Most American steam-powered logging railroads had faded into oblivion by the 1940's. However, the West Side Lumber Company still had significant stands of timber to harvest from inaccessible tracts in the Sierra Nevada mountains, and their three-foot gauge logging railroad, with its geared engines, steamed along until 1960. The fascination of "back woods" railroading enhanced by the rugged beauty of its locale and the lure of the narrow gauge made the West Side a legend in its own time.
Don Olsen's collection of vintage films provides an amazing picture of the West Side during its final twenty years, and is augmented by maps, historic still photos, and aerial views of many camps. In the spring, double-headed Shays and a wedge plow clear snow from the line and start the season's action. Unusual scenes such as link ‘n' pin work trains, wrecks, and flying switches make this West Side epic the most comprehensive video record ever offered.
Veteran Bert Bergstrom began his West Side engineman's career in 1916. His reminiscences breath life into these sights and sounds of a now-vanished era. This total picture of the West Side operation, masterfully crafted by filmmaker Warren Haack, will gratify logging aficionados, historians and railfans alike.
NOW INCLUDES: 20 minutes of bonus footage with only sound effects -- no music or narration.
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1 Hour, 30 Mins
Catenary Video Productions
0 Worldwide NTSC
G Neil Smith on 2010-08-28 15:39:31.
People who found this review helpful: 1
5 of 5
Fascinating insight into a formative part of American history, capturing the sights, sound and authentic feel of a great era. Some superb footage. You could almost smell the forest, the oil and the steam.
The Celt (Foresthill, California) on 2012-03-24 13:11:37.
5 of 5
Very good DVD. The subject matter was covered quite well. A little more coverage of the SHAY piston action would be nice. I know what the action is like, but I know people that know about the Shay, but have no idea what makes the beast move.
It was great to see the West Side Lumber Companies logging trains in action again. The last time I saw these trains working was summer of 1950. My friend and I used to spend our first half of summer vacation visiting the West Side. Second half was spent with Pickerings Sugar Pine operation. My friends grandfather was "Bull of the Woods" for Pickering. Grandma was camp cook.
A great video. Brought back lots of memories (great memories). Thanks people. Keep up the good works.
Additional remarks by The Celt: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?I doubt it. Image quality:A little rough around the edges. DVD Value:Good Value Recommend to others?Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.
Was amazed at how soon the movie was delivered. I live in the area where the movie was filmed at so I found it so very interesting. And my grandchildren who are 3 years old liked it too (of course they like trains).
Additional remarks by Foxfeather: Narration:Just enough. Would kids enjoy this?Yes. Image quality:Good. DVD Value:Excellent Value! Recommend to others?A "Must Have"!