Donner Pass Thunder D-111 Charles Smiley Presents
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Witness vintage and contemporary film and video as Southern Pacific trains do battle with a 7000 foot climb up 2.42% grades. This exciting video combines old film and video shot over decades of Donner Pass action. See Black Widow and Red Gray F units and ALCO PAs in freight and passenger operations. The history of the old Central Pacific and the Big four is reviewed and the comparison of the Donner and the Feather River Route is made with vintage Western Pacific diesel footage. We take several trips over the "Hill" and fight snow and show some awsome power lash-ups. The snow-shed history , reefer block business, locomotive development, double track construction and the connection to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge is also covered. This video is loaded with GP-9 and SD-7 and 9 action plus great coverage of old Sacramento, Roseville and the Roseville humpyard before its demise. The action on the grades will give you an idea of the beauty and challenges of America's first railline connecting it with California. Southern Pacific's empire grew from its ambitious beginnings and grew the economy of the west with it. Don't miss this great American railroad story. RAILFAN RAILROAD writes I was pleasantly surprised to have this new release convey so much of the history of Southern Pacific's Donner Pass crossing via scenes photographed over many years. Modern snow removal is represented in spreader scenes and a couple of UP eastbounds working up grade flanked by pine trees is done well. The concept of the DVD is valid and the execution of the editing and narration is generally good. The integration of old black and white still photos makes the presentation interesting to non railfans as well. RAIL VIDEO magazine says Southern Pacific lovers will enjoy this DVD for the many views of older equipment like vintage 1959 scenes of F-units in Black Widow colors and early Amtrak passenger F-units. Sacramento to Reno, Nevada Early diesels from 1959 to surviving 'high-hoods. Ride an F7 powered train through a raging snowstorm. See flangers, spreaders and rotary plows. Visit the old Roseville Humpyard. Regional history and early Central Pacific days. Cab forward pacing and many other surprises. Contemporary Donner Pass action in the 90's. 7000' Climb Up 2.42% Grades This exciting new video combines old film and video shot over decades of Donner Pass action. See Black Widow and Red-Gray F units and Alco PAs in freight and passenger operation. The history of the old Central Pacific and the Big-Four is reviewed and the comparison of Donner to the Feather River Route is made with vintage Western Pacific diesel footage. We take several trips over the 'Hill' and fight snow and show some awesome power lash-ups. The snowshed history, reefer-block business, locomotive development, double-track construction and connection to the Nevada Country narrow gauge is also covered. This video is loaded with GP-9 and SD-7 and 9 action, plus great coverage of Old Sacramento, Roseville and its humpyard before its demise. The action on the grades will give you an idea of the beauty and challenges of America's first rail line connecting it with California. Southern Pacific's empire grew from its ambitious beginnings and it grew the economy of the west with it. Don't miss this great American story!
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Note: This map is for general location information only. It does not reflect the exact route OR areas covered in this video.
Steve45 on 2009-12-31 09:08:18.
I enjoyed this video. My grandfather was a engineer on the fire train at Norden in the early 50's, and I spent two or three summers there as a child. I have always love the area and have visited there a couple of times in the last 20 years, but I never really knew what the Norden facility was.
This video helps explain this. I realize that few people today have much interest in railroads, engines, etc. But I still do. I look forward to getting more videos about this area/route.
DonnerFan on 2009-10-15 11:37:58.
A very good video of railroading over historic Donner Pass area of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
rrvideoman on 2007-08-22 07:53:24.
Start in Sacramento and follow the SP up the mountains through Donner Pass to Reno Nevada. Lots of old engines, including GP-9's, SD-9's, high hoods, SD-40's, AC4400's, F-40's, Alco PA-1's & RS-11's, etc. Plenty of RR names represented some of which are Amtrak, WC, C&NW, BN, Chessie, CP with the dual flags, and many more.
Climb grades that reach 2.4% and see lots of snow in a region that averages 450 inches per year. Snow fighting equipment makes appearances, but not as well covered as found in Extreme SP.
Notable is the coverage of the history of California. The passenger ride on Christmas Eve through a heavy snow fall, and the return trip under sunny skies on Christmas Day 1971. Maps of Immigrant Gap with the massive show sheds. Also interesting is photo's and filmage of Cab Forwards.
An interesting movie that was a good purchase.