Charles Smiley Presents
Length: 2 Hours + Previews
Time Period: 1950’s- 1990’s
Sources: Robert Zook, Jack Kuiphoff, Will Whittaker, Ed Kaspriske, Nelson Rath
A double feature and loaded with rarities. CSX heritage is thoroughly covered in this latest release from Charles Smiley Presents. A Hall of Fame series that contains total vintage, all color film. Freight and passenger operations are seen in a wide array of trains.
Chessie System and predecessor railroads : B&O, C&O and WM. These are the main subjects in the first half of the program. Interurban fans get a treat with a brief visit on Potomac Edison. Circa 1950’s era C&O showcases a Brill car operating in Appalachia.
Louisville and Nashville 4099 leads a mixed lash-up, with a Seaboard Coast Line unit. This EMD locomotive is a GP-38-2, built in 1972. Plenty of trains travel past the camera at Waldo, Florida in the 1970’s. This show provides more L&N, another tough to find film subject.
RF&P receives an extended chapter. This road is another that has been a scarce video find.
Charles Smiley is a consistent producer who maintains high production standards. He gives much value with every release. Every detail is equally important. All of the many elements that combine to create an enjoyable and informative experience, are smoothly presented.
This show is 100% vintage film. Quality is very good to excellent. Digital restoration and enhancement gives the best possible picture. Audio is excellent and matched to the train.
Graphics are a key element. Custom made maps are frequently referenced. Locations, years and statistics are included.
Charles is a great narrator. A wealth of historical information is discussed. Fascinating ‘what- if ‘ scenarios offer even more perspective. The nicely balanced presentation has viewers enjoying straight trainwatching sequences as well.
Fascinating , a cornucopia of colorful trains with main action in the 1960’s thru 1980’s.
The Seaboard Coast Line is prominently featured with a treasure trove of SCL footage. Early Seaboard Railroad is shown. Louisville & Nashville is another film rarity. Family Lines has plenty of coverage. Clinchfield Railroad even makes some cameo appearances. After the satisfying chapters of those railroads, Seaboard System is seen, before and early CSX era. This Seaboard half of the release is worth the price of admission. Viewers will benefit with intelligent background knowledge, and a plethora of trains.
Charles is extremely thorough when he produces a program. Both shows reach back into the 1950’s with relevant footage of uncommon scenes. Various passenger trains operating to be shown, but this is one of the surprises!
Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac
Once again, Charles Smiley has set the bar for vintage railroad shows.
Rating: 5 Stars