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America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions

4.6 of 5 (5)
America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions Greg Scholl Video Productions GSVP-18 604435014498
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This Telly Award-winning video is an outstanding cross country journey aboard Amtrak from Washington, D.C. to San Francisco, California. Aboard the Capitol Limited we travel to Chicago, then continue westward on the California Zephyr. The scenery is ever changing, and most magnificent through the Colorado Rockies as we see views from on the train, inside the Cab, and trackside through this area. With specially composed music by Michael Lynch the journey on Amtrak is a treat to enjoy. However, this is not all. In addition to the Amtrak trip, we stop along the way and visit no less than 12 different railroad excursions with both steam and diesel trains. They include: The Strasburg Railroad, The Potomac Eagle Excursion, The Western Maryland Scenic, The Ohio Central, The Boone & Scenic Railroad, Omaha Zoo Railroad, Durango & Silverton Railroad, The Heber Valley Railroad, Virginia & Truckee, Napa Valley Wine Train, Santa Cruz and Pacific, and the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad. There are lots of extras too like a street car ride, and view of San Francisco Cable cars, and a brief visit to Arches National Park. This video has become one of the best selling train videos, and we are proud to say we co-produced it. Greg Scholl Video Productions


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DVD Item#:GSVP-18
Runtime:2 Hours, 00 Mins ($0.19/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:604435014498
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC

America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions
TrainsofAmericaandCanada (San Antonio TX US) on 2019-08-17 15:06:43.

People who found this review helpful: 3

  •  4 of 5


This program shows riding action on both the Capitol Limited from Washington D.C. to Chicago, Illinois, and the California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco, California. Also included are side trips to scenic tourist train rides (e.g. Strasburg Railroad, Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, etc.) and famous landmarks such as Arches National Park. For anyone who enjoys onboard action through amazing scenery, along with tourist railroad attractions, this program is for you.

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

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America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions
Ken on 2009-08-20 17:09:16.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


This is a very nice DVD showcasing a wide variety of local vintage train rides tied together by crossing the country in the California Zephyr. This DVD is focused more for the train enthusiast than for someone interested in a train experience. We are the latter, and hoped for more regarding the current state of the California Zephyr, but enjoyed it just the same. A young person interested in steam trains still running, or working on a report would find this a great DVD, but its not a little kids show.

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

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America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions
rrvideoman on 2007-08-12 23:15:22.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


This was one of my earliest Railroad movie purchases. Washington to Chicago to San Francisco on Amtrak, with many shortline Tourist Railroads in between. Simply put - your on board in this movie. You can feel the excitement of being on a long distance Passenger train. At trackside at places like Moffat Tunnel, or in the Cab of a Genesis as the trip goes along, the movie is facinating from start to finish. Over 9 years, and my family still enjoys it when I play this movie. Whether on the Amtrak or Potamac Eagle or on a trolly in Iowa, Ohio Central, etc... Also tours of Washington & Chicago's Union Stations.
This movie is based for the Tourist in all of us, but is mainline action at it's finest.
Only note that maybe not quite to every person's taste is some of the music accompliment that goes along with the narration.


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America By Rail -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions
Nikhil Murthy (Redmond WA) on 2021-02-22 19:07:43.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


This is the first in a series of America by Rail (ABR) programs that follows this format: a Point A to Point B journey riding Amtrak trains and visiting tourist railroads and a national park along the way. In this program, we begin at the nation's capital, Washington, DC, and travel across the country to San Francisco, CA riding 2 Amtrak trains: the Capitol Limited (CL) and the California Zephyr (CZ), the latter being one of the 2 most-scenic Amtrak routes in the entire US (the other being the Coast Starlight, covered in ABR: The West Coast Route). 12 tourist railroads are visited, some of which are defunct but most of which still exist today.

We begin at the US capital, Washington, DC, with a glimpse of the city's most important landmarks including the White House, the Capitol Building, the Supreme Court, etc. Then we head to Union Station to begin our cross-country journey riding Amtrak's Capitol Limited to Chicago.

The first tourist railroad we visit is the Strasburg Railroad in the Amish community of Strasburg, PA. Powering the train at the time this program was shot is the recently-restored N&W 4-8-0 475. Additional in-depth coverage of this Mastodon can be seen in "Steam in the 90s Volume 1."

We then rejoin the CL at Point of Rocks, MD and ending this segment at Green Spring, WV with EMD GP9 6604 and ALCO FPA4 6793 of the Potomac Eagle Excursion Train and the Capitol Limited sharing horn salutes. Other similar salutes can be seen in the programs "All Aboard the Potomac Eagle", "Early Diesels 3" (using EXACTLY the same runby), and "CSX in the 90s."

Then we begin the Potomac Eagle Excursion train segment itself. Highlights include: an AWESOME air horn produced by CSX 118; listen closely as the engineer in the cab pulls the horn cord after John Hingsbergen ("The Narrator") ends the description of the railroad ending with "... known as the Trough"; in addition, the other 2 aforementioned vintage diesels are seen in action that have since been replaced with newer ones. Some of these new diesels can be seen in the bonus footage in "All Aboard the Potomac Eagle."

The next tourist railroad visited is the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. This is historically significant as when this program was shot an ex-Canadian FPA4 was the motive power and only a single coach was used; contrast this to today's operations with an American steam locomotive, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad 734, pulling several coaches! Additional coverage of this unusual situation can be seen in "Early Diesels 3" along with other diesels on this same railroad that have since been displaced by this large 2-8-0; 734 can be seen in "Steam in the 90s Volume 1."

The next tourist railroad is the now-defunct Ohio Central Railroad at another Amish community: Sugarcreek, OH. At the time this program was shot in 1994: CN 4-6-0 1551 was in charge and there are cab ride scenes and trackside views of this locomotive. More in-depth cab scenes of this engine can be seen in "Steam Cab Rides."

Finally, we rejoin the CL in South Bend, IN for the train's home stretch to Chicago Union Station. Upon arrival at the station, we board the CZ to continue the cross-country journey to San Francisco. This segment ends as the train approaches Omaha, NE. Highlights in this segment include: a brief overview of the dining and lounge cars for viewers who have never ridden an Amtrak train, crossing the Mississippi River from Illinois into Iowa and an AWESOME K5LA by P40 828 as the train leaves Burlington, IA that can't be replicated today due to quiet-zone ordinances and successor locomotives not having the same type of horns the P40s have!

Next, we visit the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone, IA (well-known for being the home of ex-First Lady Mamie Eisenhower) and see Chinese-built JS 2-8-2 8419 in charge with cab footage. More in-depth coverage of this foreign steam locomotive can be seen in "Steam in the 90s Volume 2." To conclude this segment, we briefly view an ex-South Shore interurban car with an extremely melodic horn.

The next tourist attraction is not just for train enthusiasts but for animal lovers as well: the Omaha Zoo Railroad which is part of the Omaha Zoo itself. As on the B&SV, another overseas steam locomotive is used: in this case Austrian steam locomotive "Riva" is in charge.

We rejoin the CZ as it heads west from Omaha in the darkness heading for Denver. The only highlight in this portion is a station stop at Ft. Morgan, CO; after leaving Denver, however, the best part of the CZ route, and this program in general, starts as we begin the segment to Glenwood Springs. Highlights include: cab ride footage climbing the Rockies to the Continental Divide at Moffat Tunnel and traversing the Byers, Gore, and Glenwood Canyons along the way (complete coverage of the cab ride can be seen in "Cab Ride Through the Rockies Volumes 1-3); 5 extremely beautiful music tracks that plays COMPLETELY narration-and-sound-free after The Narrator says "... as a passenger on a Zephyr train" leaving Denver until the train arrives in Glenwood Springs where he says "Arriving in Glenwood Springs ..." allowing the viewer and music enthusiasts to listen to the music with little-to-no distractions. Speaking of which, the music that plays as the train continues climbing the Rockies and ends as the train enters Moffat Tunnel is the same music that plays at the start of the program. On the other hand, for those who want to hear the trackside sounds of the locomotives in this segment, see the program "Last Streamliners Through the Rockies."

The next tourist railroad visited is one of the best steam and general tourist railroads in the United States and, possibly, the world: the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad featuring several ex-Rio Grande 2-8-2 K-27s and K-28s. As such, no further explanation is needed as one can find contemporary resources describing the railroad in more detail.

We rejoin the CZ in Palisades, CO with coverage ending near Salt Lake City, UT. Highlights include: a beautiful K5LA at Palisades, CO (listen to the echoes the first two air horn blasts produces!); 2 extremely-beautiful music tracks with Thompson, UT separating them; Arches National Park; 75 mph pacing shots of the California Zephyr (note the icon that appears on the top-left of the screen showing the train's speed when the subtitle at the bottom of the screen indicates "Book Cliffs, UT"!) and a MASTERPIECE runby at Price, UT showcasing a Long-Long-Short-Long the CZ makes as the train approaches the camera and a very-beautiful sunset in the background supplemented by an EXTREMELY-OUTSTANDING Long-Long-Short-Long as the train heads away from the camera to conclude this segment.

Next, we visit the Heber Valley Railroad. As on the WMSR, the operation performed when this program was shot was unusual in that a former Union Pacific diesel switcher was in charge; contrast this to today's operations with steam locomotive Union Pacific 2-8-0 618 being the motive power! In addition, after The Narrator ends the overview of the railroad with the words "... Provo, UT", the music played in this segment is uninterrupted and sound-free. Speaking of 618, those who want to see this Harriman-style steam loco in action should get the program "Steam in the 90s Volume 2."

Our CZ journey continues from Salt Lake City to Reno, NV. The only sad thing in this portion is there is NO trackside shots: as such, the motive power for this segment is not seen and is only seen after departing Reno following the next tourist railroad: the Virginia & Truckee. At the time this program was shot, V&T #29 was the main motive power. Highlights include: cab footage inside the steam locomotive. More in-depth cab footage along with the engine, however, can be seen in the program "Steam Cab Rides" along with "Steam in the 90s Volume 2."

After rejoining the CZ at Reno, we continue west as far as Napa Valley, CA. Highlights include: F40PHs completely replacing the P40s as the motive power for the rest of the journey and the climb up Donner Pass. One interesting note is that although the CZ stops in Sacramento, the state capital's well-known railroad museum, the California State Railroad Museum, is not visited in this ABR program: it is deferred to the next ABR edition: The West Coast Route.

The next tourist railroad is the Napa Valley Wine Train powered by ALCO FPA4s.

We then rejoin the CZ one last time for the home stretch to Oakland, CA, which is historically significant as the CZ stops at Emeryville today. Then we ride the Amtrak bus to San Francisco and get a glimpse of the city's highlights including the extremely-famous cable cars and the Oakland Bay Bridge.

Then we conclude this program by visiting the last 2 tourist railroads both based in Felton, CA and now integrated as "Roaring Camp Railroads": the first was formerly called "Roaring Camp & Big Trees" which is a narrow gauge railroad that was powered by an ex-West Side Lumber Company Heisler steam locomotive. when this program was produced; the other was formerly called the "Santa Cruz, Big Trees, & Pacific" powered by a standard-gauge ex-Santa Fe CF7 diesel.

A lot of major changes have taken place, some of which were already mentioned, since this program was produced in 1994. For example, Amtrak's Capitol Limited uses bi-levels Superliners instead of single-level and dome cars and Genesis P42 locomotives in the Phase V paint scheme power today's long-distance Amtrak trains which do not provide the awesome-sounding K5LAs and extremely-distinctive bells that yesterday's P40s demonstrated throughout this program.

This award-winning program is a MUST-HAVE not just for railfans but for a general audience who want to make a coast-to-coast trip to get a taste of the spectacular scenery the United States of America has to offer! As The Narrator puts it, "... to see America properly, one must stay on the ground ... "

Fun facts regarding the music in this program for those who listen extremely carefully includes but is not limited to the following:

The music played in the South Bend-Chicago segment is slightly remixed in ABR: Route of the Southwest Chief in the Lamy-Albuquerque segment and in ABR: Winter Wonderland from Handley to Kanawha Falls.
The music played when the CZ enters and leaves Burlington, IA is remixed in ABR: Winter Wonderland in the portion between South Shore and Raceland, KY.
The last song played in ABR: Winter Wonderland, between Hinton, WV and Clifton Forge, VA which starts at Kelly Tunnel and ends shortly after Mud Tunnel, is a shortened, faster, chorus-sounding, and epic-style remix of the music that plays in the Moffat Tunnel-Gore Canyon segment.
The music that plays in the Arches National Park-to-Price, UT segment is remixed in ABR: Route of the Southwest Chief for the first song in the Las Vegas-Lamy, NM segment.

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 -The Heartland - Greg Scholl Video Productions
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2017-06-29 11:20:16.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  4 of 5


Made in 1994, this was the very first America By Rail program ever made. Most of these scenes were later re-used in other GSVP & RP titles like: CSX in the '90s, Early Diesels 3, All aboard the potomac eagle, The Alphabet train, Cab ride Through the rockies, Southern Pacific Pictorial, and Marshall Publishing's Lots & Lots of Trains 1 & 2. Fun Fact Alert: This one along with the West Coast Route from 1995 were eventually combined on DVD by Simitar in 1998 making it the very first Railroad DVD ever Made.

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

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