see our main catalog contact us order here

Send us a question here:

To view our complete catalog, click here.

Customer Feedback:

(vol. 1 & 2)

"Thunder From The Wild West is great all-family entertainment. Captures life on the high desert and the impact of a railroad with a destiny."

Model Railroad News
July 2007

"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


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


"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

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

"Thanks for great and outstanding videos!"

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


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:

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.

Steam Train Action and Adventure
on the Grand Canyon Railway

Thunder Under Heaven

2 complete feature-length documentaries about railroading in the wild wild west.

(And like a feature-film, we used the
Grand Canyon Railway as our "back lot.")

The Grand Canyon Railway in Thunder from the Wild West dvd The Grand Canyon Railway in Thunder in the Canyons dvd

A show as big as our American West !

"I forget I'm watching a TV documentary.
It's more like having an "Indiana Jones" type adventure!
...only with trains!!"

5.1 Dolby Surround Sound makes sure you feel the "Thunder."

To watch preview scenes from these Grand Canyon Railway adventures,
just click on each of the boxes above.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To order both films at a double-feature discount price, click here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

See the complete
inside story and all the rip-roaring steam railroad action of this historic line and how it connects us to our past.
Presented on 2 feature-length DVD's.

  • Each film is complete unto itself. (It just uses some of the same "characters" to tell each story.)
  • Each dvd is as long as a movie, because each one IS an exciting adventure.
  • Each film sweeps you up into a separate story that stands on its own.

Thunder Under Heaven presents an "alternative reality" you will never get from Hollywood.
The people we meet aren't pretending. They really are living in a "time-warp" world....a separate reality from us.

Whether you like trains ...Or you just love travel and adventure....
"Look no further than
Thunder Under Heaven."*

(*as recommended by TRAINS magazine)

The Grand Canyon Railway of Williams, Arizona
Thunder Under Heaven ... a two-disc set that takes you on an epic adventure exploring the Grand Canyon Railway from two unique points of view.

Sadly, the Grand Canyon Railway no longer operates a regular steam program.
We were very fortunate to have captured all this action during their steam era.

While we were there filming, what they were doing truly mirrored the operations of the original railroad from 100 years ago as part of the Santa Fe. 

The steam may be gone, but the history remains.  These  two DVD's present the epic story of a railroad in the picturesque Southwestern United States.

Both DVD's were carefully produced so there is no repetition in the scenes and stories.

They feature rare footage spanning many years including rare winter steam action.

Each film presents fresh new information, interviews, and action.

Hi, my name is Rob Simpson. I'm the producer of these two films. I'll go into more detail about the shows in a minute. But, first...


For those of you who like it short and sweet, here's a quick overview of these two documentary films:

Grand Canyon Railway history in Thunder from the Wild West dvd
Thunder From the Wild West
takes you on a journey through the 120-year evolution of the "Grand Canyon Railway." The story begins just before the old Santa Fe Pacific arrived on the wild west high deserts of Northern Arizona. Re-live the fascinating story right up through the present day.

Grand Canyon Railway steam operation in Thunder in the Canyons dvdThunder in the Canyons unravels the myths and legacies from our steam railroading heritage. Imagine exploring the equipment, ...the daily activities, ...and meeting the people working jobs from a bygone era. The crews of the Grand Canyon Railway are working jobs from another century. This is a real day-in-the-life on a big steam railroad! A daily, 128-mile challenge for the steam locomotive and crews.

(Thunder in the Canyons is very much like a sequel to Thunder From the Wild West...picking up the story where the other leaves off.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To order both films at a double-feature discount price, click here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


For more detail about the Thunder Under Heaven (the Grand Canyon train) adventure, please read below.

To help bring life to the Grand Canyon Railroad story, both films feature the same "cast". The steam engines are the actors in this wild west story. There are three steam locomotives (two ALCO Consolidations plus one big Baldwin Mikado), and several first generation passenger diesels (ALCO FPA's ---both A and B units).

There are short (special guest star) appearances by other historic locomotives (such as the big Baldwin steam engine from the Santa Fe #3751, not to mention an old GP-9 diesel) as well as the old Harriman coaches and additional freight equipment.

Scene from THUNDER IN THE CANYONS 1st Generation ALCO Diesels and Baldwin steam engine Steam Engine #29 in a winter scene

Whether charging over a bridge, recreating a mid-20th century "roll-by," or chugging through a beautiful winter scene,
there's action a-plenty in the two Thunder Under Heaven DVD's.

If you have ever had an interest in railroads, transportation, travel, or the history of the American West, I guarantee you will love owning the Thunder Under Heaven 2-disc set.

(See published reviews at the bottom of this page.)

And with our satisfaction guarantee, I'll take the risk whenever you are ready to climb "all aboard." (See 100% satisfaction guarantee below.*)
Rob Simpson
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To order both films at our movie premiere-celebration,
double-feature discount price,
click here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A new kind of adventure for your big screen theater system.
(Each DVD is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound)

DVDYour Thunder Under Heaven adventure begins with

Thunder from the Wild West.

Like the wild wild west of the 1880's, the human story unfolds with the beautiful Arizona scenery setting the stage.
Here is just a taste of what you'll get to see.

NOTE: All the following photos are scenes taken directly from the films.
(Copyright Golden Rail Video. All rights reserved.)

Imagine in one short year how a lonely cattle ranch in the high desert explodes into a wild west-style Las Vegas? Saloons, ...gambling, for the trail, ...and fortunes won and lost on a draw of a card. That's what happened to Williams, Arizona in 1881-'82.

Williams, Arizona

Cowboys, prospectors, loggers, ranchers, workers, and fortune-seekers suddenly ride in from all over the high desert and beyond to forge a town where the rules are being made up as they go along.

What was the thunder-clap that sparked this "stampede"?

It was the Santa Fe Pacific Railway.

In 1881, the Santa Fe carved the first mainline across the state of Arizona...and nothing would ever be the same.

New arrivals to Williams, Arizona Williams, Arizona railroad yard
More scenes from the films. Settlers arrive in Williams, Arizona. Many stayed there to work for the railroad.

Can you believe it?
Back then, the Grand Canyon was considered nothing more than a "big hole" inside a forest preserve. Good for mining...and maybe "spittin' into". Prospectors were about the only ones really interested in it.

Yet the Santa Fe Railway just a few years later jubilantly proclaim itself to be "The Grand Canyon Line"?

Well, that's just part of the little-known history of the world's most famous National Park. ...the history that comes alive for you in Thunder From the Wild West.

The Grand Canyon

Thunder From the Wild West brings to life the often-ignored railroad history of the world's most famous National Park ...and the historic spur track heading north off the Santa Fe main known as The Grand Canyon Railway. it got it grew...and how it changed the lives of the people of the high desert Canyonlands.

High desert ranching became easier thanks to the arrival of the railroad. Old ranch bunk house beside the railroad loading pens.

Visiting the site of historic cattle ranches along the line gives you a glimpse of life in the high desert before and after the arrival of the Santa Fe Railway.

And then later, you'll see the story how the Grand Canyon Railroad operation whithered and was abandoned by the Santa Fe it was nearly torn up ...and how it miraculously came back to life.

Massive comeback effort
Discover the new Grand Canyon Railway's race against time to bring the first steamer (#18) back to life from a 35-year slumber...while the whole world watched!

Grand Canyon Railway shop Grand Canyon Railway shop scene

Tour the locomotive shop where legendary steam locomotive #4960 was carefully restored...costing over one and a half million dollars!

First generation diesels are now almost as rare as steam locomotives. The new Grand Canyon Railway has those, elegant fleet of ALCO passenger diesels. (Have you ever seen the engine-room of these old beasts? In Thunder from the Wild West you will.)

Steam locomotive 4960 and 1st generation ALCO diesels. ALCO passenger diesels - rare set of ABB units.

See moments frozen in time... snowy winter railroading with steam and first generation diesel equipment. Exclusive, historic footage that enriches Thunder From the Wild West into a film of mythic proportions.

Engine #29 in a blizzard
Engine #29 challenges a winter blizzard
(extremely rare footage from the railway's early years featured in Thunder in the Canyons).

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To order one or both films at our movie premiere, double-feature discount price, click here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The "sequel" to Thunder From the Wild West is

Thunder in the CanyonsThunder in the Canyons

The steam locomotive is "high-tech" from the Industrial Revolution. No one was unaffected. And our lives were changed forever.

The steam engine is in our collective "DNA of consciousness and culture." Every family in America once had brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, parents, or children who worked for the steam railroads. The everyday lives of so many generations were defined by service to this technology.

But, the daily chores that once ruled our recent ancestors' lives have vanished.

Did you wonder if you could get even a small glimpse into their day-to-day work lives ...the lives of so many of our ancestors? What would you see?

Williams depot in Arizona Railway Express cart Santa Fe Railway maintenance activity
Some folks worked on equipment. Others worked the depots and stations across America.

Thunder in the Canyons will take you there.

The Grand Canyon Railway is like no where else in North America. A place where the steam locomotive travels 128-miles every day delivering passengers to one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

Grand Cayon Railway train climbs out of the high desert

Thunder in the Canyons is more than "a day in the life" of a steam locomotive. It is an exploration of a world lost in time...and the people who some how manage to still live in that world.

Who in your family once worked for the railroad and lived a life such as these?

The Past is Alive
You'll meet the night hostlers as they prepare the mighty steam locomotives for their daily 128-mile trip to the Grand Canyon and back. (This is no stroll-in-the-park for a steam locomotive. This is serious railroading!)

Hostler on the Grand Canyon Railway Grand Canyon Railway yard at 4:00 AM
A night hostler reflects on doing a job from the 19th century while outside the locomotive builds up steam for the day.

I can never imagine why these fascinating activities are now almost forgotten. The coverage here is so interesting you can almost feel the steam and smell the grease.

You'll meet the steam engineer...a "job description" that quickly took on mythological proportions.

You'll meet the fireman...maybe the most job-critical position on the railroad.

While the engineer received all the glory, it was the fireman who kept the train rolling...running a fine line between wasting company resources and destroying the locomotive in a very dramatic way. Running a steam locomotive was the ultimate TEAM effort...and your life depended on doing it right.

Grand Canyon Railway fireman Grand Canyon Railway engineer.
Fireman and engineer take a moment to talk about working on a steam railroad.

We'll take an exciting ride in the cab of the Grand Canyon Railway's big Mikado-type steam engine #4960 as she plunges 1000 feet down into the high desert only to climb back up another 1100 feet to get to the forested resorts at the "South Rim" of the Canyon.

Cab ride in the big Mikado steam engine #4960 Engineer's view from the cab of 4960.

Explore historic locations along the line to learn more of the picturesque history of the Canyonlands...and the lasting impact of the railway.

Highballing across the open prairie.

You'll see spectacular photo runbys of the trains. You'll even learn about the fateful bridge washout in the early days of the Santa Fe Railway.


Do you think steam technology is dead?

Not a chance. Hear the inside story from the railway's CMO (chief mechanical officer Sam Lanter) on the latest developments being applied to the old steamers. Can they really be made more efficient than a diesel locomotive?

A fun bonus:
Visit behind the scenes with the railway's Cataract Creek Gang, where real cowboys take devilish delight in pretending to be their Hollywood counterparts...cowboys planning to hold up the train...all to total delight of the passengers.

Catarac Creek Gang attempts to rob the train. Train robber on the Grand Canyon Railway Train robber tries to talk his way out of his mis-deeds.
Cataract Creek Gang stages a train robbery. A "robber" tries to talk his way out of it to the Marshall. (scenes from the film.)

Santa Fe 3751 and 4960
Santa Fe steam engine #3751 makes a surprise appearance double-heading with 4960.

Grand Canyon Railway #18 and #4960 double-head.
Steam engine #18 also appears double-heading with #4960.

So there you have it. A North American railroad adventure unlike any other. (See customer feedback and published reviews below.) And get ready to give your home theater system a steam-powered, double-thunder workout.

But, you may have trouble describing to your friends which is the main show. Is one a "sequel"....or is it a "prequel"?

(Or does it matter?)

They're both too good to miss.... both feature-length, both entirely original, and each tells their own unique story of historic steam railroading in the Southwest.

And both films are now available on DVD.

This is such an unusual production, does it even surprise you that it took over 15-years to produce it for you? This is a really BIG show that you are guaranteed to thoroughly enjoy.

DVD DVDChoose one to start off your journey...or choose both and save.

*Our 100% satisfaction guarantee takes away any risk to you of ordering any of our shows. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, simply contact us here, and return the DVD. We will refund the price of the show. No questions asked (even though we are always interested in your feedback.)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
To order one or both films at our double-feature discount price, click here.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Now here is a video you'll want to see because it is so well produced you will be entertained throughout the film."

"The most revealing aspect of the video is the content and editing. What could have been a fairly dull subject has been made into exciting, living history.

"The viewer is treated to a wide range of action shots, interviews, insights, and original orchestral music. This adds up to a different kind of railroad video that informs and entertains at the same time."

"A great video that is well worth the price."

The Heimberger Press

"The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the greatest historic rail operations in the country. Thunder Under Heaven (Vol 1&2) tells the story with a lively mix of contemporary video, historic black-and-white stills, interviews, maps, and original music."

"For a program about the Grand Canyon Railway, look no further than Thunder Under Heaven."
TRAINS Magazine

"Classic steam engines and shop operations make this a video that will fascinate and intrigue everyone, including that die-hard railfan. Not to be missed."
Route 66 Magazine

You may order each film separately ($24.95 each) or order both and get your big 20% savings!

The Rock Trains dvd and box The Rock Trains dvd and box
91 min. 104 min.
Both in 5.1 Dolby Surround Sound

Break out the popcorn!
Your Double-Feature Discount

Saves you 20% when you order both.
Only $39.95

To add a dvd to my Instant Shipping cart, click here.
Show me my shipping cart.

I want to PRINT an order form that I can fax or mail in the old-fashioned way.

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

Steam Power Sawmill | The Rock Trains | Steam Up in the Mountains
Santa Fe 3751 | Canyon Rails Steam Celebration | Secret of Niles Canyon | Shay Power Tour | Age of Steam Logging | home page