Espee Hall Of Fame

36fdb1a35cd2f54f95cf2119fb5bc7ed_M_0

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1991-95

Locations: Sacramento, Elvas, Roseville, Stockton, Ione, Antelope

Length: 2 hours 42 minutes

Source: Gino Pagliaro

A long look at the 1990s era Southern Pacific. All of this is pre- merger to Union Pacific. Videographer was centered around Sacramento CA. Hence, the locations are centered from that area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h39m59s632Charles Smiley Presents, has the most comprehensive Southern Pacific coverage overall. This program adds to that fine catalog.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h02m40s326All of the usual, and generous extras are included. A factory pressed silver DVD. Chapter Menu. On screen graphics. A preview section. Venerable SD7/9 units have good coverage.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h26m40s237Plenty of his wonderful, custom made maps!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h48m26s281Obviously, only a small portion is review able here. Should be about what you will expect. High quality in all areas. Predominantly, 2nd and some 1st generation EMD power. Some newer wide cabs. General freight traffic predominates. 

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h42m50s163The trains are running at City speeds. The slower pace allows for good trainwatching.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h36m40s300Memorable, are these five GP9 locomotives. Nice catch!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-12h50m20s384

Someone always asks, Are there Tunnel Motors? Plenty! These SD40T-2 units, are on the line to Donner Pass.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h37m59s146Model Railroaders will love the long strings of freight cars, as they leisurely pass before the camera. American River is crossed here.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h19m38s046Gino’s videography is excellent! Very aware of lighting and composition. He spent years shooting this footage. There is so much more, than simply pointing a camera.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h02m41s269Much time is spent at Elvas Junction. Shot with the Tower standing, and after it’s removal. An inside look there is interesting. Highly enjoyable Chapter!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h27m04s315Haggin Jct. crosses a former Western Pacific line. A couple of Union Pacific trains are shown, on that lower track.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h18m54s472Just past the picturesque Davis station, some Soo Line power is on the lead.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h22m19s396Sugar beet operations are reviewed around David. California Northern also serves this area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h27m32s409A Rio Grande GP30 smokes it up at Antelope.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h28m50s166Out to the rural Ione branch. This segment runs long.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h30m15s800Last licks for the Amador Central. Finally, behind an Electromotive diesel. See another Charles Smiley shortline show, for the Baldwin era.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h31m58s782Stockton is next. Tower is there. Now gone. Check a Santa Fe move. Purely for variety!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h01m25s151Although many of the locomotives are heavily weathered. Everything runs! Again, note how Gino gets perfect lighting. Textbook examples, on how to film a train.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h53m27s566Roseville yard is visited. The hump operation, receives an up close visit.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-09h24m38s240

There are assorted views at Roseville.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h59m33s369The flat end of the yard, with assembled trains. The Eastern line to Oregon has some trainwatching, as seen below.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-11h28m18s770Espee Hall of Fame is a long show at over 2 1/2 hours. Naturally, this inclined will still want more. Others, may best view it in chunks. It is a huge amount of Scarlet Grey to digest in a single sitting!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-10h28m37s010

The program is top shelf from end to end. Expert videography. Rather quiet for a Charles Smiley show. Mostly narrative and train sounds. Very little music or even locomotive horns. A high level of detail on the passing trains and locations. Plenty of historical references. Overall, another great entry in the CSP Southern Pacific shows.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

Kansas City Diesel Power Review

D146_CVR-RGB-FRONT-ONLY (1)

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h30m02s708

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h43m21s582

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h37m52s092

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h36m52s797

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h38m39s665

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h55m38s284

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h03m27s020

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h47m45s908

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h46m36s069

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h04m28s489

The Highline Bridge is unusual. An interesting place.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h45m32s031

Soo Line reached Kansas City, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h25m50s218

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h29m03s913

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h09m13s172

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h43m55s281

Gateway Western is a relative newcomer.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h21m46s669

Even more action, with Conrail power.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h07m48s409

Norfolk Southern appears, with various trains.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h47m46s741

BNSF brings up different possibilities.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h29m20s294

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

 

 

 

 

 

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago

CSX5_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Evansville to Chicago

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rob McCormack

I’m Volume 5 the CSX route is followed from the yard at Evansville, Indiana to the Chicago area. Mirroring the real world, there isn’t a whole lot to see in-between. Figured it would roll this way. The extended time spent in Evansville, tips their hand. Endpoints!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h25m59s585The production standards are the same as the previous volumes. A couple of improvements. There is a route map! The script is a better one. On/off narration. Chapter Search. Narrated by Bob Carrera. Enviornmental soundtrack. Also, available on the CSX Special set.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h35m48s056Return to a single Videographer. Rob McCormack. Improvements in the visuals, as well. Solid and consistent. The show opens in Henderson. Just long enough to leave town. Here, crossing the Ohio River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h37m39s346Doesn’t this resemble a Model Railroad kit?

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h47m33s729There are outstanding night scenes around the Evansville engine servicing facility. Very well lit. Top notch video capture!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h05m06s288A cornucopia of additional railroads make this an interesting show. Soo Line, Norfolk Southern, with Toledo, Peoria and Western, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h54m10s104The journey North towards Chicago is every bit as unremarkable, as one would expect. Not much to do, or see. They seem aware of this reality. Small towns are covered, as succinctly as possible. Decent trains along the way.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h00m03s429Here is an Indiana highlight. An old coaling tower, still stands. CSX 7801, C40-8W.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h04m46s761Danville has a small engine facility. A GP30 in a hard to find, early CSX scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m16s238Things quickly pickup in the Illinois half. Gilman, is a traditional Illinois Central hotspot. Didn’t know that IC E8s came in gray!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m56s950Chicago and North Western #8523. A GE  C40-8, leads an Electromotive locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h08m17s414Several locomotives in Pre-Merger paint. The Family Lines General Electric has seen better days.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h13m19s115Of all things. Who would expect a Green Bay & Western with a Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern? Alcos to boot!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h10m54s500Amtrak has several appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h16m31s575You know you hit Chicago, when it gets cloudy, and the weather turns bad. CSX C40-8W, at Crete. Bet it was on a weekend. Why? It always seemed to rain or snow then!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h19m24s093The variety, picks up around the Chicago vicinity. The Southside is this CSX Gateway. An Elgin, Joliet and Eastern SD40-2, leads a Duluth Missabe and Iron Range unit.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h27m31s375Barr Yard, was the former Chessie System (B&O) classification yard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h26m41s378Thornton Junction is a Southside hotspot. Indiana Harbor Belt, a common sight, in that part of town.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h24m27s827A freshly repainted Canadian National GP40, nee GT. This leads a lash-up, of Grand Trunk power. Note the Operation Lifesaver GP38, in the second spot.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h28m21s417Dolton, another hotspot. Instead of the ubiquitous road power. Let’s see some Union Pacific switchers!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h17m39s967Not a caboose, anywhere. So, we close a CSX Engineer waving, from this SD40-2. Which tells the story of a wave. Hello or Good-Bye?

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago.

A worthy addition to the series. The use of the better end points, define this show. Train variety is excellent. Solid entry for CSX series.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

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!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h21m29s383

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h08m23s984

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

 

 

Union Pacific and Cotton Belt, Midwest Joint Lines

Heritage-Series-Union-Pacific-and-Cotton-Belt-Midwest-Joint-Lines-DVD-DC-UPCB

Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1989- 1993

Locations: Kirkwood, Gray’s Summit, MO. Aldridge, Thebes, IL. more

Length: 1 hour 55 minutes

Source: George Redmond

An exciting assortment of pre-merger action, centered around Kirkwood, Missouri! This show is an unpredictable one. It might be the best in the well established Heritage Series, by Diverging Clear Productions.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-08h57m53s422

Videographer George Redmond was out circa 1989. Hotspot, Kirkwood Missouri supplied a wealth of great trains. Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Southern Pacific, Cotton Belt, Rio Grande, MKT and Amtrak.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h02m33s673

A single DVD-R in a Slimline case. Detailed Chapter Menu. On-screen graphics. No maps. Enviornmental soundtrack. Balanced levels. Good color balance, on restored video. Crisp editing, that has a well paced program.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h05m42s373

The show begins at the station. Kirkwood Missouri. This is on the Jefferson City subdivision. MKT and a Missouri Pacific SD40, lead one of the trains, at this busy place.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h54m01s572

Gray’s Summit is outside of St Louis. Perfect for Model Railroaders! Note the striking face. Sharp, vertical angles would make a compact scene. This screen, is for those modellers. Yes, plenty of cool trains here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h21m37s840

Rio Grande actually took over, Southern Pacific. For anybody that needs to know. Hence, there are DRGW locomotives traveling via Kirkwood at this time.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h37m55s995

Union Pacific shares the headline. UP 3940, an SD40-2 is a former Missouri Pacific unit from 1979.   This scene is from, the Illinois half of the show.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h08m37s392Cotton Belt is a show co-star. SD40T-2, at Kirkwood, Missouri. Plentiful supply of their trains. Bottom line is, must have a tunnel motor in this review!

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h18m05s484

MoPac, also became a part of the Union Pacific. Sometimes, they are seen repainted and lettered as, Missouri Pacific. Canaries!

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h07m19s511

Amtrak stops to a herd of people at Kirkwood, in 1989.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h50m16s050

More Union Pacific rolls through the territory. Solid and mixed lash-ups. Note the MKT, way back there. This shot in the rain.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h49m46s055Gray and Scarlet, also abounds. Cotton Belt and Southern Pacific lettering. As one would expect.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h12m53s631

We need a blue MoPac on the lead. 6071 it is. Actually, SP Kodachrome paint is fun. Want even more fun? You find them!

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h38m14s734

Cabooses galore! Hit or miss, on any given train. Even concerning roadnames. Surprises that one can love – even for those, who hate surprises! I left more surprises.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h16m28s761

Halfway through the show. The Chester subdivision is featured. This is in Illinois. Can the Chester sub match the thrilling first half? The timeline is now 1993. Moves between 1991- 93. Take a look…

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h32m49s163At Chester, a CNW leads a UP move.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h59m06s848Some water gives off a reflection, of the passing UP train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h40m20s205At Gorham, the Chicago sub begins. Bounce between Chester and Chicago subs. A Conrail run through, gives some variation.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-11h20m11s340The bridge at Alridge sees enough trains to function as a hotspot here. Single track and busy! Visit both sides. See plenty of SP too.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-11h00m08s607

A speed lettered Southern Pacific unit. Receives the time tested, pan shot.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h47m21s399Not as much variety as the Missouri half. Still, there is much action.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-11h33m09s531A bridge at Thebes. Double track. Even more rust, than then the previous one.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h55m13s352Several cabooses on this half.

Union Pacific and Cotton Belt, Midwest Joint Lines. The Heritage Series.

So far, this is the best entry that I have seen! The Missouri half is a real good time. Never know what’s coming next. Illinois is a tad less a blast, but still good. The sharp pace, keeps everything moving along. Fine show by Diverging Clear. If you want to try out a Heritage Series. This one is a great way to start.

Rating: 4 Stars