Union Pacific Turbines of the Wasatch

Union Pacific 8500 Turbines of the Wasatchpentrex

Pentrex / Video Rails

Length: 57 minutes

Time Period: 1960’s

Locations: Ogden, Weaver Canyon, Echo, Wasatch UT, Evanston, Green River WY

Sources: Ralph Gochnour, Ed Stimpson

MSRP: 29.95

Union Pacific Turbine locomotives were a unique fleet that were only operated by that railroad. Pentrex has the former Video Rails release in their product line. The show is tightly focused on 8500hp Super Turbines. Ogden- Green River subdivision is where these engines are seen. Fast paced narration and vintage film result in an informative program.

Jim Knight has a clear and energetic narrative. Script is good, with much information on these locos. Audio does contain turbine sounds, although some non- narrated portions could have been included, to hear the train sounds exclusively. A couple of crude maps and chapter menu are within.

up8aNicked named as Super Fleet by Union Pacific, the more common name is Big Blows.

27Picture quality is good overall, though it can dip to fair at times. This collection appears to be 8mm- Super 8. Unrestored, with some minor color balance issues. Camerawork is mostly good, at times there are shaky scenes. There are too many times with the train backlit. Fortunately, most of the footage is decent. The bulk of film ends up chasing a handful of turbine powered freights. The general basis is crossing the sub from Ogden, Utah to Green River, Wyoming. This follows the normal territory served by the turbines.

UP59 TurbineUP Turbine 59 is an earlier production model. These General Electric built Gas Turbine Electrics were rated at 4800 horsepower for the First Generation.

up13spsd45Union Pacific 13 is rated as an 8500hp unit. Leading 3 Southern Pacific SD45 engines, this train is chased and paced.  Model railroaders would have a field day with the undulating trackside street and other elements visible on  this sequence.

up sp echo canyon utahTrailing Southern Pacific EMD units are visible on one of many curves through the valley.

union pacific turbine 8Super Turbine number 8 is heading to Green River. This 2nd generation version had the 8500 horsepower rating.

up25506 caboose safety sloganUnion Pacific 25506 is an early , Safety Slogan caboose. Safety Is Everybody’s Business.

There are cleaner films containing UP Turbines in the marketplace. Expected to hear more actual train sound. Another limitation is the extended time on the chases. Little in the way of freight cars or cabooses. It is nearly all locomotive footage. Views do vary, but as the show progresses it becomes repetitive. Still, for those who seek an hour of Super Turbines, here it is.

Railfans and model railroaders should find this a good program to watch the 8500 hp locos at work. The presentation is good, consider the picture is older material which has not been updated to modern expectations.

Rating: 3 Stars

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