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.

Rio Grande Rememberances

 

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Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1954- 1969

Locations: Durango, Arboles, Salida, Antonito, Gunnison, Farmington…

Length: 1 hour 36 minutes + previews

Sources: Andy Payne, Fred Hust, Harvey Laner

A fascinating, time travel visit, into vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge steam. Andy Payne was a Rio Grande Engineer. He was also an independent Railfan / Cinematographer. Early on, he acquired a Bolex 16mm movie camera. Filmed mostly in 16mm. All films are full color. Only some highlights here.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h42m45s238Harvey S. Laner digitized Payne’s film collection in 2008. Three narrators on this show. Harvey, Andy and Charles Smiley.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h58m04s178The earliest films are in 8 mm. Those are very good, for their age. Durango is above. The gems are the 16mm films. Excellent quality! Nearly all freight trains.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m11s365The custom Charles Smiley maps are extremely helpful. Also, explains other lines.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m40s564Alamosa to Antonito dual guage trackage. This on the San Juan Extension. This line continues towards Laboto Trestle.

 

The old freight cars are bursting with character! Railfans and Model Railroaders will have a grand time, with the varied equipment.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h24m54s770Various class Mikado’s are reviewed. 480-489. K-36 seen here.These 2-8-2 are seen with close-ups. Maintenance functions.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h20m08s102Andy has detailed Hostler duties and discussion of steam locomotive fire. This is unique amount many steam shows!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h12m42s404Soundtrack is mixed. Authentic steam sounds, background music and narrative. All interwoven in that Charles Smiley style.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h44m32s005Old Arboles area is shown, before a water dam project buried this area. A highline is being installed. Navajo River.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h55m54s838Gunnison in 1955.  The 268 was Baldwin built in 1882. Leased here for a scrap train.

Salida in 1955. Dual gauged.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h03m38s252The Durango Loop was Railroad built around 1967.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h09m15s939Andy rode freight trains on off days. Filmed from assorted viewpoints. Here, on a revenue stock train.

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See how to get a Mike rerailed, without a crane.

A number of Hollywood feature films were filmed, in part at or near Durango.

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Oil and the Freight business. Farmington Branchline in 1955. South of Durango. Carbon Jct. had a small switch yard.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h55m02s160Model Railroaders will get a kick out of seeing GRAMPS oil tank cars!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h27m57s907Declining traffic spelled the end of the San Juan Extension.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h29m15s953Andy filmed Springtime snow and slide clearing of the Silverton line. An old Caterpillar bulldozer does the job!

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This is a wonderful collection of vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge action! Inclusion of rare locations and singular viewpoints, set it apart from the competition. Not too mention Andy Payne’s first person accounts of the action. Harvey Laner provides the bulk of a clear narrative. Many are interview style, with his friend Andy.

Starting as a Los Angeles Transit Motorman. Andy hired on as Fireman with DRGW in 1957. He loved his work and filming the trains. He passed away in 2012.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h14m54s921Charles Smiley organized everything, into a highly enjoyable viewing experience! As usual, it shall take multiple viewings to get it all in. The 90 minutes literally fly-by. Always the mark of a fun program.

This is a must see, for Rio Grande and Narrow Gauge steam fans.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 15 Clinchfield Autumn Spectacular

CSX15_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Locations: Elkhorn City, Dante, Kingsport, Erwin…

Timeframe: 2001

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rich Scheid

Final volume in this comprehensive CSX series from Green Frog. The former Clinchfield Railroad line is the centerpiece. Locomotives are now, predominantly AC powered.

Standard Green Frog production feature set. Switchable on/ off narration. Chapter Search function. Digitally edited, on state of the art equipment. All in high quality.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-17h41m26s765Rich Scheid with his first rate Videography. Peter Youngblood performs the narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-17h24m49s703Action begins at Shelby, Kentucky. Right away, moves onto former Clinchfield rails at Elkhorn City. The Big Sandy sub.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-17h43m25s315Pool Point Tunnel provides memorable scenery. Above, is a pusher set.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-17h49m37s340State Line Tunnel. A long lens view.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h34m54s712Spectacular scenes throughout. Many various views of the tunnels.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h09m58s078Dante, is the location of the old Clinchfield yard.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h18m52s139St. Paul, Virginia. Here is the HO scale model railroad candidate town for the show!

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h24m57s159Copper Creek Viaduct, Spears Ferry , Virginia. Norfolk Southern has the lower line.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h28m51s025Norfolk Southern makes several appearances. Parallel and intersecting trackage.

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The combination of tunnels and trestles, show the challenging profile of the original Clinchfield Railroad. Still, a coal hauler a century after it’s construction.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-18h30m37s570Kingsport, Tennessee. The old Clinchfield Depot.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-17h57m16s027Here is a short tunnel. The Q manifest train at Gray, TN.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-20h34m03s489Erwin Depot is the conclusion of this series.

CSX 15. Clinchfield Autumn Spectacular. This is an interesting tour of the old Clinchfield Railroad in CSX times. Scenic fall colors are perfect. Rich Scheid delivers once again with excellent videography! Another high mark in the CSX series, from Green Frog.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 12 Pennsylvania and Western Maryland, Fall Spectacular

CSX12_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Locations: Cumberland, Sand Patch, Harper’s Ferry…

Length: 84 minutes

Timeframe: 1999

Source: Rich Scheid

Green Frog with the twelfth edition, in their popular CSX series. Quite an overview of various routes. This one contains some of the best scenery in the CSX system. Fall colors make it even more desirable.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h59m30s740Consistent high quality. Standard Green Frog CSX feature set. Chapter Search. No Chapter menu or maps.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h20m42s613Very descriptive narrative by Peter Youngblood. Everything is reasonably well-covered.  Videographer Rich Scheid is excellent! Composition and variety of views. Only have space for some highlights.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h43m47s365Tour begins in Pittsburgh. Quickly moves along to Connellsville. A GP38-2 with a heavy transformer. This is perfect model railroad scene.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h48m32s816CSX and Conrail paint, at Ohio Pyle. A westbound empty pig train.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h52m07s461Meyersdale station in the morning with westbound  a Dash nine DC unit. Former B&O line.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h01m12s844An SD50 assists a coal train upgrade on Sand Patch Grade.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h01m57s471The tunnel and big cut on Sand Patch Grade.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h04m56s004An SD40 goes past the tower, with high cube boxcars. Also, on Sand Patch.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h12m18s639A GE powered work train. Note the Maintenance of Way, Orange paint on the locomotive.

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Amtrak Celebrate the Century train.

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At Mance, a little diversity. CSX, Soo, SP SD40T.

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Conrail paint at Foley, with a grain train of Candian National cars. Five pushers on this heavy move!

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Falls Cut Tunnel and a leased GE.

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Corriganville , Maryland provides a picturesque backdrop.

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Cumberland has the Western Maryland Scenic Railway. This is a sixteen mile tourist line. Steam locomotive on this scene.

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Back onto CSX rails. This is at the Narrows. Amtrak slips by a CSX freight train.

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Cumberland with some brief scenes of the yard and town.

Kessler Bridge on the Magnolia Cut-off. No, you will have to see another CSX volume, to tour this fantastic area.

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A final train at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia is an odd choice to close. No fall colors here. Only a single freight at this historic site.

CSX 12 is surely one of the best in the series! All of the trains are nicely shot. Great scenery is the main highlight. Although, the trains are always front and center. A good script and fast paced action. Green Frog with a top shelf release!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

Historic Hot Spots Combo DVD: Railfanning Southern California in the 1950s, Santa Fe’s Pasadena Subdivision

HHS-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: LA, Pasadena, Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Loop..

Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Sources: Chet Hogan, Henry Wong, J. A. Hawkins, Leo Caloia, Trevor Clarke

A two for one bonus DVD. Both feature classic action in California. A cornucopia of vintage Railroading!

A single DVD. Master menu. Chapter menus. Previews.

Let’s look at the individual shows.

Railfanning Southern California in the 1950s.

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This coverage is organized by the feature set. One hour and twenty minutes show. The Introduction contains excellent street footage of Los Angeles area. Nice maps!

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Four notable Railfan’s guest star. Stan Kistler, Richard Steinheimer, Don Sims and Chard Walker. I know, they have additional and varied accomplishments with railroading. All offer mighty fine commentary!

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The Railroading begins at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal platforms. Stan Kistler describes the busy trains of the era. Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Union Pacific, long haul passenger trains are shown.

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Southern Pacific’s The Owl. Scenes from August, 1951. Chet Hogan filmed in a single day! Mission Tower..

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Double-header steam locomotives with an ice bunker reefer train.

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Amazing views of a snapshot of the transitional era.

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Southern Pacific. Richard Steinheimer takes over for this section. Photographer and how he began. Various black and white Steinheimer photographs.

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Don Sims chimes in after him.A mixed train is booked by a club. A Santa Fe Mikado handles this train.

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Cajon Pass. Henry Wong in June, 1949 is the Cinematographer. Stan Kistler explains. A 16mm camera with limited capacity.

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Retired Santa Fe Operation man Chard Walker discusses the end of steam on Cajon. He has authored some fine books!

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Banker’s Holiday Special 1954 to Bakersfield. GS and a Cab forward.

Tehachapi Loop is where this excursion stopped. A replacement set of steam locomotives were swapped from Bakersfield.

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Railfanning Southern California in the 50s. A fantastic look at the scene in brilliant, restored color film!

Santa Fe’s Pasadena Sub

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This show has a short Chapter Menu. There are a couple of previews, as well. Obviously, the story is centered around Pasadena. Runs for an hour. Stan Kistler is the guest star. Map and graphics.

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1951 and at Los Angeles Mission Tower. Chet Hogan films. All color and 16mm!

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South Pasadena is the beginning. Hogan footage. Steam is still present, but rare. Mostly passenger trains. El Capitan, Super Chief and various moves, going between LA and San Bernardino.

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Arroyo Seco Viaduct a scenic highlight.

Pasadena main station was very busy.

 

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 Cab Ride. Filmed by J. Allen Hawkins in the early 1960s. Aboard the Santa Fe Chief. LA to Barstow on # 314.

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Exciting film, as the Cab Ride continues across Cajon Pass. There have been changes, since the time of this filming.

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Assorted views, within and out of the F unit windows. Intriguing footage!

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Santa Fe Chief is a star of this delightful show. Pentrex remastered film has the program in stunning visual quality. A winner for all vintage Railfan’s, who have interest in passenger trains.

Historic Hot Spots Combo DVD: Railfanning Southern California in the 1950s, Santa Fe’s Pasadena Subdivision.

This is an outstanding combination! Perfect for fans if vintage, Western Railroading. Great for Classic Railfans and Model Railroaders.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 11 Greenwood to Atlanta

CSX11_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Locations: Greenwood, Abbeville

Timeframe: 1999

Length: 1 hour

Sources: James T. Koch, John M. Koch

In Volume 11, we continue from Greenwood to Atlanta. This is the Abbeville sub. Former Seaboard Airline Railway, is 150 miles long.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-14h09m58s128The setup is consistent with the others in this series. On-screen graphics. No maps. Full narration by Bob Carrera. Switchable narrative to on/off. Good script. High production standards. Professional videography.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-14h10m27s053There is busy Maxwell yard at the beginning. Various moves come and go. An engine is swapped out.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-14h18m08s772CSX Q211 stops at Abbeville. A crew change point. 8184 leads the Norfolk Southern units.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-14h44m35s652Assorted meets and switching along this single track route.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-15h09m10s865CSX 7722 leads on undulating trackage near Bogart.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-15h16m00s230A C30-7 is paced near Dacula. An unedited pace is part of the bonus.

vlcsnap-2020-04-02-15h25m11s864The modern tour stops short of the city. 

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Older footage, that features the former New Georgia Railroad wraps up this show. This steam engine was part of that operation.

CSX 11. Greenwood to Atlanta. Another solid entry in this extensive series! Each territory has it’s own flavor. Green Frog, then creates an appropriate show. The single track main is average. By adding in, meets and switching, they increase the interest. The additional older footage is another point of interest. The bonus footage is out takes. What some release as part of a main feature. Here’s to Green Frog quality!

Rating: 4 Stars