Southern Pacific Steam Anthology

DVD-SRP-SPSA-3D

Producer: Alva Morrison, JMJ

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: system

Length: 47 minutes

Source: John Kirkland

An updated 2016 remaster and new edit. John Kirkland spent years, documenting every type of Southern Pacific Steam locomotive. All encompassing collection. Everything from diminutive yard switchers, to SP exclusive Articulateds. Color film throughout!

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The Single DVD-R, has a finely detailed Chapter Menu. Full complement of maps. On-screen graphics on most everything. Organized like a book.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h58m32s149The film is beautifully remastered. Appears to have been originally filmed in 16mm. Excellent color balance. Very clean, with a minimum of any flaws. The overall impression of the collection is, Amazing!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h57m48s208The show is narrated. Audio is dubbed. Common with films of this vintage. Good results. Music is blended or used in the soundtrack. A former Cotton Belt engine is seen above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h24m58s952The Southern Pacific was a vast empire. Having extended into many other areas. Interurban service is the most commonly known. San Francisco to Oakland ferry service is briefly shown.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h57m03s499The only concern. Not a deal breaker by any means. As the locomotive catalog is revealed. The fast edits are very fast. Barely view the running gear, here comes the tender, and out. Next! It gets a little annoying. Perhaps, that is all there was available. Considering the goal, time and effort. I would guess there was a second or two more.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h03m50s616On this fantrip. Street running and a 1955 Chevy. Looks like Fiesta Red. A custom color, for Fender guitars. Those colors were from automobile paint. Off topic, but too cool to pass it up!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h07m09s994Action sequences are included for many types. Freight and passenger. Mainline, Branchline and Yard scenes. Stations, Street running and Fantrips.

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This Diamond Stack Special attracted attention, back in the day. Think about it.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h00m05s296A tiny Yard Goat rides the turntable at Mission in San Francisco. This served the Passenger engines there.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h15m34s573At the Bayshore yard. 2477 sets the pop valves.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h12m05s963The 2-8-0 Consolidations were workhorses in the SP empire. Larger boiler engines, were ex: St. Louis Southwestern. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h05m34s034Examine the detail on this 2-6-0 locomotive. Model Railroaders should note the weathering. A small Vanderbilt tender. Better views within…

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h28m09s639 Southern Pacific type, 4-10-2. Rolls off it’s last miles.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h28m18s390Appreciate the detail on the freight cars.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h33m03s855AC types could pull long trains..

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h30m59s236Pusher duty was some of the last service for AC-9 types.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h32m44s115The huge AC -10. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h11m03s424Old style SP cabooses. The standard for the era.

Southern Pacific Anthology.

A comprehensive overview of SP Steam in the mid- 20th Century. This awesome collection is in beautiful remastered all-color 16mm film.

The excellent Cinematographer, is a consistent source. Sharp production has a well organized show. Nice action sequences. A great selection, for any Steam Fan!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi

Railfanning-Cajon-and-Tehachapi-1976-1993-DVD-D-150

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1970 – 1993

Locations: Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Pass, Colton, San Bernardino,

Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

Sources: Jon Davis and more

Cajon Pass  and Tehachapi Pass. They are featured in this new release, from Charles Smiley Presents. This program looks further, than just those two areas. A desirable era, the includes films from the 1970s.

The single DVD is a silver, factory pressed disc. Same facilities, as used by Hollywood.

A numbered Chapter Menu, is included. CSP always provides, highest quality, custom made maps. Frequently referenced, and appropriate close-ups. Preview section of additional CSP shows.

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A multitude of on-screen graphics. Providing a variety of information. Sometimes, quite detailed which adds to the discussion.

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Sample of one map. Palmdale is being targeted. Color coded trackage.

Three Class One Railroads are all co-stars.

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Santa Fe

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Southern Pacific

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Union Pacific.

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Additional roadnames, such as Burlington Northern. Run through power, with Chicago and North Western.

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Audio has accurate to the locomotive sounds. Laid-back background music balanced the soundtrack.

Charles Smiley narrates. He his always, interesting and informative. Giving a wealth of knowledge, on these subjects.

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Film quality is excellent, overall. Digital restoration has great color balance. Appears to be predominantly 8mm sourced. Camera work is highly competent. Clear views of trains. All seasons.

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Cajon with snow. Amtrak passengers had a spectacular view!vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h13m41s779Cajon Pass. There is a good amount of footage here. A welcome change from recent times! By this time, the Pinstripe Blue scheme has been replaced with the popular Warbonnet scheme.

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Of course, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific have the rails. Kodachrome repaints are easily found on Santa Fe.

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Colton has abundant trains. The yard leads and Colton Crossing. An SP Kodachrome.

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Of note. Talk about a pig train! A rare scene, is this move of hogs.

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Model Railroaders will be pleased. FYI- Charles has a fascinating Model Railroad. A plethora, of vintage freight and trailer on flatcars, roll by the camera. Eyeball, that blue L&N boxcar!

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h42m30s479Double – Diesels are a fine chapter. Electromotive gets the nod. DD40AX.  Built in 1969… Centennials.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-15h27m21s404Static photographs augment the show. Earlier, DD35 units are also shown, on movie footage. 

Learn the background of the Double Diesels. The UP goals, and implementation.

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General Electric Turbines get looked at, as well. How did these Big Blows, relate to the later EMD units that followed? Answers within the show.

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Tehachapi Pass is well done. Different Cinematographers, with fine views on the scenes.

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Tunnels, in particular are a fine assortment.

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Good overview of Tehachapi area.

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Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi. Comprehensive coverage of two, world famous locations. Additional areas simply add to this enjoyable show! The three featured railroads are classics.

This Charles Smiley Presents, checks all the boxes. What’s not to like?

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway

Pacific-Electric--Los-Angeles-Railway-DVD-D-148

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1940- 1963

Locations: Greater Los Angeles area

Length: 1 hour 53 minutes

Sources: Lloyd Salkeld, Ross Salkeld, Ed Minshall, Paul Lukens, Roy Gabriel

Charles Smiley Presents with a double feature. The two streetcar lines, that once served Los Angeles, and vicinity. Pacific Electric is the much larger of the two companies. Los Angeles Railway is the second company.

Both had extensive coverage in their territories. Originally construction, was before the common usage of automobiles and freeways. The commuters traveled in much different fashion.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h19m50s821There is much color movie film, to document the cornucopia of various, equipment and lines. Which serve the area. Years of the restored color footage. They are from 1940 to 1963. Though the scope of the show, goes back earlier in time.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h38m39s558This show is loaded with extras. A factory pressed DVD. Detailed Chapter Menu. A long preview section that runs for 20 minutes.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h11m00s865Custom made Maps throughout. Any line that is discussed, gets highlighted.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h30m27s957On-screen graphics that have all sorts of additional information. These details augment the on going discussions.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h40m08s665Varied soundtrack. Notice the high level of detail on enviornmental scenes. Hear the auto traffic on some scenes? Hear the flanges squeel, as a trolley hits a turn? Background music elsewhere.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h10m27s663Simply, too much to cover everything within, this fully loaded program. This collection of films must be rare. Let’s hit on some highlights…

IF you haven’t seen a Charles Smiley Presents yet. You are in for a treat! These are: part train video, part history lesson, extra information, at no extra charge! All neatly wrapped in a PBS style program. Charles Smiley narrates.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h42m02s403Pacific Electric had about 1000 miles of trackage. Extended beyond Los Angeles. Long Beach, San Pedro, San Bernardino to name a few. Their large red cars were well known.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h01m48s654Los Angeles Railway was Henry Huntington’s, from 1898. This also extended past the city limits, although not so far. Yellow and green colors.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h47m50s348Later on, the so called, fruit salad colors came into usage.

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The streetcar system predates the freeway system.

A small portion of the Oakland Key System is included, into this story. Another, El Paso, Texas to Mexico, as well!  Plus more. Learn the dispositions of various streetcars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h06m46s982Here , at Inglewood viewers get a sense of streetcars running in traffic. Check those two sets of rails.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-16h57m28s620Later, the now numerous  cars in the downtown area, brought resentment towards the big streetcars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h51m27s014Watts Station is on the right.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h41m05s627This Watts bound car, originated up on a substantial  elevated platform. 

Electric buses are even included!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h11m31s623The 1938 PCC built cars offered riders many improvements. Charles explains types and improvements.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h43m35s589Notice how massive the streetcar is compared to the bus.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h12m22s287The old Sears building on the P line is gone. Resembles other vintage Sears, in other parts of the US.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h08m35s605The diminutive white safety zones, in the middle of busy streets. These are almost a joke by modern standards.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h18m24s601Here is a scene with potential for Model Railroaders. Have a trolley line that; dead ends, near a standard gauge track!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h40m05s602The many onboard rides, give viewers the feel of streetcar transportation. Assorted lines and years. Fascinating material.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h22m39s781Big Bertha tows a broken down car.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h37m34s633A final fantrip with a couple of streetcars. A discontinued line, complete with rusty rails. Amazing!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h28m58s333These trolley subjects offer a time machine visit into the past. One doesn’t have to be from Los Angeles to enjoy this either. Plenty of these scenes no longer exist.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h19m24s278Vintage is vintage! Autos, trucks, pedestrians, businesses, and the chance to witness the changes. Fascinating material that you see in fine quality here. There is simply too much, to retain everything in a single viewing. That is good news. Rerun value. Suitable and interesting, for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars

Steam Across America: Combo DVD

SAA-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1950s- 60s

Locations: many

Length: 1 hour 10 minutes

Source: Bruce Ward

A combination of two shows on this single DVD. East and Western steam in the United States. Filmed in 16mm. All color and multiple railroads. End of the steam era. Late 1950s into the early 1960s.

Interested? Step right in…

Choices on the Top Chapter Menu offer: East, West and Bonus Material. Leads to detailed sub Chapter menus. No maps. On-screen location graphics.

Dave Drui with a good narrative. Detailed soundtrack with environmental sounds. High level of Pentrex production.

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NW in 1957. Portsmouth, Ohio. Plenty of action in the state.

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196 switches at Columbus, Ohio.

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Bluefield WV in 59.vlcsnap-2019-09-02-10h07m15s783

Baltimore and Ohio in 1957. Yellowstone EM- 1 type being chased.

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A B&O freight train, smokes it up.

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Street running at Grafton. The B&O added larger tenders to it’s switchers in later years.

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Pennsylvania Railroad.

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A J1 class 2-10-4 on the turntable at Columbus.

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Nickel Plate Road in 1957. Berkshire class. A Hudson class with rarely seen Elephant Ears on a freight.

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Chicago, Burlington and Quincy. 1961 in Illinois and Wisconsin. Burlington Route ran fantrips. This one was The Illini Special.

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Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range.  The Illini Special in 1961.

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Union Pacific in 1957. Grand Island, Nebraska. Elephant Ear Northern’s in freight service.

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Diminutive switchers were once ubiquitous.

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At Cheyenne, Wyoming. Class locomotive, Big Boy 4000, rolls in with smoking brakes.

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Challengers are abundant! Compare the exhaust on this somewhat ailing Challenger to the GP unit, as they shove on a freight in the Wahsatch Mountains.

Southern Pacific. San Francisco and Oakland terminals.

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Bakersfield in 1957. More shown in 56.  A GS 4 meets a Cab Forward .

Colorado and Southern. Various scenes.

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2-10-2 predominate. Note the double tender

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C&S #641 was well suited to operate to Climax, at over 10,000 feet. Ran until 1961.

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Great Western Railway steamer, is used at the sugar Mill. Loveland, CO. They used 0-4-0 saddle tankers too. Even more than expected is seen.

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Steam Across America. Covers the advertised in fine fashion. Two packed shows of vintage steam action. The 16mm films look great! Fine viewing for anyone with an interest in steam locomotives.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

Tehachapi ’88

 

WB050

Producer: WB Video

Timeframe: 1988

Locations: Mohave to Bakersfield

Length: 3 1/2 hours

Source: Bill Brown

Tehachapi Loop is the feature in this 2 DVD set. Southern Pacific owned the track. Santa Fe ran via trackage rights. WB Video shot video for ten days in the fall of 1988.

Let’s take a look at specifics. No Chapter Menu. No maps. No extras.. Narration.

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The script and accompanying narrative are basic. Overall, natural audio becomes dominate. Good levels.

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First disc covers five days and the runtime is two hours. Disc two, obviously gets the balance.

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Kodachrome units are all over the place in 1988. Beautifully shot, and color balance retains it’s fine character.

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Many trains have a caboose.

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Oil can trains are common here.

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EMD GP60 models were some of the newest locomotives.

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Even older locomotives were repainted. This GP35 for example.

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The show is organized by the day of the shoot. Not in a location order.

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Exterior view of the Hill.

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The classic shot. Famous Tehachapi Loop. Tunnel with a train, crossing over itself.

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SP Kodachrome SD40T-2 in the lash-up. When the merger was not approved as expected. The Railfan slogan for the SPSF became, Shouldn’t Paint So Fast.

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Three Santa Fe repaints, upfront on this ten unit set.

vlcsnap-2019-08-21-14h42m28s662Upgrade near Tunnel 9.

vlcsnap-2019-08-21-13h33m43s784At Cliff ,smoke pours out.

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Helpers get the worst of it!

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As Union Pacific fans ask, Where’s mine?

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An awesome view from Cliff Siding.

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Southern Pacific work train, with a single locomotive.

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Meanwhile, down around Mohave.

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Traffic is largely TOFC. Some COFC too. General freight, oil and coal trains.

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The lengthy set is an excellent visit to a specific point in Tehachapi Pass history. While it may run long, chasing some trains. They hit the nail on the head. Recording an interesting Kodachrome Southern Pacific and Santa Fe.

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Recommended for any Railfans and Model Railroaders with aligned interests. The sparse narrative will probably leave less serious types wondering, what the excitement is about. Nevermind them, if it has your name, you will know it.

Receives a high rating, on the strength of being, well filmed and the matching audio. Plus, the historical value of this clear show.

Rating: 5 Stars