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City of Los Angeles DVD
 3.5 of 5 (2)

City of Los Angeles DVD Sunday River Productions DVD-COLA
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In some of the most beautiful footage we have ever released, Union Pacific's City of Los Angeles crosses the spectacular terrain between LA and Chicago, a worthy rival to the famous Santa Fe Super Chief.

We start in Los Angeles under skies so clear its almost possible to touch the crystalline tips of the San Gabriel mountains from the steps of Union Station. We track the City of Los Angeles from the ground as it buckles down to ascend Cajon Pass with 5 roaring E units. The Wasatch Range in Utah and the Rockies in Wyoming follow, each of them white with winter.

Leaving in early dawn from Ogden, Utah the streamliner clings to the canyon wall above the boiling Weber River. The snow deepens as it transits the Gateway and speeds accelerate to 75 mph. Just beyond Echo, with a sharp left around a 2000 foot cliff, the train starts to climb to the Aspen Tunnel in earnest and finally tops out some 3000 feet above Ogden.

The streamliner then crosses 4 hours of emptiness from Green River to Laramie sometimes at allowable speeds of 90 miles per hour. Under the black rolls of a coming storm it climbs Sherman Hill on the old line and continues down to Cheyenne, with many shots from the cab.

The beautifully photographed finale of this DVD shows another dramatic run on Sherman Hill. This was to have been the final run of UP's 8444 in 1970 and features the engine and three passenger cars (one an ancient brass railed observation), driving into one of the worst blizzards ever experienced on Sherman Hill.

42 min.

TVD Price:$ 35.96
List Price:$ 39.95
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Runtime:42 Mins ($0.86/min)
Producer:Sunday River Productions
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
Shrink Wrapped?:NO!
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:1 US & Canada NTSC

  • This producer chooses not to shrinkwrap most of their products. All the products we sell are brand new direct from the producer. We never sell used or second-hand products.
City of Los Angeles DVD
Scott (New York) on 2017-03-18 13:49:16.

  •  4 of 5

The Santa Fe "Chief" trains have captured the public imagination and a good deal of the attention when it comes to luxury class trains between Chicago and Los Angeles. Not to be overlooked however is the Union Pacific's top entry on this route, "The City of Los Angeles". The video starts out with a fine map of the Union Pacific routes between Chicago and the west coast, including the Cities of Portland, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salinas among others.

The focus then moves to the title train "City of Los Angeles". Most of the video consists of exterior shots of the train across various parts of the west, along with an adequate amount of video taken from inside the train of the scenery passing by. Much of the action is during winter and even though the video is entirely in color, some of the scenery as well as video of the train's exterior is somewhat drab looking as a result.

Still, it would be asking a lot of video that was filmed 50 years ago or so (the scenery shots from inside the train was likely taken as home movies from passengers) to expect it to be of the quality of new videos being made today with high resolution photography equipment used by professional video makers. The video in this film is still extremely valuable as historical documentation of UP's great train, its equipment, its route and its ambiance.

Even though I might have wished for slightly higher quality image in some parts of the video, I really did get the sensation of being a rider on the train while it was still popular, enjoying the scenery of the west as it passed by the window and listening to the sounds of the diesels throbbing and the horn blowing from time to time.

The narration was interesting and informative, covering key historical information not only about the UP railroad and this particular train but about the other UP passenger trains of that era. I would have liked to have seen more photos of the interior of the train, such as of the observation lounge car, domes, sleeping quarters and dining car. This would have been a truly outstanding video had those kinds of images been included. There was a very short photo of a table in the dining car but it was only a few seconds long and didn't provide much worthwhile information about the dining car my opinion. The same goes for a few very brief shots from inside the dome. I would like to have seen more of those.

There was also some video of UP's Gas Turbine locomotives in action and which added a nice, interesting touch to the overall production. The same can be said for several minutes of UP's 8444 steam locomotive in action, including it attacking Sherman Hill during a heavy blizzard.

While I also wish the video had been longer, I think that Sunday River has done a fine job overall with it. For those of us who never got to ride the great trains of the west when they were in their prime, this certainly provides us with at least some sense of what it must have been like.

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

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City of Los Angeles DVD
mitcho (California) on 2014-05-14 16:12:13.

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  •  3 of 5

Very good video wish they had done more with Union Station

Additional remarks by mitcho:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Yes.

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