In 2016 the sounds of steam echoed through America's Dairyland, as two mainline locomotives polished the rails of southern Wisconsin. On Sunday June 12th, Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 #765 pulled "The Varsity" excursion from North Glenview, IL (north of Chicago) to Janesville, WI. #765 handled an 18-car train over this former Milwaukee Road route, running on both Metra and the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad. The highlight of the trip was the high speed running on Metra, and you'll see a 70mph runby on the return trip!
Soo Line 2-8-2 #1003 also operated on the Wisconsin & Southern in 2016, running from Hartford to Randolph, WI during a 2-day photo charter in October. This was a rare opportunity to see #1003 under steam, as in recent years this beautifully restored Mikado only operates a couple of time a year. The trip was organized by Historic Transport Preservation and took place during the weekend of October 22nd. #1003 pulled a short freight train on both days, performing numerous runby's, including a quite a few at 40mph. You'll see #1003 amidst the bucolic Wisconsin countryside, highlighted by a stunning sequence of sunset shots at Beaver Dam Lake.
As an added bonus, we'll take a brief look back at two other locomotives with ties to the state of Wisconsin. In May of 2013, Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261 operated her first excursion since 2008, a 2-day trip from Minneapolis to Duluth, MN. She met up with Soo Line 4-6-2 #2719 at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth, and you'll see #2719 on a dinner train to Palmers, MN in addition to both days of #261's trip.
Filmed entirely in HD, this program showcases a diverse assortment of big steam power operating in the Upper Midwest. It features great sound and beautiful scenery, and should appeal to any fan of midwestern steam. This program has minimal narration (with the option to turn it on or off) and no distracting music.
In addition to the standard widescreen DVD, this program is also available on HD Blu-ray disc.
Running Time: 86 minutes (plus 5 minutes of previews)