With their colorful livery and sleek, air-streamed outlines, the stunning streamliners left an indelible stamp of glamor on the great age of rail.
North Coast Limited - now as 3-set!
North Coast Limited - now as 3-set!
NCL Stampede Pass, Part 1 of the complete journey.
Of all the U.S. Transcontinental railroads, when it came to the grandeur of the west, only the Rio Grande could challenge the Northern Pacific.
NCL The Rockies, Part 2 of the complete journey.
The one that sailed across the endless sea of wheat, followed great rivers through empty range lands the exclusive property of cowboys and finally came smack against the widest wall of Rocky Mountains faced by any Western Railroad?.
NCL Bozeman Pass - Mississippi, Part 3 of the complete journey.
Includes two round trips in summer between Bozeman and Livingston, MT: on the ground and on board.
NCL part 1: Stampede Pass. Where it squirmed the ox-bow loops at the bottom of Yakima Canyon, the cool lime-green North Coast Limited was a startling contrast against the chocolate browns of the lava flows. In this DVD you begin at tidewater in Seattle and wrestle up through majestic forest to Stampede Tunnel and then down the desert canyon to Pasco. Detailed diagrams, maps and black and white photos illustrate the standard gauge 5.5% switchback line that preceded the tunnel across the very tops of Cascade Mountains. The route of the "Portland Connection" is covered briefly. Except for the short B&W newsreel footage from the twenties, the whole shot on astonishingly clear commercial Ektachrome, not a single foot ever projected.
Closes with a 7 minute synopsis of: "Reopening of Stampede Pass" the first train through the tunnel in 13 years. Photographed and narrated in pouring rain and blizzard conditions by veteran steam and diesel engineer, Jack Christensen. Provides insights into the building and operation of both tunnel and line. 47 min.
NCL part 2: The Rockies. The one that sailed across the endless sea of wheat, followed great rivers through empty range lands the exclusive property of cowboys and finally came smack against the widest wall of Rocky Mountains faced by any Western Railroad? We locked that final segment away in a genie's magic bottle almost a generation ago on stunning Ektachrome film with colors so bright and real they take your breath away. You can sit in the Vista Dome all day with your nose pressed to the glass or listen trackside as the lonely cry of the Nathan Three Chime blows far away for trains and crossings that are gone forever - except from history books.
For 400 Miles from Bozeman to Pasco you'll be engulfed by Montana's highest mountains: a westbound trip in Summer and Eastbound in February. Both East and Westbound over the Butte Short line in summer. You'll climb every 2.2% grade at least twice: Butte Hill, Evaro, and Mullan Pass. You'll follow the Northern Pacific from the headwaters of the Missouri to the Columbia and catch up with Lewis and Clark along the way.
See a vignette in steam along the edge of the famed Cabinet Gorge now drowned behind the dam. Catch excerpts from the NPRHS tape "Jim Fredrickson Remembers" of steam on Evaro Hill and the Timken Roller Bearings 4-8-4 "Four Aces" - the first locomotive of its kind.
The Mainstreeter, an almost identical train, without domes, covers the Helena Line, and where ever the North Coast Limited was obscured by darkness. 40 min.
NCL part 3: Bozeman Pass to the Mississippi. Includes two round trips in summer between Bozeman and Livingston, MT: on the ground and on board. Climbing the west slope in winter. Big steam (4-6-6-4's and 2-8-8-4's) on the East slope. These huge monsters and the A-6 4-8-4 Northerns crawl between round house, coal tipple and water plug, then hammer at the 1.8% grade to Bozeman Summit. Has a side trip to Yellowstone Park and around the Gardiner Loop in steam.
We follow the Yellowstone River for 340 miles through the heart of Montana cattle country and then into the Badlands. Eastbound the North Coast Limited covered the next 660 miles to St Paul in darkness for most of the year. Scenes of the Mainstreeter are used to illustrate parts of this segment.
From St Paul the North Coast sped 330 miles beneath the palisades that hold the Mississippi between it banks. We see the train on a bright spring day with immense dams and colorful barges churning the river. Scenes of the train in steam in the 1930's are sprinkled throughout, including Chicago, Minneapolis, wheat farming, cow punching, the Dakota Badlands and more. 49 min.