The CB&Q – Top Frog Series Volume 7
Length: 45 minutes
Location: Chicago area and Illinois
Time Period: 1954 – 1970
Source: Emery Gulash
Chicago, Burlington & Quincy was a predecessor of the mighty Burlington Northern. It had famous named passenger trains and some great freight paint schemes on the engines. The ‘Q” was an innovative line. The Burlington Route was a true classic.
Top Frog Series are a ‘best of’ type program, as offered by Green Frog. They are packed with great scenes. While some footage may appear in other Green Frog releases, they are fine as stand alone shows.
Emery begins in 1954 at Chicago, and goes to Savannah. Ill. the following day. CB&Q #5632 smokes it up with a passenger train into Savannah. Diesels are also in service and shiny Burlington diesels lead the Empire Builder. Burlington Zephyrs are viewed , as well. California Zephyr, Nebraska Zephyr are some of these. We are chasing the steam engine .
Some classic 1960’s lash-ups, such as Chinese red GP 30’s are seen on freights. Congress park has an F3A/B pair in 1964. A Twin Cities Zephyr rolls on by. A pair of F7 in A/B combination with hoppers and a classic Q waycar. The chase of the steam train continues all the way out to Sugar Grove. Some GP7 and GP30 in red, on a freight, add some freight action.
The California Zephyr gets underway from Union Station. This is filmed from onboard the domecar, by Emery. The journey continues to Burlington, Iowa. The Zephyr travels onward, towards Denver. The Denver Zephyr arrives at Denver, on the CB&Q. We are in the cab now!
Return to Illinois now and #4960 at Aurora, on another fantrip.
Emery did like to chase steam excursions. To me, they typically run too long and take too much run time, on the various programs. They are well photographed, as is everything else in this show.
Chicago can be a frozen wasteland in the winter. Emery is out in what looks like zero degrees, and gets some Empire Builder action. New big sky blue, Great Northern paint, indicates a 1960’s time period.
Afternoon at Naperville is an exciting feature highlight. Classic Burlington Route action, at the single location. These trains would traverse the 3 track, Chicago racetrack, back and forth to the city. Early black/ gray and Chinese Red GP7/ 9’s make an awesome lash-up. Passenger trains such as: North Coast Limited and Empire Builder are more of the parade. Some classic 40′ freight cars are on those freight trains. great cabooses too.
Emery Gulash has his great looking train film here. This tape says it is a digital master. For a VHS tape, the imagery looks excellent. You just can’t go wrong with 16mm, all-color film as used in this program.
Audio sounds good. Natural train sounds. Likely, sounds even better on a DVD.
There are classic Burlington Route locomotives on the freight trains. First Generation diesels in various liveries: Chinese Red, White and Gray, Black & Gray, Grayback F units.
Second generation locos such as: SD24, GP30 and GE U26C diesels are here. A little Burlington Northern appears late in the program. A CB&Q caboose in experimental green paint, foreshadows part of the new roads color.
Classic passenger trains: California Zephyr, Empire Builder, North Coast Limited, Chicago commuter. E8’s are the locomotives of choice.
Overall, there is too much emphasis, and time is spent on the passenger trains. Some steam excursions. There is some classic freight, but not enough to satisfy the need.
Overall, this is a high quality production by Green Frog. Excellent film and sound. Good narration, a few errors on equipment.
Burlington Route fans will find this a fine look at some of the classic CB&Q trains.
Rating: 4 stars.