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Transit Gloria Mundi
Our DVD List
This is a text-only listing of DVDs produced and/or distributed by Transit Gloria Mundi. Click here to go to the graphics pages.
Atlantic City Trolley Days
Atlantic City is an American legend. From the Boardwalk and Miss America to the Steel Pier and The Elephant Hotel, some of the most famous icons in America were part of the Atlantic City scene. Transit Gloria Mundi is pleased to present the trolley history of America's premier town. In this exceptional collection of rare archival footage from Atlantic City's past, you'll be able to tour the entire route from Inlet to Longport and back again. There's a stopover to stroll on the Boardwalk and to visit The Elephant Hotel and a transfer to the Shore Fast Line for a trip to Ocean City. Along the way you'll see plenty of fascinating traction operations, including the car barn, fan trips, and snowey winter work, plus a variety of cars used during the system's last years. 42 minutes
Baltimore Light Rail
is a lighthearted look at the first phase of Baltimore's new light rail line. The downtown segment is street running, while the bulk of the line to the North uses the right-of-way of the former Northern Central, a Pennsylvania Railroad subsidiary still used by Conrail for freight service. The transition between the two segments is by way of "The Rebel Yell," a stretch of track so named because of its resemblance to a roller coaster. The part of the line through Robert E. Lee Park is one of the most scenic pieces of light rail trackage in North America. The first part of this DVD shows a northbound trip from Camden Yards to Timonium from numerous points of view, both on-train and trackside. The second part follows construction from groundbreaking through opening day, showing details of tracklaying (both in-street and conventional), overhead construction, and the arrival and testing of the new cars. This DVD will appeal to both railfans and light rail advocates. All color, with full soundtrack., 53 minutes
In1931, the Philadelphia and Western rebuilt their track for high-speed operation and took delivery of ten lightweight streamlined cars from the J. G. Brill Co. Quickly nicknamed Bullets, five of these legendary cars were still in service when we DVDd them in action during 1988 and 1989. We have edited nearly eight hours of footage to recreate a spectacular 14-minute high-speed run from 69th Street to Norristown. Unlike our other DVDs, this one has no narration; just a bit of music while we see some of the intense and varied activity at 69th Street, and then the soundtrack belongs to four 100 horsepower traction motors in glorious binaural stereo.
Carvey Davis's Baltimore Streetcar Films
is a selection of this talented photographer's 16mm footage taken during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The program is arranged geographically, covering most of the major routes in operation during this period from end to end. Lots of Brill semiconvertibles are in evidence, as well as Peter Witts and PCCs. The soundtrack is narration only, giving location information for each shot. Approximately half color, half black & white, this program is definitely for railfans. It has been a best-seller at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, but a surprising number of non-Baltimoreans have praised it as a model of thorough and systematic coverage of a single city's lines.
Ed Miller's Anthracite Traction
Two medium-size city streetcar systems and the high-speed interurban which connected them are the subject of Ed Miller's superb motion picture camerawork. He began shooting just after World War II, and continued through the end of service, including scenes of track removal and car scrapping. Shown are Wilkes-Barre's last 5 lines (several of the lines had extensive segments of private right-of-way, giving them a semi-interurban character), the Laurel Line's fast mainline from Scranton to Wilkes-Barre and the freight-only branch to Minooka, and Scranton's last 8 city routes, which feature a variety of cars including the Osgood-Bradley Electromobiles. Ed had a knack for "context," for standing back far enough so you see not only the passing car, but the total environment in which it ran. Ed Miller's Anthracite Traction is thus not only a fascinating documentation of three long-gone electric lines, but a window back in time to the period when signs everywhere were welcoming "our boys" back home. About half color. 59 minutes
Everett White in the West
Everett White was a prolific documentarian of the rails. In about 1940, he began traveling America and the world, capturing in still and moving pictures all manner of railroads, with an especially keen eye for electric lines.
Transit Gloria Mundi is proud to present the first collection of White's traction movies released on DVD. This premiere installment, Everett White in the West, covers the US from Chicago to the West Coast. The earliest footage, from 1940, includes cable cars in Seattle, and several San Francisco cable car lines no longer in operation. The most recent footage comes from the mid-1960s and includes the quirky Leonard's M&O subway in Ft. Worth.
All the systems on this DVD are listed below. Several were even filmed in two different time periods.
Mr. White's movies come to us courtesy of Don Harold.
If you have a slow Internet connection and wish to avoid downloading our image page (about 4MB), you can still get a pretty good idea of what you will see if you read the narration.
Typeface indicates extent of coverage:
Better coverage · Average coverage · Light coverage
Cedar Rapids & Iowa City
Charles City Western
Chicago, Aurora & Elgin
Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee
Chicago Rapid Transit
Chicago Transit Authority
Chicago, South Shore & South Bend
Dallas Railway & Terminal
Des Moines & Central Iowa
Des Moines Railway
El Paso City Lines
Fort Dodge, Des Moines & Southern
Illinois Terminal Railroad Co.
Kansas City Public Service Co.
Leonard's M&O Subway (Ft. Worth)
Los Angeles Railway Co.
Milwaukee Electric Railway
New Orleans Public Service
Oklahoma Railway Co.
Phoenix Street Railway
Salt Lake, Garfield & Western
San Diego Electric Railway
San Francisco: Cal Cable
Market Street Railway
Sand Springs Railway
Seattle Municipal Street Railway
St. Louis Public Service
Union Traction Co.
Utah Power and Light (Salt Lake City)
Waterloo, Cedar Falls & Northern
Approx. 1 hour, mostly color
Light Rail Panorama
is an in-depth look at the new light rail systems in Calgary, Portland, and Sacramento. It follows each line in each system end-to-end showing samples of every type of right-of-way encountered, and all other major points of interest. Comparisons between light rail and rapid transit or metro are shown, as well as between different light rail systems. The narration is comprehensive and technically oriented (although an engineering degree is definitely not necessary for understanding). It will appeal to any railfan with an interest in new light rail systems, and as valuable background for light rail advocates. All color, full soundtrack, 55 minutes
Mines, Mills, and Metro
shows highlights of the extensive network of country trolley and light metro routes once operated by the Belgian Vicinal in the vicinity of Charleroi. This system was popular among American trolley fans because of its incredible variety in operations and right-of-way, and a strong resemblance to some of the longest-lived interurbans of Pennsylvania, the West Penn and the Lehigh Valley Transit. Our ride on the 66-mile network of 6 routes in September, 1984, is like a trip back in time to Western Pennsylvania in the 1950s. Since then, two-thirds of the trackage shown in this DVD has been closed. Although you can still ride the new articulated light rail cars through the tunnels, over the viaducts, and along the private reservation of the new light metro, this video is the only way to see the pre-war cars rumble along single track through the narrow streets of old coal and steel towns, past abandoned mines and closed mills on roadside reservation, or across fields and along the canals on private right of way. 90 minutes, all color
* Pacific Electric Vol. 1: Southern District
Interurban Heaven in the City of Angels
Step back into a railfan's paradise - Los Angeles in the 1940's, where the world's largest interurban was scheduling 1,100 passenger trains a day. From thousands of feet of vintage film, producer-archivist Don Olsen has assembled an extraordinary record of this interurban empire. Volume 1, first in a trilogy of Pacific Electric videos, features the Southern District, with the Long Beach/San Pedro , Newport Beach, Santa Ana and El Segundo/Torrance Lines. The evolution of ten and twelve hundred class cars and the "blimps" which supplanted them is well documented.
Separate sections are devoted to carload freight and maintenance-of-way activities systemwide, including rail and overhead replacement and wrecks. As the system's premier freight hauler, electric, steam and diesel powered freights, plus box motors and RPOs kept the rails well polished with wartime activity, and these amazing scenes recall it all with vivid clarity.
Order code PE1, approximately 70 minutes, color and B&W, full soundtrack... $39.95.
* Pacific Electric Vol. 2: Western District
Palm trees, beaches, and Red Cars. It doesn't get any more L.A. than this. For over half a century, from Hollywood to Hill Street, the legendary Pacific Electric defined the pulse of Los Angeles.
PE considered its Western District a "suburban" service. Although the Burbank, Valley, and Venice Short Lines were certainly interurban in character, their equipment generally was not. Thus this Volume of the Western District focuses on 600 (5050) class cars, which ran on most of the Lines; venerable 800s in rare shots along the Redondo Beach-Del Rey Line; 950s and 1000s, which served the western beaches; and PE's newest cars, the thirty PCCs in the 5000 class.
Our classic coverage of Western District operations features these types of cars, burnishing the rails down to Santa Monica, cresting the Cahuenga Pass or skimming along the Ivanhoe Hills on private right-of-way; plus downtown L.A., with the Subway and Hill Street Terminals, congested Hill Street and its tunnels, and facilities at Toluca yard, West Hollywood, and Ocean Park carhouses. We also show 100s and Birneys in local service in all 3 PE districts.
Volume 2 of "Remembering the Red Cars", with the finest quality visual transfer and digital audio, affords the PE fan an unparalleled opportunity to relive these sights and sounds.
Approximately 70 minutes, mostly color, full soundtrack
* Pacific Electric Vol. 3: Northern District
The Red Car Empire Comes to Life
Transportation shapes cities. And no modern city owes more to a single mode of transit than Los Angeles owes to its famous Red Cars.
Justifiably revered as the world's greatest interurban, the Pacific Electric's vast empire has required three video volumes to cover it in detail. Volume 3 features the Northern District, plus Special New Year's Day and racetrack trains, and RPO/ Box Motor operations in all 3 PE districts.
The seven lines which provided the District's passenger services (Watts-Sierra Vista, Alhambra-Temple City, two Pasadena Lines, Sierra Madre, Monrovia-Glendora and San Bernardino Lines) are all represented in this mostly color odyssey. Revisit PE's largest and busiest district and savor the sights and sounds of the big red tens, elevens, twelve hundreds and RPO / boxmotors burnishing over one hundred miles of electrified trackage in the busy decade of the 1940s.
70 Minutes color and black & white, full sound track. $39.95
Approximately 70 minutes, mostly color, full soundtrack
Raleigh D'Adamo's Washington Streetcar Films
Pristine PCCs gliding gracefully with trolley poles down past the White House, ducking under Dupont Circle, cruising through the tree-lined streets of Georgetown - the streamliners of the world's last conduit-powered streetcar system were as much a part of the Capital City in the 1950's as the gleaming marble monuments and sweeping boulevards that framed these evocative scenes, scenes that Raleigh D'Adamo knew were soon to disappear forever.
So beginning in 1956 and continuing through 1961, Raleigh regularly checked the Washington, DC weather reports, and on sunny weekends, he'd load up his black VW and drive down from New York to complete a monumental undertaking - documenting on film the streetcar operations of the entire DC Transit system. Now, over 40 years later, this labor of love is finally captured in Raleigh D'Adamo's Washington Streetcar Films, the latest release from Transit Gloria Mundi.
In this DVD, the care and artistry of Raleigh's original film is handled with all the meticulous craftsmanship and technological enhancements you've come to expect from Transit Gloria Mundi. None of this exceptional footage has ever been exhibited publicly before.
Raleigh D'Adamo's Washington Streetcar Films is not a history (that will be the job of another installment of TGM's Capital Series), but rather a snapshot of the system in its final years. Every line was photographed from end to end. All lines are shown from trackside; the long stretches of rural private right-of-way on the 20 and 82 lines were also covered with rock-steady out-the-front shots. Raleigh shot like a pro - with a light meter for spot-on exposures, and using a tripod for every scene. Altogether, the collection includes over 11 hours of 8mm Kodachrome II film.
TGM's contribution was to transfer all the footage digitally, directly to our computer's data drives. From there, it was extensively processed to reduce the grain, increase the sharpness, and further enhance stability. The color and exposure were also conformed to preserve Raleigh's original painstaking effort. Then all the shots were organized line-by-line in geographical sequence.
This DVD will allow you to travel every line in each direction in whatever order you wish. There is an introduction by the photographer, and a quick overview of the entire system. It also includes extra features such as alternate sound mixes (full mix, no narration, no music, sound effects only), and exclusive TGM SynchroMapsTM for every sequence, so you can always find out in an instant where you are.
About 2¾ hours of material, all color
Ropes and Rails
tells the story of the San Francisco cable cars in a way that is interesting to general audiences as well as enthusiasts. The history of the cable car is shown briefly using diagrams, maps, and historic stills and film footage, then all three routes of the present system are shown. Along the way, we look behind the scenes in the carbarn, powerhouse, and underground cable tunnels to see how the cars are operated, maintained, and taken in and out of service, and how the cables are inspected and spliced. 45 minutes, mostly color
* Sacramento Northern
Catch the Interurban Experience in Action
In 1940, long after most interurbans had degenerated into poorly-maintained shadows of their pre-WWI prime, the Sacramento Northern was operating trains of heavy wooden arch-window cars looking fresh from the paintshop, rumbling slowly through tree-shaded city streets before racing across open countryside.
Journey back 60 years for a trip on California's legendary Sacramento Northern Railway, from the Bay Area to Chico, in the Sacramento Valley. The Woodland and Colusa branches are also covered. The DVD provides a fascinating view of the countryside before it was despoiled by urban sprawl and the automobile.
In the first half of the twentieth century, interurbans served small town American well -- connecting neighbors by distributing people and commerce reliably and cheaply when life was simpler and less hurried. The SN epitomized these electric lines, and embodied most of the characteristics of the genre, plus many unusual features. These included a variety of passenger and freight equipment, grades requiring helper locomotives, a tunnel and many bridges, set in spectacular scenery. A unique catenary equipped carferry topped the list of the line's special features, and an interview with one of its long time Captains gives a wonderful insight into its operation. Like many electric railways, SN operated local service in the larger cities it served; this was provided by Birney cars in Sacramento, Marysville-Yuba City and Chico.
This extremely rare, color coverage came from stunning 16mm film taken by pioneer cinematographers Art Alter and Chuck Savage.
Approximately 50 minutes, all color, digital sound effects, narration
Steel And Ice: The Trolley Days of Winter
Against snowy scenes of the city in winter, streetcars festooned with icicles emerge from the driving flakes. The sweepers come, whisking the snow in billowy clouds of crystal white. The cars seem to float past on tracks that are all but invisible in the glistening snow, gliding down nearly empty suburban streets, or through the white-on-white of private right-of-way. In Steel And Ice: The Trolley Days of Winter, Transit Gloria Mundi has gathered some of the most stunning motion pictures ever collected of traction operations in the snow, and combined them with a haunting musical score to create an evocative picture of traction operations in the deep of winter.
Systems shown include: Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Ottawa, Quebec-Ste. Anne, North Shore, New York City, Newark, Boston, Philadelphia City and Suburban, and Baltimore Light Rail. Features footage of: Russell E. Jackson; and Carvey Davis, Charles Dengler (coll.George Gula), Arthur Ellis, Henry Elsner, Jr., Ken Helsel (coll. Larry Glick), Roger Jenkins, Richard Kehm, Michael Lavelle (coll. Richard Keegan), M.F. McGrew, Ara Mesrobian, George Roush, and Robert Wasche.
Approximately 50 minutes
Steel City Traction: The South Side Lines
tells the story of the lines that operated southward from downtown Pittsburgh, including routes 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 44, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, and 53, the interurbans to Washington and Charleroi, five of the inclines, the experimental Skybus line, and the current light rail system. Over half the DVD is from vintage film footage dating back as far as World War II, showing standard cars as well as the famous PCCs, mostly in color. Modern professional video footage documents the operations of the light rail line. The organization of the program is geographical as well as historical, with many maps showing the development and eventual decline and rebirth of rail transit in Pittsburgh, and a full soundtrack of narration, music, and natural sound. 107 minutes
Steel City Traction 2: West End Story
Pittsburgh - a legend among American cities and once home to one of the world's greatest streetcar systems
- rises from the point where two great rivers, the Monongahela and the Allegheny, join to form the mighty Ohio.
The rugged hills and huge rivers give Pittsburgh an unmistakable topography and make for some of the
most picturesque and noteworthy streetcar scenes in the world. Steel City Traction 2: West End Story documents the final years of street railway operations on the city's West End, immediately prior to the conversion to bus in 1959. We take a day's journey just as a trolley enthusiast might, with complete coverage of Route 25 - Island Avenue, 26 - West Park, 27 - Carnegie, 28 - Heidelberg, 30 - Crafton-Ingram, and 34/31 - Elliott-Sheraden. All the points of interest on every line are covered - bridges, private right-of-way, single track. We even include some rare shots of Route 23 on Neville Island, and the Thornburg shuttle.
Steel City Traction 2: West End Story consists primarily of films photographed by Raleigh D'Adamo and Russ Jackson during the late 1950s, with additional footage by Charles Dengler, Art Ellis, and Richard Kehm. 48 minutes, almost all color
Steel City Traction 3: The North Side
Pittsburgh's North Side was home to some of the Steel City's most-loved trolley lines. Route 21 Fineview had some of the steepest grades, tightest turns, and most spectacular views in the entire city. The West View loop (Routes 10 West View and 15 Bellevue) had one of the system's longest stretches of private right-of-way, and a spectacular high bridge.
Film coverage of the North Side routes was uneven. Some of the lines went so early that we were only able to locate a shot or two. And some of the longest, most heavily-traveled trunks, shared by several routes nearly to the end of trolleys on the North Side, were considered so boring by most railfans that no one bothered to shoot movies of them at all.
The good news is that the private right-of-way of the West View loop was well-covered, and we take you over the line in both directions. And Fineview was covered so well that we were able to assemble 3 complete trips around its one-way loop: one in the mid-60s shot by Jeff Mora on sunny days, with lots of very steady out-the-front shots; one on the last day of service shot by several cameramen, under gloomy skies with intermittent rain (how appropriate for a last day!); and most spectacular of all, a complete trip shot by Art Ellis during World War II when the line was still served exclusively by low-floor cars! Approximately one hour
* Take a Ride on the North Shore Line
From the hustle of Chicago's Loop, along the shores of Lake Michigan to the streets of Milwaukee, The North Shore Line was a legend - for many, the very definition of the interurban railroad in America. Widely acclaimed as America's 'best known' interurban, the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee was the perennial recipient of well earned speed and safety awards. For over sixty years, until its premature demise in 1963, the line served both commuters and through passengers, as well as carrying a significant amount of freight. The crown jewel of Samuel Insull's electric railway empire, the North Shore legend is secure in the annals of interurban lore. This cinematographic history of the line's last 25 years thoroughly covers the physical plant and equipment, with many exciting shots which dramatically illustrate the speed and precision of its operation. Truly everything you remember or want to know about the era of the "World's Fastest Interurban" can be found in this superlative film. This new edition of Don Olsen's classic tribute to The North Shore Line features a digitally remastered sound track.
This DVD contains the complete 90-minute video first released in 1987, augmented with an animated SynchroMapTM showing your location on the system at any time with the press of a button - the map is always in synch with the video - and two alternative sound mixes: music and effects only, and narration only. The narration is also available as subtitles. Additional content includes Along the Green Bay Trail and Pace of Progress, two publicity films produced by the North Shore in the 1920s, the North Shore segment from TGM's Steel and Ice: the Trolley Days of Winter, and some printable graphics (the latter require a computer with a DVD drive).
Main program 90 minutes, approx. 30 min. extras, mostly color
The Transit Archives Series
Over the years, various transit properties have produced films for public relations or employee training. They show fascinating aspects of transit operations, both behind the scenes and on the streets, interspersed with often painfully amateurish staged sequences which give them an unintended humorous quality. We have made brand new transfers to DVD of each of these films for this series, but in some cases the quality of the result was limited by the quality of the prints we had to work with. Unless noted, all films have their original soundtracks, and are in black & white.
Transit Archives DVD 1
Rapid Transit is a public relations film produced by the New York City Transit Authority in the 1950s, and shows all aspects of the operation of its subway and elevated lines. 9 minutes.
Don't Dent Me In is an employee training film produced by Pittsburgh Railways, concentrating mostly on stopping distances required by different types of cars, and other safety issues. 20 minutes.
Getting About is a 1935 public relations effort of Detroit Street Railways showcasing all aspects of their operations, and extolling the benefits of public ownership of the system. Particularly interesting is the (intentionally) humorous narration. 14 minutes.
March of Progress is a 1945 Key System documentary concentrating on the transbay interurbans, but also showing local streetcars and the WWII-era Richmond shipyard operations with old NY el cars. 15 minutes.
The Vanishing El is from the "If things could talk..." documentary series, so New York's 3rd Avenue el tells you all about itself in its declining years. 10 minutes.
Ten Seconds to Go is a Kansas City wartime employee training film, emphasizing the important role of public transportation to the war effort, and the importance of safe operations on the homefront. Very heavy-handed, but lots of interesting scenes of streetcar operations. 27 minutes.
It's a Big Job is a 1947 (color) Los Angeles Railways employee orientation film, an obvious but nonetheless rather well-done effort to inculcate a "corporate culture" in a new hire. Concentrates mostly on streetcar operations. 22 minutes.
Safe Highways is Chicago Surface Lines's effort to make the streets a little friendlier and safer for its passengers. Lots of 1920s street scenes & trolleys. Silent, with period piano score added. 12 min.
129 minutes total running time
These are three silent films commissioned by the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad during the 1920s. Authentic period piano scores have been recorded live to picture for all three films.
Along the Green Bay Trail is a publicity film showcasing the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Railroad's passenger operations, following a trip from the Loop to Milwaukee. 17 minutes.
The Pace of Progress is a similar film depicting the North Shore's express freight service hard at work delivering an emergency replacement part from Chicago to Milwaukeethe very same day it was ordered. (Fedex, eat your heart out!) 18 minutes.
El Cars to the Eucharistic Congress documents the heaviest-traffic 24 hours in the North Shore's history, 24 June 1926, using 932 borrowed elevated cars to supplement its own fleet. 14 minutes.
Trolley: The Cars That Built Our Cities
will please both general viewers and railfans. It is fast-paced, chronologically organized, and narrated in a way that will make the history of the electric streetcar and its influence on America's growth and development clear and interesting. Footage from the 1890s through the 1990s, much of it rare and unusual, shows horse, cable, steam, and electric-powered rail transit in all its forms: open cars and closed cars, single-truck and double-truck, Birneys and Peter Witts, and of course PCCs. Cities shown include all the major "streetcar cities" in North America, and a small sampling from abroad. Anyone for a hot breakfast served on a Dallas trolley? An abridged version of this program was first broadcast over the Arts & Entertainment Cable Network in January 1993. This is the complete original version. 54 minutes
Asterisks denote DVDs which we did not produce, but which we formerly distributed.
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