Chicago Odyssey Volume 2

Chicago Odyssey Volume 2

Green Frog Productions

Format: 2 DVD set

Length: 2 1/2 hours

Time period: 1962- 1973

Locations: Chicago area

Source: Emery Gulash (16mm)

This program picks up where Volume One left off. Emery Gulash and his cameras are at Chicago. The later time period offers up a timeframe that many will remember. If the 1950’s is before your time, by a decade or so, this will be the one for you.

Emery Gulash is an original master of train videos. He was out doing these splendid films at just the right time. Who knew that so much of all this, would pass into history? Maybe Emery knew, having witnessed the disappearance of steam. An extremely well-traveled man. Here we visit Chicago in multiple trips. Various years have us see some of the changes in the ten years of railfanning at this mega hub of United States railroading.

These are top shelf films from this master cinematographer. As usual, Green Frog has excellent production values. A fine script, good edits, and lovely film.

By the way, there are quite a few Odyssey titles that are reviewed on ATVR. Fine series!

Bob Carrera’s narration is informative and interesting. Natural sounds are included at the right moments. A few missed identifications on locomotives. Only noticeable to those that are aware.

A chapter menu divides by years and locations.

Film quality is superb. Besides the clarity of the 16mm film, it is all color. The colors are well balanced. The images are very clean. Excellent audio compliments the film.

Many of the classic roads that served Chicago are presented in this volume. ATSF, BN, CB&Q, CNW, GM&O, IC, Rock, Milw, GTW, C&O, B&O, EJ&E, PC, ICG, Soo, IHB, South Shore, and Amtrak. Others get cameos like Southern Pacific and Union Pacific.

Let’s begin with the first disc highlights of this 2 DVD set.

April ’62 begins with Milwaukee Road and Chicago and Nortwestern action at Noble Street Tower. Some old ‘400’ CNW equipment is seen. The CNW commuters looked about  the same, up until the early 1980’s. At Deerfield, Milwaukee Road freight with orange/maroon F-units and an RS-3. Rondout Jct., with Milwaukee Road and EJ&E centercabs.

January of 1963 and zero degrees show why Chicago is too cold in the winter.

March of ’67 at Joliet. GM&O Abraham Lincoln and a Santa Fe freight on a cold, March day. GM&O, The Limited climbs a grade.

May ’70 at Morton Grove. Milwaukee passenger trains. This part drags the show. CNW at Wilmette. More passengers and double deckers. Repetitive.

Milwaukee Road F7’s in orange/ black lead a thru freight. A local with an SW7 moves next.

Burlington Route passengers are now BN, but you can’t tell. A BN painted E8 leads a mixed consist, at Hinckley. More BN freight trains, in various paint are viewed.

At Lemont, the GM&O with the Abraham Lincoln rolls thru town. The stone station dates from 1853.

Grand Trunk Western puts on a parade at Oak Glen. Old green/ gold runs with newer black/ orange. Both resemble owner Canadian National paint schemes.

Blue Island is a very busy crossing. Much action is seen here. Indiana Harbor Belt, Grand Trunk, and B&O. Rock Island shows up too. A Milwaukee Road freight, a Penn Central train and a couple of B&O switcher transfers. Lots of first generation power. Classic freight cars complete the satisfying chapter.

Back to Gulf, Mobile & Ohio in Lemont.

Burlington Northern is still a new entity. The renumbered units are still in original owner paint.

Emery frequented Lemont. Santa Fe was another railroad that ran through Lemont. Emery picks up some warbonnet F’s on a passenger train. Joliet was further out on that line. Emery shoots plenty of action at Joliet. He gets the El Capitain behind some FP45 units. The San Francisco Chief arrives behind F7’s. A trio GP20’s were on point of a freight. A classic Santa Fe caboose brings up the markers. There is more at Lemont. Check the ATSF train sattion there.

Willow Springs is a short sequence. This was the next town up the line from Lemont. Five GP20’s on a manifest freight train. Super Chief behind FP 45’s. Yes, they are warbonnets.

Illinois Central green electric cars look like antiques! Illinois Central provides a surprise, with a freight. A South Shore electric crosses this Kensington Junction. Another surprise is an IC E8A, lettered for Central of Georgia, with a passenger train.

Griffith Jct. has some more action. Grand Trunk trains and C&O GP9’s on a freight.

Amtrak in Transition shows the ragtag collection off cast off equipment in early times. Back to ICRR in Chicago. New and old electrics. Passenger cars, and freight. Good chapter.

That concludes this great first disc. This is the best one in the set, by a longshot!

Here is most of disc 2…… Passenger trains.

A long segment of the old CTA on the Dan Ryan….yawn.                                                  Soo Line has a single freight train, with a single locomotive.                                             Soo Line has one more freight, much later.

Illinois Central Gulf in ’73, provides some badly needed balance here. Even the vintage TOFC train looks great. SW’s pull a transfer, with a red ICRR side door caboose.

Burlington Northern at busy Clyde Yard, not Cicero yard with a single freight.

Back to the passenger trains around the city. Some fine shots, Rock Island, Penn Central E8’s with refurbished Amtrak cars. A few impressive bridges add interest on this otherwise, excessive passenger segment. Light engine moves are sweet!

While the first disc is well balanced with some passenger emphasis. The second disc almost lacks freight entirely! Too bad. The freights in those years are real classics.

The breakdown on this set. Great first disc. The second disc is much too heavy on the Amtrak transition. A rather repetitious second disc. Still, it is all Emery Gulash.

Rating: 4 Stars

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