The vaults of the Southern Pacific Railroad provided a treasury of vintage footage to Pentrex, enough to create two outstanding shows that have been combined on one new DVD!
Daylights, Cab Forwards & Early Diesels
From the vaults of the Southern Pacific Railroad comes a collection of rare vintage films never before released to the public. Part of the footage shown here was shot in 1941 for a promotional movie called This is My Railroad, but World War II intervened and in 1947 the film was entirely reshot, leaving the original footage unused.
You'll see marvelous images of early GS-class steam locomotives on the Coast Daylight and Noon Daylight climbing Santa Susana Pass, speeding along the Pacific Ocean and in San Luis Obispo. Also included is a rare shot of the Sunbeam in Texas.
There are many scenes of the awesome SP Cab Forwards pulling freight on the Coast Line and over Tehachapi and Donner Passes. These mighty giants are also seen pulling passenger trains through the Sierra Nevadas. Mikado and Mountain types make appearances as well.
A section on early diesels showcases many of SP's first-generation models, including Alco PAs; EMD E6s, E7s, F7s and GP7s; and Fairbanks-Morse Trainmasters in freight service. It's an astonishing collection from the cameras of the SP cinematographers that will thrill every rail enthusiast!
Flangers, Spreaders, & Steam Rotary Snowplows
Volume II of the Southern Pacific Film Archives presents rare footage of snowfighting operations on Donner Pass, filmed by SP company photographers in the 1950s.
Flangers are the railroad's first line of defense when snow starts to fall in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. You'll climb aboard to watch the snow fly as the flangers are pulled by steam engines and by SD9 diesels in Black Widow colors.
As the snow deepens, Jordan spreaders are called into action. Then the real show begins as giant steam-powered rotary plows are called out to do battle with the deepening drifts. Both cab-forwards and F-units are seen providing the muscle to push the rotaries over the mountains. SP captured truly spectacular footage of these fascinating machines by running a camera train just a few hundred feet ahead of the spinning blades.
Freight and passenger trains run through a winter wonderland pulled by cab-forwards and F-units, and you'll see Alco PAs being rescued at Yuba Pass after being snowbound with the City of San Francisco streamliner. It's a collection of vintage film that every railfan will treasure!
DVD Special Features:
Two stereo soundtracks, one with the natural train sounds, the other with narration added. The viewer can switch the narration on or off at any time.
Chapter Menus provide instant access to program segments.
60 Minutes In Color with Appropriate Sound and Narration Full-screen (4x3) Format No region code; can be played in any NTSC DVD player worldwide Packaged in Sturdy Vinyl Clamshell Case ISBN: 1-56342-121-6 UPC: 7-48268-00404-9
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1 Hour, 00 Mins
0 Worldwide NTSC
Jeffrey Ornstein on 2009-09-20 10:23:00.
People who found this review helpful: 3
5 of 5
These two films are made up of footage taken by the SP's photographers, from the 40s and 50s. The vintage footage on the first video is excellent; the second film of winter railroading is also good, but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of footage of the rescue of the City of San Francisco. More on that in a minute.
In Daylights, Cab Forwards and Early Diesels, we see many fabulous images of streamlined trains such as the Daylight, and even the Sunbeam makes an appearance. The locomotives pull both lightweight and heavyweight equipment throughout the entire SP system. Lots of nice shots of 4-8-4s and First Generation Diesels on the Salt Lake Trestle which was demolished in 1959. Nice images a two different types of Cab Forwards are seen. We also see crews performing tasks such as unlocking and using special phones to call in for orders. The show ends with images of Alco PAs pulling various passenger trains along pristine scenery.
The second film, Flangers, Spreaders and Steam Rotary Snowplows, was to me, a bit of a disappointment, but still interesting nonetheless. I bought this dvd for the anticipated footage of the rescue of the City of San Francisco. Unfortunately, there's only about 30 seconds of this significant event. The main part of the show looks at the three types of snowfighting equipment used by the SP. It starts off interesting, but soon you see similar scenes several times over again. There's very little of the equipment at trackside. Most of the footage is taken from a cab window or in a special train placed in front of the snow-fighting equipment. There also wasn't much on how these machines operate, or how the engineer operates these unique pieces of equipment. Still, there's nice images of huge plumes of snow being thrown aside, mixed in with black smoke from the snow-fighting equipment.
In addition to the trains, there's also a rare look at the Tucker Snowcats that the SP operated in its territory. That was very interesting; these vehicles looked like no snow storm could stop them.
All in all, a nice presentation. Could also have been longer, especially the part about the snowbound passenger train in Yuba Pass.
Additional remarks by Jeffrey Ornstein: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Maybe. Image quality:Good. DVD Value:Good Value Recommend to others?Yes.
Nikhil Murthy (Washington) on 2016-03-15 17:53:44.
People who found this review helpful: 1
5 of 5
There are 2 programs in the Southern Pacific Film Archives Combo DVD.
In Volume 1, the main content features Daylights, Cab Forwards, Additional SP Steam, and Early Diesels.
In Volume 2, the main content features Flangers, Spreaders, Steam Rotary Snowplows, January 1952 footage of the snowbound City of San Francisco, Sno-Cats, and winter action scenes.
In my opinion, I think Volume 1 is better than Volume 2 due to the fact that many locations on the Southern Pacific system are documented. Although most of the locations are in California, which is where most Southern Pacific vintage films were recorded, other states are seen briefly including Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, and Texas. In Volume 2, though, the location is primarily confined to the Donner Pass Line in Northern California.
Additional remarks by Nikhil Murthy: Narration:Could have used more. Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:Excellent! DVD Value:Good Value Recommend to others?Yes.
I found this combo package of SP archival footage to be very enjoyable. The first part focuses on images of the colorful Daylight steam trains, cab-forwards, and early diesel locos. The photography is generally excellent and all in color - recalling scenes from the 1940-50's period - the passenger trains are elegant and the freights show some interesting WWII military loads... many run-bys and fantastic scenery. The second feature concentrates on SP snow fighting equipment - mostly in the Donner Pass area of the Sierras. Beginning with a nice sequence of engineer POV footage from a cab-forward traveling east from Reno up into the snowy mountain pass - the film then goes on to show ample footage of snow flangers, spreaders, and steam powered rotary plows 'in action'. The coverage of the snow-bound stream-liner incident is minimal (barely a minutes worth) but the winter scenery and snow equipment are all very picturesque to watch... not super 'in depth' coverage but, all in all, good value in a a great two part package.
Additional remarks by R. Inwood: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Maybe. Image quality:Excellent! DVD Value::Fair. Recommend to others?Yes.
This Southern Pacific DVD has some Great Footage of the early streamlined GS class 4-8-4's especially at San Luis Obispo and Chatsworth Rocks. The shots of Cabforwards are good too! Its a shame there are for me not enough photos of Steam Locos in the Snow but the Flanger pulled by a Espee Steam Loco in the high Sierra`s is Great!
Additional remarks by Franc Wells: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Maybe. Image quality:A little rough around the edges. DVD Value:Seemed a little high, but not too bad. Recommend to others?Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.
Great content of SP scenes, run-bys, locomotives, and operations. Excellent photography. Unfortunately, video resolution appears no better than the VHS tape. The image is too soft. It should have been re-mastered for DVD. Narrator is good.
Additional remarks by PCMC: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?I doubt it. Image quality:Poor. DVD Value::Fair. Recommend to others?Yes.