Timeframe: 1850- 1960s
Length: 2 hours 9 minutes
Sources: Bill Warrick (The Standard Railroad…) The Pennsylvania RR (Collection)
These two shows were originally Interurban Press productions. Combined for a DVD release by Pentrex. This is on a single factory pressed disc.
This review will look at each program individually. A combined rating upon the conclusion.
A Chapter Menu with the two shows and previews. Sub divided into a detailed Chapter Menu per show.
The Standard Railroad of the World
Locations: Altoona Shops, Penn Station, Enola Yard, Bay Jct., Broad St. Station, Strasbourg RR,
Length: 59 minutes
The Company line states that a Bill Warrick spent years putting this show together. He covers; Steam, Diesel and Traction. Major locations of interest. A major snowstorm in 1958. Comprehensive coverage in under an hour.
Films are in mostly black and white. There is a large amount of color, as well.
Narrated and dubbed soundtrack with train audio. Matter of fact, classroom delivery. PBS style going back to 1830 historical.
Lincoln’s funeral train. A still photographs. Warrick used multiple forms of media to do this show.
Horseshoe Curve is an obvious must have.
Altoona shops constructed locomotives and tested them. They did much more.
The Johnstown flood is recounted.
Penn station received a detailed visit.
Long Island electric locomotive. A Pennsylvania owned subsidiary.
DT&I along with Henry Ford, are one of the interesting subjects discussed.
Rockville Bridge. Looks fantastic in any era.
Broad Street Station gets some attention.
Enola Yard is enormous. After viewing the Collection, certain sources will be obvious.
The Sandusky coal mining film. A silent reel with music, and old time words. Charming!
Pennsylvania Marine operation at new York harbor.
Chicago Union Station is briefly visited.
Notice the sidearms carried by the mail clerks.
Steam classes are compared. K4.
GG1 class are shown extensively.
Electric trolley system was paralyzed in a 1958 snowstorm. This was in Washington DC.
Not much in the way of a caboose to see. Here is one from a mini film.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Collection
Pennsylvania RR promotional films. They released their own programs. These often tooted how modern and safe the railroad was to travel or ship freight. All are black and white films.
Progress on the Rails.
Railroad modernization is the 1st film. Demonstrates safety equipment. Automatic brake stop. There are more.
Dragging equipment. Roadbed maintenance. Ballast cleaner train. Rail detector car.
Tunnel elimination. Rock cut at Stubenville, Ohio.
Ticket counter with new automation.
New locomotive car and construction.
Wheels of Steel
GG1 show that is about 13 minutes long
Hostler with maintenance in the morning.
Track maintenance gangs and equipment.
The train travels from Penn Station to Washington, DC. Cab Ride action.
Opening A New Frontier
This one is from 1955. Runs about 13 minutes.
This one begins in 1850. Stagecoach days. General Railroad background.
Automobile and trucks. Roads are choked! Railroads can take trucks off the roads.
Piggyback transport. Truc Trains.
A trailer move is followed from a Chicago origin. It gets a 2nd morning delivery in New York City. Pennsylvania Railroad piggyback service.
This was early TOFC. A little different in execution. They demonstrate. Great little film for the time. Best of the lot.
Clear Track Ahead!
1956 production.About 28 minutes.
Again, goes back to a horse drawn wagon. How slow transport was to get someplace
This one plays like an early Lassie. A short drama at the start. No dog.
Film is shaky. Expected better quality. This appears to have been used as the main film for others of this period.
Transition to modern railroad innovations. Some scenes are recycled in another films. It does seem the complete version. The quality here is less. Enola Yard again.
A T1 engine will pull a passenger train. You will ride this train. Jim is the friendly Engineer.
Segues into construction of locomotives and railroad cars. Altoona Shops again.
Tower visits include fascinating Electrified Territory. Just a bit different for Electric.
The Standard Railroad of the World.
A well thought out documentary. Delivered in a PBS style presentation. Many forms of multimedia are employed to present a historical show on Pennsylvania Railroad. The better of the two programs here.
The Pennsylvania Railroad Collection
A compilation of vintage Pennsylvania films. These are better than average for the decade. Many others are overly dramatic and corny to watch now.
The major concern is the lower quality of the longest running main film. Clear Track Ahead! One would think that Pentrex would have sourced a nice copy. Bummer!
An interesting set overall. Good historical overview. A deduction, for the one shaky film inclusion. Dissappointing, for a high caliber Company, like Pentrex.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars