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This new release combines color film shot nearly 20 years ago as well as fresh new material from 1999 and January 2000. The setting is the beautiful Wasatch Mountain range and its punishing 2.4% grades where helpers are a way of life. The town of Helper, Utah is still a stronghold for Rio Grande units with showcase helper action with sets up to seven units!

Model Railroad News comments

Charles Smiley Presents captures some of these moments from the past through heritage film, and contrasts those scenes with rail traffic of today in "Reflections on Soldier Summit." Tracking the evolution of the railroad through various avenues, his images convey the awsome territory that the Rio Grande conquered, and the brute force of the trains that did it. One of the hallmarks of the Grande was its use of huge helper sets of six, seven, or more six axle diesels, sinister with their paint soot-blackened by tunnel dwelling, prowling the twisting, turning rails. Modern yellow diesels of the all-devouring Union Pacific are shown on the same passes, and even though the UP is touted as wanting to avoid helpers, an SD-90 and a pair of high horsepower GEs still need extra oomph to get their coal up the grade---and sure enough, it's black and orange diesels doing the pushing. Smiley showcases vintage Utah Railway ALCO locomotives, first early RSDs and later, Alligators off the Santa Fe, Mostly still in yellow and blue.This is an interesting collection of images and anyone who is a certified Rio Grande fan will want to watch it. And if you're not a Rio Grande fan, this tape will make you at least a little bit sorry it's gone.

We use maps, grade profiles and other informational graphics specially developed for this video to bring recognition to all the great action filled material. Many of the historical themes are developed as well as current changes that are based on the events of twenty and thirty years ago. See the story too big for the others to tell.


Color film from M.A. 'Bo" Golson Vintage Rio Grande and ALCos film Ride the Rio Grande Zephyr with runby action Comprehensive Rio Grande power guide Rumbling helper power on fierce 2.4% grades

Length: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Untitled Document


SOLDIER SUMMIT REFLECTIONS DVD SD116DVDRegular price: $29.50Sale price: $22.00
Untitled Document

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