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

 

Espee Hall Of Fame

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago

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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