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America by Rail - Winter Wonderland

3.8 of 5 (5)
America by Rail - Winter Wonderland Greg Scholl Video Productions ABRWW 616964000309
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This video is quite unique since the journey was aboard Amtrak's Cardinal after a very heavy snowfall. The journey picks up at first light east of Maysville, Kentucky, and concludes with the stop in Clifton Forge, West Virginia, after traveling along the Ohio River, and later the famous New River Gorge. It's a rare treat to be onboard during the winter and on a crystal clear day. The music by Michael Lynch is exceptional for this video as well. Since it was winter we did not have the opportunity to do off train locations, but we have an added bonus of including some steam locomotive excursions that formerly traveled this same route east of Huntington and through the New River region. Included are scenes of C&O 614 in the winter of 1985, and scenes of 2765, plus Nickel Plate 765 and Pere Marquette 1225, and Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 #261. The overlook at Hawks Nest is featured from above the railroad several times, and you'll see one of the perches in the winter from the train. The New River gorge never looked better than it does with all the leaves down in the fall, and a blanket of thick snow on the ground.

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DVD Item#:ABRWW
Runtime:1 Hour, 30 Mins ($0.25/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:616964000309
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

America by Rail - Winter Wonderland
rrvideoman on 2008-02-05 09:28:07.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


Like all the "America by Rail" videos, this video follows roughly the same format with the music and narration.
Travel by rail is always interesting, but there is something unique about winter rail travel. In this video, Greg Scholl gives us a journey through Kentucky and West Virginia that is slightly different from the other 3 "America by Rail" videos. The trip is shorter, milage wise, and the extra tourist lines are mimimal. However, added are scenes in the same region of Steam Excursion runs from years past. Some of these scenes take place in the summer season, so not all the video is films in the winter. It gives an interesting view of the region.
I found the scenery, summer and winter, to be absolutly interesting and incredibly beautiful. Thoughout most of the video, the train follows the rivers through what are sometimes very deep and narrow gorges. It's almost unbelievable to see this in the Eastern United States. The region of Hawks Nest, West Virginia is beautiful beyond description. Quaint little towns, open rural areas, plenty of snow, and add in the Steam trains, all makes this video an excellent production.
If anything I could say may have been a slight disappointment was the fact that I wished it had of continued a little farther east. You are really into the video when the conclusion comes along.
Like all the "America by Rail" videos, I highly recommend this production by Greg Scholl.


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America by Rail - Winter Wonderland
Nikhil Murthy (Redmond WA) on 2021-02-22 19:05:40.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


This program, the third in the America by Rail (ABR) series, is completely different from the other 3 ABR programs in several ways:

First, this is a pure-daylight trip as this program begins from Cincinnati, OH and ends at Clifton Forge, VA.

Second, there are no tourist railroads visited.

Third and most importantly, the ONLY trackside scenes of the main Amtrak train in this program, the Cardinal, are seen in the intro and ending of this program and are not seen anywhere else. To compensate for this, several clips from past Greg Scholl Video Productions (GSVP) programs from 1985-1994 were used featuring noteworthy steam locomotives mainly featuring the extremely-famous New River Trains but also other important events. These include C&O 614 in January 1985 pulling coal trains for the ACE 3000 Project that sadly did not come to pass (from "614 Coal Trains"), PM 1225 in August 1991 for the NRHS Convention (from "Steam in Huntington"), NKP 765 from 1986-1993 (from "NKP 765 Autumn Spectacular" [October 1986], footage from "American Steam Volume 1" recycled in "Nickel Plate Combo" [October 1987], the aforementioned "Steam in Huntington" [August 1991], and "2765 on the C&O" featuring the NKP Berk disguised as a C&O Kanawha [October 1993]), and MILW 261 in October 1994 (from "Great Steam Trains Volume 3.").

Runbys of the aforementioned steam locomotives are shown in geographic order as follows from Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV:

Huntington (MILW 261 in 1994)
Milton (NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991)
Hurricane (NKP 765 in 1987; NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991; and MILW 261 in 1994)
Charleston (NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991)
Handley (NKP 765 in 1987)
Kanawha Falls (NKP 765 in 1986; Narrator John Hingsbergen incorrectly says the footage was shot in 1987 because one can see the original footage in NKP 765 Autumn Spectacular featuring EXACTLY the same runby)
Hawks Nest (MILW 261 in 1994; NKP 765 in 1986; NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991; C&O 614 in 1985 on 3 different days: first heading east, second heading west, and third heading east again)
Thurmond (NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991; NKP 765 disguised as C&O 2765 in 1993; and C&O 614 in 1985)
Stretcher's Neck Tunnel (NKP 765 in 1987)
Grandview State Park (NKP 765 disguised as C&O 2765 in 1993)
Hinton (NKP 765 in 1986 using the turntable for the last time resulting in future operations terminating at nearby Meadow Creek and NKP 765 and PM 1225 in 1991 beginning their return trip to Huntington)

After in-cab footage shots of NKP 765 are seen (from the program "2765 on the C&O"), no more past steam footage is seen for the rest of the program from Hinton to Clifton Forge. As such, highlights in this segment are 3 back-to-back music tracks that are COMPLETELY narration and sound-free allowing the viewer to listen to the music without any distractions. Of those 3 music tracks, the latter two are significant: the second music track (which ends at Kelly Tunnel) is the signature song used in the ABR series that one hears when watching the ABR preview (an excerpted version of this can also be heard in the program "Cumbres & Toltec"); the last music track (played from Kelly Tunnel to shortly after Mud Tunnel) is a shortened, faster, chorus-sounding, and epic remix of the Moffat Tunnel-Gore Canyon music played in ABR: The Heartland.

Although some were mentioned earlier, fun facts regarding the music played in this program for those who listen extremely carefully include but are not limited to the following:

The first music track, which is played between Cincinnati, OH and South Shore, KY is a slightly-remixed version of the music that plays in ABR: The West Coast Route between Gaviota, CA and San Luis Obispo, CA.
The music track that plays between South Shore and Raceland, KY is a remixed version of the music that plays in ABR: The West Coast Route leaving Sacramento, CA and a slight remix of the music that plays in the Burlington, IA section in ABR: The Heartland.
The music track that plays between Kenova and Huntington is used in the preview of Semaphores, Searchlights, and the Southwest Chief as well as in the program itself.
The music track that plays between Handley and Kanawha Falls is remixed in ABR: Route of the Southwest Chief in the Lamy-Albuquerque, NM segment as well as in the intros to Colorado's Scenic Train Rides and Tennessee Pass & the Royal Gorge Route and the South Bend-Chicago segment from ABR: The Heartland.
The theme song played in the intro and ending of this program is heard in its entirety in the 2nd track in the Hawks Nest-Thurmond section.
The last music track played in this program, which begins at Kelly Tunnel and ends shortly after Mud Tunnel in the Hinton, WV-Clifton Forge, VA segment, is a shortened, faster, chorus-sounding, and epic-style remix of the music that plays in ABR: The Heartland from Moffat Tunnel to Gore Canyon.

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

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America by Rail - Winter Wonderland
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2018-09-30 06:56:42.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


For Those of you who didn�t know a little more on this 1996 videotape, the Riding on Amtrak footage in the winter was shot by Les Jarrett, While Greg Scholl shot lots of flashback steam shots between Huntington & Hinton, WV Through the New River Gorge from January 1985 with C&O 614, to the Final run of Steam on the New River Train with Milwaukee Road 261. All ABR Programs except for the west coast route is still availible on Amazon's Instant Prime on the Go videos as well as most of Jarrett's titles, The Lots & Lots of Series by Marshall Publishing, and it also Has TM Books & Video in that site. Overall, great music, great winter sceney, and of course great steam action with 614, 765, 1225, and 261.

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

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America by Rail - Winter Wonderland
Railroad Ed (Pacific Basin) on 2011-03-14 17:59:59.

People who found this review helpful: 1

While I love trains, there wasn't much "snow" here, the view of Amtrak was almost all from inside looking out (we didn't see any lovely scenes of the FP40s busting through a snow drift, etc.), much of the footage should have been cut as there is little interesting about a long run past dead thickets outlined against a blurry river background, and the inter-cutting between Amtrak in winter and the same scenes with steam in the fall was not interesting or informative with a compare-and-contrast -- no! It was just disorienting!

OK, my brain could sort that out, but most unforgivable and hopelessly amateurish was the scene of what we called "the helicopter" pacing the train along above, for example, the Ohio River. Nah, that was not a chopper-cam getting some great aerial visuals. That was instead a big blob of something on the lens, much later to be replaced with two vaguely parallel smears. The "producers" of this little mess needed to buy another ticket and repeat the journey after a bit of camera maintenance. But they took the easy route instead and dumped this on the market. (The helicopter-blob, your persistent companion through much of the video, is impossible not to notice.)

I wouldn't take the time and hassle to box the DVD up and send it back, and I might consider the eBay seller again (it can't know every fault of its suppliers and producers -- I'll give it that doubtful benefit), but this piece of poor work should be pulled from the shelves immediately. That the producers let it go out is a black mark that cannot be removed. In life, there really are no second chances, and Greg Scholl has done this before (although not, to my experience, recently). I have no idea who Les Jarrett is (the apparent co-producer) and I will make no effort to find out.

No stars.

Additional remarks by Railroad Ed:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? I doubt it.
Image quality: Poor.
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? Definitely not!.

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America by Rail - Winter Wonderland
Jake (Fresno, CA) on 2010-09-28 21:23:11.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


My wife absolutely loves this train DVD. She is pregnant and on bedrest, so she's been watching it over and over again!

Additional remarks by Jake:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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