Imagine thousands of steam locomotives in everyday use, rolling through lands of stunning beauty. That was steam railroading in China in 2001 when this exciting documentary was filmed. Much of it is hauntingly similar to the American railroads of the 1930s-1950s. All of it is fascinating. Join our tour of six unique sites and see why steam in China may be the greatest railroad show on earth!
We begin on legendary Jing Peng Pass with its 40 miles of tunnels, 2% ruling grade, horse shoe curves, and spiral bridges entirely serviced by double-headed 2-10-2 QJ class locomotives. Next we take you to Daban where the entire fleet of 100 QJ's are serviced. Their resemblance to Union Pacific or NYC locomotives, with smoke box deflectors, Boxpok driving wheels, and large smokebox-mounted headlights, is remarkable. In the coal mining region of Tiefa, a fleet of thirty 2-8-2 SY class locomotives pull fast commuter trains with amazing frequency. Our camera catches the action there near a busy double diamond junction. The Dahiuchang Limestone Quarry near Beijing is an enchanting narrow gauge steam line where we'll view endless strings of tiny ore cars pulled by miniature locomotives. At Anshan, we are granted rare access into one of the world's largest steel mills. It operates its own fleet of forty 2-8-2's and the activity level is incredible. Finally, we'll witness the awesome brute strength of three 2-8-2's straining full throttle up the 3-1/2 percent grade to the Chengde steel mill complex. This line has it all: steep curves, rock cuts, narrow tunnels, and terrific rural scenery. Experience the wonder of it all in China Steam Spectacular!
DVD Special Feature:
Chapter Menu provides instant access to program segments.
2 Hours 28 Minutes In Color with Hi-Fi Sound and Narration Full-screen (4x3) Format No region code; can be played in any NTSC DVD player worldwide Packaged in Sturdy Vinyl Clamshell Case ISBN: 1-56342-139-9 UPC: 7-48268-00422-3
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2 Hours, 28 Mins
0 Worldwide NTSC
rrvideoman on 2007-12-06 21:20:10.
People who found this review helpful: 1
4 of 5
What year is it - 1931, 1951, or 2001? Live active Steam engines, pulling heavy loads of freight and Steam passenger operations. It's all found in this very interesting video production. The rail line itself is quite modern, but that is where modern stops. Long sweeping bridges and grades, S-curves, mountainous landscape and people who live a little differently than we know in North America. Watch as "track inspections" are done on foot. Crossing gates and cross-overs are manually operated. Special note was the ride on a passenger train. Having seen this would forever make a person really appreciate America's Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada. In the urban areas, bycicles are every where, but in the rural areas it's primarily horse and cart. Automoblies are not plentiful. The roads are quiet, and rough. Homes and villages are a little less modern than we are used to. The video is full of surprises for the un-expected. Coal is King and for the enviromentalist, pollution is as normal as air itself. Health and Safety of the workers appears to be of little concern. Yet the people appeared to be happy, and curious of the tourists. The Steel Mill: 50,000 workers in one mill. 40 engines serving it. Quite amaizing indeed. A very interesing video that you will watch many times over. Very pleased that I purchased it. Only real disappointment was the colour of the landscape. The video is made in late March, and as a result the landscape has not yet started to green up in colour. Enjoy.
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5 of 5
Great dvd must have in your china steam collection.
Additional remarks by Steven: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:A little rough around the edges. DVD Value:Excellent Value! Recommend to others?A "Must Have"!
Using reasonably modern camera technology, this video allows a look at the steam powered machines and workings of what is a long-gone era for most of the world. The film presents a variety of engine power from impressively large mainline locomotives attached to both freight and passenger operations, to rustic narrow gauge pulling what are little more than buckets on 10" wheels. Filmed in early spring, the lack of color in the landscape adds to the grit and grime that is part of steam, but it sure can become visually monotonous after a while. Made while traveling with an organized tour, the group schedule has not allowed the time necessary for the very best shots. Editing is generally okay but methinks we could have done without scenes of group meals and some awkward moments staring at the locals. Narration is non intrusive but is superficial and unimaginative with several instants of repetition. All said, because of its content, this is a worthy addition to anyone's video library, but at 2-1/2 hours and that dominant beige coloring, should be viewed in 2 or 3 sittings to maintain a sharp interest.
Additional remarks by Dave: Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:Good. DVD Value:Good Value Recommend to others?Definitely.