Green Frog Productions
Format: 2 DVD set
Length: 2 hours 45 minutes
Time Period: 1963- 1968
Locations: Detriot, Wayne Jct., Town Line Jct., Dearborn, Electric division, Syracuse division, Harmon,Toledo, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor…
Source: Emery Gulash
New York Central was Emery’s favorite railroad. In this second volume of Green Frog’s Odyssey, we will complete the New York Central Odyssey, as seen through the lens of Emery Gulash. All of the film is 16mm color!
Emery Gulash was one of the best railroad cinematographers of all-time. He had an unparallelled eye for great shots. The ability to travel far and wide. He has left a legacy of outstanding films for eternity. I call him one of the Original Masters of train videos.
In this set, notice the shots with the camera angle looking upwards, from the ground. This accentuates the size of the train cars and locomotives. He was using more viewpoints over the years. Some ground level tracks with high-line, bridge crossings have simultaneous trains. This set is action packed!
The 16mm films are all in color. They are from many different years and trips by Emery. I just love the way, that was once everyday, is captured so very well. He also films in all seasons and any kind of weather. Experienced fans will note that Emery does frequent his favorite locations.
For those who never have seen New York Central operating before Penn Central, this is a good way to get familiar with the Water Level Route. Both volumes of New York Central Odyssey are worthy programs to add to your collection.
Green Frog has done excellent production, with the proper care and presentation of these films. The picture is sharp. The colors are accurate and balanced. Dubbed sound is convincing. The fine quality enhances the viewing pleasure.
Audio contains trains matched to the locomotive builder. An Alco sounds correct, and so on. Emery had a collection of trackside recordings that he had also done. His and some others really pop out during the show.
Narration is the high standard that we expect from Bob Carrera, and this veteran production house. Descriptions are right on top of the action. Quite informative. Nice script!
There are a pair of DVD’s in this set. A detailed chapter menu divides by locations or month and year. Very helpful for navigating around this long playing feature film.
Disc One runs from 1963 into 1966. A few happenings..
Show opens in 1963 at Town Line Jct. with Alco RS32’s. Lightning stripes adorn a GP7, as C&O GP30’s pass overhead, on a bridge. At Ypsilanti, E8A and E7B units in lightning stripes with a long mail/ express train. More at Town Line with lightning stripes.
A wooden caboose can still be found on some freights. Stock car trains were getting outdated. Additional railroads found are: B&O, C&O, DT&I, D&TS, NKP and Wabash.
New York Central passenger trains are abundant. B&O Cincinnatian, once a week RDC, along with C&O action.
Toledo and the Maumee River bridge is a hotspot. Many first generation diesels. Slow movements around the bridge let viewers get a good look at locos and freight cars. Some mail/ express and passenger trains. C&O checks in with E8 powered George Washington. Plenty of freights, a great chapter.
As a whole, there is a good balance of freight, mail and passenger trains. The interesting mix of locomotives is a highlight.
The first DVD includes a nice supply of B&O / C&O action.
Disc Two contains 1966- 1968.
Electric Division that runs alongside the Hudson River has a chapter. Harmon yard was the end of electrified territory. The New York Central shops were located here. Twentieth Century Limited and Empire State Express are shown, exchanging diesel and electric motors.
Wayne Jct. gives us a mecca of NYC freight trains. Moving at slow speeds, past the tower, there are the freight car views, that railfans want to see. Many types of diesels are on parade. Alco FA, FB, EMD F7A, F7B, F3A, GP9, GP20, E8, GP35, GE U boats and GP40 units are some. SW7 locos are a contrast to its’ bigger brothers. A few too many Wolverines, but liveable.
Although built in LaGrange, IL., nothing says ‘Detroit’ like a black GP30. Most of the power appears in the later ‘cigar band’ scheme. That’s fine with me. Those lightning stripes were always, way before my time. The logo looks even better on the nose of F7 locomotives. Speaking of what looks good, the numerous Alco FA units are like cab units on steroids! Doubly so, when filmed tight to the track.
Trains are quite a far cry from the boring, unit concepts of today. The multitude of boxcars provide a cornucopia of classic roadnames. I’ll take a meat train over a unit grain anytime. Unenclosed auto rack trains, like ML12, with over 1500 automoblies are something else. They were moved in daylight, to discourage vandals.
Mail trains with: REA cars, baggage and flexi-vans, are mixed with old Railway Post Office cars. These trains were once, priority service. New High- Cube boxcars for auto parts were all the rage in the mid-sixties. Many are shiny new. Nearly, every freight has a jade green, bay window caboose to boot!
Passenger trains are present, in 1967, in quantity. They tend to be interspersed with the plethora of freights. There is a long passenger segment here, in 1967.
Epilogue as Penn Central, early 1968, post merger trains are seen. Mail trains now require a caboose. Other Pennsylvania practices and PRR locomotives, are incorporated onto ‘green team’ trains. Finally, Penn Central painted diesels are in the engine lash-ups.
This is one of the best Odyssey releases from Green Frog. Superb cinematography, smooth edits, fine audio are combined with an excellent narrative. There are numerous, striking first generation diesel lash-ups. Outstanding, is the attention given to those classic freight trains. A trainwatchers dream!
Rating: 5 Stars