The Maine Narrow Gauges (Historic & Preserved) > Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad

Video "Ride the Sandy River"

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Mike the Choochoo Nix:
Has anyone written a guide to the video that tells were each scene was filmed and what's in the background? I have the VHS tape I bought before DVD's were common.
Mike Nix

Steve Klare:
I have this one: maybe the only silent VHS tape ever made. Every time I play it somebody walks into the room and asks me why I have the sound turned off. I think they should have dubbed the sound of a 16mm projector in for effect.

It's great stuff: It was filmed by Newell Martin and Linwood Moody (Moody later dedicated "Maine Two Footers" to Newell Martin.) It's famous for having quite a few scenes with the film flipped, giving mirror images. The titling is done with stick on letters on a pull down background to give a rolling title effect, and it reads much like Linwood Moody's writing years later. It's the kind of classic 1930s railfan film I would have loved to have been around to make. (Of course if I was I'd be dead by now, so I guess I can do without it...)

To my knowledge there has never been a guide prepared to it. Most of the yards like Phillips, Strong and Farmington are pretty easy to pick out by the landmarks. Sometimes if things seem a little spacially disoriented you look at the lettering on the cars, see that the image is flipped and then it makes sense. Out in the open country it's often hard to tell exactly where you are, but I guess in these cases you have to trust the original fillmmakers to edit locations in their correct geographic sequence. If they were trying to accurately preserve the line on film it's the right way to go about it.

The best vintage SR&RL film I've seen is the Gus Pratt footage. He had a talent for getting in close with the SR&RL: a lot of shots from the cab, and he was there at a lot of historical moments (unfortunately most at the scrapping).

Stewart "Start" Rhine:
I have the video and have used a mirror to watch the parts that are shown in reverse image.  I hope that at some point the original film can be copied in digital format to be issued on DVD, correcting the parts that were backwards on the tape.  Dubbed sound can be added as with Gus Pratt's films.

Mike the Choochoo Nix:
Who own's the copyright on both films?  I'm sure they would both fit on one DVD,
   As for sound I would go with narration and back ground music, I doubt there are any sound recordings, too early for home equipment and too remote.
  Were any of the loco whistles saved, or rumored to have been saved?
One could insert whistle sounds.
  Their titles reminds me of the historic site markers you find along the highways.

Mike Nix

Stephen Hussar:
In 2002, we offered to correct the reversed scenes, in exchange for the use of 30 secs of footage for Restoration Stories. The end result would have been a digitally remastered film with nothing lost, and I would have kept the reversed footage in there. Also it would have been digitized and ready for dvd. The answer was a very abrupt NO.

The rights to the, "Riding the Maine 2-footers - The Films of Gus Pratt" program, are owned by the WW&F Ry Museum.

I do not remember the name of the gentleman who owns the, "Ride the Sandy River RR" film.


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