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Last Steam Freights 1968 DVD


1968 was the final year of revenue freight operations on the Denver and Rio Grande Western(Rio Grande) as trains operated over the Narrow Gauge from Alamosa to Farmington via Chama and Durango. Trains would arrive in Alamosa and loads were transferred to the narrow gauge cars for forwarding west primarily to Farmington The oil and gas boom of the 1950's prolonged the steam operations as the D&RGW delivered loads of pipe and drilling supplies. We pick-up the film coverage on June 3, 1968 with the Scholl family trip to Colorado and New Mexico. Randy Scholl shot 8mm movies with Warren W. Scholl's camera, and Greg shot slides to supplement the film. The first run was a K28 hauling the first shipment of the year to Farmington from Durango. The next day we chase 498 with empty cars toward Chama. On the third day see 3 engines in Chama, and chase 483 with 493 back up Cumbres Pass toward Alamosa. This was the first run of freight up Cumbres Pass for 1968. Later we pick up more runs from Ernie Robart including runs in June, July and August (Last run of 483 to Farmington is shown), plus odd moves in the fall, before seeing the final run from Alamosa on December 31,1968 which was 473 and 483 with a dead 481 and some coaches, and parts. This would be the final Rio Grande Steam train westbound from Alamosa, and ultimately the last train to operate between Chama and Durango. We end the show with shots of 473 in the Gato area on that last day heading to Durango. Of course today the Cumbres and Toltec remains,along with the Durango and Silverton, both of which were part of the former Rio Grande's 4th Subdivision over Cumbres pass. This dvd has a lot of interesting scenes, and allows one to peer into the history that was the final year of freight operations. Not only was it important because it was the last Rio Grande steam on the narrow gauge, but it was the last steam anywhere in the U.S. for a class one railroad.It was indeed the end of an era!!! We tried to document all the different operations we could, and a few are mentioned without footage. On some others we we have some still images to supplement the 8mm film coverage. There is music and narration of course as these were all shot as silent films. All three classes of Narrow Gauge engines are represented in this show with K28's 473 and 478 being shown on freight, as well as 476 on the Silverton bound passenger train. We also see K36's 483 and 484(in stills), and K37's 493 and 498 in service. These were the only engines to operate that year. You will also see some servicing shots and switching in places like Chama and Alamosa. This was too big for 1 dvd, so we had to split it onto 2 dvd's and have added several steam previews to the end of each.