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China Steam

na , na  |  NR |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: na
  • Directors: na
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Topics Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00478IT7M
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #422,823 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

The last steam trains in the universe, you will find them in China Steam.

Product Features
See the majesty of the massive QJ locomotives in China
Watch steam engines haul logs on an antique narrow gauge line
Discover a fleet of high deflector JS locomotives
Spectacular film of some of the most remote landscapes in the world
Includes bonus footage of QJ engines

Hidden Railways
China is home to the few remaining steam railways still in operation, not that the government will admit it. Chinese authorities, in fact, deny such railroads exist in the interest of promoting themselves as a powerful, modern, technology-driven society.
But they do exist, and New Zealand filmmaker and steam train enthusiast John Agnew is out to prove it. Join him and his faithful crew in China Steam as they brave freezing temperatures, patiently cross thousands of desolate miles and dodge threatening officials all for the love of steam.

Time Warp
Visit places where time stands still where steam is a modern power. In remote Mongolia, see the majesty of the massive QJ locomotives as they haul enormous loads over the JiTong Line, which stretches more than 620 miles. Witness a fairytale train on one of China s antique narrow gauge forestry lines normally out-of-bounds to foreigners. And see a fleet of high deflector JS locomotives being serviced in one of the coldest environments in the world.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing steam trains in China right now December 23, 2010
I saw this film on PBS and it was amazing. There are huge numbers of steam locomotives in China, including a 1000 mile passenger line into Mongolia. The filmmakers got into a lot of back country villages and the winter landscapes with steam trains crossing vast empty terrain are beautiful. Interesting culture and people along all the tracks. Seems a lot like the American old west, but happening today. Lots of fun to watch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting January 18, 2013
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I enjoyed watching it once, it is a very unique look at China, but it is one of those videos that I would not watch over and over again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful expose on Chinese steam April 1, 2011
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This is probably the last ever documentary of Chinese steam. The shots from Inner Mongolia were stunning, and it was a beautiful piece which I am very glad I purchased!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Ruined by narrator and music November 7, 2013
By Boomatt
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This is absolutely ruined by the constant narration and music. The narrator must have said 50 times, fifty different ways how steam is disappearing and this is your last chance to see it. He also seems to think his prose is high falutin. I wanted to hear the engines since that's what is disappearing, remember? The quality of the video is top notch altho there is some shaky stuff that's hard on the eyes. The scenes of everyday China in the 21st century are also very eye-opening. Drop the narration and music and it's 5 star.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Last of China's Fire Breathing Dragons July 8, 2013
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For decades now the Chinese government has been telling anyone who asked that they were no longer using steam locomotives,...

and they were always lying, but if you go to China in the very near future, ask that same question, and get that same answer, they just might be telling you the truth because steam IS vanishing from China at an astonishing rate, and filmmaker John Agnew just happened to be in the right place at the right time to capture steam's last hurrah in its last refuge. This show contains 60 minutes of gorgeously shot footage and informative narration (plus ten minutes of extra un-narrated unused footage) about what John and crew saw in China. Except for the occasional secret policemen trying to figure out what these western "spies" were REALLY up to, the Chinese people were universally friendly if perplexed by John's intrepid band of nuts. Children in particularly would "go for them" in order to practice their English, and a TV station in the capital city of Inner Mongolia actually sent out a crew to film John and company filming steam engines on the JiTong Railway!

Diesel electric locomotives are simply more economically efficient than steam locomotives, which is why they replaced steam in most Western countries more than half a century ago, but the calculation isn't all that lopsided. The C&O railroad was experimenting with using steam locomotives to pull coal trains as late as the mid-nineteen-eighties, and the primary inefficiency: the need for much more frequent, much more labor intensive maintenance of steam engines, is less of an issue in a low labor cost country like China, which also possesses huge coal reserves.
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