Southern Pacific Classic Collectors’ Series

Southern Pacific Classic Collectors’ Series

Pentrex- Video Rails

Format: DVD

Length: 90 minutes

Time Period:1930’s – 1950’s.

Locations: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Roseville Truckee, Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley, the Coast Line, Simi Valley, Oxnard, Santa Barbara, Bakersfield, and more California..

Pentrex has re-released three former Video Rails Productions, on a single DVD.

They cover Southern Pacific steam from the 1930’s to the 1950’s.

A main chapter menu along, with sub-menus in each individual program. Plenty of narration will guide the viewer through the multitude of: locomotives, locations and operation.

All color film with clear images. Most of the films appear to be 16mm. Soundtrack has natural sounds and in stereo.The dubbed audio does show it’s age, Not as crisp as newer productions. No maps, as most older shows.

It is nice to have the ‘Play All’ option. Real railfans can start with, play all.

Talk about a load of Southern Pacific steam! Each show has it’s own focus. The collection is handy to have on a single disc. here is a breakdown of the three shows.

Southern Pacific 1941.

Length: 30 minutes

This was filmed between 1936- 1941. Color film that looks like 16mm. San Francisco is the city. SP daylight steam has a bunch of nice shots.GS-3 was the newest class. Fast paced parade of runbys get things rolling.There are many different steamers in this show. A segment of SF Bay’s ferry boats. Oakland is next. An E2 powered: City of San Francisco, with brief views from riding on this train.Roseville is the center for seeing, the cab forwards. Truckee has plenty of big steam. This is the jumping off point for Donner Pass.

This show is a treat. The assortment of locomotives is exquisite.

Southern Pacific Steam

Length: 30 minutes

This one was filmed in the 1950’s. The San Francisco Peninsula has commuter trains, with GS-4 power.Many views of the GS led locals to see. San Joaquin Valley has freight, passenger trains. There are mail trains too. Action on the Coast Line. Some great pacing sequence of a black GS-4 is a highlight. Yard shots reveal a host of black widow diesels. Various freight and passenger trains are filmed nicely.

Fine show with excellent overall picture quality. Good narrative, and. natural sound.

Southern Pacific: The Coast Line

Length: 30 minutes

This show is set in the 1950’s. Both steam and diesels are present. Famous, Coast Daylight trains operate on busy trackage. Serving Los Angeles to San Francisco, the Daylights are great. Big, cab forwards are shown, pulling hard on the freight trains. Black widow F7’s are steam engine replacements. This is a high action program. Many runbys and the wide variety of trains, do make for memorable scenes..

The amount of mail and freight traffic on the Coast line is surprising. GS-1 class steamers regularly haul the many mail trains.

This is a scenic line. Simi Valley was rural, and the curving right of way is a dramatic setting. The short segment at Moorpark has train orders being picked up by many locomotive types. Much more action in this show.

These three Southern Pacific shows are all excellent. All of the programs are fun to watch.

Rating: 4 Stars

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