Length: One Hour
Time Period: Feb.6, 1955
Locations: Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Cajon Pass, Summit, Barstow
Source: J. Allen Hawkins, Don Downie, Chad O’Connor, and more
The date is February 2, 1955. Santa Fe #3759 came out of storage for special excursion service, for the one day! Farewell to Steam was the title of the fantrip. This passenger train runs with regular Santa Fe traffic, on the busy mainline. A nice extra, is to see the blue and yellow freight scheme F units, on mainline freight trains. Of course, the famous warbonnet passenger trains make some appearances.
There is a main menu, chapter menu, and bonus preview section.
The program is in full color. Multiple cameras supply an array of viewpoints to witness the event. This is sharply executed. Much planning must have went into the recording of the train’s round trip from Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal.
Al Hawkins is a bold cameraman. He will perch on top of the big tender, and shoot film. The team has additional cameras to get a goldmine of exteriors. Inside the cab and strategically placed cameras along the route will give us an experience. Obviously, the importance of the event required the best from all involved in the last revenue steam train on Santa Fe with steam power. Hawkins co-ordinated the film crew. The results are memorable.
Santa Fe 3759 was a big Northern type. This steam engine looks like a classic ATSF engine. A powerful locomotive that could run at 100 mph, the engine was pulled from retirement to power the LA to Barstow roundtrip. It was the last run for 3759 and Santa Fe steam.
Pentrex includes a few maps which are helpful to follow the route.
The train passes through the towns, on it’s way to San Bernadino. A cornucopia of views is very nicely done. San Bernadino has a brief layover, for engine servicing and additional passengers. The 3759 was a spectacle everywhere. Santa Fe had embraced dieselization early on. People knew this was a historic occasion.
Cajon Pass is an exciting chapter. This is the highpoint of the excursion. Al Hawkins shots from atop the tender give us a superior and a unique vantage point. The scenery is impressive. The other cameras have some fine long shots. The scenery dwarfs the special. Smoke billows skyward. The wheels slip as the locomotive crosses the Route 66 overpass.More runbys result in fantastic scenes that are only eclipsed by Al Hawkins outstanding footage. Wow!
There are numerous photo runbys, for the benefit of the photographers. The 3759 lays out the desired heavy smoke.
Al Hawkins is adventuresome. He catches some spectacular scenes. The man has a flair for the dramatic. He is topside as the 3759 passes through tunnels and bridges. At 100 mph the brave man continues to film across the Mojave.
3759 gets serviced, as the people have lunch at a Harvey House.Before you know it, we are back in the cab, with a veteran Santa Fe engineer. The return trip is headed to Victorville.
A fast paced program, with a ton of steam action! Natural sounds are accurate.Station stops reveal much public interest with size- able crowds.
Narration is spot on. Just the right amount of information. Historical aspects are interesting and give a sense of background of the locations As far back as 1955, urban expansion was underway. . No shortage of the engines sounds. Well balanced overall. This is a fun show to view.
Everyone should enjoy this time travel to Feb.6, 1955. A single day with a show for the ages.
Rating: 5 Stars