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

 

Battle Up Sherman Hill

VR017-DVD (1)

Producer: Bill Lambert

Locations: Sherman Hill, Cheyenne

Timeframe: 1950s- 1989

Length: 1 hour

Sources: multiple

Steam to modern diesel in the never ending challenge to move trains over Sherman Hill. The fabled Union Pacific route is where some of the largest locomotives in the world have operated. This original Video Rails show, has been remastered by Pentrex on a DVD.

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Multiple film sources from decades of time. All color and Pentrex has it all in best quality here. Original and added sounds that give an authentic experience. Full narration by Jim Knight.

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This show plays like a videotape from that era. It has no Chapter Menu. A single map. Simply hit play.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h24m54s475Divided mostly, into locomotive type chapters. Steam, Early Diesel, Turbines…

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Hermosa Tunnel is seen in different years. This scene from modern era.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h20m29s228DD40AX. The largest diesels! Awesome to watch as they operate. Brief cab ride.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h28m15s965Some footage may look familiar. That depends on what the viewer has seen. This review shall stick to this presentation.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h31m16s857Big Boys and Challengers are no brainers. As are the big Northern type.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h40m18s251Turbines receive a detailed Chapter. They were built in three variants.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h44m04s273Early Diesels are always of high interest. Many types are shown.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h10m10s707Double diesels are rare and memorable. GE U-50-B trio here. 

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h07m18s842Passenger trains are those long streamliners. Northern assistance to Amtrak era.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h46m02s309Other Railroads has some surprises. Burlington Route in this scene. Southern Pacific is the most common.

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The current day is the best appearing. Also, not as fascinating. Dash 8 and SD60 here.

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Battle Up Sherman Hill. Delivers the goods! About half vintage and half modern. Although that itself, is late 1980s. All is satisfying Sherman Hill route. Plenty of variety. Well paced and enjoyable show!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Chicago Steam Celebration

Chicago Steam Cover.indd

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1993

Locations: Chicago, East Union..

Length: 2 hours

A varied program. This is more than a steam show at Chicago. A trip to the Illinois Railway Museum is included. Ride the Chicago Transit Authority. See some steam, operate in poor weather. Hey, it’s Chicago. Tourists may find it fascinating. Locals may give a few yawns, in places.

A single DVD-R. Detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section. Maps and on-screen graphics. High quality throughout.

This was officially, the 1993 NRHS Convention. You will be reminded of that, by numerous shots of the attendees in this show.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h38m46s450As in other releases of this type. Pentrex has some of the trips to the event. Former Southern green is seen at Morristown, Tennessee. This does not travel to Chicago.

NW 611 runs another leg. Doesn’t show in Chicago. This feels disjointed..

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-12h40m12s565Union Pacific 3985 ran a Central Stated Challenger Special. Heavy rains. Weather clears on day 2. Illinois on third day under cloudy skies.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h47m38s940Fort Wayne had a double header Nickel Plate train. This train all the way on ex: NKP rails.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h52m11s847Day One. Metra F units, wearing the ugliest paint this side of Metro North. Everyday commuter cars to Elgin. The F pair is pulled before the return to Chicago. Yawn..

A show highlight follows…

Illinois Railway Museum.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h57m21s756Burlington Route Nebraska Zephyr. All stainless steel. See it run. Car ride too. Rare E5 diesel.

North Shore Electroliner. Wearing fresh paint!

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Milwaukee Road 118C. A vintage freight train too.

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Baldwin built in 1918. Frisco 1630. IRMs main steamer.

 

A general tour of the museum. Ride the mainline. Ride the trollies on the backlot. See big power. Plenty of information. Highly interesting chapter!

Day Two. Ride the CTA elevated. Yawn. For tourists, I suppose.

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Meanwhile, the 3985 is at the yard in Lansing. This train goes to Findlay Jct. Happy riders get interviewed. Cab action with Steve Lee the engineer. This trip is another highlight.

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Crossing at Tuscola, Illinois. Note the tower. Spare me the lunches…

Day Three. Indoors at the Palmer House Hotel. Union Station has been restored! Wow, it is actually clean. Dedication ceremony, for a couple of plaques.

Next section made me chuckle. Tour of ugly Metra locomotives. Everyone is more interested in the two BN E9 units. You betcha!

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Day Four. Calumet Yard. This is Norfolk Southern now.  The 587 leads the bigger 765. Venerable State Line Tower. Much of this trip is under clouds or in the rain.

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Dumbest part of the show at Argos, Indiana. The big crowd is served lunch.  Not enough seating has some people sitting on the wet ground! Nothing like a wet butt, for the trip back. Good job. More rain. Not a pretty trip. Could have edited much of this out.

Day 5. Ride the South Shore. More for the out of towners. Non steam. It’s raining again. Between the snow, cold and rain, why people move! Excessive. Most of this could have been deleted.

Chicago Steam Celebration. A mixed bag. The couple of highlights are well done. CNW 1385 was marooned, due to flooding. A loss, that resulted in filler here. The NW 611 disappears, as well.  Union Pacific trip is a good one. If a bit crowd heavy.

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The Illinois Railway Museum is the best part of this grab bag. IRM is an absolutely wonderful train museum! This chapter alone is worth the price of admission. Frankly, saves this show from a lower rating.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities

s-l400 (1)

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1998

Locations: Minneapolis area

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Extensive coverage around Minneapolis and St. Paul vicinity. Multiple hot spots. A fine supply of roadnames. The amount of variety, is surprising here. While not as much as historical peaks, still a healthy amount of railroading to be seen in 1998.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h05m01s289So many trains. Only room for some highlights.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h19m57s997Some major locations: Northtown, Division St., University St., Hoffman, Pig’s Eye Yard and Dayton’s Bluff.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h38m47s693Pentrex high quality standards. Single silver DVD. Master menu. Detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section.Multiple reference maps, keep viewers on top of the locations. On screen graphics, are often displayed. David Drui with a detailed narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h00m45s748Northtown yard is the first major point. Burlington Northern power. SD9s and EMD switchers work the yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h36m56s267Soo Line paint is found easily. University Street, is one of many hotspots. This lash-up has notable Soo Line motive power.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h26m19s355Canadian National zebra paint still looks good, on these older units. SD40.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h23m57s379Burlington Northern on the BNSF mainline. The CP Rail train, is taking a turn onto Candian Pacific rails.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-18h51m02s728A BNSF stack move.  Sample of the on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h27m23s973A Wisconsin Central move leaves Shoreham yard. These three SD45s are getting onto Burlington Northern rails, at University.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h30m27s670Union Pacific 179. A GE B23-7, is an ex: MoPac unit. 

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h38m06s499Chicago and NorthWestern paint endures, on this train.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h45m59s693Union Pacific GP units are not often seen in solid lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h49m56s486Milwaukee Road #261 is operating. A late Northern. The 4-8-4 is an Alco, from 1944. The Midway Area is in between, the twin cities.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h11m26s570Minnesota Commercial has interesting power working at Midway yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h13m38s232This Alco RS27 is a rare bird! They run additional Alco locomotives.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h24m52s799Amtrak Empire Builder eases it’s way through town. Passing the Minnesota Commercial engine facility.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h29m09s213Twin Cities and Western running GP20C. These are now Cat powered.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h31m46s689Unusual grade crossing equipment. This Soo Line MP15 still wears a Milwaukee Road ‘bandit’ paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m30s940Pig’s Eye Yard is the last major railyard visited.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m58s755Montana Rail Link, although identified as I&M Rail Link. At Pig’s Eye Yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h21m18s500Burlington Northern SD40-2 leads an Electromotive SD40-3.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h22m42s049Hoffman is outside Pig’s Eye Yard. Another area hot spot.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h11m09s732The Soo Line caboose appears. Although in beater condition. It is a welcome sight.

Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities. A plethora of train action. This should satisfy nearly, any Railfan or Model RaiIroader. In the top tier of Pentrex shows!

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