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

 

Cajon Highlights 1976

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Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1976

Locations: Verdemont, Cajon, Sullivan’s Curve…

Length: 34 minutes

A look at a busy Cajon Pass, over a few days in 1976. Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, Union Pacific and Amtrak, are here. The variety is what made trainwatching interesting. One never knew what might pass.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-19h16m41s727The original film source is Super 8 mm film. Good composition. Assorted locations and views. Color balance is fine. A handful of film flaws., Drui on a nearly constant narrative. Train sounds are generally, in the background. Informative script.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h44m35s304Brief pacing scenes. On Route 66, are a pleasure, with 2nd generation power!

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h46m26s255Many of the scenes contain some distance. This does put those trains in context. Sullivan’s Curve is hosting, a timetable eastbound Southern Pacific.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h55m54s702Southern Pacific, running a GE U-33-C pair ahead of a tunnel motor. Near Canyon Siding, there are pushers on the rear..

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h44m10s897A single DVD-R. There is a detailed Chapter Menu ,with locations. A map. No additional graphics. Pentrex preview section, on a main menu.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-19h11m32s783Santa Fe is the dominant carrier. At least during this limited, daylight visit. Pinstripes and blue/ yellow Warbonnets abound! Plenty of: GP30, GP35 and SD45 units mix it up. GE U36C units are present.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-19h02m59s120Southern Pacific comes in second. A Cotton Belt SD40T2, leads this move to West Colton. SP favoring, 12 axle diesels, in the territory.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h58m04s588Union Pacific is third. Although, their locomotive lash-ups are memorable! Check the DD35 with, a DD40AX Centennial.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-19h10m15s057A scene that is representative of the traffic levels.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-21h14m31s388The foreground Santa Fe train with SD units, gets the attention. Southern Pacific mid-train helpers roll in the background.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-19h15m06s247Amtrak Southwest Limited. This model from Electromotive, did not workout for them. Inquire within, for further details.

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Generally speaking, Santa Fe was filmed, before the track realignments.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-21h24m56s335The Super C, is seen. A record breaker, hotshot TOFC. The Los Angeles to Chicago high priority train, was discontinued. Not long after this time.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h48m48s990As a caboose was common in 1976. This film is focused on the head end.

vlcsnap-2020-03-08-18h45m03s097Cajon Highlights. An accurate title. Delivers the goods. No concerns. Sure, everyone and their Brother, will want more. We are fortunate, to be able to enjoy this show. A must see, for fans of the 1970s railroad scene.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Rotaries 2, Battle to Open Donner Pass

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Producer: Tim Walter

Timeframe: 2011

Locations: Truckee, Emigrant Gap, Cisco..

Length: 58 minutes

Source: Brendan Compton, Mike Haire, Dick Dorn

The second part to Rotaries, Avalanche on the Mountain. A Flanger train is stuck under an avalanche. The Rotary Snowplow gets dispatched from Truckee! Well, not exactly…

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-13h19m30s895Similar documentary style, as the original show. Employee narration via interviews. Other times, it is radio traffic. On-screen graphics, also convey various information. There is a narrator, to round things out.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h59m30s815Broadcast quality footage. Audio as well. No maps are included. A bonus preview section. A widescreen presentation. 

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h13m12s759This program begins with the Flanger train, stuck in an avalanche. Where we were left hanging, at the end of that show. There is commentary, about the incident here. Even still photographs.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h25m51s694I was fully expecting to see a rescue mounted to the beleaguered Flanger. In fact, as a Rotary is dispatched from Truckee, it appears to be the case. However, that’s all folks.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h31m23s002Now, the story is redirected. The massive snowfall. Following the Rotary, as it works hard, to clear the mainline through Donner Pass. The Snow Service operation works, day and night.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h57m13s931The Rotary Train must travel all the way down to Roseville. In order to clear the.line and turnaround.

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Rotary 209 has some derailments in the heavy snow! This is tricky work. Snow drifts at least 10 feet high. Big Union Pacific GE AC locomotives are assigned to this train. The EMD F7B is the Rotary’s power.

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The height of the snow, can be hard to judge. Check this signal tower.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-12h38m08s054Difficult going at Cisco. Back and forth. The Rotary wants to climb off the tracks. The locomotives experience wheel slip. The crew spends hours battling through.

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A sideview of the Rotary.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-15h14m58s193Some fantastic aerial drone views. These appear to be a recent addition.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-13h04m35s898The camera does spend a lengthy amount of time, in this position. Could have used some narration, during this stretch. Definitely.

vlcsnap-2020-02-22-13h21m08s205The magic of the original show. A combination of the outstanding videography and employee commentary. The way that was edited, gave the show a unique flavor. Those same elements are present in the initial stages, but drops off. A worthy show to add to the collection.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 Miles Cajon Pass

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Producer: Tim Walter

Locations: Cajon Pass, Sullivan’s Curve, Palmdale Cut-off…

Timeframe: 2019

Here is a current visit to world famous, Cajon Pass! The 14 miles, refers to the length. Operating freight traffic, is by Union Pacific and BNSF. Fans of the modern rail scene, are in for quite a treat.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h37m10s560As one would expect from Pentrex, all of the  best known locations are included. Many others, as well.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h30m06s169A single DVD-R.  Detailed Chapter Menu. On screen graphics. Preview section. Great picture and natural audio. Excellent post production.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h18m31s859A colorful, custom map is included. Only referenced a single time. Veteran Railfans already know this material. However, newer people likely would appreciate multiple references.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h55m11s295Veteran announcer Dave Drui handles a relaxed script. Informative, yet leaving plenty of space to listen to the trains. So, activate that soundbar!

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-20h22m52s594The busiest railroad, mountain crossing, in the United States. This is the subtitle. Hits the nail on the head! There are 100 scheduled trains daily.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h22m00s941Blue Cut is where the San Andreas Fault is located. A blue CSX accentuates the bluish stone.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h33m38s388It takes quite awhile to change locations sometimes. However, no shortage of traffic.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h05m54s142For those unfamiliar with this part of the country. Note the dry riverbed. These can sometimes becoming raging torrents. Have no idea about this specific one.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h59m07s795Very little, in run through locomotives. Several Citirail units are seen.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h57m27s523An odd moment. Mention of this train breaking down later in the show, causing traffic problems. No further discussion.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h56m20s535A show highlight, is the cut to Cajon 1976 footage!

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 Big Boy 4014 rolls by, a single pass in 2019.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h37m19s030A couple of shots from a rare snowfall are another break, from the unit trains.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h53m09s035Amtrak Southwest Chief has a single rollby.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-19h33m23s508Almost missed it! A Chicago and NorthWestern unit, is in the middle of this lash-up.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-20h55m05s247Cajon Summit is acheived, at the end.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-20h42m13s259UP fans will want their flag on the summit. The 9068, is an SD70AH. 

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-20h00m51s397Note, this is the older BNSF livery. Santa Fe traditional style lettering. C44-9W.

While present day railroading, is not my wheelhouse. The combination of slow trains, and beautiful scenery has its own charm. Hearing the locomotives working hard is another positive.

vlcsnap-2020-02-16-18h45m22s774The two hour length could have been edited down considerably. Certain locations, the camera is planted there, for far too long. Particularly, in the first hour. Unusual, as Pentrex normally picks up and moves!

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For a show featuring the current railroad scene, special scenery is a must have. Everything else is repetitive. This show is well put together. Although, this era is not to my interest, it is a good show. Recommended, if you enjoy today’s railroading.

Rating: 4 Stars

Espee Hall Of Fame

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Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1991-95

Locations: Sacramento, Elvas, Roseville, Stockton, Ione, Antelope

Length: 2 hours 42 minutes

Source: Gino Pagliaro

A long look at the 1990s era Southern Pacific. All of this is pre- merger to Union Pacific. Videographer was centered around Sacramento CA. Hence, the locations are centered from that area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h39m59s632Charles Smiley Presents, has the most comprehensive Southern Pacific coverage overall. This program adds to that fine catalog.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h02m40s326All of the usual, and generous extras are included. A factory pressed silver DVD. Chapter Menu. On screen graphics. A preview section. Venerable SD7/9 units have good coverage.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h26m40s237Plenty of his wonderful, custom made maps!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h48m26s281Obviously, only a small portion is review able here. Should be about what you will expect. High quality in all areas. Predominantly, 2nd and some 1st generation EMD power. Some newer wide cabs. General freight traffic predominates. 

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h42m50s163The trains are running at City speeds. The slower pace allows for good trainwatching.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h36m40s300Memorable, are these five GP9 locomotives. Nice catch!

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Someone always asks, Are there Tunnel Motors? Plenty! These SD40T-2 units, are on the line to Donner Pass.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h37m59s146Model Railroaders will love the long strings of freight cars, as they leisurely pass before the camera. American River is crossed here.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h19m38s046Gino’s videography is excellent! Very aware of lighting and composition. He spent years shooting this footage. There is so much more, than simply pointing a camera.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h02m41s269Much time is spent at Elvas Junction. Shot with the Tower standing, and after it’s removal. An inside look there is interesting. Highly enjoyable Chapter!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h27m04s315Haggin Jct. crosses a former Western Pacific line. A couple of Union Pacific trains are shown, on that lower track.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h18m54s472Just past the picturesque Davis station, some Soo Line power is on the lead.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h22m19s396Sugar beet operations are reviewed around David. California Northern also serves this area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h27m32s409A Rio Grande GP30 smokes it up at Antelope.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h28m50s166Out to the rural Ione branch. This segment runs long.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h30m15s800Last licks for the Amador Central. Finally, behind an Electromotive diesel. See another Charles Smiley shortline show, for the Baldwin era.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h31m58s782Stockton is next. Tower is there. Now gone. Check a Santa Fe move. Purely for variety!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h01m25s151Although many of the locomotives are heavily weathered. Everything runs! Again, note how Gino gets perfect lighting. Textbook examples, on how to film a train.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h53m27s566Roseville yard is visited. The hump operation, receives an up close visit.

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There are assorted views at Roseville.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h59m33s369The flat end of the yard, with assembled trains. The Eastern line to Oregon has some trainwatching, as seen below.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h28m18s770Espee Hall of Fame is a long show at over 2 1/2 hours. Naturally, this inclined will still want more. Others, may best view it in chunks. It is a huge amount of Scarlet Grey to digest in a single sitting!

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The program is top shelf from end to end. Expert videography. Rather quiet for a Charles Smiley show. Mostly narrative and train sounds. Very little music or even locomotive horns. A high level of detail on the passing trains and locations. Plenty of historical references. Overall, another great entry in the CSP Southern Pacific shows.

Rating: 5 Stars