The Milwaukee Road: Volumes 1, 2 & 3. Combo DVD

The Milwaukee Road: Volumes 1, 2 & 3. Combo DVD

Pentrex

Format: DVD

Length: 2 Hours 46 minutes

Time Period: 1972- 1973

Locations: Rocky Mountain subdivision

Sources: Ed Stimpson, Don Hunter

MSRP: 39.95

The Milwaukee Road is featured as it was, operating on the Rocky Mountain Division. The early 1970’s is the era shown. Electrified Milwaukee Road action is presented, as it was running into the 1970’s. Specialized locomotives, that include the Little Joes. Plenty of diesel action, and other electric locomotives. Pentrex had this out on VHS years ago. This version packs all of those tapes onto a single DVD. The higher quality of the digital format , looks superior to the VHS tapes. Pentrex Combo DVD’s offer much, on a single disc.

A balanced narrative with some scenes only containing somewhat distant train sounds. A nice on screen graphic will fill in the blanks of information.

Digital processing has the old films in best possible viewing quality. Soundtrack was made from actual recordings of Milwaukee’s various locomotives in this region. This release has some nice extras. A chapter menu, and on/ off narration. Some previews after the conclusion. The DVD navigation works off a main menu. Each show has it’s own menu. All the shows play the previews at conclusion. One must return to the main menu to play another volume.

Maps have been included to illustrate the routes. The narration is professional and very well done. An occasional error, but nothing too serious.

Volume 1: Electric Power: Alberton, Avery and St. Paul Pass- 1972 (47 minutes)

Electric locomotives are covered in a high level of detail. Very scenic locations. St. Paul Pass and the high trestles are filled with freight trains. In depth illustration and history of the Little Joe fleet. Plenty of to view these famed engines at work. Older boxcabs are equally reviewed.

The scenery is just spectacular. Little Joe is class EF-4 on Milwaukee Road.

Boxcabs are used as mid-train helpers, besides shoving on the rear of trains.

                                                 Action packed program!

                               Avery has a great little engine facility and yard.

Volume 2 : Harlowton to Butte, Montana- 1973 (41 Minutes)

A trio of brand new GP38=2 engines pull a freight on regular, mainline track. The train is chased and paced by automobile.

                                      Harlowton Yard has Little Joes highlighted.

                                       Mid train helpers about to enter tunnel.

A memorable cab ride aboard a Little Joe. Pipestone Pass has the white granite.

          Radio controlled SD40-2 was new, and mated to a control loco on the point.

There is a wide array of trains and information in this volume. Lombard is a hotspot, it receives more coverage in the third volume. Combining the nice pace sequences, with the chases is an effective way to see the railroad. Cab rides are the icing on the cake.

Vendome Loop has twisting trackage and requires maximum locomotives. Boxcabs here!

Burlington Northern runs underneath the Milwaukee at Lombard.

Volume 3: The Rocky Mountain Division– 1973 (78 minutes)


Rocky Mountain Division was from Harlowton to Avery Montana. Volune three has the sound levels higher for the trains. All the shows have that balance of narration, and railroad sounds. More emphasis on diesel locomotives in Volume 3. Plenty of electrified too!

This volume has loads of scenic train action. More distant shots, that emphasize the terrain. Zoom lens is useful, and not overdone. This show is the longest of the trilogy.

Epilogue contains remnants of the line, as filmed by Ed Stimpson in 1995.

Another excellent program within the series!

Overview of the 3 Volumes.

                            At dusk, a Little Joe leads a trip of SD40-2 diesels.

Pentrex has a captivating 3 volumes of Milwaukee Road action in the Bitteroot Mountains. Thourough research offers a high level of interesting narration. The best train shows have that combination of fine cinematography and backgound/ historical information. It is always enjoyable, to not just see classic trains, but learn about the railroad at the same time.

Film quality is excellent overall. Some scenes are a little dark, mostly due to towering mountains or shot late in the day. It all works out, as the vast majority of the footage looks great. Digital processing and the DVD format have this show appearing much sharper than the old VHS version. It is definitely worth the upgrade. Storage is easy, only one disc.

Milwaukee Road fans will find enjoyable repeat viewings of the three shows here. It is a mecca of classic early 1970’s Milwaukee,railroading in Montana. Any railfan should be happy with this fine release.

Rating: 5 Stars

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