The Rock Island Line

The Rock Island Line

Green Frog Productions

Format: VHS   Length: 60 minutes

Time Period: 1950’s – 1970’s.

Locations: Chicago, Blue Island, Joliet, Tucumcari, Davenport, more…

Sources: Emery Gulash, Jerry Carson

We begin in the 1950’s with Alco FA’s and EMD FT’s as mid-train helpers! Yes, this is a good train video for those seeking rare locomotives. Passenger and freight trains are in abudance. The trusty Bolex 16 mm film as shot by Emery, is as good as you will find.

The story traverses around the midwest and the open plains, as in Kansas. At Denver the DRGW is the home team. Union Station hosts the Rocky Mountain Rocket, a long premier passenger train. Nice shots around New Lenox with an F-2 led freight. The Peoria Rocket arrives at Joliet.Alco FA and a GP7 cross with a freight, E8A leads E7A with eastbound Peoria Rocket that sports parlor cars at no extra fare. Extended sequence with Alco RS3, FB, F3A on freights. The Golden State arrives from L.A., this was a premier train. Old steel cabooses look good on the ends. Vintage freight cars are viewed. The story continues in such fashion.

The locomotives on parade here are a wide sampling of early EMD, GE and a good supply of Alco products, as well. EMD E3A, F7, GP9, GP35, GP40. GE U25B, U28B. Alco DL109, RS3

Paint scheme variations keep the video lively. The maroon base color also has assorted trims. There are: white pinstripe, solid maroon, yellow ends, chevron nose, yellow nose. A glimpse of the blue Rock scheme.

Action is plentiful. I liked the pacing of the GP9, F7A freight train. The caboose fleet has much variation and adds even more interest.

Jerry Carson checks-in with some film. RS2 and a GP18 are seen. GP7’s cross the bridge over the Misssippi in 1969.. fine segment! We roll along in old Rock Island heaven until the steam fan trip invades our bliss. It’s a green Southern locomotive, beautiful in a green scheme. All we needed was the steamer smoking it up leaving town, and leaving us to continue our Rock Island trek. No, we are saddled with an overly long chase across the countryside.

The narration on this show is excellent. Locomotive types. locations , some history and good overall descriptions. Photography is high quality and the editing is well done. Sounds are integrated seemlessly. The steam chase does take a huge chunk of time. It takes away from the story and a Southern locomotive just doesn’t fit within the scope of ; The Rock Island Line.

The All Aboard Rock Island version runs at 30 minutes. If there is no steam chase, only  a small amount, would be lost of Rock Island film.

This is a worthwhile program to own.

Rating 4 Stars


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