Vignettes of the Baltimore and Ohio, Volume 3
Clear Block Productions
Producer: Todd Miller
Length: 60 minutes
Timeframe: 1942– 1957 approximately
Locations: Sand Patch Grade area , McConnellsville, Falls Cut, Wills Creek, Cumberland, Grafton,WV. MD Salmanaca, NY.
Sources: William P. Price, (color).Garret Wertz, Charles W. Houser Sr ( black & white film)
Multiple Audio Sources: see film credits
Clear Block has a four volume series on old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. Centered around ‘Steam Era’ B&O. A stone classic amoung the original Eastern railroads. These are certainly of interest to many.
B&O was one of the railroads that kept operating steam locomotives right through most of the 1950s. This was fortunate to cinematographers. Color movie film became a viable option. Large steapower on mountain grades was in daily service.
Vignettes of the Baltimore and Ohio, Volume 3. Features a breathtaking collection of mountain steam operations. Viewers will witness B&O put on an awesome display of steam power!
Filmed during the transition era. Diesels were beginning to replace steam. Some of the early diesels appear.Those engines have now passed into history, as well.
Keep in mind. This program was created in an earlier time. The VHS tape tape era. It retains that overall, primitive build. Maps for example.
They are most welcome. Geographical orientation always adds enjoyment. Understanding the layout of an area. Learning about any given challenges a line contains. Maps help solidy all of that information.
Narration is interspered throughout the show. Relevant info is conveyed in a rather dry, matter of fact style. Again, these were earlier productions.Visually. Do not expect modern restoration style viewing. It is more hardcore style. Think of it like music collectors. As they dig deeper for music. Greater rarities or older concerts. Sources become rougher.
So one adapts their standards. The pleasures are still available. Consider the technologies of the time. Not all train videos have the benefit, of a Charles Smiley or John Pechulis, restoration process either. The real world…
Action starts in black and white. The year is 1942. We are in Salmanaca, New York. The segment is about ten minutesg. Reminds me. No chapters or chapter menu. The audio is about average in this portion.
The BIG SURPRISE in much of this program.Is the sound!! WOW!!!!
This locomotive is first heard. Pounding hard, as it lugs the heavy freight train upward. As it nears, the sound becomes louder. The black enginge looms ever larger…LOUDER!!
Checkout the grin! Engineer on 5662 is loving life, aboard his shiny engine. All good and he is in charge, of an important train. Over 60 years ago.My favorite sequence in this show!!
Play this DVD on your main TV. Check the mountain grades. Hear those big steamers come to life. Outstanding!
Always read how steam era photographers, had left the trackside after diesels took over. Nothing was left to see. I experienced similar with third generation diesels and standardized trains. Nothing left to see. This video nails the steam fans viewpoint
Even more fascinating. Hear the rare combinations of steam and diesels working together! If you have experienced ears. Identify Alcos or EMDs, paired with the steam engines.
This sounds like advanced style sound equipment used for the time, in many instances. Sometimes it matches exactly to the footage. Absolute must see film!
There is a major flaw on my DVD.
A Clear Block Productions flaw.
It was present in a similar fashion on their C&O release, a few years ago. I had them check it, at that time. It was in the master. They acted not concerned. That response, has caused me not to inquire this time. The top of the picture has a constant distortion. Similiar, to what could be found in some old VHS tapes.
My best guess is something occurred when it was transferred to digital.
Still a watchable show. Just some slop from the production house. There, you have been told. Cavaet emptor.
The program is action packed! Wall to wall action. Sans narration for much of the time. Live sound in this quality. Brilliant decision making. No narrative wanted. Let’s stand trackside in the 1950’s. See and hear these locomotives work. Amazing audio, in much of the second half of the program!
Vignettes of the Baltimore and Ohio, Volume 3 is quite a collection of rare steam era film. The audio portion makes it a definite must have. The video flaw is a big bummer. Film quality varies as well. Unrestored is accurate.
Clear Block just does not consistently, have the higher standards, of some competitors. So this program gets downgraded somewhat.
Geared more towards the experienced railfan. That person who can live with a major flaw in an established label release.
However, that being said. Despite the obvious production shortcomings. Anyone should be able to appreciate, the often magnificent display of smoke and sound , given by the B&O parade.
It is a very fine combination. Fun for all ages. Who would not like to see and hear big steam engines raise and shake the earth? Sometimes almost going to drive right into your family room. This has those soundbar moments!
I am giving this Vol.3 a considered overall rating of 4 stars. The rare factor elevates it a little higher.