Your Colorful Southern Pacific

Your Colorful Southern Pacific   (D-133)

Charles Smiley Presents

Format: DVD  (Factory Pressed) 

Length: One hour and 36 minutes

Time Period: 1991- 1995 and 1976

Locations: Yuma Subdivision

Sources: multiple video and film

MSRP: 29.50

Covering the last 5 years of the Southern Pacific, is another ‘top of the class’ Charles Smiley program. The 1990’s railroading scene is a standardized and modern version of the SP. The head end and its assorted roadnames are a focal point. As usual, Charles Smiley’s interesting mixture of current and historical aspects of the Yuma Subdivision make the program.  Did I mention? There are trains galore in this show!

                    Modern, 2nd and 3rd generation diesels dominate this program.

             General Electric C44-9W units that were built in 1994. Seen at Niland, CA.

The Custom made maps are always a nice bonus feature of a Charles Smiley Presents program. Extremely labor intensive to produce, they are another fine bonus in his shows. Like the other CSP videos, these are extremely well-organized shows.

Southern Pacific fields a varied line-up of EMD and GE power. Surprisingly, GP9, SD9 and GP35 locomotives are still in service.

Tunnel motor SD40T-2, GP60, GP40, SD45 types are common. Cotton Belt lettered  engines, as well as speed lettered SP and kodachrome livery merger SP are also present.

There are run through and leased locomotives on quite a few trains. Santa Fe, CSX, Rio Grande, Helm Leasing and EMD leased, are a few outside locomotives.

    Tour of this subdivision begins at Yuma, Arizona. This eastbound is crossing the Colorado River.

Much of the freight at the time was in the double stack and single stack container trains. The general merchandise traffic is shown, in a lower percentage than earlier decades.

Eschewing train videos that are strictly shot from roadside crossings, Charles Smiley would even go 4 wheeling himself, to get the more difficult locations. The tougher to get views are another ‘extra’ in his shows, whoever provides any type of scene. Here, SP8575 leads CSX GE 5863, and trailing SP locomotives. Yes, you’ll get the closer look, as well.

Chock full of interesting discussions. Here, the differences between the General Electric C44W, AC and DC versions. Locomotive design and service applications too!

Sugar Beet trains get extended coverage. El Centro is the major town for the railroad. Holly Sugar and loading of the beets are viewed. Plentiful information about the operation.

A 1976 cab ride on an eastbound from San Diego through Carriso Gorge is a rare treat ! The train is led by a pair of U25 B locos and a GP 30. Traversing mountainous desert area. Curving trackage and many tunnels make for a great ride.

Fast forward to 1992, more sugar beet  are operations featured. Even more sugar beet trains are to be viewed in Oregon!

SP Coastline is visited. Santa Maria Valley shortline with its tiny GE switchers are shown in 1992 and 1970’s.

The live audio is very well done. Some music is included too. Cinematography is first-rate.

This is an excellent look at the targeted Southern Pacific subjects. There are additional CSP releases covering: many years and locations, along with the varied Southern Pacific operations. Check the reviews for more of these world class programs.

Rating: 5 Stars

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