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

 

Santa Fe 1990’s Memories

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Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1992- 95

Locations: Edelstein, Fort Madison, more

Length: 1 hour 22 minutes

Source: George Redmond

This Heritage Series features Santa Fe. This 1990’s show, begins before the BNSF merger. Mostly is Edelstein, Illinois and Fort Madison, Iowa. Some other spots are included.

A Chapter Menu is included. Some on-screen graphics. No maps. Preview section.

vlcsnap-2020-02-11-09h33m14s654George Redmond video. He is a good Videographer. Colors are good on this show. Natural audio. Mary McPherson narrates it well. Everything is balanced. A GE B40-8 leads the above freight train.

vlcsnap-2020-02-11-09h19m37s086Much action on the mainline at Edelstein. This video from 1992.

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Largely, intermodal traffic. No caboose on any train. Some general freight traffic.

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Jump forward to 1995. Bucklin, Missouri. The fast freights blow by the camera, at this location.

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Fort Madison is a crew change point. Much better to see the trains, up close.

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Night trains here.

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Excellent for tight views. Yes, I chose this one. Both Santa Fe schemes, plus an Intermodal. Sums up most of this show!

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A GP20 is one of several, that are easily spotted in this program.

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Bucklin again. In a rainstorm. Amtrak Southwest Chief.

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Fort Madison again. This is a hotspot. 215 is a new SD75M. Isn’t the night work fine?

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TP&W rolls past with a trio of GP20. Obviously, ex: Santa Fe units.

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Back to 1992. Edelstein again. Odd order of events.

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Santa Fe 1990’s Memories. Delivers on the advertised. It pretty much hit exactly what I expected. Defective of the extensive intermodal traffic on the transcon mainline.

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While not a peak interest period for myself. This show is well produced. The power at the time is interesting. Plentiful, are the Blue and Yellow Warbonnets. Older second generation Electromotive units appear frequently. Adding interest, are the newer Red and Silver Warbonnets that are coming online at this time.

All in all, a still  good if not an outstanding era, to railfan the Santa Fe. This Heritage Series captures that well. Solid, if not the most classic Santa Fe.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Diesel Power Review

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Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1996- 2000

Locations: KC, Olathe, Bonner Springs, Holliday, more

Length: 1 hour 52 minutes

Source: David Defendorf

Kansas City is second only to Chicago, for America’s railroad capital. A cornucopia of this era’s railroads pass through this area. This program focuses upon the diesel power. Viewers will not be put to sleep watching unit trains.

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A single silver, factory pressed DVD. These are manufactured at the same facilities, as used by some Hollywood companies. ChapterMenu is numbered. Plentiful, are the on-screen graphics.

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Custom made maps, a CSP standard. Details vary by requirements. Predecessor roads, locating junctions or suburbs. He makes  frequent use of various maps.

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Video quality is excellent. All of it has been digitally restored. The imagery is top shelf.

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Audio is very lively! These trains do sound off. Birds in fields are heard clearly. A few too many crossing bell scenes, but does move on.

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Charles does the narrative. He is much quieter, than usual. So, for those who feel that he talks too much. Here is your show!

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This almost 2 hour show extends beyond Kansas City limits. We visit hotspots and some rural looking places.

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The Bottoms is recognizable, as the old City section of KC. This scene and below, have details for Model Railroaders. Take note!

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Santa Fe Crossing is a classic location. Tower is visible in background. Modified GP7u locomotives, were still in daily service. Not bad, for Electromotive 1953 built diesels.

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Some additional hotspots, such as Olathe, Kansas. Very busy location.

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The Highline Bridge is unusual. An interesting place.

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Soo Line reached Kansas City, as well.

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The setup at Bonner Springs, yields a bunch of close-up trains. Apparently, a Dash 8 is loading too much fuel.

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A Chicago and North Western pair, passes by the camera.

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Kansas City Southern is a railroad that was based here for decades.

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Gateway Western is a relative newcomer.

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Even more action, with Conrail power.

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Norfolk Southern appears, with various trains.

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BNSF brings up different possibilities.

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It is mainly a Western Railroad show. Which brings up the question. What is the railroad that you think of, when Kansas City is mentioned?

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h38m07s252Rare find, is this Department of Defense caboose.

Kansas City Diesel Power Review.

Charles certainly delivers on the advertised. A trainload of diesel power! The large assortment of: locomotives, locations and railroads, keep it interesting. Definitive overview of the Kansas City area.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Steam of the ’20s to the ’40s

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Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1920s-1940s

Locations: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Kansas City, more.

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Frank W. Schlegel, Vince Ryan, Jack Alexander

A smorgasbord of films. Spanning 4 decades. Some rare and not so rare, steam locomotives. A Collection of: black and white, plus a little color film. Eastern Railroads mainly. Everything is worthwhile.

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See: Delaware and Hudson, New York Central, Lackawanna, Central of New Jersey and Frisco (above). Also, Pennsylvania  Erie, Wabash, Rahway Valley, B&O, and much more. Steam, Electric and several early diesels.

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Frog DVD-R. Nothing extra. Plays straight through. The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby…in Milwaukee!

The show is narrated by Dan Chandler.  Script is good. Fine work on the dubbed trains.

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Camerawork varies by source. As does the visual quality. Majority is fine. About what an experienced Railfan would expect, from a wide ranging assortment. Good on the big screen.

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There is way too much to cover the whole show. Highlights of this fine program. New York Central, Empire Star Express. Two steam pushers on the rear. The show’s gem!

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Reading Crusader at Dunellen, New Jersey.

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Camelback is a strange looking steam engine. It hauls a fantrip out on to the Long Branch.

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Turns around, the yard in Bay Head Jct. A joint CNJ and PRR. So, Pennsylvania power is there with K4s. Compare the access the people had, in those days. More PRR is seen, in their home state.

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A 1936 fantrip over the former, Ulster and Delaware. This one required a double header with a pusher, and ran two sections!  The New York Central ten wheelers were added to the head end. Former U&D power. Depart Kingston.

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Oneonta roundhouse on D&H was destination.

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Check the size of the people against this Lackawanna locomotive.

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Steam and Electric. New York Central. Harmon, NY.

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The big surprise is at Pennsylvania’s Enola Yard. Before retarders were used, brakeman manually controlled the cars, from the hump. Dangerous work in the winter. Unbelievable by today’s safety!

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The Alton. Street running! How rare is this?

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Middletown and Union, has a face, only a mother could love. Come closer..

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Venerable, Boston and Maine Mogul type.

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Rock Island at St. Louis.

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Erie passes with it’s train.

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Indiana Railroad was a large, Electric Interurban. Ran streetcars and freight.

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Delaware and Hudson Northern type. Plenty of D&H is within.

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Springfield Terminal in it’s original incarnation. Take a trolley. Quite a difference, from later SD45s in grey paint!

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A Lackawanna Milk Train, really harkens back to an earlier era.

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A Chicago, Burlington and Quincy sits in a huge yard. Burlington Route, was a road that ran steam late, on the Colorado and Southern.

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This is a cornucopia of steam era scenes. Here, the ice bunker reefers are loaded at the Chicago Stockyards. South Shore Electric cars to the right.

There are even bonus shots. City pan views (Philadelphia), street scenes, humoungous Chicago stockyards. A well thought-out production. Packs a bunch, into a fast moving one hour program.

Also available on the, Trains around New York and New Jersey – collection.

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Closing caboose is a Wabash.

Green Frog has a must see show, for any fans of steam era Railroading. The black and white film, adds to the vintage feel. Fascinating and varied visit to the past.

Rating: 5 Stars