Union Pacific Across Nebraska

Union Pacific Across Nebraska 

Diverging Clear Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 75 minutes

Time Period: 2010

Locations: North Platte, Bailey Yard, Gibbon, Golden Spike Tower,

Source: Mary R. McPherson

Union Pacific Across Nebraska does feature the busiest freight operation in the world. Trains are backed up and waiting for their turn on the mainline.

This show is the contemporary railroad scene. The age of standardization, has led to a less interesting railroad scene. Intermodals, unit coal and double stacks are many of the trains running on Union Pacific. Wyoming coal is a huge business. Mile long auto racks and even more containers. Graffiti painted boxcars give some variation. An occasional general freight is seen. The modern freight railroad is a conveyer belt. A very efficient system.  If this type of railroading is something that you enjoy… keep reading.

UP 7751 and UP 7692 are AC44CCTE locomotives. They are  paced at speed, with an intermodal train.The camera bounces, and jars along within the long sequence, and is on the rough side to watch.Sometimes, less is more. For hardcore fans only.

6805 is an AC4400CW. It leads a coal train and is chased into Grand Island. This is where the BNSF overpass is located.

Mary does the narration, and has written the script. The narrative is one that covers the basics. Although there are no maps, she keeps us apprised of locations.

There is no chapter menu or extras of any kind. This does have 29 hidden chapters that are available with your ‘next’ button.

A brief visit to North Platte includes the display Challenger 3977 and  Union Pacific Centennial 6922 diesel. Nice segment.

                    The Golden Spike Tower is a visitor center for viewing Bailey Yard.

The camera viewpoint switches to the tower. This results in a great bird’s eye view of the yard. The tower footage is a major highlight of this show.

The action at Bailey Yard is great to see. The East-West traffic is concentrated here, and the scenes mix, with the yard moves. Almost seems as if we are in a working tower.

All too soon we are back on the ground, witnessing a parade of double stacks. More uniform looking coal trains too.

Too much ‘ding-ding’ at some crossings. This a distraction. Your kids will like it. Note the pusher, these appear on many trains.

The film quality is about what one expects for modern shots. It looks good. The natural sound pops out of the soundtrack. You get the true live audio, along with some wind noise hitting the microphone.At times, the wind is excessive. The overall camerawork is fine (the pacing shots excluded). The noisy soundtrack makes a case for audio overdubs.

Modern era railroading is not of much interest to me, in general. A modern filmed program should be able to capitalize on the advanced technology now available. A high quality production level is what one would expect.

The general difference between the top productions, and other companies is the finished product. What the top ones would call as ‘raw footage’, is what the others oftentimes call a release. The post production is much of what sets the companies at various levels. They all have their rightful place in the train video market. Just be aware, all shows are not equal. These semi-pro releases are termed here, as ‘hardcore railfan videos’. A niche market for those who are interested. We all have our niche preferences, to be fulfilled.

The fans of modern era railroading will find this to be an action packed program. It has some loose ends, mainly with the editing. Also, a lack of detail with the narration. These factors result in an amateur feel overall.

Was expecting a higher level of production from DCP. Still, if you want to see modern Union Pacific in the busy Nebraska corridor, this show will accomplish that task. Really isn’t a bad show, but doesn’t rate highly, compared with other modern era shows. For those who don’t mind the programs shortcomings, it can be worth a look.

Additional information from the producer. I will shorten and summarize briefly. This was shot ‘on the fly’, while enroute to shoot another program. It was an early effort, and also a memento of the trip. Many improvements in equipment and technique; since this show was put together. This release was intended to share what was occurring on the line.

Rating: 2 1/2  Stars

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