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.
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.
The 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.
On screen graphics provide additional information.
The 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.
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