Clear Block Productions
Length: One hour
Time Period: 1950’s- late 1970’s
Locations: System, none listed for DH.
Sources: Russ Kenerdine, Ken Bealer, Ed Kuhr
A different group of cinematographers are the sources for D&H Volume 2. The prime material is from the post- 1976 expansion. After the formation of Conrail, the D&H gained 900 route miles to encourage market competition. There is a brief, black and white film chapter on D&H steam. A contemporary feature on restored Alco RS-3 locomotives operating on Delaware-Lackawanna is the final subject. That is really a separate show.
The production of this release shares many of the same traits as Volume 1. Unrestored, vintage film and VHS tape,along with the sharp, modern video on D-L. Classic era does contain the rare and intriguing roster of D&H. This footage is organized by chapters, of the original cameraman.
Little narration and zero attention to locations. One map screen that dis[lays the system . Color balance is also a problem. The power sets are classic D&H, in various liveries.
This 1970’s section has a better appearance versus Vignettes of D&H Volume 1. Overall film quality is fair to good. The films/ tapes need color restoration. Audio is well done. The train sounds are the main soundtrack.
The steam section is brief. Has some fair quality film. Does not add much to this release.Films of Russ Kendradine lead off the proceedings. He has a rather shaky camera. Outside of that, he shoots pretty good. The power assortment has Alco’s and some General Electrics. Notice, the Electromotive GP38 and GP39 classes have made significant inroads on roster.
The Films of Kenneth Bealer. He starts off with a bang, or should I say a Shark. A Baldwin Shark is seen standing still, and is heard being cranked up for work. Almost a contradiction, Sharks on a modern intermodal train. This assortment offers a greater percentage of lightning stripes. Better camerawork by Kenneth, results in the best chapter of the show.
Kenneth captured the PA’s in an unknown yard. The famous former Santa Fe power is idling here.
The Films of Ed Kuhr amount to only a few scenes. He has the nice one of the Alco PA1 at the station. Seen near top of the review. Also has the Sharks, albeit distant and then way too close to get good shots. The PA’s are his highlights.
The end chapter is the best looking one. Vastly apart from the first half of this program. Much higher standards. This one is really a second show. Starts off with a quick discussion of the Alco RS2, RS3 models.
Moves on to the restored Delaware- Lackawanna RS3 operations. After the narrative stops, an occasional graphic has some information. Yes, it is great to hear the Alco’s burble away. The picture quality here is excellent. A short cab ride into Scranton Yard. See these locomotives operating in revenue service. Nice presentation of D- L.
However, the D-L chapter uses half of the one hour, Delaware and Hudson program.
In summary, the Vignettes of the Delaware and Hudson Volume 2 does leave viewers underwhelmed. The listing promises much, but falls short of overall film quality for D&H. The main attraction of the post 1976 era- only has about 30 minutes of screen time. Considering the rarity, at least these films are available.
Delaware- Lackawanna is a good, contemporary feature on the Alco RS3 locomotives.
Northeastern fans should appreciate the vintage films. Alcophiles will find the RS3 action on D-L to be satisfying.
Rating: 3 Stars