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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
A coast-to-coast trip from Washington, DC to San Francisco aboard Amtrak's Capitol Limited and California Zephyr. See our nation's capitol, lush Ohio Amish Farmlands, the Great Plains, the Rockies and Sierras, before skirting along side San Pablo Bay and on into Oakland and San Francisco.
Along the way visit the following steam and diesel tourist railroads: Strasburg Railroad, Potomac Eagle, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, Ohio Central, Boone & Scenic Valley, Omaha Zoo Railroad, Durango & Silverton, Heber valley, Virginia & Truckee, Napa Valley Wine Train, Roaring Camp & Big Trees, and Santa Cruz Trees & Pacific.
States covered include Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California.
This superbly photographed. award-winning epic runs 2 hours. Winner:Videography Awards VHS Color Stereo Sound
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2000
Format: DVD
I first watched America By Rail several years ago after running into a newspaper ad for it. It was better than I had expected: The scenery was absolutely stunning, the music by Michael Lynch was superb and very appropriate for the changing scenery, the narration was minimal but very well done, and there were many side excursions to older, historic railroads all across the US.
America By Rail starts in Washington, DC, our nation's capitol, and journeys through the "Heartland" of our country, through Chicago and Utah, until we reach San Francisco, CA. There are shots from inside the train, outside the train, from high above...I thought this was marvelously done. The creators Greg Scholl and Les Jarett certainly did a commendable job, and I, being a nature lover, was very impressed with the wonderful photography.
Well worth the price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
This is one of the first DVDs I have purchased, and I was not disappointed. Having recently taken an Amtrak round-trip from New York to New Orleans, I felt like I was back on this remarkable adventure. The quality of the photography, graphics, and content is superb. If Amtrak isn't offering this DVD in their on-line giftshop, they should be! This is a must-see for anyone who has never taken a long-distance train trip. There is no better way to see America, and this lovingly crafted DVD proves it. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves travel and trains.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2003
Format: VHS Tape
After Receiving this video as a gift on Christmas 1994, I watched this video more than once to get a feel of what it was like to travel cross country by rail from Washington DC to San Francisco, first aboard the Capitol Limited (that now uses the bi-level Superliner cars) and then aboard the famous California Zephyr. As you should see in this video, the landscape changes all the time. I had the opportunity to ride the California Zephyr roundtrip from Emeryville, CA to Denver, departing midmorning back in May 1998 together with an old high school friend who is a real rail buff (actually, we both are) to see the beauty of the landscape ourselves and take lots of photos. On the eastbound trip - not shown on the video since the trains were traveling west and at night - the train we were on that early next morning was traversing some of the most spectacular scenery between Provo, UT and Green River, UT where the train ascends a range on winding track and then descends into a beautiful canyon skirting alongside the banks of the Price River. Here we were traveling through many tunnels and, after a brief stop in Helper, UT, we continued onto Green River, UT (the trains do not stop in Thompson, UT anymore). We also enjoyed the majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. After more than thirteen minutes of subterranian running through the Moffat Tunnel we were able to see Denver off in the distance while winding our way down the Front Range, reaching Denver that evening, and staying there for two nights before returning to Emeryville on the westbound train (which was three hours late, but we didn't complain) to see the beauty again. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who would like to see this vast, great country of ours at "see" level instead of at 35,000 feet in the air.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2000
Format: DVD
We may be zone 4 for DVD and PAL television (not NTSC) but we have our methods of beating the system.
Found this to be a great introduction to Amtrak services with great views of the US countryside and informative commentary. Particularly liked the fact that where the scenery or train dominated the screen the narration stopped. Very rare in this type of program.
The side excursions on preserved lines were interesting and whetted the appetite to try them myself.
Having always intended to tour the US and Canada by rail I can only say keep lobbying your government to keep Amtrak funded - its an asset worth keeping.
Also purchased 'Travel the World by Train - North America' (don't bother) and The Great Trans-American Ride (not bad).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2003
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This DVD is amazing, one of the top DVD I archived (70+).
The DVD is 3+ hours long, consist of the 2 volumes of VHS counterpart in one. The sound quality is great, picture quality 4.
Different from many travel video, in which the comentators are speaking with commercial speed (some indeed try to squeeze in as much commercial as possible), this video just has few comments where there is a need, the rest (much of the time) , it leaves you just enjoy the passing scene (accompanied by music right for the mood).
It is very landscape oriented, you reaaly feel you are a passenger with peaceful mind.
Volume 1: heartland america, from Washington DC to Sanfrancisco, great landscape w/ vastness views, 2 hours+
Volume 2: west cost, from San Diego to Seattle, great pacific coast views plus Yosemite etc, 1 hour
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Outstanding presentation! A glorious trip for train buffs or scenery watchers. Take a trip form the east coat to the west coast, stopping at smaller tourist-style railroads along the way. A can't-miss Christmas gift!
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on February 19, 1999
Format: DVD
This DVD ("America by Rail" is the complete title of the DVD I am reviewing here, even though Amazon may associate this review with other titles that are similarly named) is very well composed, with well framed clear pictures of all types of passenger trains (Amtrack and many smaller steamtrain excursions) About 65 percent is external views of trains, 25 percent views of scenery from trains, 5 percent views of trainstations and rail yards, 3 percent are shots of people operating the train ( putting coal in, engineer operating controls, etc..) and 2 percent of interior views with passengers.. very enjoyable for casual trainwatchers of all ages. This DVD has over three hours of content. This is a quality DVD with production values at the same level as the Wacky Babies & Tender Times DVD by Marty Stouffer (also Fantastic Follies &Great Escapes DVD too.) All excellent DVD's for family viewing. America by Rail does not have "old" movies of trains like the American Steam series (a somewhat "jarring" collection/composition of archival/corporate film of steam trains) but is much more pleasant to watch. Very nice DVD.
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on May 27, 2013
Format: VHS Tape
Southern California sites receive some attention.

I liked the Orange Empire RR Museum scenes, with the Pacific Electric car. We should have kept that route. Sad to say, it was gone by the early 1960s. You can see one of the few remaining PE cars in this film. Knotts Berry Farm has two old authentic steam locomotives, brought to Knotts in 1952, as one of their first tourist attractions. They are working engines from the old Denver, Rio Grande, and Western (or Southern) line. Engine 340, built by Baldwin in Philadelphia, 1881, runs daily. Engine 41 runs when 340 is in for repair. The engineers at Knotts were trained by the former DRG and W engineers, and are happy to tell you about their work.

Another area site, Angels Flight in L.A., received only a few seconds of footage. This short line (very short!) ran for 67 years before moving. It deserved more than a few seconds. Huell Howser found it worth an hour program, and Michael Connelly wrote an entire book-- Angels Flight.

If you like to look at operating passenger trains, you will like this film.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2000
Format: DVD
This is my very first DVD and I'm so glad I chose this one to be my first disc. I found this DVD to be very good and I really got my moneys worth on it. I found both train presentaions to be excellent and it was a first rate job all the way not only was the nairration great but I also enjoyed the great train footage that was filmed. It's the best I have ever seen. If your a rail faan or just enjoy trains in general then this DVD is for you. That's all I have to say.
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