John Pechulis Media
Format: DVD R
Length: 54 minutes
Time Period: 1978
Locations: Sand Patch Grade, Cumberland, Hyndman, Salisbury Viaduct, Keystone
Source: Jonathan Reck- Super 8MM Soundfilm
Cumberland to Rockwood. June 1978.
Historic Sand Patch Grade is at the top of any list for American train action. From the steam era to the present day, it has great scenery and classic mountain railroading. Chessie System in the 1970’s had an interesting array of motive power. Pre-merger paint was still easily found on various EMD locomotives. Helper sets are frequently used. Cabooses were still on all freights. Long gone roadnames are a part of the rail scene.
There is some rudimentary map reference. Narration at the beginning few minutes of the show only. Remainder is natural, environmental audio. No chapter menu or chapter function. Original Super 8mm soundfilm. The source film has some minor flaws. Color balance is very good to excellent. JPM uses state of the art equipment to give the best possible image.Narration is done nicely by John Pechulis, but only a couple minutes. It drops off early in the program. On-screen graphics are used to denote locations or trains, the rest of the way.
Speaking of narration, it is nice to learn a few things while viewing a train video. In this one, an old Western Maryland depot, a bunch of wrecked grain cars at Yoders for instance. No active train in either scene. Those would be good places for description. Runbys are the bread and butter of productions like this one. Interesting narratives are the icing on the cake.
A cornucopia of Chessie Sustem and pre-merger paint are to be relished. My wish was to find a C&O GP35 in original paint leading a train. Lucky!
What made this era interesting ? Variety !
Chessie Sand Patch Volume 1 delivers the goods, as far as trains. The nice array of paint and power, will please buyers. As you can see, the scenery adds to the viewing. Mountain railroading has a unique appeal. Helper locomotives are often used. Nothing beats an engine struggling upgrade in Run 8 !
Two schools of thought on narration. Some producers offer the choice of with or without the announcer. Rating criteria compares as to what else is on the market. Most train videos have narratives. In comparison, this one lacks that basic element.
This is a good overview of action at Sand Patch circa 1978. The 99% live sound with graphics, leaves it to hardcore railfans. Chessie fans will find an enjoyable visit to the area and the era.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars