A & R Productions
Length: 57 minutes
Time Period: 1950’s and 1960’s CN specials
Locations: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont
Sources: Bill Radcliffe Sr., Andy Schools
The Central Vermont ran steam locomotives as primary power in the 1950’s. Two amateur cameramen were separately recording the CV at the time. Canadian National 6218 ran fan excursions in the 1960’s as well. Both film sources used color film. Trains are seen in three states. Years and locations vary.
Notice this was a 1989 release. The decade of the 1980’s was the beginning of VHS train videos. In general, standards weren’t as high. Weird sounding electronic keyboards, can be found on early shows. Unbalanced footage and shaky images, were more traits of 1980’s productions. Having VHS tapes of any railroads was still rather new.
Volume One is a product of it’s era. While not the worst of that time, it is in the ballpark. The show is an uncomfortable one to view. Lighting is the main problem. Bright flaring and recoveries are too common as we enter scenes. Jarring camera and additional film issues that pop up too often. It strains the eyes to sit through this program.
Kudos to the men with the cameras. They did get out in all seasons and get the trains on film. At the heart of the scenes, there are good 8mm shots. Better production could improve the original presentation. These films are in need of modern digital enhancements. Ideally, the soundtrack should be updated. It has some of an ’80’s style with odd synthesizer, although there are other musical backgrounds. No train sounds.
Narration is nicely done by . The standard, but essential fare. Locomotives, locations and some info on operations. No maps, but these weren’t common at the time of release.
Let’s see some of what is here. Two sources and a pair from each…..
Bill Radcliffe often filmed on Saturdays along the Palmer sub. Brattleboro, VT. to New London, CT.
Onboard CV 602, the train encounters Canadian National FA’s on a freight.
Andy Schools ranged from St. Albans, VT. to New London.
CV was fantrip friendly. This 1956 special has 466 pulling New Haven cars. Bill did this one.
CN 6218 makes almost too many appearances, leading 1960’s era specials. The scenes get spread out somewhat. There is a good chunk of time spent on these excursions.
This first volume is showing it’s age. Not recommended for those new to train video shows. Hardcore railfans will know if it fits their own want list. Two newer volumes will be reviewed.
Rating: 2 Stars