CN’s Yellowhead Pass

CN’s Yellowhead Pass

Greg Scholl Video Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 45 minutes + previews

Time Period: 1992

Locations: Jasper, Yellowhead Pass, Moose Lake, Yellowhead Lake, Red Pass, Taverna, more..

Source: Greg Scholl

Western Canada Series

MSRP: 29.95

Greg Scholl’s Western Canada Series is a set of four related DVD programs. This Canadian National volume passes through gorgeous Canadian Rockies scenery. Yellowhead is just one of many beautiful locations, along this feature CN trackage.

Yellowhead Pass is loaded with train action! Types of freight include; milled lumber on bulkhead flatcars, tanks, and CN boxcars. The usual assortment will also be found in the form of interchange cars. Sharp eyed viewers will see a cut of a CN crane and related equipment on a freight. Grain trains are plentiful. Intermodal and some coal moves, as well. The film frequently has the entire consist rollby.

Yellowhead Lake provides panoramic views.

The blend of trains, scenic beauty and wildlife, gives a combination of pure Canadian bliss.

A variety of weather adds character to the show. Yes, you will see snow. The snow on the mountains makes for stunning backgrounds. They can be shrouded in foggy clouds. Clear conditions reveal spectacular scenic vistas. Other views are in warmer temperatures.

There are some handy maps that are referenced for locations. These are good for keeping a sense of place as the show progresses. A chapter menu is included. On screen graphics will add details to many moves.

An informative and professional narrative is helpful for understanding these remote locations. The narrator will often describe: train, heading and destination. Some history is presented. A little light on engine types or explaining the background of Yellowhead’s name. No worries, keep reading…

The transcontinental mainline is a busy place. Many freights travel the route. Certain freight trains will have a caboose. VIA transcontinental trains have classic, stainless steel passenger cars. F40PH locomotives are the power for some name trains. Via trains #1 and #2 are ‘The Canadian’. Via #5 and #6 are ‘ The Skeena’.

Canadian National favors the wide, comfort cab locomotives. They were an early proponent of the modified EMD cab. It proved to be successful. This design than found it’s way onto the American railroads. SD50F units like CN #5401, also has a full body cowl. SD40-2W #5259 has the wide cab and standard SD40 body. Standard cab SD40 #5113 is from a 1969 EMD order, it has some CN specific modifications, including snow shields. CN #9513 is another safety cab model, a GP40-2LW. This information is not conveyed in this show. Would have liked to had the info on these unique models included in this program. I have added this extra detail, for those who will watch it.

CN designated some trains must have a caboose!

Jasper, Alberta is the entrance for our Canadian sojourn. A division crew change point that hosts many CN trains. Stunningly beautiful and a fantastic area for the railfan.

Traveling westward to Yellowhead area, More gorgeous views. Some snow cover and lightly falling snow set the tone for a CN freight. Weather and snow vary throughout.

By the way, Yellowhead (Tete Jaune in French) was a nickname for a trapper employed by Hudson’s Bay Company on an 1820 expedition through the pass. (I looked it up) You will see Tete Jaune listed as a subdivision on one of the maps.

Yellowhead Lake.  These were shot from across the lake! Nice, unobstructed shots. Trains are reflected in the water. Effective and artistic. Want to see more like this? Moose Lake is similar, and just up the line.

Mt. Robson, at over 12,000 feet is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies. It makes a dramatic backdrop for trains passing the area. The Mt. Robson subdivision has dense forest with high pine trees. There are many runbys here. The trains bound for Prince George all have a required CN caboose.

Taverna and the line west of it are also splendid.

The videography is excellent in the show. Greg has a great eye for getting these trains balanced with the scenery. The wildlife views are a fun extra ingredient. The live, natural stereo audio is very clear. The EMD chant is easily heard from the passing lash-ups.

A rebuilt GP9 is #4019, it powers a CN track test train. A brief, detailed visit within the test train is interesting.

The whole family can have a good time with this program. Kids will like the near constant flow of trains.The women will love the beauty of the region. The glimpse of local wildlife add that much more enjoyment.

This is an excellent program. At 45 minutes, the running time is somewhat short. The narrative is slightly light, on the items brought up earlier here. Scenery is the backbone of this show. Although, CP Rail does have more spectacles. CN’s Yellowhead Pass has a wealth of, it’s own scenic wonders. They are different routes through the awesome Canadian Rockies.

Most likely, you will want, and end up needing, the great coverage of both Canadian railroads by Greg Scholl Video Productions.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

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