Steam In The ’50’s: Volume 1
Format: DVD ( Steam 7 PAK )
Length: 58 minutes
Time Period: 1950’s
Locations: Chicago, West Virginia, Green Bay, Canada, Indiana and more
Source: Jerry Carson (16mm films)
This show is included in a 7 DVD package, by Green Frog. This program is also sold separately. Steam in the 50’s. is the first of a three volume series.
Jerry Carson was another of the classic era cinematographers. In this extraordinary collection of films, we will view 14 railroads. Filmed in the 1950’s, many of these scenes, are of high quality.
There are 14 different railroads covered in this exceptional collection of steam. They include: Chicago & Northwestern, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific,Missouri Pacific, Erie, Chicago & Illinois Midland, Pennsylvania Railroad, Northern Pacific, Grand Trunk, Illinois Central, Baltimore & Ohio, Norfolk & Western, New York Central, Rock Island.
When it comes to vintage, 1950’s railroad films, Jerry Carson is among the best of the era. A fantastic array of many steam powered trains are seen in this program. Some screenshots will demonstrate the actual cinematography.
Green Frog is well-known for maintaining high production standards. Excellent in most areas, this collection features: fine editing, nice audio and crisp narration. The show has a quick pace. Local freights with short trains are present. Big, mainline steam locomotives, haul the road freights. Passenger trains are viewed with heavyweight cars.
There are eleven chapter selections, via the next button on your remote. No maps, they are not needed anyway. Some railroads have additional coverage, as noted. Other lines, ex: C&O- are just a couple of shots. All of the scenes are competently filmed.
Chicago & Northwestern heads up this wonderful program. A good supply of steam is found. CNW is already using some of the first double decker passenger cars. Coverage is west of Chicago area, plus Green Bay!
Norfolk and Western has some double headers in West Virginia. See some Y class pulling some heavy coal trains, with a Y6 pusher engine! There are 0-8-0’s that have the strong N&W appearance. Rare 4-8-2 streamlined, K-class steamers, that closely resemble the famous bigger J-class power. Many trains are viewed on the N&W. Passenger action too. This busy and plentiful N&W chapter is a highlight of the show.
Jerry Carson has some interesting camera viewpoints. The doubleheaded pair at the front is also filmed from this hillside. Easily could have included over a dozen different screens of Norfolk and Western here. This chapter alone, is worth the price of admission.
Canadian National and Canadian Pacific are shown, with a nice assortment of steam. They have older small power, also shiny modern steamers.
Illinois Central also provides much fine action. Classic trains around Kankakee. The 1457 is paced from Route 45. An occasional first generation diesel will sneak into a few scenes, in random points of the show Just like real life, back in those days. Freeport is another ICRR location, with the yard and facilities in the background.
Olympia Fields is farmland, in the 1950’s! Many various IC trains pass the busy Winery Road location. Some high priority meat trains are seen at Freeport. Chicago has even more IC. New York Central has trains running on the IC trackage. The period freight cars are a treat. The Illinois Central feature is another great, extended chapter.
Missouri Pacific steam ended in 1955. Jerry filmed some MoPac steam near St.Louis. What is about Missouri Pacific steam engines? They look exactly like a beautifully designed steam locomotive should appear.
Baltimore and Ohio has some of it’s big league steam engines operating near and in Chicago. B&O fans have plenty of freight and passenger trains. B&OCTRR has an 0-8-0 at work. T-1 class Mountains pull some freights. Doubleheaders are included, in a cool sequence. A memorable look at the B&O.
The show is mostly color. Some brief black and white footage rounds out the presentation. Some of the black and white: New York Central and Rock Island,and a little more- have some garish pink overtones, yuck! Actual recorded steam sounds augment the show. Concise narration outlines general locations, locomotive info and some train operations. The steam audio is used frequently.
Rating: 4 1/2 Stars