SP’s Geeps and Cadillacs

SPGEEP-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1994

Locations: Fresno Line, Ione Branch, Stockton

Length: 53 minutes

The GP9e, SD7e and SD9e locomotives.  These Southern Pacific rebuilds, were making their last stand, in local rail service in 1994.

In this show, they are viewed in an agricultural region of central California. Bakersfield to Sacramento.

If you are asking about the odd title. ‘Geeps and Cadillacs’. Here is some background info.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h57m40s521

Geeps were a nickname for early GP7 and GP9 diesels. Cadillac was a moniker used by Southern Pacific crews for SD7 and SD9 locomotives. In the old days, the long wheelbase units were smooth riders, like a Cadillac automobile.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h04m46s830

In fact, the term Geep was used in the post World War 2 era. GP stood for General Purpose locomotive, as used by Electromotive. Supposedly, the comparison was to the utilitarian characteristics of the US Army Jeeps. GP7 and GP9 models were the all purpose diesels of the 1950’s.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h03m09s356

Years ago, it was a stretch to call the newer GP30 and GP35’s a Geep.  As time passed, the term was used even more loosely. A 1970’s turbocharged GP40-2, really isn’t a Geep in the same way.

Seems as if any EMD with 4 axle trucks ended up, being called a Geep.

Perhaps, this transition of the nickname illustrates the nature of the original General Purpose designation.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h40m16s784

A Geep will do everything on the railroad. By the way, the majority this discussion is not present, in the script. Interesting background though, isn’t it?

Have a VHS tape of this show from years ago.

Let’s checkout the DVD version. I have read, that Pentrex carefully upgrades and transfers their shows to the DVD format. A time consuming process. In fact, a rather large number of Pentrex shows have yet to be released on a DVD.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h41m01s236

Major upgrade on the DVD picture quality! Audio sounds great, as well. It is a remaster, after watching the disc.

A detailed Chapter Menu is a welcome addition to now have included.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h52m01s704

Some on-screen graphics denote: trains, locomotives and locations. Two maps.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h44m22s228

Narration is the usual pro quality that we expect from Pentrex. The narrative will keep us current and informed, of every train in the scenes. Natural audio sounds are the main background. Camerawork and audio is fine overall.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h12m34s335

Southern Pacific was still utilizing these 40 year old EMD locomotives in the 1990’s. The rebuilt GP9, SD7 and SD9 models were operating in Central California. While many other roads rebuilds had their noses chopped, SP units retained the high hoods.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h44m28s045

Stockton Yard offers our best chance for close up looks at SD7/9 diesels. A GP9 is still in SP Kodachrome. The paint was for the failed SPSF merger.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h49m56s584

A pair of good looking GP9E locos haul The Turlock local out of Stockton Yard.

The Lodi local gets featured as it performs switching at Lodi, with a pair of GP9E diesels.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-21h59m05s986

There is a great segment of SP street running in the downtown area. Other through trains behind GP9 and SD7/9 lash-ups are interspersed with the locals workday.

At Galt, the local turns onto the Ione branch. Good edits let many freight cars pass for the viewer to watch.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h09m09s123

In Ione, there is interchange with Amador Central. A rare Baldwin S12 waits for SP to drop it’s cars. The SP train picks up a string of cars for the return to Galt.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h10m08s130

A cab ride in the lead GP9E 3742 is our way back to the mainline at Galt. It would have been good to hear some commentary from the Engineer. We do spend time watching him work the controls and drive the train. His silence feels odd. Back to exteriors and end of program. The Lodi local occupies a large portion of this show. Maybe a bit too much.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-22h14m15s601

Based on the title, I was expecting equal coverage of the SD ‘Cadillacs’. Those SD7/9 units, are seen in the lash-ups, on the mainline freights. Expected more focus.

SP’s Geeps and Cadillacs. Vintage Workhorses. A final visit to Southern Pacific’s title fleet. Delivers as advertised. The local overstays at the party. Otherwise, the presentation is fine.

A nice upgrade on the DVD!

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s