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America by Rail - The West Coast
 4.5 of 5 (4)

America by Rail - The West Coast Greg Scholl Video Productions ABRWEST 616964000200
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The West Coast Route continues the tradition of the "America By Rail" series as we travel from San Diego, California on an incredibly scenic journey to Seattle, Washington. This 1600 mile journey begins at the Mexican Border as we ride the San Diego Trolley into the City. There we board one of the Amtrak trains to Los Angeles along the Surf line as we skirt the Pacific Ocean for much of the Journey.

Arriving in Los Angeles we change trains and board the fabled Coast Starlight for the trip to Seattle. The scenery is magnificent as we leave Los Angeles and later skirt the Pacific from Ventura northward. After a night on the train, we awake north of Sacramento and later cross the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon before reaching Portland and finally Seattle. This video also features beautiful music by Mike Lynch, and some railroad side-trips including the Yosemite Mt. Sugar Pine Railroad, the California Western Railroad, the Sacramento Southern Railroad, the Spirit of Oregon Dinner train, and the Mt. Hood Railroad. You'll see everything from a Shay Steam engine to a diesel going through a switch-back in Oregon. If this isn't enough you'll also visit the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, and see some of the sights of Seattle including a ride on the Monorail. Its another relaxing sight and sound experience.


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DVD Item#:ABRWEST
Runtime:1 Hour, 30 Mins ($0.20/min)
Producer:Greg Scholl Video Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:616964000200
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
America by Rail - The West Coast
TrainsofAmericaandCanada (San Antonio TX US) on 2019-08-19 22:16:37.

People who found this review helpful: 4

  •  4 of 5


This program shows riding action on the San Diegan from San Diego to Los Angeles, California and the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to Seattle, Washington. Along the way you'll visit tourist trains (e.g. Sacramento Southern, Mount Hood Railroad, etc.) and visit historic landmarks such as Yosemite National Park and more. If you like riding footage aboard trains in scenic territory, and side trips to tourist attractions and railroads, this program is for you.

Additional remarks by TrainsofAmericaandCanada:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Yes.

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America by Rail - The West Coast
rrvideoman on 2008-02-05 07:32:07.

People who found this review helpful: 3

  •  5 of 5


Another excellent production by Greg Scholl.
This video is in the same format of all 4 "America by Rail" videos. There is plenty of music incorporated into the video along with an interesting amount of narration explaining what is happening along the trip. There are the normal side trips to some of the more intersting rail locations and scenic trips of some tourist excursion lines. It is a Passenger Train lover's dream as we ride along the coast, nearly at water's edge of the Pacific Ocean starting at the Mexico border with a San Diego trolley system journey to the Amtrak Station, then north to Los Angeles. From there after a change of trains and views of LA Union Station, continue on north for a while close still to the Pacific Ocean, before moving somewhat inland and on to Seattle Washington. The scenery is second to none through out the journey. I was amaised to see the train as it rode along high bluffs near water edge, and through a US military base. Here, missle silos actually form a backdrop. Most interesting. Mt Shasta further north is beautiful. As the end is near, a small trip to the top of the Seattle Space Needle really tops off this excellent production.

A great video that all Rail Fans would enjoy. Highly recommended.

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America by Rail - The West Coast
Nikhil Murthy (Redmond WA) on 2021-02-22 18:11:30.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


This program covers a Point A to Point B Amtrak train journey with side trips to tourist railroads and a national park that is typical with all ABR programs. In this case, this program begins at San Ysidro, CA, at the Mexican border south of San Diego, and ends at Seattle, WA with Amtrak train rides on the San Diegans (now Pacific Surfliner) from San Diego to Los Angeles and the Coast Starlight (CS) from LA to Seattle and 5 tourist railroads.

After viewing some of San Diego's highlights, we begin at the Mexican border at San Ysidro and take the San Diego Trolley to the Amtrak San Diego station.

After arriving in San Diego, we ride the San Diegans to LA Union Station. Highlights include: Running alongside the Pacific Ocean for most of the journey and 2 very-beautiful narration-free music tracks that seem fitting for this setting.

Upon arrival in the 2nd largest US city, highlights include viewing the city's important landmarks such as the Walk of the Stars. Then we board the CS at Union Station for the first segment from LA to San Luis Obispo (SLO). Highlights include: running alongside the Pacific Ocean starting in Ventura and ending 113 miles later shortly before arrival in SLO and 2 extremely-beautiful narration-free music tracks between Santa Barbara and SLO with a runby at Gaviota in the middle separating them.

After arriving in SLO, the first tourist railroad is visited at Fish Camp, CA: the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad with motorcars and Shay #15 as well as a side trip to nearby Yosemite National Park. More in-depth footage of this railroad can be seen in "Narrow Gauge Steam in the 90s."

We reboard the CS for the next segment from SLO to Oakland. Highlights include: Cuesta Grade and an overview of what the Lounge Car and the downstairs snack bar offers for viewers who have no experience riding Amtrak in general.

After arriving in Oakland, 2 tourist railroad side trips are visited. First, the California Western Railroad is visited. Highlights include: Riding Motorcar 100 from Ft. Bragg to Northspur, a cab ride on a diesel revenue freight train from Northspur to Willits, and Motorcar 100 meeting Motorcar 300 on the return trip. Next, the California State Railroad Museum (CSRM), one of the best museums in the United States, is visited and its tourist operation, the Sacramento Southern Railroad, is seen handled by Union Pacific 0-6-0 4466. More in-depth footage of the Sacramento Southern operation can be seen in "Steam in the 90s Volume 2."

We then reboard the CS leaving Sacramento shortly after midnight for the next part of the journey to Portland, OR. Highlights include: the signature music used in the intro played in its entirety as the train leaves California and enters Oregon, climbing the Cascades during the winter between Chemult and Eugene (this is a foreshadowing of the next ABR edition: Winter Wonderland; in fact, the narrator, John Hingsbergen, uses those words describing the scenes), and a fast and more upbeat remix of the Gaviota-SLO/CSRM music played from Eugene to Portland.

After arriving in Portland, the now-defunct Spirit of Oregon Dinner Train is visited that originates from Roy, OR powered by 2 extremely-rare ALCO C415s. Following that, we take a side trip to Hood River, OR behind the also-defunct Amtrak Pioneer to visit the Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad which, fortunately, still exists. Highlights include: riding a mixed train and a final shot of the train approaching the camera with Mt. Adams in Washington State and Mt. Hood in Oregon in the background as the train heads away from the camera. Additional coverage of this railroad along with the aforementioned-and-extinct Spirit of Oregon Dinner Train can be seen in "Early Diesels 2."

To conclude the program, we reboard the Pioneer to head back to Portland, OR and rejoin the CS one last time for the home stretch to Seattle, WA, the largest city in the Pacific Northwest, late at night. Then we explore the city's highlights including the Space Needle, the Monorail, and a sailboat ride on Puget Sound.

For those who love pre-Genesis Amtrak motive power, especially those who love Dash 8s (AKA Pepsi-Cans) in their original paint scheme, this program is for you as it has NO Genesis locomotives whatsoever. In fact, the lead engine for ALL the Coast Starlight runbys is ALWAYS a Pepsi-Can with some shots having an F40 behind it, particularly in the Sacramento-Portland segment.

For those who rate the music negatively, I beg to differ. If I were to give an Academy Award/Pulitzer Prize for Music, this DVD and the composer for this music, the late Michael Lynch, deserve it. Although this is the shortest of the 4 ABR programs, the music played throughout this program is as beautiful as the scenery both the San Diego-LA service and the Coast Starlight traverse and are masterpieces as such. Of all the music played in this program, in my opinion, my Top 5 are as follows: Gaviota-SLO; San Diego-LA #2; San Diego-LA #1; Santa Barbara-Gaviota; and SLO-Salinas. The only drawback is that this program is NOT available on Amazon unlike the other 3 ABR programs. So one has to buy and watch the DVD instead of buying through a online streaming service to listen to the music and can't listen from anywhere as such.

Although mentioned earlier, here are some fun facts regarding the music used in this program for those who listen extremely attentively including but not limited to the below:

The music played in the Gaviota-SLO segment is slightly remixed in ABR: Winter Wonderland in the first track in that program that plays from Cincinnati, OH-South Shore, KY.
The music played leaving Sacramento is remixed in ABR: Winter Wonderland in the song that plays from South Shore, KY-Raceland, KY.
The music played in ABR: Route of the Southwest Chief from Raton, NM to Las Vegas, NM (as well as the intro) is a Southwestern style remix of the music that plays as the train leaves California and enters Oregon (which also plays in the intro)
The Eugene-Portland music is a fast and more upbeat remix of the CSRM segment as well as the aforementioned Gaviota-SLO segment.

Additional remarks by Nikhil Murthy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Definitely!
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Excellent Value!
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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America by Rail - The West Coast
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2017-06-29 11:24:45.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  4 of 5


Shot in April 1995 (The time I was a newborn), this show chronicles the run north from San Diego To Seattle. Again, most of these scenes were later used in other videos such as The Alphabet Train, Reflections, Early Diesels 2, Union Pacific Steam Classics Volume 1, and Lots & Lots of Trains. Fun Fact Alert: This one along with the Hearland from 1994 were eventually combined on DVD by Simitar in 1998, making it the very first railroad DVD ever made.

Additional remarks by Steamboy:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Yes.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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