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Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD

4 of 5 (1)
Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD Pentrex VR009-DVD 634972962914
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Union Pacific 844, the only steam locomotive never to be retired, led newly restored Cahllenger 3985 to Railfair 1981 and the opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. See highlights from this 2,000-mile doubleheader!

As a bonus, hop in the cab of 3985 during her trip to the NRHS Chicago Convention in 1993. This rare footage is made more special now that 3985 has been retired from excursion service.

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Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD
DVD Item#:VR009-DVD
Runtime:1 Hour, 25 Mins
Producer:Pentrex
Aspect Ratio:Wide Screen
DVD UPC:634972962914
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD
(Revere MA US) on .

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  4 of 5


In this soon to be 40 year old program which is the very first video rails production ever made, it starts with vintage photographs of the Cheyenne shops, as well as the big boys challengers and northerns on regular passenger and freight service. C. Edward Hunter does an article on the Cheyenne news in April of 1948. Afterwards, we fast forward to 33 years later on April 23, 1981. As 3985 is leaving the turntable. Here, regular Video rails narrator Donald Harris took over the rest. Both the restored challenger and 844 back when it was 8444 are making preparations for the big trip West to Sacramento for 1100 miles, and the grand opening of the California state railroad museum where it'll also meet southern Pacific daylight 4449. The doubleheader on 8444 and 3985 was the first time since it happened in 1958. A harmonica is played in the opening credits. During the title sequence, the doubleheader passes by an empty siding. Back in Cheyenne, both 8444 and 3985 are running light to get its assigned consist. A look inside the cab is included. The big journey to sacramento and the new museum begins as 8444 and the coal burning challenger leaves their home base going under the Colorado and southern bridge. Some of these scenes for the very first VR tape were also shown in the battle up Sherman hill, 44 years of 8444, and the best of video rails part 1. A vintage film clip from the top of the engine is shown. At Laramie, there is service as well as waiting for a freight to clear. More harmonica music is played as 8444 and 3985 leave Laramie. The 2 engines also doubleheaded to Sacramento in 1991 and 1999. Listen to the identical whistles on both engines. Next stop: Rawlins Wyoming. At 60 miles per hour, 8444 and 3985 are whistling through the sidings at Hanna. Note the green caboose in the going away shot. At rawlins, 3985 takes on coal from a clamshell crane. Keep in mind that this footage was recorded way before 3985 was converted to oil in 1990. After a freight with SD40-2 number 3413 and a southern Pacific unit passes by the yard limits, the doubleheader resumes it's journey to the New museum. Moments later, there is some pacing shown as 8444 and 3985 are West of Rawlins. Also keep in mind that this footage was recorded before the debut of the auxiliary water tenders. The 2 engines arrive at Green river where it'll spend the night. They stop at the platform as a westbound freight with 2 SP engines are waiting for an eastbound to arrive. This scene was recorded from a bridge. In order to spend the night at Green river, 8444 is put to rest in the roundhouse, while the coal burning 3985 sleeps under the sky. A freight with SD40-2 number 3510 and cotton belt 9261 arrives as 3985 is refilled with coal from a crane, and also being serviced. Thus following day, 3985 is taking a spin on the turntable. Here, Harris does some history of the 2 locomotives. After coupling to 8444, the 2 engines back up to pick up its assigned consist as the journey to Sacramento continues. A vintage film clip of 8444 in the snow is shown. Thus departure was delayed until 7:20 due to a 4 or 5 unit freight running really late. Slowly departing green river, the next stop on the list is Evanston. A 2 second scene of the traction rods are shown. There is an S curve in the going away shot. Some people are blocking The scene as 8444 and 3985 arrives at Evanston. Here The local fire department helps The 2 engines with water. Between Evanston and Ogden utah, still photos are shown during her another harmonica montage as The doubleheader is in the weber and echo canyons. Local TV news crews from both salt lake city and Denver are in helicopters as they chase The special through the canyon. Listen to the identical whistles on both engines. Note the cows during the close up of 3985. Blowing through Morgan at 55 miles per hour, they head for Ogden. More still photos are shown as 8444 and 3985 are taking The day off from running as people took a tour of their cabs. On April 26, a pair of southern Pacific diesels are behind the engines from here to Sacramento due to no water stops between Ogden and sparks Nevada. On April 29th, they head for Truckee California, and heads West on the southern Pacific donner pass line. One of the tunnels was built in 1868, as vintage black and white silent films of the construction for one of the tunnels are shown. After a week long event in Sacramento which includes still images, the long trip home to Cheyenne begins. Before that happens, the super heaters unit on 8444 is broken, and after repairs, all things are back to normal. First they created a smoke show for The chasers, then it leaves the tunnel and trestle at auburn. Next, they negotiate an S curve. Note the conductor waving from the bay window caboose. At Ogden, the diesels are removed as 8444 and 3985 are operating alone for The long trip home. Note the lite power move in The background. The next day, lots of school children are looking at The beasts at morgan, then we see the helicopter action from echo and Weber canyons. Not to mention seeing The automobiles pacing The 2 engines as well. Back on the ground, 8444 does some whistling with The coal burning challenger. Back in the sky, the doubleheader leaves the twin tunnels and bridges as they cross under the highway, and also alongside the river. 8444 smokes up a storm. Back on the ground, there is pacing with The challenger, followed by 8444 from the sky. Again listen to the whistle on 8444, while 3985 is staring to smoke well. From.The ground The 2 engines are under The trestle, then it's back to the sky, as 3985 is billowing smoke. The special slows down to a crawl as they pass by the triple track siding. With a yellow signal, 8444 and 3985 are whistling well through the canyon. A 4 unit freight crosses over the bridge as The doubleheader takes some slow orders while going under the bridge and heads for The tunnel. Leaving one of the tunnels on the return trip, 8444 and 3985 are still taking some slow orders. A repeat from the opening title cards are shown. Here it's only The sounds of the 2 engines, while the opening titles have a harmonica. Near evanston, there is a cab ride on the challenger to green river. Back on the ground, the main program comes to a close, as 8444 and 3985 are leaving green river with an extra hopper behind the caboose. Here The 2 engines create a smoke and whistle show. Look carefully for the flickering Firebox on 8444. With a total of 2284 miles and much pleasure, this is one of the most unforgettable mainline trips of the early 80s.

The bonus can ride aboard the challenger was used during production of to Chicago by steam, which is also the main line motion pictures version of the 1993 NRHS convention. And yes pentrex was also there as well.

Overall, this is a unique trip back in time to the humble beginnings of Video rails, and also the humble beginnings of the Challengers excursion career.


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

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