The California Zephyr: The Ultimate Fan Trip

"The California Zephyr was perhaps the most famous train in America. It was born in 1949 and ran until 1970 when the Western Pacific was allowed to discontinue its portion of the run. The Denver & Rio Grande Western originally decided not to join Amtrak and operated the Denver to Salt Lake City leg as its own abbreviated Rio Grande Zephyr. Later, it gave up the ghost for Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr.

"Quality Photographer Emery Gulash shot the train over a period of time -- one trip aboard in 16mm color from the dome Silver Horizon, in the locomotive cab on the D&RGW and trackside on all three operators. I have seen slides and movies taken from dome cars and at best they usually produce meager results. Not so for Mr. Gulash whose rock-steady and virtually reflection-free shots are just a pleasure to watch. He doesn't neglect the passing action either. I really liked the scene on the CB&Q when the eastbound articulated Nebraska Zephyr is filmed while he rides the flagship. Also his on-the-ground shot of CB&Q steamer 5632 pouring out the smoke on a photo run while it is passed at speed by the California Zephyr is a WOW!

"When the train arrives at Denver, Emery is off the train and into a D&RGW F7 cab riding and filming all the way to Glenwood Springs, Colo. The scenery and action is, of course, spectacular. Back in the dome observation he captures plenty of scenery and action on the WP portion of his journey. The trip itself is interspersed with ground shots he took of the CZ, freights and, while in Utah, nice views of the Prospector. The last ten or 15 minutes of the video has latter-day shots of the Rio Grande Zephyr.

"The narrator provides not only a running commentary, but includes historical data on the origin of the dome car and a history of the California Zephyr. Both the producer and the photographer deserve a pat on the back for this most interesting video." F.P.K. - National Railway Historical Society

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