Length: 90 minutes
Time Period: 1994- 1998
Locations: Charlton Hill, Washington Hill, Cresson, North East, Conpit, Silver Creek, Bear Mountain, Erie, State Line Tunnel, Gallitzin, Berea
Source: Peter Crook
The final years of Conrail at some famous locations and hotspots in the East. This railroad appears to have been a success. Modern power, well maintained right of way, and plenty of profitable intermodal trains. There are no renumbered, patched diesels. No stupid graffiti. Much of the program is shot in scenic locations.
Videographer Peter Crook has some stellar imagery in this show. Overall, it is a pro level program. Everything looks well composed, with a flair for some artistry, as well. The caveat are some scenes with sunlight washing out the picture. A definite emphasis on capturing the locomotives. In this era, that was trainwatching. After the power set had passed…. yawn… containers and unit trains. However, there are manifest freights and a sprinkle of Amtrak.
Adept with a smooth zoom technique, the man has this down to a formula. Editing is excellent. Easy transitions. There are no maps or graphics. This show has a style, where those elements are not required.
Peter Falconi narrates with a clear voice. The script pays extreme attention to the official Conrail train designations. Viewers will also be advised of origin and destinations. Locations are grouped by area visits. Generally, these are extended with multiple trains. Locomotives are identified by type. While all of this is professional, it stops with this information.
Environmental audio is the other half of the soundtrack. Nice captures of the passing trains. Minimal extraneous noise. Setups are wisely chosen.
Winds up in another hotspot. Berea, Ohio. Although this location is loaded with trains, the urban flatland does pale in comparison to the rest of the show.
A Salute to Conrail: A Last Look at Big Blue. Railfans of the contemporary era will find this an enjoyable show. The show is easy on the eyes. Action oriented, even may have kid appeal. The sharp cinematography, does set this one above many other modern Conrail programs.
Rating: 4 Stars