The Desert Princess: SP Narrow Gauge

The Desert Princesscvr

A & R Productions

Length: 40 minutes

Time Period: 1950- 1955

Locations: Laws, Owenyo, Keeler, Mohave

Sources: Catenary Video Productions

MSRP: 30.00

A detailed program of Southern Pacific narrow gauge operations in southern Nevada and into California. Having good color film of this line in the early 1950’s is rare. Viewers will see narrow gauge SP #18 at work in the early 1950’s. No dual trackage here. All freight was cross-docked  with standard gauge cars. The desert environment is a different world to see.

9fEngine #9 is seen during the last few minutes of the presentation.

sbfSacks of talc get hauled to transfer to the regular Southern Pacific in boxcars.

swSwitching with 18 at Owenyo. Late 1952.

dockwModel railroader types will appreciate this cross-dock facility. Build this in HO scale.

keelerThe station at Keeler.

mapThe maps are not attractive ones. A couple of close ups around station trackage are thoroughly examined. Better than nothing.


lawsSome cab ride views are included. This one is approaching Laws.

Good narration by Ted Dalaku. Script is informative, History and operations have in depth discussions. Audio train sounds are obvious dubs. Oddly, this lonely stretch of railroad has not a single steam whistle. We never hear, that lonesome whistle blow.


Fortunately, the film has a nice appearance.  Pretty clean images overall. Cameras are mostly solid. Train sounds are the weak ingredient, but only to those who know the difference will notice.

dgA humorous moment as a dog chases the departing train.



Caboose 401 has lost it’s clerestory roof.

A 2007 update, briely  explores the remains of the line. The 40 minute program length is somewhat short. However, the operation has good coverage.

The Desert Princess, gives railfans and model railroaders, a fine look at a past line. Narrow gauge enthusiasts can obtain this as a contrast to the famed Rocky Mountain lines. Solid steam show and a rare subject.

Rating: 4 Stars


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