Riding Household Railways DVD and Train Sounds for Model Railroads CD

DVD and CD from Spicer Pro LLC
DVD: Riding Household Railways and G-Scale Journey (60 minutes)
CD: Train Sounds for Model Railroads (72 minutes)

Spicer Pro LLC
Website: www.spicerpro.com
Prices: DVD, $15.99; CD, $14.99
Those who like watching trains run (and who of us doesn’t?) will enjoy this new DVD from Spicer Pro. Two separate programs are presented on the disc: Riding Household Railways and G-Scale Journey.

The former begins with brief glimpses of full-size steam locomotives on preserved railways with a voice-over introduction. We visit five different model railways, all photographed from the point of view of a scale person.
The railways’ builders or owners are not mentioned. The first is the magnificent Woodland Railway, where we ride trains and stand trackside, watching trains pass through beautiful, natural scenery. The next two, called “Living Room Railway” and “Household Railway” are two large indoor lines laid out on the floor. The fourth, just called “Garden Railway,” is set in the Old West and begins with a gunfight. The last one, named “Electric Tramway,” is a European-style streetcar line, complete with special effects (fog) and night running. This was evidently also set up indoors, and depicts streetcars running and stopping for passengers.

The video footage is accompanied by music, which, in this context, seems appropriate. LGB trains predominate on all of the railways.

The second program, “G-Scale Journey,” begins with another vocal introduction, telling us that we’re going on a journey through natural settings, with various side trips. Again, LGB trains are featured.
The railway has been temporarily set up, both indoors and out, as track is laid on carpet, grass, sidewalk, beach sand, deck rails, and other places. This actually did provide a sense of going somewhere on the miniature train—cool! A variety of vintage LGB equipment is featured. Trains are run at realistic speeds and, again, the music seems about right.

Camera work and editing of these programs is excellent. Transitions are seamless and the DVD is a pleasure to watch. It is pure entertainment. It’s just good old train watching in a wide variety of different settings, including snow. At the end, the narrator tells us we have traveled 150 actual miles (over 3,000 scale miles) across Maryland. Alas, at the very end of the program tragedy strikes. A “Bridge out” sign is ignored and the train ends up in the drink—really! All is well, though. We’re assured that no plastic people were harmed in the making of the film.

Also from Spicer Pro is a CD called Train Sounds for Model Railroads. The CD was assembled from recordings made by Harold Spicer (the producer’s father), who was a photographer for the Baltimore News Post from 1939 to 1972.

The recordings are of both steam and diesel locomotives and their trains. We hear horns, whistles, and engines chugging past, as well as crossing signals and other ambient sounds. Unfortunately, the elder Mr. Spicer didn’t keep notes on what he was recording a half century ago on his wire recorder, so we don’t really know what we’re listening to as far as specific locomotives recorded at known locations. Still, the sounds are evocative, transporting the listener back to a bygone era. The sound quality is variable and there is a noticeable hiss. That notwithstanding, it is in interesting recording and one that could provide background sound for your railway, indoors or out.


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