Vignettes of the Reading Volume 2

Vignettes of the Reading Company Volume 2cvr

Clear Block Productions

Length: One hour 32 minutes

Time Period: 1960- 1975

Locations: Reading, Philadelphia, Hershey, Allentown

Sources: Claude Goebel, Dennis Hake, Harrison Garforth, Dr. Michael Johnson

MSRP: 30.00

Reading Lines in the 1960’s to 1975. System wide coverage of the railroad. Here is a hard to find railroad during the sixties. The show does have about everything in the power and paint department. A plethora of Electromotive and Alco locomotives. The T-1 steam engine has numerous scenes on Ramble excursions. Original 8mm color films. A lively soundtrack that contains many loud trains. This was originally produced in 1995.

The narration has good detail with locations and trackage. Some historical background. Locomotive info is in a limited supply. Environmental train sounds  major plus. At times, the levels can get on the high side. EMD’s have that familiar chant, and grind it out in Run 8 on the grades. Alco’s burble away. The audio can exceed the picture at times.

reading_gp30trioThe GP30 class were an excellent turbocharged locomotive in their day. Introduced about 1963. Reading had ordered GP20’s, but EMD built the upgraded and then delivered the current GP30 model. In the early 1960’s, the diesels were generally run in matched sets. Notice the frequency of solid lash-ups of EMD and Alco models. Compare with later years.


Sourced from 8mm color films. Different cameramen with varied results. The quality ranges from fair to good overall. Sometimes slightly better or worse. This is unrestored footage. Color balance issues, some flaws and occasional rough spots. A small squiggle that looks like slippage appears at the top sometimes. There are some transitions and scenes where the show just looks messy. Those sections are not smooth flowing views. The realities  of rarity. You just don’t see much of this era Reading available. Get it anyway.


Clear Block does have the tour as a well-organized one. They move to certain cities and routes to present the multitude of trains. Maps are referenced and there is informative discussion. For an older program, they get the job done and communicate effectively.

T1_2100erutherfordReading T-1 at East Rutherford. Assorted Reading Ramble steam excursions.

F7The F7 locomotives look good in the Reading livery.

903Seen back in the day, Reading FP7 903 and 902 have been restored. A segment covers it.

atAllentown. This classic scene displays a Northeastern Reading caboose.

demosElectromotive of LaGrange had demoed the current GP20 locomotives on Reading. By the time the railroad was to get delivery, EMD was introducing the newer GP30 model.

gp302The GP30 units are in abundance. At Hershey, Pennsylvania. Alco C424 trails. A highlight sequence with various trains here. Yes, the Hershey factory is in the background.

atwnA variety of power and consists on Reading passenger service can be witnessed. Budd RDC cars and electric interurbans, are seen in service. Viewers will also ride some trackage on passenger moves. A branchline is filmed from the rear of a caboose.

c636                                                          Alco C636 leads a GP30.

gp7Allentown, PA. The well worn GP7 engines and a weathered, repainted caboose. As the years march on, the appearance of the railroad changes.

Reading GP35 3644Vignettes of the Reading Volume Two is an enjoyable program. It is an action packed visit to a classic line. While the show isn’t modern viewing standards, the films are rare. Train sounds are great. The extended length of the show is another positive. .

Reading Railroad is popular. A fine 1960-1975 collection, for railfans and model railroaders.

Rating: 4 Stars

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