Western Pacific the Last Decade

Western Pacific the Last DecadeD-113

Charles Smiley Presents

Length: 1 hour 22 minutes

Time Period: 1970- 1980

Locations: Oakland, Sacramento, Altamont Pass, Stockton, Feather River Canyon and more…

Sources: Jim Escalante, Bo Golson, Tony Johnson, Robert Morris, Ron Plies, Steve Rusconi, John Schmale, David Stanley, and Harre Demaro on SN.

MSRP: 26.50

Western Pacific is featured in it’s later years of operation. Sacramento Northern is shown in another chapter. All vintage films, are from assorted railroad employees and railfans. Period publications and many photographs add to a very informative presentation. The numerous locations range from Oakland, Keddie Wye, Portola, Altamont Pass and many more.

Expansive in overall scope. Early history, steam era, dieselization and connecting railroads are all here. The plethora of information will take a few viewings to digest. Those who have  historical interests will be happy. The timeframe begins with early WP history and progresses until the last decade. The bonus chapter of Sacramento Northern in 1954 is shown in black and white.

Regular readers already are aware of the high standards of Charles Smiley. This is an older release from 1998. As he has been constantly upgrading with newer technology, this one is not quite up to more recent CSP shows. Some may think that Charles Smiley automatically gets high scores on my reviews. Not true, he earns them with consistent top quality.

913wpA focus on the F unit fleet highlights a few of the last operational units.

oakland74In 1974, an F7 performs street running, in Oakland. Check the 1969 Chevy Camaro.

913wp1979The films vary by the many sources. Many of the scenes were from handheld cameras. Much of the footage looks pretty good, although it often has an amateur shot feel. There are too many shaky camera shots overall. Lighting and distance are more factors that are not the best. Here again, this is an older release.

mapwpsnCustom maps are always a fine feature on a CSP show. The green route displays Sacramento Northern. Multiple maps will educate viewers.

On screen graphics provide additional information.

gp35The Nevada Desert is a stark contrast to California GP35 locos lead a GE and UP diesel.

wp2256The diesel roster coverage offers much history. F-units, Geeps, U-Boats and switchers. Visuals range from about 40 years. Alco, Baldwin, EMC- EMD, and General Electric are covered. The decade of the 1970’s is dominate. Limited steam action is included. Connecting railroads all have cameo appearances.

czCalifornia Zephyr has it’s WP tale included, and contains some Rio Grande footage as well.

bnmp239An early Burlington Northern train at the highway bridge. Milepost 239.

1976One of the two bicentennial locomotives were operated by WP.

cab

Western Pacific the Last Decade is a diversified collection of films. The newer Charles Smiley Presents: WP Remembered has a higher visual quality. Railfans should find this an informative show of Western Pacific, a railroad that has had limited releases on train videos.

Rating: 4 Stars

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