Western Rails

Western_Rails-Train_DVD

Producer: Greg Scholl

Timeframe: 1994-97

Locations: CA, CO, IA, KS, NM, WY

Length: One hour

Source: Greg Scholl

A tour of various locations in the Western States. Sweeping across the Plains to California. Many railroads are viewed. Various cameos are additional. All combined into this show. Unique viewpoints on numerous shots. There are a cornucopia of scenes.

Narrator, is the familiar voice of Greg Hingsbergen. He always does a fine job.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h49m23s300

Natural audio on a live soundtrack. The only issues, are some loud levels on freeway traffic.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h47m35s420

Pro level videography. All production aspects are professional. Tight edits. A well paced program. Greg always has an appreciation for nature. A good amount for balance. No extra charge!

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h40m45s794

A detailed Chapter Menu is included. A generous Preview section. This with a detailed Menu, as well. Split into American and Canadian preview lists.

There are minor maps. Just enough to orient the audience. Good enough.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h26m28s854

Kansas City Southern, in an intriguing view. Burlington, Iowa. Mississippi River.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h31m27s775

Santa Fe warbonnets, with Union Pacific passenger cars. Topeka, Kansas. See the show, for more details on this scene.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h51m37s581There is much variety in this show. Former Rio Grande Potash branch, near Moab, Utah.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h35m49s682

Santa Fe Southern. Lamy, New Mexico.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h39m11s606Enjoy these two for one scenes! A BNSF train waits at Dotsero, Colorado. While the Union Pacific moves up the Tennessee Pass route. Nice sequence.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h36m11s013The Southwest Chief. Amtrak fans, will get serviced, more than once, in Western Rails. 

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h48m27s336Southern Pacific meet in Utah. May 94.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h52m25s063Burlington Northern. Sheridan, Wyoming. A crew change point.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h54m57s673

SD70MAC engines with a long coal train.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h59m55s500

Columbia River Gorge. This is an extended Chapter. Burlington Northern on the one side. Georgeous area.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h59m12s555

Union Pacific rails on the other. One of several scenic highlights!

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-11h12m14s097

California is next on the journey. Southern Pacific’s Coast Line. Trains in scenery, type of cinematography. Spectacular views here!

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-11h17m06s910

Tehachapi Loop gets a brief visit in 1995. Southern Pacific with a GP60. Two pushers on the rear. Unusual, to see a GP60 lead versus SD class locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h50m28s293

Western Rails

An interesting compilation, that delivers on the advertised. This whirlwind tour should contain, something for everyone. A favorite Railroad, or a location. Likely, more than one. Perhaps, viewers may find new interests.

This is a fine train program. Compact and action packed! Great cinematography. Excellent for: Railfans, Model Railroaders and the family.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Advertisements

The Joint Line

51lFUH1upLL._SY445_

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: CO.

Length: 85 minutes

A mutually operated Colorado line. Highlights include: Denver, Castle Rock, Palmer Lake and Pueblo. Filmed over a 4 year period. The mid 90’s.

This show has four main railroads. Burlington Northern, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Rio Grande.

The expected Pentrex standard of excellence is here. Everything is proper and as it should be. Early map reference outlines what constitutes The Joint Line. A detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section.

Balanced and intelligent narration. It backs off, to let the viewer observe and listen to some trains. Nicely done.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h20m48s301

Burlington Northern is the dominant player here. Mainly due to extensive coal trains. Cascade Green fans will be very pleased.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h07m16s510

Santa Fe has plenty on tap. Fresh red and silver warbonnets abound! Blue and yellow scheme, too.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h36m56s909

Southern Pacific was releasing speed lettered repaints, on fresh rebuilds. Plus, a smattering of Cotton Belt units.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-10h38m06s370

Denver and Rio Grande Western. Now, that’s a different picture. Grimy for the most part. Road numbers are often tough to read.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h25m48s089

A colorful assortment of run through power. Conrail, Kansas City Southern, LMX, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line, Union Pacific and more!

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h43m08s091

Let’s look at some Kansas City Southern. A white ghost is buried in the consist.

Pentrex delves into the long history of The Joint Line. Effective usage of old photos. They certainly go the extra mile.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h58m06s741

Colorado has varied scenery. This line begins with the small cityscape, of South Denver.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-10h31m14s765

Obligatory Amtrak image. Here you go.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-10h26m48s068

Onward, we take a long look around The Joint. Arid high country.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h15m19s201

Pretty lakeside vista at Palmer Lake.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h08m17s433

What a gorgeous town to watch trains.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h17m44s475

Surprise snowstorm encountered due to elevation.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-10h46m49s348

Coal is always a big commodity. More BN.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h09m23s013

Handy lesson on Pusher/ Helper service!

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h00m33s520

An old Santa Fe bridge gets busy.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h51m32s267

Santa Fe ran a hot intermodal Quality train.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h53m55s523

Burlington Northern was highlighted with their new SD70MAC locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h56m23s628

Southern Pacific is shown with an old GP9. Check that Kodachrome paint!

vlcsnap-2019-03-04-11h46m52s632

BN was still using a contraption called a caboose!

The Joint Line.

An exceptional visit to this scenic Colorado rail line. Nice additions, with history and a few older train moves. Expert cinematography and production.

Four classic railroads. A great area with scenery and history. This one is a no brainer.

Rating: 5 Stars

Rio Grande of the Rockies

WB015

Producer: WB Video

Timeframe: 1940s- 1950s

Locations: Durango, Salida,Marshall Pass, Tennessee Pass, more..

Length: One hour

Source: Irving August

Here is Irving August, with his own collection of vintage Rio Grande films. Steam to diesel transition era. Color with Black and white film.

The quality 16 mm footage includes various classes of steamers. Standard and Narrow gauge! There is much coverage.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h34m44s497

The cinematography is nicely done. Sometimes, there were 2 cameras to record scenes. Excellent views. Well positioned on S -Curves. Onboard views.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h28m59s240

This old program is pro edited. Now appears dated. Picture is soft, on a large, modern screen. Shot quality can vary, as this was filmed over the years. Still very watchable.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h45m53s195

No Chapter Menu. No maps. Has a small  transfer flaw or something, across the bottom of the screen.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h04m39s410

Narration by Irving E. August himself. An oldtimer’s voice. Reading a script from a page. Every bit as stiff, and dry as it sounds. This was how some houses, were doing videos in the 1980s.

Rege Cordic performs a smooth introduction. They should have stayed with him. Oh well, moving on.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h29m45s404

At Minturn. Locomotive servicing areas are shown.

Natural sounds let the viewers hear the engines operate. Dubbed of course. Some scenes work better than others. Levels are even. Good balance.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h38m00s062Tennesee Pass in color, with mid train steam helpers.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h49m05s223

Irving is knowledgeable. An excellent cinematographer! He is informative. He is also somewhat tedious, to listen to in this show. Like a very old fashioned school teacher, reading from a book.

By the fall of 1956. Steam on the standard gauge is almost through. That white plume blows high in the zero degrees!

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h44m36s281

These men did a great job of capturing the last days of these steam engines at work. Tough guys. Out in some very cold temps.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h48m31s074South of Littleton. Check those automobiles!

Narrow gauge is also visited. Again, very well filmed. A little fuzzy on some locations. Mumbles it sometimes.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h52m08s444

Clarity returns! The mine runs. Monarch. Switchbacks. Awesome close-ups. Action packed. Superb presentation.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h54m06s414

Fascinating operation to see now…

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h55m32s251

There wasn’t any 911 this far out! Seriously, probably more for possible predators.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h04m06s402

Irving visits Durango in 1951.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h05m17s846

K27 Mudhens at Durango in 1951. The Silverton train ran behind 478 that day. Additional locomotive classes too. An outbound train to Salida.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h07m29s738

The 318 with a rare freight train. This locomotive survives today.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h08m23s962

The 268 at Gunnison, on it’s final workday. City park retirement will be follow.

In the snow 1952. 100 cars. Gunnison -20 and a train leaving for Crested Butte…

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h12m17s256

Hardcore action. These men were all about getting it on film. No food and a surprise invitation. Below zero weather. Let’s ride!

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h20m02s683

May, 1955 last run over Marshall Pass. Depart Salida, with empty gondolas for otherside cleanup. Return with any cleanout cars remaining on the line.

Once, was the location of the highest Post Office in the United States. Snow drifts could cover the entire structure.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h23m28s141

Delivery has been made at Sergeant, Co. Return trip. Final run over Marshall Pass.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h41m23s611

DRGW caboose was out in any color you like. As long as it was black.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-11h55m35s579

Exception… Narrow Gauge in Brown.

Rio Grande of the Rockies. Covers the subjects as stated. Much of this film is rare. Especially in 16mm and color! Solid show.

vlcsnap-2019-02-05-12h07m23s221

WB Video, Irving August and Rocky Mountain Railroad Club deliver the goods.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

“Q” Connections

510-c4qtotl._sy445_

Producer: Steve Bransfield

Timeframe: 1940s- 1963

Locations: Chicago, Galesburg, Denver, San Francisco, and more..

Length: 50 minutes

Sources: Blackhawk collection

Burlington Route is the main railroad in this show. Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, had  the connections that are featured. This leads into offshoot tangent storylines.

Therefore, Q Connections. The California Zephyr is a major part of this premise. Serving from Chicago to San Francisco, CA. This train involves multiple lines, as it traverses across the Western United States.

vlcsnap-2018-12-27-23h56m47s265

Program contains mostly color. Additional black and white films. No chapter menus.

Ted Dalaku is the clear voiced narrator. Familiar on A&R Productions. Full narration. Script is well written. To the point and descriptive.

Audio is dubbed with train sounds. Narration level is dominant. Actually, sounds unbalanced. The way a commercial plays too loud versus a program.

vlcsnap-2018-12-27-23h58m28s605

The images do vary by the source film. Good overall. Not by modern standards. Fine for older train videos. Editing is good. Everything is watchable. Nothing weird.

vlcsnap-2018-12-27-23h55m56s022

There are some maps. Older release. They are fine. Some interesting pan shots, of the old cities throughout.

vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h02m15s644

Galesburg, Illinois had a major yard for Burlington Route. A pair of E7 locomotives lead different Zephyrs.

vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h04m24s389

Burlington Route has the California Zephyr.

The CZ will origin at Chicago Union Station. There are multiple shows about the CZ. While a decent production. Quality on this one is not the best of the more modern CZ shows. Does have the vintage factor in it’s favor.

vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h09m25s634

Denver and Rio Grande Western. Rio Grande, has spectacular scenery. DRGW locomotives were used to power the Zephyr over this portion of the journey.

vlcsnap-2019-01-20-09h40m49s887

Colorful, Western Pacific EMD F3 sets lead the Zephyr on the final leg of it’s journey. California has it’s own, Feather River Canyon. This alone, is a scenic as anything else on the trip.

 

vlcsnap-2018-12-27-23h53m25s064

Burlington Route steam fan trip in 1963. This big Northern type is from Denver.


vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h13m59s493

Western Pacific Fast Freight. As an attached seperate film. A WP freight move in the 50s. Oakland to Salt Lake City, Utah. Number 62 travels the line. Cab ride and airplane shots.

vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h18m36s558

The intricacies of moving this train are studied. A time capsule. An old black and white film. Apparently, a vintage Blackhawk release. Well done piece.

vlcsnap-2018-12-28-00h26m00s048

Additional vintage film. This one IS rare! An Iowa shortline that connected to the Q. The Manchester and Oneida. An old former, CB&Q 4-4-0 served the 8 mile long track.

vlcsnap-2018-12-27-23h57m26s818

A&R Productions has this assortment, released under the CB&Q flag. A collection of varying interest. Depends on your own interests.

“Q” Connections is a mixed bag.

Everywhere West and then some…

Rating: 3 Stars

 

A Quarter Century of Steam

A Quarter Century of Steam25

Diverging Clear Productions

Length: 4 1/2 Hours

Time Period: 1985-2010

Locations: Midwest, East, and more..

Sources: Jensen, McPherson, Redmond, Tom and Kyle Dunn

Producer: Mary McPherson

MSRP: 30.00

Where can you find 65 steam locomotives in a train video? Diverging Clear has just released a pair of DVD’s that are packed with over 4 hours of steam action. Many locomotives are found here. The usual suspects are ever present. Railfans already can guess those examples that were running during those years. Union Pacific, Nickel Plate, Norfolk & Western are the major ones. Frisco, Southern Pacific, Pere Marquette, and Southern are some others.

sr 4501Southern 4501

A small sampling of what you will see in this show . There is much more. Many locomotives no longer are in service. There is plenty of fine cinematography. Kids will love this one.

3985 Union Pacific 3985.

ssw 819bCotton Belt 819

There are rarities to be enjoyed. Viewers will see operating steam power that is no longer in service. Re-lettered locomotives such as former Canadian railroads round out the selection. Special excursions and train museums, are where the trains operate.

black hillsBlack Hills Central encounters a mother deer and doe.

A variety of sizes and classes are here. Diminutive narrow gauge. Large Northerns from UP and Milwaukee Road. Passenger power. Consolidations, Mikados and Shays. Strange looking Chinese steam, on US rails. Articulated, with UP, N&W. Saddle tanker and even a replica of an early 440 steamer.

slsf 1522Frisco 1522 in a stunning scene. Reminds one of classic Emery Gulash. Some engines, like this one are shown very often. Ditto for UP 844, UP 3985, NW 1218.

cards

Kurt Jensen does minimal narration. Title screens offer the bulk of information. The program is better when Kurt adds more information.

grand canyonGrand Canyon

The show is arranged in chronological order. As one would expect, the quality increases over the timeline. 1985-2010. Editing is smooth. Sometimes, the lower quality is all there is of a rare scene. In that case, it’s better then nothing.

ebt

East Broad Top.

pm 1225Pere Marquette

soo 1003 2007Soo Line

mil 261This scene with Milwaukee Road 261 recalls the spirit of Lionel trains .

261A Quarter Century of Steam: 25 years. The show does contain many steam engines. It fulfills the advertised content. This reviewer does find the program overstays it’s welcome. There is too much repetition of the same engines. After awhile, the proceedings end up an excessive series of runbys. Seems that an hour or more would have served better. if presented as a separate bonus section.

gtw ocOhio Central has a restored Grand Trunk Western and more.

cn 89 strasburgCanadian National 89 is one of several steam engines seen at Strasburg, Pennsylvania.

There are 2 identities of DCP. There is the ‘new and improved’, with tight editing and sharper scripts. There is also the earlier incarnation. That has endless footage and simple narrative. This show falls into the early style.

tvrr

It is geared as a basic ‘Best of DCP Steam’. That all being said, this is worthy for the assortment and the rarities. If those are appealing, jump on it!

Rating: 3 Stars