Union Pacifics Last Steam Giants DVD5 of 5 (1)
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It's the summer of 1958. At Cheyenne, Wyoming, Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 Big Boys are being readied for their last months of service. Railfan and photographer Dave Gross is there to save these wonderful moments on 16mm color film as those mighty mammoths of the steam age are prepared for the battle up Sherman Hill. You'll see the proud passenger hauling 4-8-4 800's as they finish their last days in freight service on the Nebraska mainline. The 4-6-6-4 Challenger 3700's storm up Archer Hill east of Cheyenne and across the high wind swept plains. Track side footage captures excursions pulled by magnificent Union Pacific #8444.
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Union Pacifics Last Steam Giants DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2020-03-03 20:03:22.
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In this recently turned 30 year old program, it starts with a musical montage. The first engine during Dave's visit to union pacific territory is big boy 4015 taking a spin at the Cheyenne roundhouse and turntable. Note the alco built diesel in the background. Moments later, 4015 is being serviced with coal and water as sister engine 4019 stands by. Next, 4022 backs up to the yard as it turns at a bend. After coupling to the train, 4022 heads for Sherman hill. A westbound heads for dale junction. Another big boy is on track 3 this time at Emkay. On November 2nd 1958, Dave photographs the final big boy he ever captured: future famous survivor 4017. Here it goes under the Colorado and southern bridge. Today 4017 is at Green bay Wisconsin. Note the wheel slip in the going away shot. 4017 is 3 miles west of Cheyenne. With the big boys finished, the 800 series 4-8-4s are shown beginning with 836 going backwards to couple up, then heads west to Cheyenne with a freight. 836 is seen again as it picks up 60 mph speed. While 836 has since been scrapped, 844 is also shown in this program but we'll see the never retired later on. For now let's move on to the since been scrapped 3700 series challengers. Here we see 3707 being moved by an alco diesel, then runs light to pick up the freight. On July 11, 1959, challenger 3708 with elephant ears pulls slowly into the depot. With a clear signal, 3708 gets the right of way after being refilled with water. 3708 is seen again at an unknown location. Then comes the pacing. 3708 roads by the photographer. The fireman sands the Firebox as 3708 smokes up a storm at prairie Wyoming. Note the flickering firebox. At archer hill we bid farewell forever to 3708 and the rest of the 3700 & 3800 plus 90% of the 3900 series challengers for scrap. Only 2 survived: 3977 at Cody park near Bailey yard in North Platte Nebraska, and 3985 which was once the largest operating steam locomotive in the world from 1981 to 2010, but now resides in pieces at the Cheyenne shops. Moving onto 844 as 8444. The crew is doing some maintenance on the northern. With service complete, 8444 goes under the Colorado and southern bridge as it leaves Cheyenne with a wheel slip. A photo run by was shown at Harriman on track 3. This trip was sponsored by the Rocky mountain railroad club. At Perkins another photo runby is included. The wheel slip is happening again this time at Dale junction as 8444 tries to do a photo runby. Next, the Denver chapter of the nrhs operates 8444 as it sends the northern from Cheyenne to albin. Most of the trip is single tracked. At albin, 8444 arrives as it takes on water. Afterwards, 8444 is going at a much slower speed. North of albin, 8444 approaches the tunnel at 565 feet. 8444 is on the 1928 line as it picks up speed at 30 miles per hour. At Yoder, 8444 is turned on the wye and heads back. The late afternoon sun is glowing as 8444 approaches the 565 foot tunnel. Then it's back on the fast mainline to Cheyenne. While this is one of the short programs from WB video productions, the action during the final days of steam on the union Pacific is quite interesting to look at. Overall, good program to enjoy for a quick watch.