Steam Around the World The Western European Archives
Jeffrey Ornstein on 2009-09-26 17:58:37.
I really wanted to give this video five stars, but a couple of issues stood in the way of doing so.
Before buying this video, I never heard of the videographer Harry P. Dodge, who traveled the world filming railway operations in the sixties and seventies.
Unfortunately, there remains a void in european train DVDs for the railroad video collector in the US. None of the big producers of rail entertainment seem to want to offer this subject on a large scale.
Although the title of this video is Steam Archives, there is much more to steam in this video. All kinds of electrics, diesels and multiple unit trains are seen, as well as trams. There's a very interesting variety of equipment that I have only seen in pictures but not on video.
But the problem with this video is that the quality of the film leaves something to be desired on most, but not all of the footage. This is probably not the fault of Arts Magic - trying to put 40 year old deteriorating film on dvd probably isn't so easy. Also, this dvd looks like it originally appeared on VHS a few years back and was subsequently transfered to digital video format. But the quality still suffers from time to time.
That being said, I was actually glad I purchased this video. There are many different trains which are rarely seen on video in the United States. Everything from American-built french steam locomotives, to Italian Diesel railcars, to Turkish trams. Some of the trains are very unusual and very different from American trains.
There is a professional narrator on the dvd which I thought would become a distraction, but was not. I actually learned a few things from the narration.
I do wish, however, that Arts Magic would have worked a little harder in doing some post-processing to these rare films to make it more clearer and cleaner.
Overall, given the price of the dvd, if you are into foreign trains, especially seeing some unusual ones, you might like this disc. If you could forgive some of the orignal film quality, it could be a worthwhile purchase for you.
Additional remarks by Jeffrey Ornstein:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: A little rough around the edges.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Yes.