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Customer Feedback:

THUNDER UNDER HEAVEN
(vol. 1 & 2)

"The two DVD's are terrific. The railroad parts are fantastic AND you really captured the majestic scenery beautifully. Your shots of the Grand Canyon are about the best I've ever seen!"
Jay Carsman
California

THE ROCK TRAINS

My grandson (Sebastian, age 3) and I have been busy watching THE ROCK TRAINS. I think we have watched the DVD about 20-30 times.

No.10 is "Percy" and No.5 is Thomas. He is beginning to anticipate occurrences in the "tale."

He particularly likes the "dumping scenes" and anticipates "cows on the track."

The shot of No.10 chuffing over the Big Michel River bridge is one of the high points for him each time.

We both enjoy ROCK TRAINS very much. And I certainly enjoy sharing the time with Sebastian. Thank you !

Rush Bailey
California

STEAM-POWER SAWMILL:

"What a journey...from tree to final product! I had to go back a couple of times to get a double take of various segments! Great stuff!

I think I have watched Steam Power Sawmill at least 15 times!

The sound on the DVD is as if I was standing right there next to the machinery, that blew me away!

I look forward to future releases!

Once again, thank you for producing a fine movie!

Joel Ashcroft
(Joel has put together a website filled with fascinating logging photos at http://spcascades.railfan.net/westernLumberCo.html)

"Presnted are all the daily activities of North America's last commercial mill still powered by steam."

Model Railroad News

"Thanks for producing superior videos. It is most appreciated."
Ed
Oregon


"Thanks for great and outstanding videos!"
George
Virginia


"Thanks very much for a brilliant video." (STEAM-POWER SAWMILL)

--Stephan
Denmark

Like so many of our fans, Stephan loves to build models of railroad operations. Although from Europe he chose to model operations as seen in Western Oregon. You can see pictures of his creativity at his personal website: http://www.stephan-besier.de

We have friends all over the world. We truly appreciate hearing from you. Thanks to all for sharing your feedback and your kind words of encouragement.


A fascinating exploration of a steam powered sawmill "lost" in time.

And, you'll learn how the best forest management helps to keep producing lumber without running out of wood!


Explore ancient technology and modern logging in

Steam-Power Sawmill
An action-packed look at an industrial survivor.

Steam Power Sawmill dvd
The sawmill that time forgot.
Presented in awesome 5.1 Dolby Surround-Sound.

From the beautiful mountain peaks
...through the lush forests
...down to the stream running by this rugged old sawmill
...there has never been a video quite like Steam-Power Sawmill.


To watch preview scenes from STEAM POWER SAWMILL, just click on the box above.
For DIAL UP connections, click here
Requires Windows Media Player. To download the free Windows Media Player, click here.
Requires the Windows Media Player. To download the free Windows Media Player,


Mystified journalists didn't know what to expect:

"I wasn't sure what to expect when I received this video, but I must rate it one of the more fascinating I have reviewed. It is fast-paced, informative, and educational.

Great narration. Well done and entertaining."

Heimberger Press, S Gaugian Magazine

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"Fascinating. The photography is nothing short of spectacular. A one-of-a-kind presentation well worth the price. This is a video to watch again and again."

Live Steam Magazine


Screaming machines, gut instinct, quick decisions... and steam power.

Hidden away in the lush forest of Oregon's Coastal Range is a 1930’s-era sawmill almost untouched by time. Every morning the steam whistle of the feisty Hull-Oakes Lumber Company echoes off the nearby trees. The vintage steam-powered equipment is again fired-up to process old-fashioned long and large timber of Douglas fir for the world market.

Welcome to the world of the STEAM-POWER SAWMILL and the last commercial mill still operating in all of North America. This is not a little one-man operation, but rather a large complex that never gave up on using steam to power its equipment.

STEAM-POWER SAWMILL is a unique documentary taking you on something like an industrial archeological expeditio. This feature lenght film explores all the details of this intricate mill.

Starting from the old log pond where floating logs are sorted, you’ll follow along through the mill into the yard where the finished lumber is loaded onto rail cars for shipment.

Everything at this mill is from another era. Whether it is the steam engines and boilers …or the old straddle-carriers that scoot around the lumber yard, STEAM-POWER SAWMILL will show you a technology you may have never known existed. You’ll even crawl underneath for rare views of the mill works.

Surprisingly entertaining and educational. Available on DVD in 5.1 Surround Sound

This is a real industrial-strength passport to another time…and another place.

.

To watch a video clip from STEAM POWER SAWMILL, click here.

For DIAL UP connections, click here. (smaller file)



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PRODUCER'S UPDATED NOTES: (April 2008)

Rob Simpson, producer of steam train videosSteam-Power Sawmill has turned out to be one of our most popular videos.

It is loved by all ages.

Kids come away understanding that our forests are a natural resource that must be taken care of. They also see just how much work goes into getting lumber into their local hardware store.

Historians have used Steam-Power Sawmill for archival purposes to preserve forgotten industrial activities and to foster greater understanding of the history behind our logging industry.

Hobbyists have used it as a constant reference.

Teachers have written us saying they use the video as a kind of rainy-day reward for their students. It is educational, yet it is fun.

People who needed a completely unique gift have written back to say how Steam-Power Sawmill was such a hit...they had never received anything quite like it. They are usually telling us this when they call to order more copies. (Now that's customer satisfaction!)



We recently updated the Steam-Power Sawmill story for the new DVD release. Here is what we did:


We wrote and recorded new parts in order to clarify and update a few points about reforestation and about the mill.


We traveled back to the old Hull-Oakes mill and added many new scenes ...scenes we had always wished we could have had in the original hit production. The new footage helps you really see the whole story.

While we were there shooting, we found Hull-Oakes had installed a "new" 50-year old planer mill.
So obviously we will show you that, too.

We created lots of Menu Chapters for the DVD that make it easy to choose a special part of the show. This is especially helpful for
  • teachers
  • kids
  • historians
  • model builders

But, what should really knock your socks off is the new 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound.

In a word, it is AWESOME!!

I sounds so real...you'll be wondering why there isn't sawdust pouring out of your speakers.

(Of course, if you play it too loud, there will be! But, please don't blame us for that!)


As some of you may know, as a producer I come with a strong background in audio engineering.
Sound is very important to me on all my productions. Sound is what makes a great image really come alive. (Just ask a George Lucas or Steven Speilberg.)


If you turn up your sound system (especially a 5.1 Surround Sound system),
it will feel like you are really there,...
  • on the old freight train
  • at the logging site in the woods
  • in the meadow where the young trees are growing
And then...
  • right there inside the old mill
  • by the log pond where "log broncs" sort logs
  • in the boiler room where they make the steam to run the mill
  • underneath the mill where it looks like the catacombs of some gothic, science-fiction machine
And finally...
  • into the lumberyard where you'll see the quaint 1930's-era straddle carriers (still being used)
  • how the lumber is prepped and loaded onto the old train for shipment around the world.

I can easily promise, this will be the most unusual, memorable, and enjoyable video you may ever add to your collection. Every time you watch it you'll see something new. It is definitely one you will watch again and again....and one you will be sharing with your friends.

There is something about this video that triggers the "Wow Factor" for documentary fans.

As the producer, I have watched this show 101(+) times to get the story, action, and sounds just right. And now, every time I watch this new version, the surround-sound still just knocks me out.

I just know you are going to love it, too!


The whole Steam-Power Sawmill project was a lucky set of circumstances and truly a labor of love.

This DVD I am very proud to offer to you.


Rob Simpson


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just click here.

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Here's what people have told us about Steam-Power Sawmill:

"I recently purchased your STEAM-POWER SAWMILL video. I was so impressed with it that I just had to send this letter of thanks for a job well done. ...The production was well planned out, especially the sawmill scenes...very educational and a great pleasure to watch. ...a real eye-openeer. There's hardly anything else out on the market that comes close."
Andrew, Illinois


.


"I have over 80 videos in my private collection with train content. The one exception is Steam-Power Sawmill. This is one of my favorites. The entire video was educational and informative. I enjoyed it from beginning to end."
George, Pennsylvania


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"Steam-Power Sawmill is fascinating.
Historically resonant. This is a wonderful offering from Golden Rail Video.
TRAINS Magazine

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"Steam-Power Sawmill is outstanding. Beautifully filmed. Don't miss this video."
Narrow Gauge & Shortline Gazette


Steam-Power Sawmill is actually like having
three videos in one. Here's why...
Log pond at the Hull Oakes lumber mill

The Hull-Oakes Lumber Company in Oregon is one of the few places left on the planet that can process long and large logs of Douglas Fir into highly prized lumber ...lumber that is sold all the world over. And it does so with steam power.

This video explores this mountain mill site as i
f you are on an archeological expedition uncovering forgotten secrets from another era.


The old train to the Hull Oakes sawmill

Part ONE of Steam-Power Sawmill:
Climb aboard a 1st generation diesel train and ride the 100-year-old rail line through the forest into our industrial past.

The Hull-Oakes Lumber Company with its old buildings and sheds provide a frozen-in-time backdrop to the bustling lumberyard.

As you scan the activity, the mill's fascinating history is revealed.




Part TWO:
You are whisked away to the high country to see contemporary logging in action. You'll see
  • skyline riggings,
  • selective harvesting, and
  • the application of scientific forestry research which helps keep our planet's only renewable resource strong.
Hull Oakes steam powered sawmill and log pond

Part THREE:
Brings you back to the mill as the logs splash into the old-style log pond. You'll follow them through the mill as they are turned into lumber, and finally onto the waiting freight cars.

You'll also explore the dark "underworld" of the mill ...a maze of belts and chains leading to the steam engines that run the equipment above.

There are so many amazing sights ...from the boiler room …to the big log de-barker …to the old straddle carriers that scoot around the lumberyard.

Because there's always something different to see, Steam-Power Sawmill is not only entertaining and educational, it is a video you will enjoy over and over again.

Even young children find it fascinating because it is like an adventure in the woods.


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If you would like to add STEAM-POWER SAWMILL to your shipping cart,
just click here.

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PRODUCER'S ORIGINAL NOTES:
Why produce a video about an old sawmill????


"I think it was the little kid in me who used to love school field trips to farms and factories."

"When I heard about this ancient mill, I just had to do something to preserve it while it was still there."


Two friends I know from Oregon publish a magazine for historians called Timber Times. The magazines presents incredibly preserved pictures and stories from the early days of logging. They knew of a large commercial sawmill....hidden in the woods ...one that was still running on steam power and still using ancient equipment.

That's how I first heard of the Hull-Oakes Lumber Company.


I couldn't believe it. Here was a money-making, all-commercial operation still using
equipment that is usually only seen in some dusty museum.
And this was the last one of its kind.

As a photographer and video producer, I knew there was an incredible
story going on here that needed to be told.

However....

What I discovered was like uncovering an industrial
King Tut's Tomb... with people still alive and happy inside it!

It was like "industrial archeology." Right here were buildings, equipment, and
practices that had been preserved as if locked in a time-warp.

The operation had not been altered by computers, lasers, and
other modern influences within the industry.

Somehow ancient back-woods practices had survived.
And these old methods were still being handed down from one generation to the next.


It was all there...

The carriage rolling past the head rig slicing off new boards like sticks of soft butter.


People scrambling to adjust equipment on the fly...and then GET OUT OF THE WAY.

The edger man adjusting the spinning blades of the edger saw by hand.
The chain-driven "jump rolls" where the boards suddenly change direction and head to another part of the mill. A maze of amazement.

Nobody has a communications radio or is referring to a software manual at this place.
It's all hand signals, human-controlled machinery, ...and no-hesitation decisions.

___________________________________________________


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Have you ever noticed that most day-to-day activities in our world seem so common or normal to us, often
they don't get documented?


The years go by... and little by little... things change. And no one really notices.

Suddenly, it dawns on everyone that no one can remember how something was done just two generations ago.

Traditions, techniques, and skills that were perfected by trial and error over many generations are suddenly lost.



"That is why I had to pack up my cameras and recording equipment,
and head out to Oregon Territory.
I just knew there were things going on there that would never happen again.

"But, nothing prepared me for the fascinating story I would find
surrounding the Hull-Oakes Lumber Company.

"I hope you enjoy your video journey to this industrial relic as much as I did."

Rob Simpson

To have a look at the action with these special preview scenes
from STEAMPOWER SAWMILL, click here.

For DIAL UP connections, click here. (smaller file)


Requires Windows Media Player. To download the free Windows Media Player, click here.

Steam-Power Sawmill dvd


STEAM-POWER SAWMILL
The sawmill that time forgot.

117-min
DVD featuring 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound
$24.95

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Video Previews
Have a look at the action!

Requires the Windows Media Player. To download the free Windows Media Player, click here.

Santa Fe 3751

We produce our videos as if they were a feature film. So, naturally, we had to have some fun "previews" to watch.

We're getting them up here on-line for you.

Right now we have Steam Power Sawmill and The Rock Trains for you to see here at the site. Just click on those names above and have a look.

We'll be getting more on-line for you soon. We'd love to have you sign our email list and we'll keep you posted about our train activities. (See above left.)






To order on-line click here.
To mail (or fax) an order form the old-fashioned way click here.

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