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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD

Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD Pentrex PCCF-DVD 748268004957
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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection (DVD Video)

The Complete Story of SP"s Mighty 4-8-8-2 Articulated Locomotives!

For nearly 47 years, the Southern Pacific Railroad relied upon its massive AC-type steam locomotives to haul freight and passenger trains throughout California and neighboring states. Built to provide the power and flexibility demanded by the mountainous passes they traversed, these giants were constructed with their cab in front of the boiler, thus earning them the name Cab Forwards. The last Cab Forward revenue train ran in 1956, after which all but one were scrapped. From then on, film coverage of these AC-class engines was eagerly sought, hard to locate, and highly prized. Now, after years of research, Pentrex has assembled an awesome collection of footage and still images of SP AC-1s through AC-12s spanning the years 1927 to 1956.

You"ll see Cab Forwards in service on the Overland Route, the San Joaquin Line, the Sunset Route, the Coast Route, the Shasta Route, and the Modoc Line. You"ll thrill to incredible images of Cab Forwards in the snow, on grades, bridges, and scenic valleys; running with mid-train and rear-end helpers; teamed with Black Widow F-units and GS-class helpers; and in meets with other CF"s. The locomotives shown include nearly every class of Articulated Consolidation SP ever rostered: the Baldwin-built Cab Forwards and the Lima-built 3900 class AC-9s. Historic stills of the original cab forwards, the Baldwin-built MC, MM, and AM class engines, are also featured. Plus, author Dr. Bob Church and photographer Stan Kistler provide insightful insiders" views. This is the most comprehensive record of the legendary Cab Forwards ever presented on film and it belongs in every railfan"s collection!

1 Hour 30 Minutes, plus 15 Minutes Bonus Footage In Color and Black & White, with Hi-Fi 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: 1-56342-212-3
UPC: 7-48268-00495-7
Produced by Pentrex 2007

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DVD Item#:PCCF-DVD
Runtime:1 Hour, 45 Mins ($0.30/min)
Producer:Pentrex
Aspect Ratio:Full Screen
DVD UPC:748268004957
Shrink Wrapped?:Yes
Disc Type:DVD
Region Code:0 Worldwide NTSC
Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
Nate (Woodlynne, New Jersey) on 2012-08-31 17:59:10.

People who found this review helpful: 2

  •  5 of 5


Before I bought this DVD I didn't know much about the cab forwards. Now, after watching this DVD they are one of my favorite types of locomotive ever. A true classic that everyone should have in there collection of historic railroad programs.

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

Did you find this review useful?

Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
rrvideoman (Delisle Saskatchewan) on 2020-03-31 13:30:31.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


Steam engines are fascinating to watch operating. Most of us have seen some type of steam power, usually the traditional type with the boiler and operating system in front of the cab. A cab forward is different in the fact that the boiler and operating system is behind the cab. Very unique to the railroad industry, and they had their place. But never took hold across North America in general. This video shows the engines operating and how they operated. It is extremely interesting to see these beasts pulling hard at work. Diffinately worth owning this video.

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

Did you find this review useful?

Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2019-07-19 13:48:19.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  4 of 5


In this 2007 DVD, the program starts with 4247 sprints across the modoc line in 1955-1956 on a freight. Next a clip from historic hot spots: railfaning Southern California in the 1950s as train 57 years owl is passing mission tower in Los Angeles. Afterwards a black and white clip is shown as a cab forward is on a freight, with another cab forward in mid-train helper service. A clip of 4274 in 1957 is shown with a look at the 2004 DVD cover of the last run of a cab forward over Donner pass from Video Rails in 1991. Next a look at a picture of Class AC-8 4190 built in 1939 is shown as well as 4294 inside the California state railroad museum in old Sacramento. The history segment begins with a look at a still image of class AC-4 number 4100 built in 1928, followed by another still image, this time its class AC-8 4179 built in 1939. Dr. Robert Church explains why it�s a necessity for these beasts to operate over the Sierra Nevada mountains. During Dr. church�s explanation, a still image of mallet type class MC-1 number 4001 built in 1909 is shown, as well as Dr. Church�s own drawing of the first cab forward locomotive: North Pacific coast 21. This is the engine that was inspired by the character Lexi played by Lucy Montgomery in the 2017 Thomas The Tank Engine movie: Journey beyond sodor. Next a still image of class MC-6 number 4034 built in 1910 is shown, then comes 4294 in Sacramento once again. Afterwards a couple of still images of class MM-2 2-6-6-2 number 4201 built in 1911 is shown, followed by sister Engine 4208 which is also in still image form, but it has 4 pilot trucks under the cab. Next a still image of class AC-1 4041 being rebuilt in 1927 is shown, followed by AC-2 4028 that was rebuilt in 1928, and a couple stills of AC-4 4100 which was also built in 1928. Next, a man is climbing up or down on 4101�s ladders, followed by a still image of class AC-5 4114 built in 1929, AC-4 4102 built in 1928, AC-8 4184 built in 1939, and AC-10 4237 built in 1942 during the Second World War. Next a demonstration of the exhaust pipes are shown. Afterwards 4274 is heading backwards through the station. As Stanley Kistler points out the air pumps on the cab forward, a still image of class AC-8 4187 built in 1939 is shown. Next, Dr. church explains what types of whistles are used on the cab forward, followed by a still image of class AC-10 4238 which was built during the Second World War (1942), AC-8 4202 built in 1939, AC-4 4105 built in 1928, and AC-8 4189 built in 1939. Plus AC-11 4263 built in 1943, and excursion star 4274. Next another look at 4294 in Sacramento is shown, as Stanley explains on how men service these unique beasts.

Moving on to the map of the entire SP rail lines where cab forwards are allowed, it begins with the overland route from San Francisco California to Ogden Utah. The cab forwards are operating between Roseville and Colfax over Donner Pass. From colfax, it continues east to Yuba Gap, and then it descends into truckee. From truckee, it crosses the state line into Nevada with stops at Verdi, sparks, and Reno. The film clips from the steam version of This is My railroad, shows what it was like to be at the throttle of the cab forward. Train 28 is for eastbound trains, while train 27 is for westbound trains. The weather change dramatically from rain to snow as the eastbound is climbing over Donner Pass. The train is being led by 4249. From the ground, another cab forward dashes through the snow. At truckee, train 27 picks up the mail. This is operated on a doubleheader mode. Next orders are hooped to the engineer aboard an unknown AC-10. At the Norden snow sheds, a black and white clip is shown as an AC-11 4285 runs light. Near Newcastle, an eastbound is leading a freight up the hill, which includes a mid train helper and a 2-8-0 on the rear, and a meet with a westbound. US route 40 goes under the railroad bridge. More black and white clips are shown as the westbound leaves the pedestrian bridge as it meets with another cab forward, this time going east after taking on water. Another cab forward and a different steam locomotive is on the rear. While the other cab forward isn�t identified, 2-8-0 number 2519 is also identified. At soda springs, engine 4283 turns on the headlight as it hauls freight in the snow. Another cab forward is on mid train helper service. Back into color mode, AC-12 4291 is smoking hard with 2-8-0 2347 on the rear. On 2 different days train 27 is in new castle. Near magra, a doubleheader freight leaves the tunnel, that is being led by a 2-10-2 built in Sacramento. Most of these film clips on the overland route were also shown in Greg Scholl�s version of the overland route, but he uses music and narration over these rare silent films, while pentrex cares about dubbing the sounds in these films. Later on a super short clip of another train going downhill in the same area. At colfax, a westbound is carrying freight. Next another cab forward is making a bend at emigrant gap as a doubleheaded light move meets with an eastbound which includes a mid-train helper. Later on 4249 approaches from the highway 40 bridge. At Troy, the overland drops down from snow country. Note the Pennsylvania railroad sleeper car in the consist. Another doubleheader is shown as it is being led by a mountain class 4-8-2 operating the overland. A short westward train makes its way down grade. Next the eastbound curves away. Afterwards, some clips from the 1999 pentrex video: SP film archives volume one-daylights, cab forwards, and early Diesels are shown, which includes the treasure island special. These scenes show what emigrant gap was like before the interstate highways were built. At yuba gap, this cab forward is handing its coaches without any help at all. The pacific limited is being pulled by a GS class 4-8-4 and a cab forward at Cape Horn. Next, train 27 is nearing the summit on a doubleheader. Afterwards some clips from the 1999 pentrex video: SP film archives volume 2-flangers, spreaders, and Steam rotary snowplows are shown as AC-8 number 4197 pushes a Jordan spreader. Next AC-10 number 4209 works with a freight in tow. An eastbound is whistling at truckee. Onboard the train, we are alongside the truckee River, at marker 211J and 7C. A going away shot of the eastbound pacific limited is shown, as it enters the state line. A westbound freight heads for Truckee. Note the military painted tow truck on a flatbed. A quick meet of an eastbound passenger train is shown, as this concludes a segment on cab forward over the overland route.

Moving south, we are on the San Joaquin valley line as a still image of a cab forward going over the bridge is shown, as it is photographed by a young Stanley kistler in 1954. Next a quick scene of a cab forward highballing pass the trees at this unknown location is shown. Stanley explains the 3 lines from Stockton to Bakersfield, and on Beaumont hill east to Yuma Arizona. From one of Stanley�s black and white photographs, a mid train helper is shown on a freight, followed by several others during the commentary. Next, Stanley�s still image of a cab forward passing by a pair of semaphore signals are shown. At the Tehachapi loop, a cab forward is passing over the end of its train. This is one of Southern California popular railroading hot spots. Next an AC-5 built in 1929 is shown on a freight in the Tehachapi mountains, which was shown in SP film archives volume 1 from 1999, or from the railroad itself. 2-8-2 number 3262 is on mid-train helper service with engine 4116 on the rear. A look at 4125 is shown as a brakeman exits the cab, and heads for the telephone booth. On the right side of the screen, a freight carrying flatbeds Of military equipment are shown. Next, 4125 pulls out of the siding and heads east. Back on the loop, cab forwards struggle with a really long freight. They always have to acquire helpers. A very short clip of AC-8 number 4183 working up at Tehachapi. Next, more black and white clips are shown, as 4 engines on the same train heads for the loop. Afterwards a look at the Santa Fe�s Grand Canyon limited with F3 diesels, and future famous surviving 4-8-4 number 3751, as it makes a meet with the SP freight. Back into color mode, another cab forward is in the middle of the freight as it heads around the loop. Heavy black smoke is blown from 4222. Another black and white clip is shown as 4238 is at eelville. Above the loop an A-B-B-A set of black widow F units haul a freight with a cab forward in the middle. This concludes our look at cab forwards on the valley line.

These next scenes were shown from the 1995 pentrex video: historic hot spots-railfanning Southern California in the 1950s. It�s January of 1954 and GS-3 4-8-4 number 4437 and AC-10 4216 operates the bankers special. While Stanley kistler explains, film footage of 4216 and 4437 are shown, as there is an error spotted in the title, the person who is responsible for the titles said that the GS-3 is 4227 instead of 4437 as the special backs up into Lang for the re-enactment of the golden spike. Later on, the westbound owl passes by as it is being led by black widow F units. Back onboard, more riding footage is shown. At the loop, the special must wait on the siding for train 804 to pass. Which is also being led by black Widow f units. The rear of the freight are a pair of Alco RSD-5s. With the freight cleared, the special curves at Caliente. Afterwards, an engine swap was performed as AC-8 4202 and GS-6 number 4464 operates the return trip. A photo runby at the big bend is performed. With everyone back onboard, it�s time to go to Los Angeles. This segment concludes with black and white still images as a cab forward is on a troop train, a meet with black widow F unit 6231, and a doubleheader on train 57 with a wig wag signal at newhall.

Moving right along to downtown Los Angeles and the sunset route, a still image of an eastbound freight led by AC-6 number 4133 passing an excursion train led by a GS class 4-8-4 at Ferrum. Next a look at AC-8 number 4202 arrives at the siding on Beaumont hill, as it�ll have to wait for the train to pass, a chunk of something is integrated on the top right of the screen, as there is pacing going on, and an eastbound on highway 60. Stanley kistler explains his sights of the line. A doubleheaded helper is on the rear at Redlands. The cab forward in this photo is none other than 4133 once again. Another still image is shown, this time a westbound is leaving Colton. Next 4206 is on a freight at an unknown location. As night falls, train 55-the owl makes a station stop at Glendale. In downtown Los Angeles, train 51 rolls along the river on a very smoggy day. Next, train 803 meets with a freight, and also crosses the diamond, and switch tower. This train has a helper to Bakersfield. Looking like it was street running, AC-8 number 4184 pulls train 834 at Glendale. This concludes a look at cab forwards over the sunset route.

Moving right along to the Los Angeles-San Francisco line (The coast line) along the Pacific Ocean. Out of Los Angeles, AC-8 number 4191 is picking up speed at chatsworth curve. In chatsworth, AC-12 number 4275 runs light. Up the line, a pair of black widow F units led a cab forward to Los Angeles. While this train had mostly gondolas, a boxcar is in the middle. Following behind, 4286 passes by the same location. Note the wig wag crossing signals. Afterwards a quickie Of 4196 running light is shown. At Simi Valley, a freight is shown. Next, another cab forward is hauling empty flatbeds on train 831. After that, AC-11 4254 passes by the depot on train 829. Dr. Church explains why women are needed for railroads during WWII. This location is at Moorpark. Next 4254 is at Camarillo, then takes on water at Oxnard. This engine was sadly scrapped in 1955. With the tender filled with water, 4254 leaves Oxnard. A man quickly races to the caboose after throwing the switch. Sister Engine 4256 arrives at Oxnard. Later a clip from the SP film archives volume 1 video from 1999 is shown as an AC-8 pulls train 765 (not the Nickel plate Berkshire) at Santa Barbra, then comes the different train at the shores of the Pacific Ocean. A southbound crosses the Gaviota trestle near the ocean. Later a cab forward helps the coast daylight led by a GS class 4-8-4 at Santa margarita. Afterwards a fast freight is shown at Atascadero. This concludes a look at cab forwards on the coast route.

Heading north, we are at the San Francisco Bay Area. First is a look at the Oakland roundhouse and turntable. West of Oakland, AC-10 number 4212 passes by army terminal on its way to the yard. Next, 4241 is either running light, or pulling something, but we are not sure. On New Year�s Day 1956, a cab forward leaves the yard. These next clips are in Black and White. At shellmound tower, a cab forward passes by the tower. Next AC-5 number 4119 built in 1929 picks up the track orders. Later on, AC-4 number 4102 built in 1928 goes under the semaphore signal bridge. These scenes were shot by Walter Ringbom. Inside the signal box, the man sets up the signal positions and the track for AC-7 number 4170 built in 1937 to pass by. The operater sets up orders and heads downstairs while Walter stays inside the tower as AC-4 number 4103 built in 1928 collects the orders. From the ground, another AC-4 number 4109 also collects orders, followed by AC-5 number 4112 passing by. 4102 is seen once again. This time it is in the opposite direction. While the operator is still doing paper work, 4111 is passing by the tower. Back outside, AC-10 number 4230 built in 1942 leaves the yard. Afterwards, 4102 is going under the pedestrian bridge. Followed by AC-5 number 4123 built in 1929 is also shown, then comes sister engine 4125 picking up orders. This concludes the black and white segments. The only color clip from Walt shows 4241 heading to Roseville. A still image of 4133 at Niles Canyon shot by Stanley is shown. An eastbound is on altamont Pass. At Tracy, AC-12 number 4289 runs light, and would have to couple to its train. Later on, AC-11 number 4247 built in 1943 is shown as a meet with GS4 number 4443 and another cab forward is shown from the 1993 pentrex video: Steam across America Volume 2: the west. A quick clip of 4119 is shown at Port costa. Along the bay, another freight rolls by. At Martinez, a light engine move heads west. An eastbound refer block heads for the bridge. AC-10 number 4222 follows the train behind. A westbound heads off the bridge. Inside the workshop, work on the cab forwards are shown. Then comes 4267 under steam. This concludes a look at cab forwards in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Heading a bit further north, we are on the Mt. Shasta line. First comes a black and white clip of AC-6 4147 exiting and entering tunnel to tunnel. Next a still image of AC-5 number 4115 built in 1929 is shown during the aftermath of a crash. At the 2.2% grade, a pair of AC-10s, and an AC-6 hauls freight to Dunsmir. The first engine isn�t identified but the helper engine is shown which is 4136. The last Engine is probably 4288. At black butte, a doubleheader with a cab forward and a mountain class 4-8-2 is shown. These scenes were recorded during the Korean War. A very short clip shows an unidentified locomotive passing by Mt. Shasta in the background. As snow falls in the black and white scene, 4253 passes by the station. This concludes a look at cab forwards on the Shasta line.

On the modoc line, it operates from Klamath falls Oregon to Altures California, then heads southeast to fernley Nevada Connecting to the overland route. A cab forward is shown on a train. Next, 4247 runs light at Altures yard. Stanley explains his 1954 visit. 4213 is moving backwards, followed by another cab forward pushing the caboose. Later another one is on a caboose hop. At this unidentified loop, a cab forward is on a freight. This scene was shot by Bill Whittaker. The same freight has helpers. At Sage hen, the helpers are cut off, and would return to Altures. Back at the loop, a light engine move is shown. Next 4222 is being paced in the snow. Stanley explains the opinion of the paint. Another train rounds the loop in the snow. It too also has helpers. At Altures, AC-9 number 3804 built in 1939 is shown as well as sister engine 3805. This concludes a look at cab forwards on the Modoc line.

On November 30-December 1 1957, the last run of a cab forward over Donner Pass is operated, that it is being led by 4274 from Sacramento to Reno and returns. Stanley explains the final days of steam on the SP as well as Dr. Church talking about the excursion. A still image of AC-10 4237 built in 1942 is shown. You can see the entire run on the Video Rails version of the 4274 trip as well as selected scenes on the 1995 2 tape set: Today�s steam across America. Plus some of it was used as the opening clips of the Video Rails classic collector�s series. Of course the 4274 trip was shown in SP steam fan trips from Greg Scholl in 2012, but with music playing over these rare silent films. Finally the program comes to a close with clips from Sacramento Steam �99. This music piece from Gene Michael productions, was used in Illinois Junctions 2 from Greg Scholl in 2004.

There are 2 bonus features on the DVD: one features an April 1981 Silent film of the lone surviving cab forward 4294 being moved into the present resting place at the California state railroad museum before the Grand opening from May 2-10 with 4449 and UP 844/4 with the first run of challenger 3985 before its conversion to oil. Although in my opinion, it would be nice if there is instrumental music being played over this silent segment, not to mention different photographers carrying sound recordings of the 4294 movement before the Grand opening. The other bonus feature contains Stanley�s thoughts on the last run, saving 4294, the final days of cab forwards in Southern California, Dr. Bob Church�s thoughts on the North Pacific coast cab forward (inspiration for Lexi in the 2017 Thomas The Tank Engine movie journey beyond sodor), the cab forwards on why they aren�t double heading on freights, when they operate on the San Joaquin daylight, and talks about why railroading in the 1959s was the golden year for shooting American Steam in regular service before the diesels took over.

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

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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
Cabforward (Sherwood, Oregon) on 2015-03-24 12:33:13.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  4 of 5


I enjoyed the video very much. The interviews of Bob Church and Stan Kistler throughout the video added the human element, colorful and most interesting. The only draw back was that many of the old clips were very dark and hard to see. I know that correcting this would be a very expensive task.

Additional remarks by Cabforward:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: A little rough around the edges.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Definitely.

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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
chris collins (fletcher north carolina) on 2014-06-25 01:05:37.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


the southern pacific cab forwards are nothing that I've seen there like the up big boys but different seeing how these engines done there stuff in California makes you want to wish you got to saw theme in person lucky the saved the only surviving cab forward or kids wouldn't know what they were like but maybe one day the surviving one may run again in services for the future for special events

Additional remarks by chris collins:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Excellent!
DVD Value: Overpriced for the amount of enjoyment I got out of it.
Recommend to others? A "Must Have"!

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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
KingArthur on 2009-09-28 21:04:03.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


For someone interested in SP's Cab Forward locos this is a good informative DVD and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Additional remarks by KingArthur:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? I doubt it.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.

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Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection DVD
mrbirman5 on 2009-08-22 16:57:31.

People who found this review helpful: 1

  •  5 of 5


If you are a steam fan at all this is terrific. Good historical background with informative background info from four famous photographers who knew the areas the film where the films were shot. A bit long winded in some instances on the experts part, but well intentioned. Rare film, particularly the AC-5s, some of lesser quality, that comes with the times. Unfortunately no live sound which was VERY rare back then. Would definitely recommend even if not an SP fan!

Additional remarks by mrbirman5:
Narration: A little bit too much.
Would kids enjoy this? I doubt it.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? Definitely.

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