Diverging Clear Productions
Length: 75 minutes
Time Period: 1980’s
Locations: Centralia, Effingham, Bluford, Tuscola, and more…
Source: George Redmond
Producer: Mary R. McPherson
The Heritage Series features trains that no longer seen, in daily operation. One of this series show types, has older films of fallen flags. Illinois Central Gulf is the initial fallen flag in the series. In another direction, the focus is on steam era equipment, in excursion service. The catalog shows even more diverse railroad shows. All of this from Diverging Clear Productions. So here, is the first ATVR look at one of their shows.
Illinois Central Gulf, was in a way, a rolling museum in the 1980’s. Unrepainted, pre-merger locomotives were seen in daily use.Some of which, is visible in this video.
Orange and White, Illinois Central Gulf was a common, older theme on various diesels. Note the solid I logo, which identifies as ICG. Plenty of SD40’s in these colors. The weathering on all of the assorted older units, is worth the price of admission.
In this show see a wide array of ICG power. Paducah rebuilds, unique to this railroad, are well worth viewing here. GP7/ 9/ 18 ICRR were rebuilt into the 3 following classes.GP10 with a chop nose and Horst air filter are notable. GP8 and GP11 rebuilds might be included.
SW14 switchers were rebuilt from SW9’s and mu’ed for transfer work. In this show, check the rare SW14 Cow & Calf (slug unit). Another rebuild is the SD26.
George Redmond had been shooting the action on video, in the 1980’s. The film looks like a VHS transfer to the DVD format. This vintage video was shot over a period of a few years.This ICG show, has a very good to good image quality range.
There are the usual issues with an older VHS source tape. Some minor color balance issues. Sometimes the sky or clouds appear, in a pinkish hue. Sometimes, a bit of green shading creeps into the screen. None of this seriously detracts from the show.
This is amateur shot video. The camera will shake, or jerk to varying degrees. An occasional abrupt zoom adjustment. Again, not constant. Most of the scenes are pretty good. Just expect these video quirks. It is liveable and the railroad seen is an uncommon one, within the train video market.
Some nice editing keeps the pace moving along. Action abounds, the movement flows nicely.
Narration is mixed with natural live, environmental audio. The narrative is a sparse style. Callouts mainly, locomotives and locations, are the main information. Live audio sounds are a highlight. The trains are clearly heard. The microphone also picks up some wind noise, but not too often.
The strength in this show, is with the variety of locomotives. They are seen in a various settings, and performing assorted duties. The videographer has captured some great pacing sequences. Winter snow gives a great look at cold weather railroading. Nice scenes of switching moves. Both SW14 and rebuilt Geeps at work.
Centrailia is an obvious hotspot. This city has numerous trains at different locations, in the vicinity. A wealth of excellent trainwatching is shown around Centrailia. A major highlight.
Experienced ICG people will see, that much of this was recorded in some well known southern Illinois hotspots. This is one action packed train video!
The packing is a slimline DVD case with a show description on the rear cover. The DVD-R itself is a directly labeled disc. It looks good and is higher quality than paper labels.
The main menu has the choices of: play program or bonus material. The bonus consists of a good selection of DCP previews. Early CSX and Norfolk Southern merger era both look enticing, for example. A useable, hidden chapter option is available, by using the next button on your player controls.
Cumulatively, this is a hardcore railfan type of release. The trains are here, and the company has provided an accurate description of content. The video is non remastered. No maps or any graphic extras are provided. The natural audio is really quite good.
Railfans, Model Railroaders, and Illinois Central Gulf enthusiasts, should all enjoy this show. If you like this 1980’s railroad, it has loads of those trains.
This ICG show is better than the MoPac, as far as better overall image quality.
Diverging Clear Productions is on Featured Links. They are expanding The Heritage Series. Looking forward to additional releases from this interesting line.
Rating: 3 Stars