Rail Trek Vol. 2 – Midwest

Rail Trek Volume 2 – Midwest 

Revelation Audio- Visuals

 Format VHS  Length 80 minutes

Location: Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis. Also, New Orleans, Shreveport, Michigan City, Springfield and more.

Time Period: mid 1960’s – 1970’s. 1980’s a little too.

Sources: Ronald McElrath, Art Stout

Featured highlights: The Three- ring Joliet show, Ride the : KCS, L&N, Last B&O Capitol. Illinois and Iowa mainlines and shortlines. The 3 big train city meccas as listed.

There is much railroading covered. Oddly, this 1989 release has music background under the narration. It’s not bad, orchestra, much in a circus style and way better then some of the annoying electronica on other people’s tapes. The narrative is simple, he lets the music play, doesn’t fill up every space with talk.

There are a huge assortment of trains and railroads. All the major midwestern roads and many smaller ones. GM&O, KCS, IT, TP&W, C&EI, L&N, South Shore, are some. End of railroad owned passenger to Amtrak beginnings. Shortlines also covered briefly.

There are too many passenger trains. Again, a huge variety. The various rides on some are a treat. I enjoyed the street running scenes. Some vestibule shooting was good on some other runs. Thumbs up on the B&O Capitol ride. Would have liked more freight trains, and to see more freight cars.

The Chicago, St. Louis,  Kansas City sections are worthwhile, with looks at the yards and stations too. Joliet circus piece has many trains.

Quality. This is the downside of this tape. Much of the film does show it’s age. There are shots where the ground looks purple or the colors are washed out. A few views look watery. So, it ranges from below average to very good. For the most part it’s watchable. Just don’t expect Green Frog type viewing.

This train video is worth viewing for it’s mega sized railfan content alone. It loses points for the film quality and the lack of train sound, isn’t up to current standards.

Rating: 2 stars

My model, not in the film.

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