Diverging Clear Productions
Length: 51 minutes + previews
Time Period: 2014
Source: Mary McPherson
Norfolk & Western 475. This vintage steam engine operates in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The Strasburg Railroad is the home for this locomotive for over 20 years. Running through the rural countryside, it is on scenery akin to the old N&W.
Baldwin built in 1906. The 4-8-0 was the largest class on N&W when constructed. By the 1950’s, it was used on branchlines. This cab was ultimately, a poor design. It straddles the boiler and leaves very little room for the crew to operate. The architecture was discontinued.
Mary McPherson performs excellent cinematography. A high def camera captures a high level of detail. There are a couple of challenges for her. Overcast weather on the first 2 days. The engine cab is just an ugly one to shoot. There is no room for anyone.
That boiler and firebox stick out, like a tree trunk shoved through a garage. She keeps filming it and those shots continue not to work. Fortunately, this eventually gets abandoned, The sun comes out on the third day. Everything improves, she films the exteriors and the remainder is pleasant.
Kurt Jensen narrates a well written script. He is a natural for the task. Environmental audio is the balance of the soundtrack. N&W has a steam whistle which doesn’t have a good tone. Interesting , the whistle gets swapped for a real nice single note later in the show.
Just when things are getting too redundant. A call for mixed train service. Tie on a caboose. Passengers are taken to pickup a freight car. We ride the caboose. Check the speed on the return trip. Fun sequence.
Norfolk & Western 475 on the Strasburg Railroad. A good document of a museum operation starring the 475. At 50 minutes, just the right length. The second half plays out the best here. A decent release for those who are interested in the 475 or the Strasburg Railroad.
Rating: 3 Stars