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K-4 Pennsylvania 1361 DVD

4 of 5 (1)
K-4 Pennsylvania 1361 DVD Mark I Video M1K4PR
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This "official" tape of the PRR K4 1361 restoration project is a real beauty, taking the K4 from the origins of the class through the first weekend of operation of the 1361 on April 12, 1987. The tape starts off with some rather well-reproduced vintage action color footage of K4s and their contemporaries in regular service -- it's enough to make a Pennsy fan stand and salute the television set -- and then briefly summarizes the history and development of the K4. Attention then shifts to Horseshoe Curve and the removal of 1361. Enter State Assemblyman Rick Geist, and the story of the restoration unfolds showing the overhaul work in the Altoona car shop. Some particularly interesting footage includes the turning of the drivers on a lathe and later placing them under the locomotive. The finishing touches are added and the engine is painted and brought outside from the first fire. The days of frustration leading from the initial fire-up to final test run are depicted in just enough detail to keep things interesting and moving along.

Then comes the roll-out and test run to Bellefonte. After a couple of runbys on the Conrail main line and trackage in Tyrone, the tape presents some long and satisfying side-by-side pacing on the Nittany & Bald Eagle, where the viewercan study the engine in action in detail. The video camera brings out the best in the rainy weather, capturing the drama that usually eludes still photographers.

This tape is very well done; the editing is excellent, and the narration by Bill Zagorski is informative and professional. Some very appropriate classical music selections augment areas where the live sound is marginal, including a fine bit of Wagner as the K4 makes its steam-shrouded exit from the shop on the morning of the Bellefonte run. This production really tells the story of the 1361 restoration in a "TV documentary" style and is sufficiently entertaining that non-railfans will enjoy it. -- Mike Del Vecchio

Running Time: 60 minutes *DVD*
Full Color, Narration, Stereo Soundtrack
Written and Produced by Marc S. Balkin
Narrated by Bill Zagorski

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TVD Price:$ 26.95
List Price:$ 29.95
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DVD Item#:M1K4PR
Runtime:1 Hour, 00 Mins ($0.45/min)
Producer:Mark I Video
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

  • Some or all of the DVDs or Blu-rays from this producer are manufactured using DVD-R or BD-R material.
  • This producer chooses not to shrinkwrap most of their products. All the products we sell are brand new direct from the producer. We never sell used or second-hand products.

K-4 Pennsylvania 1361 DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-07-14 07:10:56.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  4 of 5

In this 1987 videotape, the program starts with a message from lucius Beebe: the Pacific type engine dominated the field of fast passenger motive power in North America for many years, & it is probable that the most celebrated version produced by any railroad was the K-4s of Pennsylvania. Afterwards, there are some vintage black & white & color films of steam on the Pennsylvania in regular service. Followed by a short pace of 1361. During the history of the K-4, a scale model of engine 5373 was used. There were predecessors of steam on the Pennsylvania: the K-2 Pacific & the E-6 Atlantic were built in 1910. For tractive efforts, the K-2 Pacifics have 32,620 pounds while the E-6 atlantics are at 27,110. The E-6s atlantics & the K-3s pacifics were built in 1913. For tractive efforts, the E-6s have 31,275 pounds while the K-3s have 38,280 pounds. Some still images of the predecessors are included as well as E-6 Atlantic 7002 on the Strasburg railroad doubleheading with 4-4-0 1223 in 1985. That clip was shown in the 1986 video: doubleheaders. That June 1985 visit was also captured by Walter Berko & Berkshire productions. Afterwards, more vintage films of the E-6 Atlantic was shown as well as a blueprint for the Building of the K4. A comparison between the E-6 & the K-4 was shown, followed by some more vintage films & still images. During the regular steam years, they operate on the Broadway limited, spirit of St. Louis, liberty limited, trail blazer, Pennsylvania limited, the Jeffersonian, & much more. In later years, the K-4s were on doubleheader duties as well as modifications to the locomotives. Especially being transformed into the streamlined torpedo. Many of the tenders cake with water scoops which were used to no longer stop at the water tower. By the late 40s & into the 50s, the powerful pacifics were replaced by the much stronger M-1 class 4-8-2s, as well as the shark nosed T1 class 4-4-4-4 known as the duplex, followed by the biggest transition of steam to diesels which includes the Baldwin built shark nosed units to the streamlined E units, seen here waiting for the new York central F units to pass. The final assignment for the K-4s were on the new York & long branch in commuter service between Newark NJ near the New York city skyline to bayhead junction. Still images of 1361 in regular service was shown. Especially when it was on display at one of the most popular hot spots for railfans: horseshoe curve in Altoona. A 1970s film clip of the silent giant is shown as evidenced by the Penn central freight train. Not only was 1361 still stands today, but so too was sister engine 3750 at the railroad museum of Pennsylvania where today both 7002 & 1223 are still standing there today. After standing silent in the big curve, 1361 was removed from the hot spot on Monday September 16, 1985. Nowadays, GP9 number 7048 is standing on the same display track where 1361 once stood. For a short while, 1361 was on display at the nearby railroaders memorial museum. Richard geist was the assemblyman for choosing 1361 back to life. On April 15, 1986, 1361 was moved to the Altoona car shops for the official beginning of the restoration. Throughout the restoration, SP daylight 4449 engineer Doyle McCormick helped out with the year long rebuild of the Pacific. At the same time where 1361 is being restored to service, 4449 is in Hollywood for the filming of Tough guys by touchstone pictures starting Kirk Douglas & Burt Lancaster. A still image of 4449 on its way to New Orleans for the 1984 worlds fair is shown. Afterwards, an orchestra themed musical montage of the restoration of the K-4 is included. Meanwhile at Pittsburgh, the 80 inch driving wheels have to be turned at the Westinghouse corporation plant. With the symphony segment completed, an interview with Richard geist is included. On March 18, 1987, the wheels are being placed under the boiler. A crane was used to lift the boiler while the workman removed the supports. Then they roll the heavy wheels one set by one set with another orchestra themed musical montage. With the restoration & the reassembly finished as well as another musical montage, an interview with the engineer of 4449 himself is included. Parts were reinstalled, the locomotive got a new coat of paint, & the decals were installed on the cab & the tender. Plus it makes a back & forth test run of the wheels before the fire up. After a whole year of staying inside & in pieces, 1361 is back outside on April 9, 1987. Amazingly enough, there were 2 steam locomotives that were restored for the test run in April of 1987: 1361 in Altoona, & N&W class A 2-6-6-4 number 1218 in Birmingham. Before the coal & water were installed in the tender, the diesel pushed the locomotive out of the shops. An elevated coal loader with some help from a John Deere tractor moves the coal into the tender. Meanwhile, a 3 unit conrail freight rolls into the yafd. In the cab, the crew is activating the Firebox for the first time since the end of steam on the Pennsy. Before the bell was installed, night falls as the locomotive reached the 200 PSI boiler pressure, while testing the whistle. On April 10, 1361 created a cloud show while there are some mechanical problems on the Firebox & the pipes on the tender. The water was drained out, & the repairs have been made. While the workmen made some finishing touches on 1361, railfans wanted to see the engine for the first time. Later, a night photo session was included. The Next day April 11, finds the crew lubricating, oiling, & re-firing the locomotive as well as moving back & forth itself under steam as night falls. April 12, 1987 marks the big day for steam railroading in the 80s as 1361 makes her first assigned test run to bellfonte via Tyrone despite the weather wasn't co-operating on a rainy sunday. The engine would handle a 4 coach consist with 2 from the Lackawanna, one conrail private businesses observation car, & an SP daylight tool car that was brought by Doyle McCormick. Not only was Mark 1 video there for the test run, but also Berkshire productions for its juniata's jewel tape which some scenes from that program was shown in several children's titles by TMBV (most notably the I love toy trains collection) & future famous America by rail producer Greg Scholl which his angles were first shown in American steam from 1989, & later on Pennsy steam in 2009. First we see 1361 leaving the shops while slowly running light as it heads for its assigned consist. While 1361 makes a meet with the regular freight trains, the coaches are being assembled by conrail NW2 9069. A map of the route for 1361 was included. The action begins as the locomotive is on the conrail mainline in bellwood where the 2 diesels are on the adjacent track as 1361 whistles off while one of the 2 conrail diesels number 1647 activities the horn. The former Lackawanna coaches were lettered for the horseshoe curve chapter of the NRHS. Moments later, all of the people of all ages wanted to get a first hand look as 1361 returns to home rails in Tyrone for the very first time. Here the locomotive would have to take some slow orders through the middle of the street while everyone wanted to greet their old beast again. Despite cloudy skies, 1361's first test run was a huge success. Afterwards, the K-4 is north of port Matilda while being paced alongside state highway 220. With pacing completed, 1361 whistles at a crossing while the rain is still In a heavy downpour. Arriving at Bellefone, everyone wanted to get a close up look at the K-4 next to the depot before it turns on the wye. On the return trip while being paced again, the sun is starting to come out of the clouds. For the return trip to Altoona as well as for the rest of this program, the conrail business car is behind the tender while the SP tool car is on the rear. The 2 Lackawanna commuter coaches are still in the middle. Listen to that incredible Pennsylvania whistle. On one scene during the pacing sequence, a dog is barking off screen While looking at the locomotive. And so we bid farewell to the successful restoration of one of the most iconic steam locomotives ever built for the Pennsylvania railroad: the K-4 as it crossed the bridge While negotiating an S curve in Tyrone, followed by an arrival back home in Altoona as well as an encore of 1361 being paced.

While there are multiple steam engines from the Pennsylvania that are still with us today, the only one that's in operating condition is 0-6-0 number 643 built in 1901 which is at Mechanicsburg near Williams grove.

In the closing credits for this program, railfan magazine editor Jim Boyd worked for the mobile unit during the field operations in Altoona while the extra footage came from Tom Casey of WTAJ channel 10. The scale model of the K-4 came from a company called United.

Overall, this program is a great companion to Pennsy steam from Greg as well as other Pennsylvania railroad steam based titles from different producers.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Definitely!
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.

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