The steam locomotive is "high-tech" from the Industrial Revolution. No one was unaffected. And our lives were changed forever.
The steam engine is in our collective "DNA of consciousness and culture." Every family in America once had brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, or children who worked for the steam railroads. The everyday lives of so many generations were defined by service to this technology.
But, the daily chores that once ruled our recent ancestors' lives have vanished.
Did you wonder if you could get even a small glimpse into their day-to-day work lives ...the lives of so many of our ancestors? What would you see?
Thunder in the Canyons will take you there.
The Grand Canyon Railway is like no where else in North America. A place where the steam locomotive travels 128-miles every day delivering passengers to one of the world's greatest natural wonders.
Grand Cayon Railway train climbs out of the high desert
Thunder in the Canyons is more than "a day in the life" of a steam locomotive. It is an exploration of a world lost in time...and the people who some how manage to still live in that world.
Who in your family once worked for the railroad and lived a life such as these?
The Past is Alive You'll meet the night hostlers as they prepare the mighty steam locomotives for their daily 128-mile trip to the Grand Canyon and back. (This is no stroll-in-the-park for a steam locomotive. This is serious railroading!)
I can never imagine why these fascinating activities are now almost forgotten. The coverage here is so interesting you can almost feel the steam and smell the grease.
You'll meet the steam engineer...a "job description" that quickly took on mythological proportions.
You'll meet the fireman...maybe the most job-critical position on the railroad.
While the engineer received all the glory, it was the fireman who kept the train rolling...running a fine line between wasting company resources and destroying the locomotive in a very dramatic way. Running a steam locomotive was the ultimate TEAM effort...and your life depended on doing it right.
We'll take an exciting ride in the cab of the Grand Canyon Railway's big Mikado #4960 as she plunges 1000 feet down into the high desert only to climb back up another 1100 feet to get to the forested resorts at the "South Rim" of the Canyon.
Explore historic locations along the line to learn more of the picturesque history of the Canyonlands...and the lasting impact of the railway.
You'll see spectacular photo runbys of the trains. You'll even learn about the fateful bridge washout in the early days of the Santa Fe.
Do you think steam technology is dead? Not a chance. Hear the inside story from the railway's CMO (chief mechanical officer Sam Lanter) on the latest developments being applied to the old steamers. Can they really be made more efficient than a diesel locomotive?
A fun bonus: Visit behind the scenes with the railway's Cataract Creek Gang, where real cowboys take devilish delight in pretending to be their Hollywood counterparts...cowboys planning to hold up the train...all to total delight of the passengers.
Santa Fe 3751 makes a surprise appearance double-heading with 4960.
Grand Canyon Railway #18 and #4960 double-head. #18 also appears double-heading with #4960.
So there you have it. An North American railroad adventure unlike any other. And get ready to give your home theater system a steam-powered, double-thunder workout.