The Blue Mountains combo Volumes 1-3


Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1991

Locations:Blue Mountains

Length: 3 hours

Source: Video Rails

Union Pacific Railroad. The Blue Mountains in Oregon. Tracks ranging 200 miles. A triple Volume set on a single DVD. Originally, a Video Rails release. Each program is one hour long. I figure that Pentrex combined when remastered.

Expert videography, captures the Union Pacific, in a challenging Mountainous region. Heavy trains requiring long lash-up of twelve axle diesels.


The first pair, of shows are lightly narrated. While, this style offers more train sounds. It leaves much unanswered, about the area seen. Audio itself is of high quality. Along with the rest of this package.


The maps are rudimentary in appearance. Although, they do suffice in the short term. Coming up as a should have, an overview map. To gain perspective of the region.

These badges are smartly done! Providing operational oriented info: that will be appealing to hardcore, and enlighten the casual viewers.

Let’s check this out. One Volume at a time.


Volume One

La Grande to Huntington, Oregon. Begins at the station in La Grande. Serves Amtrak.


vlcsnap-2019-03-23-15h48m21s450A handsome old building. One of the last remaining along this line.


The script is the weak point. Mainly basic locations. Grades, helpers and the like.


Video Rails does get all the visual angles.

A Lookout Mountain, this far west!


These moves need maximum horsepower.


Horseshoe Curve, Oregon style. Oxman Curve.


Mid- train helpers too. Oxman Curve.


An old plant that appears abandoned.

End up along the Snake River. Heard of it.

Summarily, this Volume One is beautifully shot. Narrative is lacking details. It rings hollow.

Volume Two

La Grande to Hinkle on the West end. Grade school level narrative continues. The train, the train…


Westbound leaves La Grande.


Amtrak Pioneer Zephyr passes through.


Those Railfans who are known as UP Nuts. They will be in UP heaven. There is very little else in the power sets. An odd CNW unit now and then. A little bit more.


Majority of Volume 2 is very similar to it’s predecessor. Greener looking terrain. Twenty thousand horsepower up front!


Meet at the summit. GE led train has massive horsepower.


Snow appears towards the end. Blessed relief, as some variety was needed.


This shot puts some scale into the scenery.


A Cab Ride is interesting as it winds into the mountains. Wide Cab does have greater visibility. A safety feature in design.


Helper usage is obvious. Why a caboose on an occasional freight? Probably, a local.

Volume Two utilizes the same approach. Looks awesome. Talk is not so great. Onward…

Volume Three

Snow is the focus. A separate production. Fully narrated like a regular old Video Rails. An over dramatic, at times but at least we stay awake narrative. Their usual voice over man, as well.


This trio is always centered at La Grande. I keep wanting to call it LaGrange! So much for Oregon. Middle of nowhere to me.

It takes until this third Volume, to learn that La Grande is an important location. Excellent on the specifics here.


Exactly where narration can add personality. Historical, operational, you name it. Critical error to neglect this.

Back to it, the trains are what we came to see. Let’s have a look…


Yes, that is the grade.


What those double stacks look like in context. UP has a large amount of this traffic through these Mountains.


Another passing move. Busy corridor!


These Cotton Belt rebuild units, are in transit.


Additional snow action.


Narrator gets overly excited about the deteriorating weather. Nothing to it. Really? Go try Chicago, buddy!


FYI. They act like this is Snow Service. Look up some, BA Productions for real Snow Service! The real deal. No comparison.



The Blue Mountains combo Volumes 1-3.

The first two shows. Play like a pair of fantastic looking blondes. Have the visuals and not much upstairs.

The third show. Cut from a different cloth. Still has a fine appearance. Although, perhaps shot previous to the others? Narration is a big improvement. Although, it is dated in presentation. A general narrative, not getting very specific overall.

Three excellent appearing shows. High quality live audio. Scripts and research are lagging behind.

The experience of three hours, in the Blue Mountains on Union Pacific. I saw the trains, rode a few and had some fun. However, I didn’t learn much there.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

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