Memories of the Erie Lackawanna RR: Volumes 1 + 2

Memories of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad: Volumes 1 + 2

Mark 1 Video

Format: DVD-R

Length: 60 minutes

Time Period: 1960’s- 1970’s

Locations: New York and Susquehanna Divisions

Sources: Many

Producer: Marc Balkin

MSRP: 34.95

Erie Lackawanna displays a highly interesting mixture of early and modern era diesels. Set in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There are many locations. On screen graphics denote the locations. Mark 1 Video train videos use multiple film sources for it’s vintage shows. The resulting overview of the large EL is worth a look.

A fine audio soundtrack has been created for the train sounds. Much care has been taken, to give viewers an authentic auditory experience.

There isn’t much else in the way of extras. No narration, at all. A few bits of music bookend the shows. A primitive looking menu offers the choice between the 2 volumes. Both of the volumes will display a 6 chapter menu, after you enter that volume. A little clumsy in the menu department.

All trains, with excellent live audio. Digital visual and sound restoration. Looks good and sounds great!

The film sources seem to be 8mm, color film. The viewing quality ranges from mostly good, to very good.  Gets grainy, but this has been assembled from multiple sources. Entirely watchable footage.  If you want to see Erie Lackawanna, here it is..

Volume 1 ‘Main Line’ runs at 30 minutes, Hoboken to Arden on this single DVD.

Erie Lackawanna passenger train action is immediately on the screen, at Hoboken. Here is where many passenger trains are seen. Older RS3, E8’s and new GEU34CH are all here.

Passaic is next up. This looks like some Erie RS3’s and an Alco PA appears, around Passaic’s downtown. Out to Passaic Jct., and a few moments with some GP7’s in black and yellow paint, on freight duty.

The years seem to bounce around. Modern EL passenger service is seen at Paterson. A single SW7 has a few boxcars and a red Erie caboose. More old time Erie passengers. This volume gives more attention to locations, than the 2nd one. We seem to be following the route, the trains are inserted at the locations. That is the reason for the many time jumps. Alco RS3 units lead the majority of the commuter runs. There are many of these runs. Hawthorne has quite a few. Ridgewood is another stop.

The New York subdivision is jam packed with vintage EL train action. Original black and yellow winged units are still in daily service. Classic gray, maroon and yellow EL is the predominant paint scheme.

EL sure had a diversified locomotive roster. Railfans and model railroaders will have a field day, when viewing these 2 volumes.

Volume 1 has many passenger train scenes.  At Waldwick, some freights show up. Early film, with black and yellow RS3 diesels work the yard. Back to even more passengers. Yawn… too many and too much time spent on these commuter trains..

Finally, some freight action at Ramapo. Mainline freight trains are led by pairs of diesels. Arden has a quartet of Alco RS 3’s on point. That’s all on the volume 1. This volume was a disappointment overall. Too little freight, too late.

Volume 2 is another 30 minute  ‘Main Line’. New York and Susquehanna Divisions. Moodna Viaduct to Binghamton, NY. A basic paper route map shows us the main line and Graham Line. No further information is given. Is Moodna Viaduct on the Graham Line? This is actually a giant trestle.

More freight train action begins this 2nd volume. GP7, GP9, RS3, SD45’s lead some trains.

Alco C425’s, in early lettering, are used to combine their power. Matched sets of Alco RS 3 engines are a sight!

Vintage freights rollby with endless arrays of gray EL power units.

The big, dual service, SP45P’s are in the common freight diesel pool.

Non stop El trains parade by the viewer. Some old Alco Fa’s, still in black, lead a train. An E8 handles a short mail train. A lone RS3 pulls a quick passenger train.

Back to more heavy, freight trains. More of those classic  boxcars.

Susquehanna Division is up next. EL freights cross the river. Delaware River Bridge hosts a lashup of 6 EL diesels with a freight. The trains thunder by, the audio is again, nicely done. GP35’s are seen in a lashup. The constant action continues at a fast pace. Starrucca Viaduct has some EL action too! On to Binghampton and a quick ending.

This is a healthy collection of Erie Lackawanna in the 1960’s- 1970’s, before Conrail. The 2 volumes are jam packed with trains. Even exceeded my expectations. The audio keeps the intensity up. It is fun to watch and hear all of the different motive power. hard to keep up with the various locations. The scenes jump around quickly. Sometimes there is some camera shake. Generally, it is all shot competently.

Volume 2 was the best of the two volumes, by a longshot. It was more scenic, and more interesting overall. The preponderance of freight trains really is what I wanted to see. The 2nd part really saves that day, as far as freight coverage goes.  Get this EL set for the enjoyable 2nd volume. Classic freight cars abound in this show. Model Railroaders will find the boxcars a worthwhile assortment to have. Mark 1 Video nailed it on EL Volume 2.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

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