Memories of the Long Island Railroad

Memories of the Long Island Railroad

Mark 1 Video

Format: DVD

Length: 45 minutes

Time Period: late 1940’s – early 1960’s

Locations: Jamaica, New Hyde Park, Port Jefferson Branch, Floral Park, Nassau Tower..

Sources: Ted Gay, Phil Imbro, Keiser/Dakelman collection, Don Van Court, Walter Zullig

MSRP : 24.95

Long Island Railroad is one of those elusive roads to find vintage films. Anything on the market merits serious consideration. Mark 1 Video has the old LIRR covered over decades. Collecting from many film sources to make this show. Steam era and early diesels are the trains seen here. The bulk of the program appears to be 1950’s.

Steam fans will have a field day with this action driven show!

This program follows specific LIRR routes. The years are jumped across, in order to document the lines, in a geographic fashion. Morris Park engine terminal is the first stop.

There is a detailed chapter menu. Organized by locations.

Film quality varies, as do those sources. Ranging from: fair to good, and very good. Looks to be mostly 8mm, and some Super 8. There are color + black and white films. Some of it  is a bit rough/ grainy to watch. Most segments are brief. I’ll take it, as is, versus having nothing. Color footage dominates, but not by a wide margin. The films seem to be directly transferred to DVD.

There is no narrative. A period correct  route map tracks the locations.  A brief storyline, synopsis is shown at the beginning. A few on screen graphics add more location or information. Enough location info is provided. The soundtrack features environmental train sounds.

This production is for hardcore railfans. The ones that can appreciate the aged films, for what they are. If you want steam and early diesel Long Island, this contains all of that requirement. Just don’t expect a digitally enhanced production.

There has been quite a bit of effort invested in the audio portion. Having only the common silent home movie sources to begin with, a nice synchronized soundtrack accompanies the boundless action.

Floral Park gives viewers some steam/ diesel action in varying quality. Black & white film.

Without any narration and little graphic information, it’s a guessing game as to specific years and even some exact locations. The routes traveled are clearly marked. This is a good example of where good narration could have enhanced a show.

This passenger steam train has a companion black and white reel. Different shots and contrast of the color. Interesting sequence to see the two films.

Freight trains are frequently viewed. You will see cars from all over the country shipped to Long Island. An occasional Pennsylvania switcher can be seen on a local freight.

Steam power includes LIRR G-5 class 4-6-0 engines. Also, 0-8-0 and 2-8-0 locomotives.

Long Island had an unusual roster of early diesels. Fairbanks Morse C-Liners are a mainstay road engine. Alco RS1, RS3 and S2 units. Baldwin switchers. Fairbanks Morse Baby Trainmasters.

Passenger business was always a huge part of the Long Island. The early cars with the flip down open window coaches were once commonplace. The 1960’s will have the dark gray equipment.

Old style, MU cars are scattered within the show. A few RDC cars also, on fantrips.

There are as many viewpoints, as there are sources. Some shots from Nassau Tower. A look through the RDC windshield view around Creedmore. All weather conditions. Much variety.

Transition era films like these; give viewers a plethora of vintage steam, and diesel action.

Memories of the Long Island Railroad. A good variety of all vintage scenes. Some of these smaller railroads can be difficult to obtain. This show fills a big gap for railfans.

Rating: 3 Stars


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