The Central Vermont Railway in Steam- Vol. 1

The Central Vermont Railway in Steam- Vol. 1cvr

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

MSRP: 30.00

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…..

n5aCV 472 is an N5A class Consolidation.


Bill Radcliffe often filmed on Saturdays along the Palmer sub. Brattleboro, VT. to New London, CT.

ss56            CV 450, an N3 class 2-8-0, switches the local at Stafford Springs in 1956.


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.

paasCV 467 leads a similar excursion. Andy is credited here.


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.

washAn example of why this show doesn’t rate higher. There are just too many visual flaws.

cabWe close with 2 different caboose shots.

cab1The approach of using two film sources does yield wider coverage. Both are amateur shot. The use of color film and the subject matter are of higher interest.

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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s