Alaska Vol 1 - Steel Rails, Midnight Sun - Summer on the Alaska RR DVD Train Video
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Stretching from Seward to Fairbanks, rising from tidewater up 2,360 feet to the Continental Divide, and running nonstop during sunless days and perpetual twilight, the Alaska Railroad is a hard-working operation that serves a land of extreme weather and incredible beauty. In the mid-1990s, filmmaker Patrick Hunstiger captured the fascination of the Alaska Railroad in a 3-part series of VHS videos and now Pentrex is proud to bring these programs to you on DVD, beginning with Volume 1: Steel Rails, Midnight Sun - Summer on the Alaska Railroad.
In 1993, the Alaska Railroad could field up to 17 trains covering up to 3,300 train miles in any given 24-hour period. These included two passenger extras; overnight freights and freight expresses; oil tanker, unit coal, and rock trains; work extras; and others. The ARR"s all-GM locomotive fleet, which sported three different color schemes, was made up of GP40-2s, GP49s, GP38-2s, GP35s, GP7s, and MP15s. Cabooses could still be seen at the ends of some trains.
You"ll get plenty of opportunity to enjoy these trains at work! After a brief look at a derailment earlier that spring, you"ll follow the operations of the line starting at 7 AM on a busy June day and carry on into the evening, ending with a meet illuminated by the midnight sun at 1 AM. The trains are dispatched from Anchorage under Track Warrant Control and you"ll view the dispatcher"s display boards to see siding and train status in between catching the action at Eklunta, Matanuska, Talkeetna, Broad Pass, Healy, Clear Site, Nenana, and other locations. Highlights include a unit coal train pulled by 6 matched GP49s, a passenger extra at Denali Park, action on the tall trestle spanning Hurricane Gulch, and of course the incredible skylines of craggy, snow-capped mountains reaching up from floors of emerald green forests!
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Ed (Bay Area, CA) on 2011-08-17 11:24:51.
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This is quite a fantastic video, beautiful scenery and pretty much all of ARR's motive power fleet is seen. I enjoyed viewing the line from the dispatcher's point of view; the train symbols and milepost indications were a nice touch. I only wished that it would be longer, an hour seems a bit short for such an interesting railroad. But anyways, this is a really great DVD.
CapeRailFan (Boston, MA) on 2011-05-24 11:54:11.
This video is a pleasant departure from the "mindless runby" videos that are so common. Producer/Director Pat Hunstiger originally published this video under the Mind's-I label, and later sold the rights to mighty Pentrex. He shows and tells about the operations of this fascinating railroad, combining great camera work with informative narration and excellent graphics. Apparently a man of faith, Hunstiger imbues this production with an ineffable gentleness, something that's easier to experience than to explain. But don't worry - there's plenty of railroad action for all. Highly recommended, as are the rest of the shows in this three-show series.
Added 2015-09-15 17:31:53 by Rail Buff
Huntstiger's poetry and bible quotations (at end of all three volumes of this series) I thought were out of place and therefore objectionable. I don't want to start a religious war here, but that was the major turn-off for me. I gave all three volumes to the public library this very afternoon.
I did note the condition of the roadbed and it appears that Alaska RR could do more to improve it, though that might be a matter of land movement (subsidence?) (Alaska is volcano country). Also, for the heavy loads, the rails seemed very light weight.
rrvideoman on 2008-09-30 16:38:22.
Mountains, scenery, and a place where railroading is filled with challenges. This is Alaska. Land of the Midnight Sun. Land of scenery and wildlife like no other in North America. The Alaska Railroad does not have rail connections with any other railroad making this a very unique railroad. What we see is all Alaskan, and all EMD power. Working hard with long trains, freights and passenger trains as they meet at the sidings. This is a fantastic video that all railfans would enjoy for years to come. I highly recommend this as I have already noticed here that even non railfans are enjoying my copy simply because of the location.