Sunday River Productions
Length: 55 minutes
Time Period: 1940’s- 1950’s
Locations: Ohio and system
Sources: Bob and Betty Brant
Producer: Alva Morrison
NKP 1 * Steam in the East Series
Sunday River has 4 volumes featuring Nickel Plate Road steam. This series are 2010 remasters. Recent technology does make a major difference on vintage film. The 700 class Berkshires are the main feature. Nickel Plate employees add personality and their experiences of working on the railroad.
Alva Morrison was a fine producer in his time. Here, his narrative, employee commentary and train sounds, are combined with all color film to tell the Nickel Plate story. No maps, there are occasional location graphics. There are a plethora of old scenes, although we frequently do not know exact locations. In fairness, they probably weren’t originally noted.
Appears as all color 16mm film. Imagery ranges from very good to mostly excellent. The 2010 update also had a re-edit. Transitions may have been smoothed over, via fade to black. Cinematographer has good compositional skills. The weather and sunlight are sometimes a challenge. Considering most of the footage is from the 1950’s, nice work! Steve Neff shot the few minutes of restored Mikado video, and it is excellent.
Berkshires are what made Nickel Plate Road High Speed Service famous. As we learn within, the stellar service had much to do with the employees and an advantageous profile.
On Nickel Plate, men were treated with respect. No harassment, just do your jobs. Morale was high and the men helped one another. Nickel Plate had a family atmosphere. This co-operative spirit bested competitors such as: New York Central, Pennsylvania, B&O and Wabash. Sounds like today’s employers, could learn much from this highly successful railroad.
NKP was late to convert freights to diesel. A testament to the men and steam equipment.
Complete Nickel Plate Berkshire is an excellent Sunday River show. While the commentaries are a good inclusion, the cuts to the men can slow or interrupt, the fast paced program. Classic footage is 99% of the show. The 2010 remaster has this release looking and sounding great. This is the 1st of 4 volumes. All will be reviewed here, on ATVR.
Rating: 5 Stars