Format: 2 DVD-R set
Length: 2 hours
Time period: circa 1988
Locations: Green Bay, Escanaba, Marquette, Marinette, and more..
Source: John Szwajkart
Here is a vintage Alco feature filmed in the late 1980’s. Northern Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, became some of the last stands for the Alcos in the later 1980’s.
Your standard ‘no extras’ JS release. No narrative, maps etc.. Title screens offer small bits, as general location and timeline. No tripod is used. So expect a shaky camera.
It is an amateur level production. Raw video, and whatever the microphone happened to record. This results in an unedited soundtrack of: trains sounds, crossing bells, autos, and background chatter. There is too much wind noise. The lack of a windscreen, is not a good thing. Wind beats on the microphone, the characteristics are not a gentle whoosh as the human ear filters the wind. It is more of a bunch of banging from your speakers, and plays with a harshness.
Despite the shortcomings, at times he does have some rarities. Operations and equipment, that the professionals somehow missed over the years. This is an area where his shows can become more desirable. It can become a choice between having something, or perhaps nothing .
Part 1 GB&W, E&LS
Part 2 C&NW, LS&I, E&LS
This begins with a lashup of Alco C-628HH diesels. For those unfamiliar, the Northwestern purchased these locos as used from Norfolk & Western. They were well suited to lugging heavy ore trains. The concentration of one operational area, was more efficient for the mechanical department.
Lake Superior & Ishpeming made news when it was operating some ex: Santa Fe Alligators. These RSD-15 models were a sight to see in person. Very long noses and the lengthy trucks gave them a fitting nickname. They are shown in a bright red paint scheme. Some GE power, and other Alcos, appear in this chapter.
The LS&I is out on the mainline.
A CNW freight heads for Green Bay. Alco C425 #4255 and C628 are on the point. Paced and trackside views. Nice view of the freight cars and caboose, from trackside.
Marinette to see the Escanaba & Lake Superior. Baldwin 202 idles at the old depot. Those old switchers were long lived in shortline service. The horn sure is aloud one. We see the engine navigate the narrow right of way around town.
The camerawork is better from this time period. Steadier hands I suppose. There isn’t as much jarring of the picture. The overall effect is pretty good. Audio isn’t the greatest. Wind noise, crossing gate bells and more, that detract from the show.
Part 1 is a long look at a single GBW train. The Baldwin gets plenty of screentime too. It depends on someone’s interest level of the coverage. Doesn’t seem to be a ‘go to’ disc.
Part 2 is the better half of the set. The CNW C628’s are the heart of the program. The rest of the locomotives do add interest to this disc. Pacing sequences are so-so.
Rating: 3 Stars