The Pennsy- and More!

51seFqmg42L._SY445_

Producer: Steve Branfields

Timeframe: 1930s- 1960s

Locations: Pennsylvania- Ohio

Length: 47 minutes

Sources: Blackhawk, Bill Radcliff, Andy Schools

A&R Productions with a 30 year span of film. Pennsylvania Railroad. Bessemer and Lake Erie, which constitutes- the more!

Great collection of: Steam, Diesel and Electric locomotives. The all encompassing program, contains many examples of the vast Pennsy roster.

Each locomotive has a historical review, with the visual presented. Effective and compact method, to deal with a huge roster.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h10m17s195

Dubbed audio. I cannot comment on the accuracy of every engine. The presentation works for me.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h29m41s972

Almost a chapter menu. A show selector. Choice of: Pennsy or B&LE.

GG-1 electrics, along with it’s earlier class.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h35m43s858

No maps or any visual references. This one moves around the state of Pennsylvania. Ends up in Ohio. Some maps would have been welcomed. Held this show back from an even higher rating.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h33m16s562

EMD E units in Tucsan Red paint.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h26m01s069

House annoucer Ted Daluku performs his usual, professional narrative. An equally, pro written script, makes this one of those traditional, good shows. A&R does it this time out!

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h26m22s701

A variety of film sources, lead to the variable qualities seen. Majority is good  to very good. A few down to fair, in earliest scenes. The 1930s, so it improves along with the timeline.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h02m55s308

Black and white at the beginning. Movement towards color film usage, as time marches on.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h31m04s213

Obvious preponderance of color in the later years. Quality remains variable. Check that GP30, with the Pennsy trainphone antenna!

The one constant is a horizontal distortion bar along the bottom of the screen. Look at the screenshots.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h14m29s977

Pennsylvania was a true innovator. Their duplex steam designs had mixed results. Nobody would argue the aesthics were unique!

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h51m05s057

Pennsy steamers looked… The Business!

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h13m58s153

High steppin’ T-1 power. Fast, powerful and slippery. Pulled early from service.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h17m36s734

Steam era to later years…

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h31m48s298

Horseshoe Curve. The classic hotspot, in any era!

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h33m44s668

New fangled diesels, proved worthy over the tough Allegheny grades.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h32m52s493

TrucTrain was the PRR answer to early intermodal service. Yes, you will see some piggyback train consists.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h37m24s248

Passenger trains were often heavy on mail cars. These were often the revenue makers. Before the US Mail contracts were discontinued. Check that Alco PA!

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h40m44s526

Cabin cars, as a caboose was termed. Those funny looking Trainphone attenana were essential for mountainous communications. They were singular to Pennsylvania.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h46m20s546

Bessemer and Lake Erie Railroad. Now, that is a line that you don’t often see on a train video! A bonus feature that fits perfectly!

Geographically and in chronological fashion. Heavy coal hauler, that had limited passenger service.

vlcsnap-2019-02-09-20h21m59s349

Pennsy – and More! The Standard Railroad of the World.

A daunting task to cover this railroad. Sheer volume of the locomotive roster. Multiply by 30 years. Again three eras. Steam. Steam to Diesel. Diesel. Do not forget Electrics.

A&R really did an excellent job here! Well organized. Decent soundtrack. Fine film collection. Good narration. All in a program that is suitable for the entire family.

As diverse as Pennsylvania Railroad actually was in equipment. Besides the daily challenge of operating over mountainous territory. A microcosm of United States railroad history, is present within this program.

A solid out of the box experience, from the house at A&R Productions. Comprehensive and succinct!

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

 

Advertisements

Big Boy Combo DVD Part 1

BBC1-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: Cheyenne, Sherman Hill

Length: 1 hour 23 minutes

Source: Union Pacific, Pentrex

What we have here. Is an original, vintage Union Pacific program, on Big Boy steam locomotives. A second show. Pentrex made, about the UP Cheyenne Shops. These are paired on a single DVD. Special Collectors’ Edition.

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-07h55m21s518

The Last of the Giants. The original and definitive show, on Big Boy locomotives. Union Pacific produced this program. Hours of film. The 23 minute show is a classic!

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h58m02s148

Last of the Giants Volume 2: The Cheyenne Shops. Culled from hours of original film from that old production. Interviews added to augment the Big Boy story.

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-07h56m02s693

A detailed Chapter menu makes life easy.

Pentrex production excellence. No worries.

Broadcast style narrative. Great script.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h31m17s263

The largest steam locomotive in the world! Engineer has seniority too!

Holler up some instructions. Let’s get things on the move… The BIG BOY is here!

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h29m22s848

ALCO 4-8-8-4. Over one million pounds.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-14h59m08s798

Modern UP steam guru Steve Lee adds a wealth, of background knowledge. As do some former Cheyenne shop force employees.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h01m15s983

The time flies as the story is told. Surprising, how much old film exists in the vault. Not only of the Big Boys. Challengers, Turbines and whatever else was nearby at the time of the shoot.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h14m02s769

A 48 stall roundhouse with large support facilities. Thousands of employees needed to keep the steam fleet operational. Learn all about, what it took to keep things running.

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-08h11m02s564

The interior views of the shops are astounding! Those small glimpses that you may have seen. Are complete, and discussed in a fully coherent chapter form.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h19m08s386

That original steam service facility. Had some heavy equipment, to rival anyone. Serious business, for a single railroad.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h17m32s518

Listen carefully to the workforce employed by Cheyenne. A complicated machine. Experts required to maintain.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h10m13s913

Women remained employed by the railroad after World War 2.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h20m53s375

After viewing this program. One can understand the order placements for diesel power. Doesn’t mean that one has to like it.

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-08h07m05s037

#4013 is ready to roll… Diesels…Bah! Not now. The advantage of a film collection!

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-07h57m10s374

Absolutely, a fascinating steam engine to see in operation or learn about.

vlcsnap-2019-02-15-15h34m19s959

Ultra clean clean film presentation by Pentrex.  Perhaps, not the neighborhood laundry in 1956!

vlcsnap-2019-02-13-08h05m13s589

Big Boys put on an awesome display!

Big Boy Last of the Giants combo DVD.

A great pair of Union Pacific steam locomotive shows, to add to anyone’s collection!

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

 

 

Vignettes of the Western Maryland Volume One

511m2bupcusl._sy445_

Producer: Clear Block

Timeframe: 1940 – 1975

Locations: System

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Multiple

A large collection of films. Steam to mostly diesel. Preponderance, of color footage. Wide coverage of this railroad.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h22m36s577

Todd Miller performs the narrative. Good script that he wrote. It moves geographically across the territory. A well organized show.vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h14m22s183

Hence, the timeline jumps as the program progresses. A production decision. One could argue the continuity of time. I would make the argument, the sensibility of time progression. No matter. Let’s go!

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h24m00s487

Maps are used judiciously. Excellent, to have these frequently referenced. This show really moves around.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h33m27s036

We will visit Pen Mar Park, circa 1940s. Jump in a locomotive cab, here and there. A tiny amount of interurban service. See the odd loco in Chessie paint.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h23m25s864

Film quality hovers around medicore. Some scenes are a bit less. Some later scenes, are a little higher quality. Much of it, looks dull or unbalanced. The collection sure could use restoration.

In the year 2019. These old, unrestored 8mm film collections are wearing thin. Historical value is obvious. Consumer value can be, less beneficial. Seek the best quality films first. Read the reviews.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h33m41s159

Cinematics themselves are much better! Good camera skills, by about a dozen men.  Filmed over many years. Nice work.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h45m49s354

The commoners can be found in higher quality, in other programs. It is then a question of rarities, or completeness for collectors. They are here.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h17m24s224

Audio is surprisingly excellent.  In this case, almost astounding. Considering the general viewing standards. Locomotive sounds are matched to types. Obviously, much effort was put forth. Resulting into an accurate  environmental soundtrack.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h31m19s363Ubiquitous EMD F7 units served WM with long careers. Note the nose logo here.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h11m40s297Alco locomotives are out on the mainlines. RS-3 units, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-22h26m25s805

This program has plenty of variety.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h47m25s587

A rare BL- 2 set operates in yard service.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h56m36s228

New circus paint, first appeared in 1969. This SD40 trio illustrates the schemes.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h57m46s935

Norfolk and Western, along with Reading trains, pass through parts of the WM territory.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h29m25s595

Chessie System paint began in 1972. One of the Safety Slogan series.

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h47m53s109

The now vintage, Northeast caboose was a staple on Western Maryland.

Vignettes of the Western Maryland Volume One. An interesting show. It covers the railroad as advertised. The visuals are weaker than expected. The audio is much stronger than one would expect. Some rare items within. There you have it.

So… Do you need it?

Depends…

vlcsnap-2019-01-31-21h38m57s227

IF Western Maryland cranks your tractor…

Rating: 3 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