The Wisconsin Central Remembered: Parts 3 & 4

The Wisconsin Central Remembered: Parts 3 & 4

John Szwajkart

Format: 2 DVD set

Length: 2 hours 12 minutes

Time Period: 1999- 2001

Locations: Lake Villa. IL., Byron, Neenah, Green Bay, WI.

Source: John Szwajkart

The Wisconsin Central in a series of seven parts. Here we have Parts 3 & 4 in a two disc set.

John Szwajkart spent two days of train chasing for each DVD in these volumes.

This is a ‘no-frills’ railfan style program. No narration or maps. A few title pages do identify the dates and lines visited. The film and audio do provide fine rail entertainment. A handheld camera with a live microphone were the equipment used to record the action.

Image quality is excellent. There is some camera shake present. Pretty steady picture, overall. Natural audio sounds good. Most of the locations, are isolated from other ambient noise. A bit of wind noise, at times, the soundtrack is generally clean.

Mr. Szwajkart began filming trains in the 1950’s. Check his vintage shows for more. In this set, he demonstrates an experienced hand with cinematography. The trains are nicely framed. Zoom is used accurately, and with sensible restraint.  Viewers will enjoy a couple of hours of fun railfanning.

As he chases trains on Wisconsin Central trackage, there is a sense of being on the trip! The numerous freights include views of: the passing boxars, hoppers,tankers etc. A mixture of locations have the unifying theme of a specific area. Yet, the different locations, and some return trip repeats give the sense of a journey.

Disc One: Train Chasing on the WC- 60 minutes

Lake Villa and across the stateline, we are seeking Wisconsin Central trains in 1999. Although there are plenty of trains, many are not WC. Instead, BNSF, UP, CSX, W&S and NS trains are operating. Some WC action, but not in the numbers sought.

Quite a few trains on day one, a small supply of Wisconsin Central.

Here is a ‘close, but no cigar’  Wisconsin & Southern freight.

Wisconsin Central does have some first day trains, such as this SD45 pair.

The second day, we are relocated to Byron Hill. This is where the real WC begins to be seen in quantity. This location does include a variety of WC power. Helpers are in use, ‘on the hill’. Great trainwatching location. It all ends well in Part 3. 

Disc Two- 72 minutes

Part Four has more train chasing in 2001. Fond Du Lac to Neenah starts things off.

A nice variety of Wisconsin Central and foreign road power are seen.

A lone GP30 rolls up to a turnout and stops before a grade crossing. The brakeman must board the engine. You will hear this diesel wind-up, before the train begins to move. Must be a local freight, not all WC freights required multiple units.

A chopnose GP9 performs switching duties.

An EMD GP35m, leads a freight train. What about this switching at Neenah? Great for model railroaders too.

The film quality and composition are improved in Part 4. Between the 2 discs, this one has a tighter focus on WC. This one also has more of that ‘train chase’ feeling.

Wisconsin Central Remembered: Parts 3 & 4. Another enjoyable set in the series.

Rating: 3 Stars

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