About William J. Hudson

I am a creative person. Writing is enjoyable. There are my current internet features. Wordsmith United is the newest. American Train Video Reviews is worldwide, . A musician for many years. Guitar is my main instrument. Enjoy bass playing .Rock and Blues styles. I love to have some laughs. People think that I am hilarious, and I remain clueless as to why... :) There is much of me within my sites. There is much more that is missing too. I hope that everyone enjoys the material.

Pocahontas Glory Volume 2


Producer: J.R.Herron

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: Roanoke, Blue Ridge

Length: 48 minutes

Sources: Ben T. Young Jr., H.R. Blackburn, C.H. Snyder, Howard Robins

Visit the Norfolk and Western’s Roanoke area. Detailed views of: Roundhouse, Yard, Passenger area, and West End. Go to Blue Ridge and more.

Narrated by Ralph E. Morse. Sound and music. No Chapter Menu. Map is on the product case.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h35m52s004All color film. High quality transfer by Disney Studios.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-11h53m34s995The roundhouse at Roanoke was 40 stalls. One of the busiest at this time. The narrative is loaded with more details, throughout the program.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-11h54m19s100A diminutive shop switcher serves the Roundhouse.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h04m14s320Powhatan Arrow by Schafer Crossings

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-11h48m55s836See Y  class power in hump Yard service.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h07m38s863Schafer’s Crossing Roundhouse.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h09m44s753Jawn Henry weighed over one million pounds.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-11h51m59s415The Roanoke Yards are a huge facility.


There is a surprising amount to see at the Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h26m36s208The Roanoke Depot was a modern passenger type.


Plenty of J class locomotives are here.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h22m16s289West End are the yard leads and a great location to catch more action.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h29m57s104In 1957, a Convention had the Roundhouse open for touring.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h33m38s341A couple of 2-8-0 were pulling the ’57 fantrip.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h25m38s926 A rare sight to behold. Nose to nose Y class engines at work!

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h38m42s080Blue Ridge became a famous spot to film the last stand of N&W steam.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h44m18s546GP9 diesels were the successor to the steam power on the line. While not nearly as strong individually, they could be lashed in multiple unit sets.

vlcsnap-2019-08-17-12h40m47s954Here is an outstanding collection of films with N&W steam. Edited like a feature film. An enjoyable visit to the past. Great for the whole family.

Rating: 5 Stars



San Jose Steam Celebration


Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1992

Locations: San Jose, Altamont Pass, Feather River Canyon, Niles Canyon

Length: 2 hours

Three steam locomotives converge on San Jose, California in 1992. Two Southern Pacific engines. Daylight 4449. New restoration 2472. Union Pacific entry is Challenger 3985.

The National NRHS Convention is the main event. Pentrex goes the extra mile. Filming complete coverage of all three vintage steam engines.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h46m06s346Full narration. Stereo soundtrack. No Chapter Menu. On- screen information graphics. Fine live audio.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h03m46s017David Drui, with an intelligent and interesting script. Steve Lee gets info,while in the cab of UP Challenger 3985.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h09m03s478Challenger 3985 departs Portola,CA. with a soldout train. Feather River Canyon is on the travel route. Keddie Wye seen here.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h15m10s099The big engine smokes it up departing Oroville. Once, a major town for Western Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h31m57s335Southern Pacific Daylight 4449,is  picked up at Sacramento station.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h35m58s355The 4449 is chased to San Jose.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h36m26s593Oakland with street running.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h38m58s148SP 2472 is a Baldwin built locomotive from 1921. Movement starts from San Francisco. 4-6-2 Pacific type. Gets final tests.This one gets towed to San Jose!

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h48m16s754The 3985 travels thru Altamont Pass.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h53m28s466Engine turned at Stockton turntable. Over one million pounds and 120 feet long. The 1943 built locomotive stalls the ex:WP turntable.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h07m44s962Second day of convention features 2472 with a trip to San Francisco.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h16m35s989The 2472 in the twilight of the day.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h09m59s433Meanwhile, UP 3985 takes a run to Oakland.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-12h33m18s162Daylight led move is called, The Senator. Journey to Sacramento.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h30m17s430The late running Senator at Jack London Square in the evening.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h36m41s740Final excursion behind a doubleheader of the Southern Pacific engines. Recreation of a Coast Daylight. Aromas was the photo runby spot.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h42m55s696Watsonville was where the locomotives were turned for the return. The sun came out.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h50m28s471On that Monday, Pentrex continued to film. A 3985 back thru Feather River Canyon, to Portola.


This show has plenty of Challenger time!

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-14h01m49s024The Daylight is going back to Portland, Oregon. Crossing the high trestle at Redding, CA.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-14h02m56s921Traversing the scenic Shasta Division of the Southern Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-08-16-13h22m03s571As the train is stopped at Kalmath Falls, Oregon. The narrator is cut-off mid sentance. Oh well, close enough… The End!

San Jose Steam Celebration

The three classic steam locomotives are well documented here. Complete coverage, as advertised. The video is beautifully shot!

A classic presentation by Pentrex. One of their best, modern steam gathering shows. Suitable for the entire family.

Rating: 5 Stars

Burlington Northern’s Funnel


Producer: Bill Lambert

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Spokane,WA., to Sandpoint, Idaho

Length: 80 minutes

Source: Bill Lambert

The Funnel is a single track mainline between Spokane, Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho. This key section of Burlington Northern trackage is a hotspot. Carrying 90% of the BN container traffic. A huge amount of lumber. Plenty of grain and general freight, as well. Over 100 trains daily travel this line.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h42m45s789Video Rails was the original production company of this program. There is no Chapter Menu. It is sparsely narrated. A basic map outlines the towns, along the 71 mile route. Bare bones presentation. Jim Knight narrates a simple, script.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-13h45m37s075The show begins at Spokane. An oddly named location, named Latah Junction. Notice how much of the shooting is distant. Gives the show a detached feel.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-13h56m08s944Marshall Canyon is up next. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h40m04s850A cut where too much time is spent.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h41m32s730Back and forth, the trains go…

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h49m52s957Containers, stack trains. Seen one- seen them all. They come in red, blue and green. Modern standardization reality. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h00m27s028The lake scenery is gorgeous! 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h05m03s383What is even more boring than watching modern container trains? This!… Empty flatcars from across a lake.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h47m19s563A rock cut provides additional scenic variety.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h57m59s011A workmanlike program. Videography is fine. Although, it stays too long in spots. Lacks a certain creative sense. Though it does try.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h05m51s913This show runs very quiet. Live sound and little else happening. Yes, all single track running and no helper locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h08m37s061Modern and relatively boring container traffic. The whole works feels repetitive pretty quickly. Script does not contain enough interest to save it. Not a show that has much rerun value. Snoozer…

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Into the Allegheny Range Volume 3


Producer: Pentrex, Iron Horse

Timeframe: 1992- 94

Locations: Cumberland to Grafton, WV.

Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

Sources: William Holloway, William  Price, Tom Biery, Charles Roberts

Third in the four part series. West End coverage, of the famous former Baltimore and Ohio line. Original production by Iron Horse America, in co-operation with CSX. Plentiful set that is a two DVD release.


A muti-faceted presentation. Iron Horse used vintage films and still photos to compare with current scenes. William Price was a legendary steam era Cinematographer. Some brief Price scenes, are shown of old B&O steam, at certain locations.


Multiple map types are employed to outline the presentation. Route maps, elevation and grades. It’s all here, in manageable portions. Blended with the storyline.


Bob Taylor performs an informative narrative. Covers most of everything. A nice Chapter Menu gives easy access to this large show. On-screen graphics with many additional details.


Live audio is clean and levels are balanced. Horn sounds are a must hear, when they reverberate off the mountains!


An interesting subplot. A 1992 Railfest Excursion interpolates Cab ride footage, as we travel eastbound. End to end.


Volume 3 picks up this extensive coverage with the famed Baltimore and Ohio, West End. Cumberland, Maryland is the beginning of this program. Since, that was the subject of Volume 2. The tower at the end of town is our start point.


Bond is where there was a runaway track and 2nd tower in the past. Little remains nowadays.


Conrail moves unit coal via trackage rights. This bridge has an original portion from 1851.


Hitchcock Tunnel is a short one.


Altamont is the Allegheny Summit on this former B&O line. Some good trainwatching is spent here.


Great spot to interject some vintage Price film!


Keep your eyes peeled. An assortment of pre-merger paint is still rolling around. Like this Louisville and Nashville!


Oakland, Maryland is a more populated town. Has a beauty of an original station.


Terra Alta has a tough grade. The Hole is particularly notorious spot. An ex: B&O locomotive leads in the snow.


Eastbound freights struggle on Cranberry Grade.


A coal train is doubled at Salt Lick Curve.


On the M&K sub a slow speed unit coal train is chased along the Cheat River. This goes to The Patriot Coal Loader facility. Here, a coal move passes an old engine house at M&K Junction.


Tray Run Viaduct is on steep Cheat River Grade.


Kingwood Tunnel at Tunnelton, West Virginia. Note the older and now closed tunnel.


There are numerous source tape flaws. Appear later in the second half of the second DVD. Newburgh Grade in particular.


A Railfest Special from 1993 is also shown throughout the show.


Q Tower at Hardman received an interesting visit for a moment.


East Grafton GN tower is closed.


Film continues to the freight yard at Grafton, West Virginia.


D Tower is visited. Glen Ringling hosts.


Not a caboose to be found. Exception, 1978 scene contained a B&O bay window, bathed in brakeshoe smoke at Bond.

Volume 3

Outstanding episode in the series! Iron Horse left no stone unturned, to tell the story of B&O legendary West End.

Rating: 5 Stars

A Salute to Soldier Summit


Producer: Bill Brown

Timeframe: 1988

Locations: Utah division

Length: 1 hour

Source: Dave Gross

Rio Grande action, on and around , Soldier  Summit in Utah. Solid sets of black and orange DRGW diesels are common. Cabooses are still in service. Utah Railway is here. Splendid fall scenery in the Wasatch Mountains. Unmolested freight cars. Plenty to enjoy.

Rege Cordic narrates with his familiar voice. No Chapter Menu or extras.


Professionally shot video. Color balance is still good. Audio contains live train sounds. Balanced with the narrative at good levels.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h33m49s796One hour of non- stop train action. DRGW 5388 is an SD40T-2. Built by Electromotive in LaGrange, 8/78. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h25m21s325Denver & Rio Grande Western was in a pre- merger state in 1988.

The script is an interesting one. High level of detail. Local history, detailed train movements and such.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-10h53m09s511Amtrak trains begin this show. Several Amtrak moves, some need a little help. As this California Zephyr does.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h22m21s940Various DRGW freights are shown in the area. A map would have been helpful.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-11h03m10s546Ringling Brothers Circus train passes by the camera at track speed. The red train!

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h22m01s650A GP30 is amoung one in this lash-up. Close-ups and individual call outs, in this scene.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h31m54s697At Soldier Summit, a Rio Grande freight passes a Utah Railway unit coal.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h07m20s333A helper awaits it’s next assignment.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h44m43s372Good to see freight cars in factory paint, at Gilluily. No graffiti on ’88! Buttheads.


Union Pacific with GE units leading.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h34m43s827Utah Railway is featured, as well. A 23 mile line that hauls coal. Their moves do travel onto the Rio Grande mainline.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h15m46s679Mid train helpers on an 11,000 ton Utah Railway coal train.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h32m34s454Thistle has an interesting story. Learn about a devasting flood, and remarkable line rebuild.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h43m35s466Gilluily has scenic curves and grades. SD45 and F45 engines,  found new jobs on Utah Railway.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h44m58s559Excellent job by Dave Gross, behind the camera.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-12h31m35s257SD50 are the newest Rio Grande locomotives at this time. Also, their last.

vlcsnap-2019-08-12-10h59m50s865WB Video had a well put together show. Mountainous scenery and those Rio Grande trains are a fine match. 

A no brainier for Rio Grande fans. Should be a good time for everyone else. One of the top WB Video releases.

Rating: 5 Stars