by Karl M. Bernard
Review of the video:
Ten years have passed since Big "E" Productions last visited "arguably the toughest mainline grade in the Midwest" to document KCS trains traversing Rich Mountain in Oklahoma and Arkansas. This time, the product is a 69-minute DVD, not a VHS tape, but that's not the only change. The KCS motive power is now modern, DPUed, and largely in the Southern Belle livery, and there's additional Mexican traffic with the promise of much more to come.
This video shows 19 entire trains, shot at ten locations from Heavener, Oklahoma, to Cove, Arkansas, during a 36-hour period in May 2009. Locations include Blue Cut, Page, Rich Mountain, Eagleton, and Mena, among others. The narration identifies each train by its symbol. Origins, destinations, and typical cargoes for each are described. The locations themselves are also explained, including percentages and lengths of grades. Patterns of KCS power use are also detailed. This reviewer detected no narrational errors beyond minor mispronunciations of "Kiamichi" and "Zoe." Besides the trains, the program shows an accurate map and track profile. As always with Big "E" videos, this is a very educational documentary on the section of railroad concerned.
The DVD is divided into chapters with menus for selective viewing, and it can be viewed with or without the narration. The original videography was digital, and the result is very clear pictures. The screen aspect ratio is 4:3.
This video was produced, directed, written, and narrated by Dick Eisfeller of Big "E" Productions. The price is $30.95.
Big "E" Productions
Review by Lowell G. McManus
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION DISCLOSURE: The producer of the reviewed product provided a complimentary copy of the product to the reviewer for the purpose of the review.