Steam Specials And Passenger Extras In 2014

Steam Specials And Passenger Extras In 2014 Steam Specials And Passenger Extras 2014. jpg

Diverging Clear Productions

Length: 90 minutes

Time Period: 2014

Locations: See text.

Sources: Mary McPherson, Kurt Jensen

MSRP:

A highlight program by Diverging Clear for 2014. The recent releases from this producer have made serious progress, in the overall quality of their shows. Within today’s rather limited environment for content, museum type operations still provide opportunities for railfans to enjoy some classics. Steam era equipment recorded with modern technology. It can be enjoyable to witness vintage steam locomotives, with current picture and sound.

Something that is advantageous to a compilation, is a more concise schedule. Here, viewers proceed immediately to the action sequences. Kurt Jensen performs his usual fine narrative.

4501Cinematography is nicely done . Steady and smooth camerawork. Notice how modern vehicles. structures and most everything, clashes with the vintage power. The best scenes are in the wild. Let’s take a look at some highlights.

8099 chattSouthern 630 was sidelined for our first excursion. Southern 8099 pinch hit for the steamer. In heritage paint, the modern diesel looks resplendent in Southern green attire. Multiple outings behind 8099. Excellent videography, it plays out about the same as if an E8 was on the point. Traversing the famous Rathole Division Although the diesel can’t compare to steam, it is included here. A definite highlight. Remember, the title says: And Passenger Extras.

pm1225 sunPere Marquette 1225 is a Lima built Berkshire. Nice history of the design, with some historical film. In service at Train Expo in 2014. Overcast skies clear on day two. Day three contains an alternate steam whistle. That whistle blows.

mapThe map references are displayed at just the right moment.

nkp765

Nickel Plate 765 shows up at Train Expo. The 765 is a great engine. Though it is a very common modern day subject. As the two Berkshires are so similar, it may have been better to put a little space between these engines. Plays too repetitive, when shown back to back.

lr 110Train Expo also yields some smaller steam power. Little River 110 is present.

401 2Southern Railway 401 is seen at Monticello. The DCP camera is busy exploring new angles.

cn 6789Canadian National FP4A 6789 headlines, while Wabash F7 is out being serviced.

cn cabTake a cab ride in the Alco CN 6789 diesel at Monticello. Would have liked a few comments from the engineer. Maybe he is too busy at this time. An inserted voiceover with difference of running Alco vs, EMD would be interesting to hear.

sou4501

Southern 4501 is a Mikado from 1911. This locomotive ran excursions from Chattanooga.

8099 bridgeAfter watching the well filmed 8099 excursion, a reality check. A diesel is a diesel.

pm1225 xing                   Another reality. A working steam locomotive is hard to beat.

 

The year 2014 by Diverging Clear, is what you get in this show. Everything is nicely presented. Steam fans should find this assembly to have handy on a single disc. The early and current diesels create a show with a bit of something for all.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

The Golden Twilight of Postwar Steam Vol.4

The Golden Twilight of Postwar Steam Vol.4 PostwarSteam_Pt4_DVD

Green Frog Productions

Length: 51 minutes

Time Period: 1940’s- 1950

Locations: Putnam/ Harlem NYC, NYO&W

Source: Frank W. Schlegel

MSRP: 29.98

A fascinating series continues in a 4th volume. Featuring the rare New York Central Putnam Division, from the late 1940’s. The NYC Harlem Division is also included in this show. It is Ten Wheeler heaven for those so inclined. Another co-star is the New York, Ontario & Western. NYO&W contains the ultra rare content.

1234 highbridge

Frank Schlegel was the Cinematographer for this collection of films. He had good proficiency with a movie camera. Much of the footage is black and white. Some pieces are color. Quality ranges from fair, to a majority of very good. Nice composition skills. In fact, for the era, an excellent selection of viewpoints. Much more than a series of runbys. Viewers will: ride trains, front end shot scenes, rear facing and some panoramic  frames. Steam engines are the star. A handful of early diesels. Yet, there are plenty of people and structures.

east viewColor film comes later. This Ten Wheeler leads a passenger move, perhaps at East View.

Harlem Division is the mainline New York Central that we are accustomed to seeing.

What is the oldest bridge in New York City, that connects 2 boroughs? Hint, it is not the Brooklyn Bridge. See the picture below.

croton aqueductVariation is a hallmark of these films. An m.u. ride yields a terrific scene at High Bridge. Part of the old Croton Aqueduct. Completed in 1842, the system carried fresh water by gravity, over 40 miles to New York City. A walkway on the top connects the Bronx and Manhattan.

Professional production in all aspects. Full narration. Appropriate soundtrack with well balanced levels. Smooth editing and best possible picture from the old films. An extremely detailed chapter menu. Unique, is a motion map of the territory. Switchable on/off narration.

 

1238 bronx1The Bronx, New York. Even in the late 1940’s, the endless high rise apartments are imposing.

The New York Central Putnam Division no longer exists. In this program, the line gets a basic tour. Station stops and travel the trackage. A well written script is informative. The show is fast paced. A multitude of vintage scenes

mt hope1Mount Hope is a contrast to the big city. Believed to be the hometown of Mr. Schlegel. By the way, model railroaders can have a field day with the plethora of railroad structures. Check this walkover passenger bridge for example.

5456 j2 hudson putnam jctPutnam Junction appears to have been a busy facility. A J2 class Hudson trundles slowly. This 5456 was finishing it’s career on the Putnam Division.

safety bridge                                         Is this scene a time portal or what?

white plainsOver at White Plains. One never knew what power was going to show up next.

conductorAs much as railroading has changed, some jobs are timeless.

 

New York, Ontario & Western is a major rarity to see in operation. That it is a feature here, is worth the price of admission. There is even some color film too. Viewers will experience some traveling on the OW. Stations and other points of interest make this a singular trip in time to the long abandoned railroad. The ‘Old Woman’ was closed in 1957. You do the math.

405Custom streamlined by a famed designer, the 405 is a sharp looker.

455 youngs gap                    Mountain type 455, bears down with a freight at Young’s Gap.

cn tower ordersA tour of the line is great. Begins at New York Central Ferry at Manhattan. Our train stops as the conductor receives orders for operation on the NYO&W. CN tower is this location.

stationRiding the mostly single track OW line has a much different feel from the sophisticated New York Central. Even in the 40’s, this road seems to fit one of the nicknames- ‘old and weary’.

y2 mountain 1947                     A 1947 chartered excursion looks glorious in color.

ft setAs the timeline progresses, Electromotive FT diesels appear. This FT ABBA set looks stunning, compared to the all black locomotives of the steam days.

Always prefer to close a review with a caboose. In this case, 2 railroads call for a pair!

nw2 122As the end came in the diesel era for the NYO&W, It is fitting to close with a colorful scene with this NW2 switcher.

local

New York Central was a cutting edge railroad in it’s prime. At the end of the day, the NYC crews were probably just as exhausted as their NYO&W counterparts. Yes, even on the Putnam Division.

The Golden Twilight of Postwar Steam Vol.4. Green Frog has produced an outstanding steam era trip back in time. A multitude of rarities make this a must have for railfans and model railroaders. Highly recommended to all train lovers.

Rating: 5 Stars

Norfolk & Western 475 on the Strasburg Railroad

Norfolk & Western 475 on the Strasburg Railroad Norfolk & Western 475 On The Strasburg Ra il Road

Diverging Clear Productions

Length: 51 minutes + previews

Time Period: 2014

Location: Strasburg

Source: Mary McPherson

MSRP:

Norfolk & Western 475. This vintage steam engine operates in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. The Strasburg Railroad is the home for this locomotive for over 20 years. Running through the rural countryside, it is on scenery akin to the old N&W.

bh1

Baldwin built in 1906. The 4-8-0 was the largest class on N&W when constructed. By the 1950’s, it was used on branchlines. This cab was ultimately, a poor design. It straddles the boiler and leaves very little room for the crew to operate. The architecture was discontinued.

chr1

Mary McPherson performs excellent cinematography. A high def camera captures a high level of detail. There are a couple of challenges for her. Overcast weather on the first 2 days. The engine cab is just an ugly one to shoot. There is no room for anyone.

engineerThe Engineer barely fits in his area. That out and back operation is not this engine’s intent.

fireman

That boiler and firebox stick out, like a tree trunk shoved through a garage. She keeps filming it and those shots continue not to work. Fortunately, this eventually gets abandoned, The sun comes out on the third day. Everything improves, she films the exteriors and the remainder is pleasant.

overcastKurt Jensen narrates a well written script. He is a natural for the task. Environmental audio is the balance of the soundtrack. N&W has a steam whistle which doesn’t have a good tone. Interesting , the whistle gets swapped for a real nice single note later in the show.

chrEditing is first rate. Smooth transitions. A map overlay or graphics track the 4 1/2 miles.

steamEarly morning backshop action. See the engine get serviced.

curve                                                         Classic scene.

ch1Cherry Hill Road. The train looks best when the engine is facing forward, at the head end.

6                              The Strasburg looks like one to visit.

 

cab1Just when things are getting too redundant. A call for mixed train service. Tie on a caboose. Passengers are taken to pickup a freight car. We ride the caboose. Check the speed on the return trip. Fun sequence.

cab

 

Norfolk & Western 475 on the Strasburg Railroad. A good document of a museum operation starring the 475. At 50 minutes, just the right length. The second half plays out the best here.  A decent release for those who are interested in the 475 or the Strasburg Railroad.

Rating: 3 Stars

 

A 1960’s Train Travelogue

A 1960’s Train Traveloguecvr

C Vision Productions

Length: 65 minutes

Time Period: 1960’s

Locations: Marinette, Charleston, Naperville, Ontario, Wisconsin and more..

Sources: Joe Siedl,. Lynn Longley

MSRP: 29.95

C Vision surprises us, with another new source of upper midwest vintage railroading. This cinematographer also traveled to Canada. There are some hard to find lines and locomotives. Mid 1960’s timeframe is highly desirable. Filmed in color, on Super 8mm.

soo neenahJoe Siedl is the main cinematographer for this program. He had an Argus camera. Filmed alot around Marinette, Wisconsin. CNW and SOO are prominent. Canada has a big chunk of the program. Canadian Pacific, CN and Ontario Northland. Seaboard Coast Line is a highlight. Burlington Route is another feature. A few GG1 electrics too.

1535CNW 1535 is a GP7, with a Fairbanks Morse Baby Trainmaster.

Don Grant narrates the show. Music background is used to fill the rest. There is an off switch for the music. The keyboard player is pretty good. Improved overall music versus older releases. Basic narration is good with: locomotive call-outs, locations and some more. I have added a little extra information, for my readers.

soo gp35 gp30 stevens point 2                  Soo Line GP35 with a GP30 are at Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.

Camera appears to be handheld. For the most part, it is steady. A few scenes have some shakes or possible film jumps. Nothing to worry about. Colors look good. Film looks original, unrestored. Composition is well done. Graphics for locations.

Chicago and North Western is loaded with freight and passenger trains. Many locomotive types. CNW fans should be satisfied.

 

cnw f7 4052A peshtigoCNW 4052A at Peshtigo, WI. This is not an F3. Rather, an F9AM. A rebuild from original FT series, built in 1945. The 4050 series are tricky, with some being F3 before rebuilding. I had to look it up. Otherwise, what a sweet scene!

cnw 901 rs27Here is CNW 901 in 1966. Misidentified as an Alco C425. It is a rare Alco RS27. This occurs more commonly then you may realize on many train videos. Not worth bothering, except this engine has an interesting history. Purchased new in 1962. Traded in with the other 3 RS27’s after only 4 years for C425 models. Alco leased it and sold it to Precision National. Leased to Canadian Pacific. Sold to GBW in 1976. On to WC in 1987. Minnesota Commercial in 1992. Interesting…back to the show.

cp alco fa fbCanadian Pacific Alco FA/ FB combo. It is a maroon and gray CP seen in this era.

dh17What amounts to small segments: Green Bay and Western, LS&I. Milwaukee Road and Great Northern. A cameo on Delaware and Hudson. Former Santa Fe PA17 heads The Laurentian.

 

Joe was stationed at Charleston, SC. Circa 1968. Worth the price of admission for this chapter. A hard to find supply of Seaboard Coast Line. A fine variety of vintage diesels.

scl 585 e7   SCL 565 is an E7A. Seen at Charleston station. Also, are rare E6 and common E8 units.

scl 2006Could have filled the page with cool shots of Seaboard Coast Line activity. SD45 displays flags because it is running extra.

scl  959The GP9, GP18 lash-up includes some interim looking paint schemes.

cbqA bunch of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy at Naperville, Ill. Even in the 60’s this was a known hotspot. Triple track mainline all the way into Chicago. The freights were to Clyde Yard. Passenger action is plentiful. All stainless passenger trains look great. Chinese red and gray on the freights is a bonafide classic. The GP20 on the lead, was a hot mainline locomotive in 1966!

cbq 4960At Baraboo, Wisconsin. The circus train with it’s very colorful consisit of classic circus wagons. These wagons are loaded on flatcars. The loading methods used by the circus industry, helped develop early piggyback transportation. In this scene, Burlington Route 4960. a 2-8-0 Light Mikado hauls the train.

pbxOntario Northland Polar Bear Express. Joe caught some rare ON freight as well. Must see.

soo fp7aA classic scene of the mid-1960’s. A single four axle EMD locomotive with a freight train. This Soo Line FP7 is a classic.

Lynn Longley’s bonus section at the end doesn’t match the quality of the main show. It will not be factored into the rating. A few minutes of 1950’s Milwaukee Road. Poor to fair at best.

scl 2007 rearNot much in the way of cabooses in this show. We shall close with a passing SD45 leading 4 F units from the SCL yard. The high horsepower units were strong entries in the headlong race for more power. Mixed in with this unusual lash-up of 1950’s era covered wagons. The F unit engines that defeated steam. A modern second generation model that would replace the earlier diesels. Atlantic Coast Line merged with Seaboard Air Line. All pass into history.

A 1960’s Train Travelogue. Here is a worthy assortment of circa 1966-67 railroading. The rarities make it one that railfans may need. It plays well and the nonstop action passes the time quickly. Overall, a nice release to add into a collection.

Rating: 4 Stars

F-Units on the Nanticoke: CN 9100’s

F-Units on the Nanticoke: CN 9100’sNanticoke

Green Frog / Canrail

3 DVD Set

Length: 3.2 Hours

Time Period: 1986

Locations: Hamilton to Nanticoke

Source: Rob McCormack

MSRP: 40.00

Green Frog has this extensive set, which feature vintage, rebuilt F7 units. The year is 1986. Canadian National had reassigned the venerable F7 Units to the steel train job at Hamilton. They are in ABA configuration. Specialized flatcars and gondolas haul the steel. The Canrail video crew spent 6 weeks recording the activity.

9169Trackside. (DVD 1)

9173Canadian National 9173 is the star of the show. This unit is the one that viewers will ride.

The first DVD contains a one hour film. This is not narrated.Graphics list locations. A map is needed. Without a map, there is no frame of reference. Appears to operate as an empties/ loads cycle. Basic service to a steel plant. Viewers will see various industrial steel products. .

grand river bridge1Videography is competent. Editing is smooth. Audio is environmental sound. Whatever the microphone picked up, is what we hear. Content is like watching raw video, with good edits.

caledoniaThe Trackside disc plays fine. Keep in mind, there is no narration. Would have enjoyed hearing this story. Oh well, at least hearing the normally aspirated power is a treat!

Covered Wagons Cab ride Part 1 : Hamilton to Hagersville.

hamilton                                  The train originates for this show at a CN yard.

street run                     Street running on the CN train. The cab is busy and noisy.

engineer                                       Canadian National Engineer is Ross Pearce.

woodsA basic cab ride on this branchline. Unique, as this was an actual working, revenue service F7 unit. Most other F unit rides are on museums or excursions. The radio communication and train orders add an extra bit of action. This is a fine way to experience an F7 unit.

Part 2: Hagersville to Nanticoke and Return to Caledonia

gate                                   Train 725 goes to the Stelco plant and picks up steel.

pearcePart 2 has more content of watching the engineer at work. The radio crackles as Joe communicates with the dispatchers and train crew.

riverAs the freight travels back, we see some now familiar sights. Grand River Bridge.

lakeThe camera gets bouncing on this segment. Likely rough trackage. Generally, it is best edited out. For historical value and completeness, well… hit the fast forward button.

roadF Units on the Nanticoke provides a trip back in time aboard CN 9173. The 2 part cab ride is the main feature. That is over 2 hours in an operating F7. Add to the fact, this is on a Class One railroad in 1986. A rare type of show.

mixedA Canadian National caboose (van in CN terminology) is at both ends of these trains. Though not stated, the ABA sets are probably run around the train, to always lead.

The Trackside footage is satisfactory. Seeing the vintage locomotives working is good. This one is screaming for a narrative. Green Frog usually has great scripts. Seems to be a Canrail production issue. Still, the trains are seen with a steady camera.

This is a fine set to have. On the whole, it has a workman like quality. Appeal is best directed to the hardcore railfan. Casual viewers will be left bassically clueless, without a narrative. Canadians should love it. True railfans will appreciate the historical aspect of the package.

Rating: 4 Stars