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The Rotary DVD

5 of 5 (1)
The Rotary DVD Greg Scholl Video Productions GSVP-223 604435022394
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2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad. This special Rotary event kicked off the season in spectacular fashion. We have footage from on the ground with a main camera, plus some additional ground shots, as well as special shots in the air from 2 drone cameras. In addition there are a few scenes onboard the train.

Our coverage begins on February 27th, as the Rotary is being prepared for a test run to the Chama River bridge. First we see the side panels open to reveal the motion with the driving rods that help propel the big rotary blade. We will learn a bit about the history and how the plow works. K-36 2-8-2 powers the rotary to the water tank, before they head out of the yard to do some test plowing.

On Saturday February 29th, the real show begins as they plow eastward, and we see this from in the air as well as on the ground. We see passing Jukes Tree, the first highway crossing, entering the narrows, in the narrows, Lake Lobato leaving the narrows, Lobato siding, Lobato Trestle, and more before the day ends near the New Mexico and Colorado state line. K-36 2-8-2 number 484 joins 487 to power the Rotary on both days. Patrons were transported by buses and scenes were made from the highway at selected locations to maximize their viewing pleasure. There were several highlights from this day, as we have melded some drone scenes with ground scenes at locations like The Narrows, Dalton, and the S-curve overlook near the state line.

On Sunday March 1st, the Rotary special departed early and began plowing where it left off the day before. Patrons could not access this region so the plan was to meet the rotary train near Coxo. Special drone coverage in this remote area is used in our program and set to music as we enjoy scenes plowing to Cresco, and Hamilton's point all in superb morning sunshine. Roughly 5 or 6 pieces of music was used for drone scenes although in some instances we used sounds from the runbys where they existed. Music is composed cuts that we made for our "America By Rail" series in the 90's, and the music scenes are just as enjoyable as the rest of the show.

At Perry's pond we get the first runby of the day, and we see the view from onboard the 487, on the ground, and in the air for portions of the scene. From here we see plowing to the crossing at Coxo, where the engines took water from fire trucks. Then its onward heading toward Coxo curve, and some drone coverage in the remote areas between Coxo and Windy Point. Some ground scenes are viewed of Windy point, then a neat drone shot rounding the point and heading to Cumbres. This is a neat sequence with our last piece of music. Then we cap off the show as the Rotary train plows by the Cumbres Section house and ends at the Highway 17 crossing. This was the first time the Rotary had operated since 1997, and first time in decades that it operated during the winter months. The sights and sounds are something to behold. Two locomotive stacks barking away, the Rotary engine going fast, and exhausting snow from the plow make this an extreme steam show to enjoy. Get yours today!


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DVD Item#:GSVP-223
Blu-ray Item#:GSVP-224
Runtime:1 Hour, 45 Mins ($0.21/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Wide Screen
DVD UPC:604435022394
BLU-RAY UPC:604435022493
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD or BLU-RAY
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

The Rotary DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-07-31 20:04:53.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


In Greg's version of the present day revival of the 1923 built snowplow on the cumbres & toltec, the program starts with the 2 engines doubleheading while pushing the plow, then narrator Christopher Kovacs (Trainmaster844) talks about the railroad's golden year which does feature a map of the Rio Grande system. At chama, rotary OY does some warming up alongside 484. Still images of the plow that wore its gray paint from 1997 are shown From last year. Afterwards, Go-Pro footage from the front of 487 was shown as the locomotive pushes the snowplow for water on February 27. Tank car 0472 would be used to store some back up water for the rotary. The tank car carries up to 6500 gallons of water. Once stopped, the workmen installed the water pipe into the plow's tender, then they filled the tank car. Back on the ground, 487 moves the rotary on different tracks after clearing up some snow near the chama junction. Some of the ground footage from Greg's version of the rotary revival was shot by Ronald burkhard.

2 days later on Saturday February 29 (leap year 2020) 487 gets underway with the snowplow as the big weekend long special arrives. Besides the GSVP crew, other producers like 7 idea, James parfey of steam train video, & belt line productions were also there for the kick-off year before it was temporarily closed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus from China. Our first scene from the sky that was recorded by a silent drone shows the OY 487 & 484 crossing the chama river. But there is sound recorded from the ground as the rotary approaches Fred Jukes tree. This trip marks the second time in 23 years that 484 would be on rotary duty, While 487 is the main locomotive for the plow during 1991, 1993, & 1997. From the ground, the rotary crosses highway 17 for the first time. The people who booked this 2 day event before the outbreak are transported by buses. Between Jukes tree & lobato lake, this location was usually the spot without snow during the 91, 93 & 97 trips in May. But with late February snow on the ground, it's indeed a first for the rotary. Back in the sky, the snowplow with 484 & 487 rolls through the narrows alongside highway 17. The first music piece from the America by rail series was from the heartland in 1994, that features the salt lake city to Reno Nevada portion on the California Zephyr. This song was also used on German Steam 72 & 75 from Greg, & on N&W 611 on home rails by railway productions. With the first song by the late Michael lynch finished, 487 & 484 arrives in the eastern end of the narrows before heading for lobato lake and also be uncoupled to cross the lobato trestle over wolf creek due to weight constrictions. Once they leave the narrows, multiple wheel slips are heard as the snow busting train starts the 4% grade to the lake & trestle at lobato. Approaching the frozen lake, more camera crews joined in on the action. Before heading for the bridge, the OY & mikes are passing by the siding where structures from the 1970s movie "weed city" are standing. While crossing the trestle, Kovacs talks about the operations of the rotary snowplow. After crossing the other side of the trestle, the 2 engines are recoupled up & continued to the Colorado state line. From here, a Go-Pro cab ride on the fireman section of the OY is shown. It took 5 men to control the plow. Moments later, the snow busting train heads for Dalton which is east of the trestle. The wind is getting much louder & louder as 487, 484 & the rotary clears the line, then the camera cuts to the go-pro cab ride of the plow. Some log cabins are shown in the going away shot of the same location, then it cuts to a drone with sound recorded from the ground. Another runby for the people who took a bus to film the work train was at Dalton crossing. The eastbound climb from chama to Cumbres is the steepest on the Rio Grande narrow gauge. There is more drone footage while the sound is still recorded from the ground. Afterwards, the snowplow with 484 & 487 is at the halfway point between Dalton & the second crossing of highway 17, then it clears through at the second highway 17 crossing. Beyond the location, we are back in the sky as more silent drone footage continues that features a piece from America by rail the West coast route in 1995 which is the santa Barbara to cuesta grade portion on the coast starlight alongside the Pacific ocean. This song was also used on Steam railroading in the north country by railway productions. With the song finished, the train approaches S curve after crossing highway 17. Beyond the bend, the snow busting train heads for another S curve as it enters the Colorado state line. While the OY & 2 mikados are heading for Colorado, some silent February 15 1976 clips of rotary OM are included. The last time a rotary was used in regular Rio Grande years was in 1962. A mention of the last regular freight trains of the Rio Grande narrow gauge in 1968 was heard as well as the debut of the C&TS. More bends lie ahead as they enter Colorado while the wind is making more noises. There is more drone footage from the sky with sound recorded from the ground. Not long entering the state line which the chama to Antonio route crosses the border 11 times, the OY with 487 & 484 gets closer to the coxo telephone booth, and finished the day. This scene concludes the leap day 2020 special.

As we say goodbye to February & hello to March 2020 which is not long before the invisible from China invades the entire continent of North America, we are back at the wolf creek trestle with drone footage from the sky. Then there are some scenes from the sky between cresco & the coxo telephone booth with locations at the cresco water tower & Hamilton's point. Between these locations, 2 more songs from the heartland are used which were 2 out of 3 from the Moffatt tunnel to Glenwood springs portion on the California Zephyr. With the America by rail songs finished, we are back on the ground as 484, 487, & OY makes a photo runby at Otto Perry's pond before it positions for a stop at coxo. 3 cameras are used: one go-pro on 487, one on the ground near the telephone booth, & one from a drone. You won't believe how many people are there for this weekend long event as the train passes by the highway 17 crossing especially the fire department where they refill the mikes & the snowplow with water. The participating photographers & safety personnel are all wearing yellow safety vests. With water refilled, the locomotives & plow leave the crossing As snow starts to fall from the sky, but first a temporary stop was made so that the chute from the OY must be flipped to the engineers side. Once flipped, the snow busting train whistles off. As they clear the line at Coxo curve, a group of photographers hiked a quarter of a mile east from the crossing with snow shoes, as more footage from a drone with sound from the ground is recorded, as the camera zig zags to a cab ride on the plow. Approaching windy point, a flashback to the May 1991 footage from Greg himself is included, While Kovacs talks about the upgrades & overhauls of camera & editing equipment. Not to mention of the operations of the OY in the month of May with 2 engines in 1991 & 1994, & 3 engines in 1993, 1995, & for the last time in 1997. One final battle of the snow busting train on the C&TS shows the snowplow & mikados approaching the 10,015 ft Cumbres pass while the Mike lynch music features the golden spike state of Utah's bookhill cliffs section from the heartland. Near the water pipe, station, & wye with a snowshed, the line crosses a bridge over the old route 17. This piece concludes Greg's version of the return of the rotary before the railroad was temporarily shut down due to the outbreak of the invisible enemy from China. Thankfully it was recently re-opened with only 1 train per day to prevent the widespread.

In the closing credits, Ronald burkhard wasn't the only camera operator for this program, there were several other camera crews that helped out: Tom Binger, Craig Linn, Roger Hogan, & Steve Forney for The drone, extra go-pro, & ground footage. The 1976 films were shot by Fritz klinke.

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

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