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
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.
The 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.
A 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.
Vignettes 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