Western Canada Series: Complete Set

Western Canada Series: Complete Set

Greg Scholl Video Productions

Format: 4 DVD set

Length: Over 4 hours + previews

Time Period: 1992

Locations: Transcontinental mainlines of Canadian National, and Canadian Pacific.

Canadian Rockies, Kicking Horse Pass, Yellowhead Pass, Fraser Canyon… 

Source: Greg Scholl

MSRP: 99.95
Greg Scholl’s fine Western Canada Series is available in a 4 DVD set with value pricing.

This will save you money. A discount on buying the complete series, as a set of 4 DVD’s.

The programs included are related by the scope, and time they were originally filmed. This results in a cohesive look at Canadian National and Canadian Pacific. The locations are the best of both railroads. There are 2 features on CP Rail. One feature on CN. Another show has both of the railroads sharing separate banks of a river, through scenic canyons.

Each volume is available separately as well. Previews of other Greg Scholl titles are included in each DVD. The series programs have each been individually reviewed on American Train Video Reviews. They were received as the complete set. Following is the list of the titles, with a brief synopsis. Refer to the single reviews for more details.

Canadian Pacific’s Kicking Horse Pass.

See this famous route, from Field to Lake Louise. The lower and higher spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse Pass are one of many highlights. Not a long show at 45 minutes. Every minute counts and no time is wasted. CP Rail runs many trains here. Vital part of  the transcontinental mainline.

Spectacular scenery makes this a must see program, for anyone interested in trains. The scenic wonders will be enjoyable for non trainhead people too. Fine for the woman, the kids, try it at a public trainshow. A truly wonderful journey, through one of North America’s most beautiful places.

Cab Ride Over Kicking Horse Pass.

A nice companion to the Kicking Horse Pass program. Ride in the cab of a CP Rail SD40F diesel locomotive. The journey covers the 20 miles from Field to Lake Louise. As satisfying as the 1st program is, the alternate view of the line is a welcome viewpoint. A great cab ride! The camera mainly faces forward. Additional views include: watching the engineer at work, and some scenic highlights from the side window. The ride through the spiral tunnels is fun, as is the whole show. At 76 minutes, this contains a fine program.

CN’s Yellowhead Pass.

This feature also has a 45 minute runtime. CN runs from Jasper through Yellowhead Pass, and more. Mt. Robson is the highest peak in Canada at 12,000 + feet. Action packed program with a wide variety of trains. Via rail has passenger trains. The Canadian and The Skeena make appearances. Caboose hungry railfans will get CN cabins on Prince George bound freight trains.Panaramic views from across some lakes, with some trains reflected in the water. The blend of trains, scenic beauty and wildlife, gives a combination of pure Canadian bliss.

Canada’s Canyon Route.

This is the fourth volume. Fraser River Canyon and Thompson River Canyon. Both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National operate on their separate right of ways. A river in the center divides the railroads to each riverbank. As is the case, with Yellowhead Pass and Kicking Horse Pass, each region has it’s own natural beauty. So it goes with the Canada Canyon routes. Different from the others, awe-inspiring like the others. Runs for 60 minutes. This one has the advantage of both roads in one program. Action packed!

Western Canada Series: Complete Set

All of the shows are highly rated on their own merits. As a complete set, they get rated higher. The interrelated programs go together extremely well. The four volumes are different sections of a complete story. The consistency offered by the high quality of Greg Scholl does give the viewer a great experience of the lines viewed in Canada. Value priced as the complete set makes this an attractive purchase. This would make a great gift for any railfan. Especially, for the hard to buy for, one that seemingly has everything.

Rating: 5 Stars


Canada’s Canyon Route

Canada’s Canyon Route

Greg Scholl Video Productions

Format: DVD

Length: One hour

Time Period: 1992

Locations: Fraser River Canyon, Boston Bar, Thompson River Canyon, Lytton, Cisco, Pitquah, Spences Bridge

Source: Greg Scholl

Western Canada Series

MSRP: 29.95

This is the fourth volume to review of this fine series. The areas are, Fraser River Canyon and Thompson River Canyon. Both Canadian Pacific and Canadian National operate on their separate right of ways. A river in the center divides the railroads to each riverbank. As is the case with Yellowhead Pass and Kicking Horse Pass, each region has it’s own natural beauty. So it goes with the Canada Canyon routes. Different from the others, awe inspiring like the others.

The show plays like a double feature film. Two of Canada’s biggest railway stars, with the canyon as the stage. If you have never seen film of this location, you are missing out, in a huge way. Action is wall to wall trains. A big parade of trains from a variety of viewpoints.

                                        An occasional map will illustrate the way.

Narration has more presence in this show. Informative and historical discussions.

The scenery is just spectacular! The natural cliffs and rockface are a stunning backdrop. The clear views afforded by shooting across the river, allow for panoramic views. Pine trees remain a part of the scene. The trees are not in a dense forest. Here they are spread out and the mood of this place is much more open then the dense forest of the other locations. Another location in Thompson Canyon, has very sparse vegetation, for more variation.

Trains themselves are various freight traffic. The Canadian unit grain trains have the colorful, large covered hoppers. Some of them are the cylindrical types. They are in a rainbow of colors. Unit coal also travels the lines. CN has unit sulfur moves for export. COFC and TOFC are seen on the lines.There are also, the general merchandise freights.

The normal locomotives are SD40-2 types. Various options  include, wide safety cabs, and full length cowls. CP Rail has mid train SD40 helpers with locotrol equipment for control. Seems that at least one unit in each set of locotrol helpers has blanked out windows. Probably these house the specialized gear required. Keep a sharp eye out for at least one full height pacman logo on a locotrol helper. Canadian National also has some safety cab GP40 diesels on a few trains.

The high vantage points can have the passing freights look like small ‘n gauge’ models against the imposing mountains. A little closer and they can look like HO scale models. By the way, you won’t need forced perspective (as in model railroading) to make the near train look bigger than the background move. The distance of the river takes care of that. You can see two trains, on two riverbanks, in a single scene.

At Cisco the CP crosses over to the other riverbank via a bridge. CN does likewise.

Canadian Pacific built the first railway through the area. They chose the easiest route.

There is other power on this line. BC Rail runs a train here. The British Columbia freight even totes a caboose! Some leased locos include ex: Norfolk & Western SD40’s with high hoods, still in black! Algoma Central diesels can be mu’ed in lash-ups. Aren’t the Algoma Central SD’s reminiscent of Erie Lackawanna?

We have all heard of and seen snowsheds. Common to routes with heavy snowstorms in mountains. Ever hear of a rockshed? The canyon is a very rocky place. The rock-slides are a very serious hazard. You’ll see a number of these rocksheds, complete with plenty of rocks on the slides. Model that for a contest. Wow!

Tunnels are also a feature of the canyon’s rugged terrain. See some big horn sheep clinging to the mountainside, while a CN freight passes below them.

The words to describe the raw, wild attractiveness of the area, are only words. This is something that you will have to see to believe.

All four volumes can be purchased individually. The complete set of four, is available at a value price. For those with a strong interest in Canadian railroading, the set is highly recommended. Either way, they will stand up to repeated viewings.

The series is closely related. Each volume builds upon, and compliments the others. Sometimes one can cherry-pick from a set. In the case of Western Canada Series, all of the volumes are excellent. If you just want to try one, this show is at the very top of the list.

Canada’s Canyon Route is an outstanding program. This is a ‘must see’ for any railfan.

Rating: 5 Stars

CP’s Kicking Horse Pass

CP’s Kicking Horse Pass

Greg Scholl Video Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 46 Minutes + previews

Time Period: 1992

Locations: Kicking Horse Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, Golden, Field, Lake Louise…

Source: Greg Scholl

MSRP: 29.95

Western Canada Series

A fine volume in the Western Canada Series. This is one of four Western Canadian Titles.

Canadian Pacific Railway on and near Kicking Horse Pass. This Rocky Mountain scenery is wonderful! Yes, the spiral tunnels are included, and there is so much more to be relished.

We will need a few maps to orientate the area. They are present and referenced enough to keep our location and sense of direction on target.

The videography is of a high standard. Live audio is heard in stereo sound. A multitude of viewpoints, gives excellent coverage of the extremely scenic setting.

Narration is smoothly delivered, as usual by John Edwards Hingsbergen. He discusses historical background, and the current happenings on the scenes. Aural space is left to sit back and hear the trains. Chanting diesel motors upgrade and whining dynamic brakes downhill are a winning combination. An occasional airhorn reverberates in the canyon.

Locomotives are predominately Electromotive SD40-2 units. They are usually in the simplified pac man scheme. A few in a newer paint job without the familiar logo. Also some older locos with the full height black and white stripes on the rear.  Some additional diesels such as: Soo Line, Algoma Central, and more leased SD40 units. Action packed show!

The route travels Kicking Horse Canyon from Golden to Field.  Further on, Kicking Horse Pass from Field to Lake Louise. This is a memorable trip, in a gorgeous mountain area!

Golden, British Columbia is the first town along this route. The Mountain subdivision is from Golden to Field. This is part of the Canadian Pacific transcontinental mainline. Golden is west of Calgary. Heading from Golden, the camera travels eastward, towards Field, BC.

Holt’s Tunnel is the first of the many awesome scenes. Shot from higher elevation, the trains look like model trains, as they are dwarfed by the huge mountains. The right if way, runs along the Kicking Horse River. Nice panoramic views. The tall pine forest is all over the area.  Snow capped mountain peaks that will take your breath away. Spectacular scenery.

At Field, we find a modest yard and learn that this is a crew change point. This is the start of the run up to the mountain pass. Field is at 4040 feet and is a wondrous piece of railroad scene itself. An upward climb shows trains at a snowshed and another tunnel. Snow cover is included, as well as a cool tunnel view.

Our railfanning continues at the lower spiral of Kicking Horse Pass.This is deep within the heavy pine forest. The train is there, just don’t expect Tehachapi Loop type viewing.

The spiral tunnels are a very unique feature. CP Rail mid train helpers, with radio control are found here. The trains can be seen, looping over themselves.

Yoho is a transitional scene as the train travels ever upwards, towards the upper spiral. This tunnel is within Cathedral Mountain. The mountain is unbelievable. You will find the origin of the name, Kicking Horse, within the program.

                                   Action at the Upper Spiral on Kicking Horse Pass.

Arrival of a train at Lake Louise, Alberta signifies the ending of this program. Some views of the local wildlife briefly make appearances.

Our journey ends at a point past Lake Louise station. A scenic s-curve track along the river, Morant’s Curve, Alberta.

This splendid show passes by all too quickly. At 45 minutes it’s a bit short. However, it is all quality time. There is a cornucopia of fantastic scenic beauty. Multiple viewings will be a bonus. You’ll need the extra plays to take all of this in.

                         Interesting to see the variations on a Canadian crossing gate.

An excellent companion with CN’s Yellowhead Pass. The programs fit together, like a pair of gloves. They are similar to satisfy the viewing of Canadian trains in the Canadian Rockies. Yet, they are different enough to have both shows in your collection.

Spectacular scenery makes this a must see program, for anyone interested in trains. The scenic wonders will be enjoyable for non trainhead people too. Fine for the woman, the kids, try it at a public trainshow. A truly wonderful journey, through one of North America’s most beautiful places.

Rating: 5 Stars

Canadian Rails Vintage Scrapbook

Canadian Rails Vintage Scrapbook   (D-134)

Charles Smiley Presents

Format: DVD (Factory Pressed Disc)

Length: 1 hour. 29 minutes + ( previews)

Time Period: 1939 – 1973

Locations: Montreal, Kicking Horse Pass Spiral Tunnels, Banff, Lake Louise, Crowsnest Pass, Toronto, Chicago, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver and more..

Sources: Many

MSRP: 26.50

Charles Smiley focuses his considerable array of  talents on Canada!

Vintage Scrapbook contains a cornucopia of rare, color steam films. Early diesels in passenger, freight and mixed train action. RDC cars as well. Locations are all across Canada. Mainline and somewhat obscure operations are here. A very comprehensive overview. Highly detailed coverage from; 1939 and running into 1973.


Canadian Pacific Railroad is the star of this show. Canadian National is here, though it has less screen time. Additional lines: Pacific Great Eastern, Quebec Central, Logging Lines, QRL&P Railway, Esquimalt & Nanaimo, Electrics, and CP Ships. Grand Trunk Western, Central Vermont, DT&I, and Soo Line also appear.


If you have never seen a Charles Smiley Presents program, this is an excellent one. These are produced with a style similar to a PBS broadcast. An extremely high degree of professionalism, is the standard on a Charles Smiley Presents show.



There is so much contained within this program, it promises repeated viewings. There is plenty of history here too. Digitally restored films are a cornerstone on vintage Charles Smiley programs. Yes, the old steam films look fantastic! The early diesels in original paint are equally fine. Great sound accompanies the film and is in stereo!


There are numerous custom-made maps to keep track of locations. As we are covering Canada, we’ll need them. Many hours go into the map making process. This is one of the numerous extras that are contained in a CSP show.

Amazing, is the rarity and superior image quality throughout the show. The audio jumps right out of the speakers. Very clear, natural steam sounds are quite a treat!


There are a wide plethora of steam trains. A rare favorite view, is a diminutive 4-4-0 pulling full length Canadian Pacific passenger cars.


The big road locomotives are included. There are plenty of viewpoints to see these classics. Many trains operating in the fabulous 1950’s. This collection of big-time CP and CN is worth the price of admission. A Central Vermont feature fits nicely here too. Outstanding!

Electric fans will enjoy a visit to old Montreal and the street scenes, in color. Deux Montagnes is the CN suburban operation.


Update to 1970 shows modern diesels. Board a CP Rail train headed westbound.


Breathtaking scenery and attention to the old stations make for a memorable trip.


Early 1970’s with : GT, DT&I, Soo Line in the US, are featured as affiliated Canadian lines.


We resume our Canadian visit, travelling westbound cross country.

Where does he obtain the pretty 1939 all color footage? Offering history of the Canadian Pacific beginnings of Air Canada, with 16mm film to boot. A 1938 Beachcraft with aerial shots and take-off. Wow!

Some splendid scenery is featured, along with hotels and stations, at Banff and Lake Louise.


The progression to Kicking Horse Pass with steam era trains is spectacular! Double and triple- headed passenger trains look awesome on the mountain grades. A 1970 cabride, aboard a CP Rail F-unit led Canadian, through the spiral tunnels is fantastic!



Charles is one sharp producer. Notice how he effortlessly segues between 1973 and vintage 1950’s films. Smooth transitions and even smoother narration. All the while, providing historical and modern information.

Our transcontinental journey arrives at Vancouver. A look at the port and some of the CP ships ends the main portion of mainline CP and CN action.


There is still more coverage of some smaller lines to be seen…

There is so much more to be seen on Canadian Rails Vintage Scrapbook.

pge2The Pacific Great Eastern is another fine chapter.

Canadian Rails Vintage Scrapbook- is a must have for railfans of all ages. It provides enough history as a primer for railroad history in Canada. A wonderful program!

Rating: 5 Stars