to Hinton. Then onward to Cincinnati for a weekend of trips to Ashland to conclude the official runs of 1980. But wait we also followed it east on its run back toward Hagerstown, and captured footage by brother Randy Scholl on Cranberry Grade a steep grade on the west slope of the Allegheny Range. This incredible event is a super topper to an exciting video through and through and the first in our 614 Trilogy. Most of the footage is from Greg's personal film collection and these super 8 Sound movies were recently transfered to video with these results. Limited narration and live train sounds. Also see "614 Encore" and "614 Coal Trains" and our special for the three of them!!
614 Encore: Former Chesapeake and Ohio 4-8-4 614 is seen in May of 1981 first in Lima(a trip we rode), then the next day working out of the Ohio Valley on a trip to Louisville. This trip was not without incident which was partially caused by the evening before. We see some nice action on Banklick grade, and at the two tunnels, which no longer exist today on CSX. Then its street-running in La Grange. This is a rare look at steam on the Louisville and Nashville line, called the Short Line.
After Louisville we chase a one-way from Cincinnati headed to Columbus and get some nice action there on the former B&O tracks. We then venture to Virginia and catch 614 battle Afton Mountain a steep grade then tops off in a tunnel under the Blue Ridge Parkway west of Charlottesville. We get to see a neat scene with the booster running, and a total of two scenes of the engine really working hard. After overnighting in Clifton Forge we head toward Huntington, then see 4 different days of trips from Huntington to Hinton, with lots of cool mornings, and great steam action along the New River Route. The final day is the last one operated by 614 on Chessie Steam Excursions. Make sure you check out the preview clip. Another one from the Greg Scholl private film collection before the professional videos started several years later.
614 Coal Trains: The coal trains powered by 614 in January of 1985 was one of more dramatic steam events of several decades in our opinion. It had all the elements: Big steam with a 4-8-4; Engine running on its home rails in C&O territory; cold winter action; regularly scheduled trains 6 days per week; a purpose to test steam capabilities; and steam pulling real revenue freight. At first we made two trips to chase coal trains from Huntington, and those two runs were great, but taxing on us since we made roundtrips from Ohio which made for nearly 450-500 mile days and not much sleep. Finally three of us including my wife Kathi went down for a 4-day stint and captured 2 runs in each direction. Exhaust plumes went skyward in the cold winter air, and sounds of 614 radiated off the canyon walls at places like Hawks Nest. We even got a shot passing the depot at Thurmond deep in the gorge far from the main highways. This video is mostly hand-held, with our first video camera. Thus it is first generation equipment and must be considered "Early video". There is more zooming and so forth that should have been done, but there is quality content here. In 1980 Railfan and Railroad reviewed our show along with some others and said ours had the "Best feel for the railroad". To me thats what its all about!!! There are some shots with a tripod, when stills were taken generally, and on a few of them we move the camera a few times making a few less than stellar jitters. This was later rectified with better tripods and eventually more professional cameras. So now you know that the quality could be considered marginal, but the action is simply non-replaceable. When will we ever see anything like this again? Probably never!!!
In addition to the runbys, we also see turning on the Huntington wye before the first trip, and after a westbound run it returns to the shed it was kept in. The next morning the engine is stuck inside as the metal door jams in bad position and welders are called in to torch it off at the top. We captured that as well as the engine being pried out by crew members using bars to clear appliances on the engine. We also got a nice dose of snow two mornings after sleeping at Hawks Nest Lodge overnight. Seeing a 90 car train of empty hoppers snaking across the New River is a spectacular few will ever see with steam powering the train. This show was originally released in 1985, and was our first U.S.
video on VHS. A few months earlier we had done the South Africa Videos. Like the South Africa videos they 614 Coal Trains was not narrated and had crude editing. So in 2011 we have re-edited the show with narration, and titles as well as included as much extra footage as we could from the original tape. As many of you know early VHS tape has difficulty at times with green and reds, and in our current dvd we attempted to take out as much as we could to eliminate flaring that was so common with these cameras. This procedure could not have been done easily say 10 years ago, so waiting until now probably has improved the final product in some fashion. The last time this show was offered on VHS, many years ago, it was 60 minutes. Now it is a bit longer, as we try to get you your monies worth. However, we feel no matter what the cost some of these things shot 25-30 years ago are like the credit card commercial....priceless!!! We know the video quality is not perfect, but then you can't go out and see this again can you!!! Its still a great show to enjoy!
Award Value: 399 Points Earn points for free DVDs. Signup free.
3 Hours, 19 Mins
Greg Scholl Video Productions
0 Worldwide NTSC
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2016-09-23 15:37:33.
People who found this review helpful: 1
5 of 5
While the engine itself remains as a billboard display today, some railfans would wonder if 614 is a piece of an operating legend for testing uncommon but failed projects, especially the NJT trips between 1996-1998.
Additional remarks by Steamboy: Narration:Could have used more. Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:Good. DVD Value::Fair. Recommend to others?Definitely.