A & R Productions
Length: 58 minutes
Time Period: mid 1950’s
Locations: Palmer sub, Brattleboro, St. Albans…
Sources: Allen B. Pomery Jr., Donald S. Robinson, The Blackhawk Collection
Central Vermont steam in the 1950’s. The series continues in Volume 2. Focus on Massachusetts and Vermont. The 2-10-4 , 700 class engines were the largest steam in New England. Consolidations are the predominate model seen. Most CVR steam types are included. Grand Trunk Western and Canadian National, have a few appearances.
This program has different film sources, than the first volume. Train sounds are dubbed into the show. Overall, it is a nice improvement over Volume 1.
Ted Daliku is our narrator. A good, basic script with locomotives and locations.
Film quality is better on Volume 2. All color, except the 1940’s cameo shots. Nearly all original 8mm color films. This collection is unrestored footage. Another candidate for digital enhancement. Rates as good overall. Sometimes better and sometimes fair. There are times where the images are dark or washed out. Brief parts with a shaky scene. Nothing like the problematic first volume. Imagery is more consistent in general.
Main concern with this collection is some of the editing. It could be the fault of a single cameraman. That is, maybe he was conserving film. Numerous times, we see a fine approaching train. It gets closer, closer and wham… cut! We are deprived the close-up, money shot. The one shot you seek isn’t there. Frequent enough to become annoying. Perhaps the editor’s choice. Best guess is the available footage lacks the prize. All of those quick jumps, have a lack of smoothness. This crops up in the middle of the program.
Train sounds are dubbed into the scenes. Multiple audio tape sources. Not bad for the most part. Noticeable redundancy as the show progresses. Still, it beats the earlier volume by a mile.
Rating: 3 Stars