Length: 1 hour 20 minutes
Time Period: 1994
Locations: Denver, Laramie, Cheyenne Shops, Portola, Keddie Wye, Williams Loop, Clio Trestle, Spanish Creek Trestle, Inside Gateway, Oroville
Programs: Union Pacific’s Elegant E-9s Combo + Feather River Canyon E-9s
This 2 on 1 DVD features a trio of newly restored UP E-9’s in fantrip service. Both shows were filmed in 1994. The trains have matched UP paint, All of the equipment has been restored. Usually, I would select a different type of show. Restored railroad equipment is great, in its own right. Classic passenger trains do have that ‘touch of class’, from a bygone time.Watching a contemporary production, can result in mind numbing runbys of the same train. It takes some creativity to avoid that common pitfall. Does Pentrex make a worthwhile set?
Union Pacific’s Elegant E-9s
Cheyenne Shops location leads the show with a little history. Steve Lee of UP explains how these 1955 built EMD’s were acquired by the road. Rebuilding to modern standards of an equivalent GP38 locomotive on all the internal mechanics. They still retain a classic appearance.
The newly rebuilt E-9A, E-9B, E9A locomotives proceed with its first passenger special over the Greely subdivision, in Colorado. The all UP consist does make for a train that matches the heyday look of vintage passenger trains. The good-looking train could be one of the named City trains of the 1950’s. Outside of the additional ditch lights, that give away this train, is an updated one. Oh well, this is a working mainline locomotive, not a museum piece.
Sherman Hill is easily handled by the E units. At Laramie, the train reverses its course for the return to Denver.The special continues across the barren Wyoming landscape. It will arrive back at Denver.
The occasional freight, does give some relief from repetitive viewing of the same train.
This production matches the standard of excellence from Pentrex. Excellent photography and equally fine audio, in a smooth presentation. Narration is good. Centennial 6936 is briefly viewed at the Cheyenne Shops. Steve Lee discusses the ups and downs of the E units return to service.
A fair show. Slightly repetitive, despite the attempts to mix the viewpoints. I don’t believe this one will get many repeat viewings.
Feather River Canyon E-9s
This locale does offer beautiful scenic vistas. Spectacular looking trestles are perfect to offset the train. action along Rock Creek, has the special going thru tunnels. Great scenery along the canyon trackage. Multiple views of the train as it traverse the area and Keddie Wye is crossed.Train stops at Portola.Ties up for the night.
The weekend special is next shown at Williams Loop and Keddie Wye.we return towards Portola. More runbys. At this point, things are getting somewhat dull.Close-ups have rail fans popping out of every opening.
Portola Railroad museum finally gives some relief..
Now things are perking up. We are inside the cab of E-9 unit # 951 with the engineer. A departure from Portola and a look through the front windshield. This is the ticket!
The camera is mobile. Assorted viewpoints of trackage, scenery and train. Keddie Wye from the cab is great.Williams Loop is totally different from this perspective, as are the tunnels and bridge crossing. Here is a cab ride, that you will want to revisit.Very nicely done. This extended segment, really makes the show!
Another special leaves Oroville. This 15 car train, features six domecars in the consist. A trip up the Western Pacific’s Inside Gateway promises more Northern California scenery. Spanish Creek Trestle is seen. A map outlines the route. Return to Keddie Wye on the return trip.
This is clearly the better of the two shows.
Rating : 3 Stars