Railfanning Southern California In the 1950’s

Railfanning Southern California In the 1950’s


Format: VHS   

Length: One hour, 20 minutes

Time Period: 1950’s

Locations: Los Angeles, Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Loop, Beaumont Hill, Mission Tower, Caliente ….

Sources: Chet Hogan, Henry Wong, Alen Hawkins, Leo Caloia, Trevor Clarke

Program starts in 1950, with the LAUPT. Santa Fe, Union Pacific, and Southern Pacific. They all used the Los Angeles Union station. Color film shows the trains and facility. There are some on-screen graphics, used to identify trains. A fantastic assortment of; steam and diesel, portrays the transitional era, of steam to diesel.

Stan Kistler, Chard Walker, Richard Stein, all reminisce about the 1950’s Southern Cal railroading scene. They post old photos, and these are interesting monologues. The men introduce each segment.

Chet Hogan used 16 mm color film to record busy action at Mission Tower. Many trains with extensive passenger traffic. Even triple steam, on a shop move. Double headed steam on trains. Light engine moves. Super Chief, El Capitan, Grand Canyon all here. San Joaquin, The Owl ( with a cab forward), Golden State. Great footage, shot from the tower!

SP black widow, SD and F units on trains, Daylight paint on  Alco PA’s, the cars are shown. Some maps are used to show locations. A mixed train fan trip to Elinor, behind a Santa Fe Mikado. A working train, some switching is seen. The year is 1951, in color. Nice!

Cajon Pass in 1949. Henry Wong 16mm color film. Short and sweet.

Chard Walker has an outstanding segment with Santa Fe steam and diesels. Also, Union Pacific diesels around the Cajon Pass area. Various steam and diesel helpers. Double headed Santa Fe steam.

Santa Fe 4-8-4 with 2=10-2 helper upgrade. Fantrip to Barstow shops and new diesels on display. Alco PA, blue F7 pass and freight units. High desert footage in 1951 is good.

January 1954, Chet Hogan, bankers special on 16mm film. SP GS4 and a cab forward with heavyweight consist. Tehachapi Loop visit. Many ATSF and SP trains. Excellent trip.

This is presented in a documentary style. The combinations work well together. The narration is expertly interjected among the guest commentary and live sound. Photography is first-rate. Looks real good, even on a vhs tape.                                                                  A satisfying train video!

Rating 5 Stars


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