California Electric Trilogy

California Electric Trilogy


Format: VHS

Length: 38 minutes

Time Period: 1950- 1960’s

Locations: Oakland area

Sources: John Kirkland/ Full Color 16mm

Pentrex coverage of  three electric railroads in California. Key System, Sacramento Northern and Pacific Electric. Each line is covered individually. Plenty of street running around the Oakland area. this train video features full color and hi-fi sound. Mine is a VHS tape. I don’t know if the DVD has any additional material. It’s a relatively short 38 minute running time. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Too often, I see lesser ‘ filler material’ used for longer program time.

As usual, after the long years that have passed, the films are usually in need of restoration.

Pentrex is a quality company. They have computer enhanced the old films. Dubbed in good sounding audio. Their high standard of narration is also present.

Key System has coverage similar to other releases. Ride the bay Bridge to Oakland. Five lettered lines are: Oakland, Piedmont and Berkeley. Plenty of street running and rails being torn up as the service ends is shown.

Sacramento Northern has a a pair of railfan excursion trips. Begins in the early fifties. Also, chase an Oakland bound SN freight with an electric motor on each end. Short and sweet segment.

Pacific Electric around Los Angeles with much street running shown. Catalina Steamship specials run right to the docks. Nice touch is the departing steamship with the foghorn sound!  Also, San Pedro to Long Beach operations are viewed.

A fine look at SoCal interurban trains.

Rating: 4 Stars


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