A & R Productions
Length: 70 minutes
Time Period: 1942- 1950
Locations:Johnson City, Elizabethton, Doe River Gorge, Blevins, TN – Cranberry, NC.
Sources: Vince Ryan and Jack Alexander
Eastern Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. That name is a mouthful. WT&WNCRR. Still, too long. Tweetsie? Yes, this was the common nickname. This narrow gauge line interchanged with Clinchfield and Southern Railway at Johnson City. Last operating 3 foot gauge in this part of the country.
ET&WNCRR Historical Society had a collection of these rare films. A&R Productions agreed to produce this program. First collection was from 1942 to 1943. Second collection dates from 1949.
Ted Dalaku narrates a well written script. Assorted viewpoints and creativity from the cinematographers. Color 8mm film that has a clean appearance. Audio is full of train sounds, some nature and more. Banjo music spices up the soundtrack. A handful of fun shots that feature the two photographers add a little humor.
Fascinating 1942 train ride onboard the caboose and steam locomotive 11. Elizabethton to Blevins, via spectacular Doe River Gorge. Train continues to destination at Cranberry. Brief scenes of engine servicing and switching are included. Travel westbound from Cranberry too.
Cameras returned in 1943. Action is centered around Cranberry. More Doe River Gorge. Similar in style, but different facets are shown. Wartime passenger service has been required by the War Board. Shots from onboard the trains have an excess of shaky views. Not as smooth overall, as the 1942 footage. Increased variety of trains in this year.
Tennessee Narrow Gauge does provide a detailed overview of the railroad. A & R has a nicely produced program. An interesting visit to a bygone time.
Rating: 4 Stars