Western Pacific: The First Fifty Years: 1910 to 1960 Volume One • 72 minutes • B&W & Colour • Full Sound Track
When it opened in 1910 between Salt Lake City and Oakland,California, in partnership with the Burlington and Denver & Rio Grande, the Western Pacific formed the last transcontinental route in the USA.
It also used the easiest crossing of the Continental Divide and for the first 20 years of its life got by with nothing larger than 4-6-0s for passenger trains, and Mikados for freight. Ever increasing tonnage led to larger locomotives, and by the end of steam the WP was using big articulateds on freight, and Mountains and 4-8-4s on passenger varnish, until the FTs arrived in number.
The Achilles heel of the WP was the Feather River Canyon followed to gain height, which regularly suffered rockslides and washed the track away.
This excellent DVD tells the WP’s history over its first 50 years in some style, but omits one major part of this, the subject of Volume Two.