City of Los Angeles


Producer: Alva Morrison, Sunday River Productions

Timeframe 1936-1971

Locations: LA, Sherman Hill, Cheyenne, Castle Rock, Ogden, Laramie, Echo Canyon…

Length: 42 minutes

Sources: Mac Owen, more uncredited

Sunday River has this release about the City of Los Angeles passenger train. It also has a small feature film, which contains winter steam footage, of 8444 in 1971. Remastered for DVD, both films are presented in best possible quality.

The original films are from an older era. Alva Morrison,Sr. was at the dawn of Railfan films. He used to produce for reel to reel movies.


Alva performs the narrative on the main feature. It contains some odd narrative. He is discussing history and equipment, of the streamliner on Union Pacific.

This actually starts with history of the original 1936 City of Salinas train. It seems to take him in a certain direction.


Meanwhile, often beautiful old film is rolling on the screen. A different approach! Later, it follows a more traditional direction. On-screen location graphics keep viewers current.


The visual portion of show, is highly organized. Begins at Los Angeles. Proceeds in the easterly direction of travel.


A highly detailed map displays the route.


This is a diesel era train. E units are in charge of the long passenger train.


There are a plethora of external views. Sullivan’s Curve is but one classic scene.


Plenty of, out the window scenes. Aspen Tunnel.


All of it is well balanced. Even some live sound is used in certain scenes.


The City train at Castle Rock.


A couple of worthy deviations. Checkout the Turbines filmed by Mac Owen.


U50C leads a freight train. How about that?


This is a fine show of a long, gone Union Pacific flagship City train.


The seperate, Blizzard at Sherman Hill. What a little gem of a movie!


In early 1971, UP was going to retire this famous Northern. Yes, this was supposed to be 8444 last run!


A surprise blizzard hit. Nothing to it, for 8444 and the rugged UP personnel. Perhaps, this outing changed their minds.


I think that Sunday River missed the mark here. They should have given The Blizzard on Sherman Hill some billing on the front cover. It really adds to this show!

This is an excellent release. The steam film is a great bonus. The narrative is a bit off, and then recovers. Film quality and remaster is fine. Union Pacific fans will enjoy this unique pair. Steam fans should not miss the 8444 Blizzard film.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars


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