Mark 1 Video
Length: One Hour
Time Period: 1950’s-1960’s, and beyond
Locations: NY Metro, Jersey City Terminal, Communipaw, Newark Bay Drawbridge, Bound Brook, Elizabeth, Allentown, more….
Sources: Vol 1 Wilson Jones, Phil Imbro, Walt Matuch/ bw Voume 2: Tom Nemeth, Wilson Jones, Phil Imbro, and Marc S.Balkin / video
Producer and Audio: Marc S. Balkin
Jersey Central is the main feature. Two half hour programs are combined on a single disc. A disclaimer states that some film isn’t top quality, and included for historical value. That is an accurate assessment of volume 1. A rough selection to watch.The black and white also has some very marginal quality. Excerpts from The Little Big RR by CNJ as well.
A ton of period locomotives are jam packed across this pair! Fairbanks Morse Trainmaster, Baldwin Babyface, Alco RS-3, RSD5, Alco Centuries and many first generation Electromotive diesels. Steam includes: CNJ Camelbacks, Reading and a Nickel Plate Road .
There isn’t any narration. This style was sometimes found during the 1980’s. At the time, railroaders were happy to be able to obtain the train films on home use VHS tapes. Graphics and some crude maps are used.
Additional coverage of the B&O bus connection service from Rockefeller Center. Ferry boat service on the Hudson River. A unique turntable for bus direction at the terminal. Watch for a rare B&O EA on The Royal Blue train. Newark Bay Bridge is an impressive sight.
Audio is nicely done. Authentic sounds that match the locos. Synchronized sound that is outstanding for a 1988 production.
Highly interesting show, if not a pretty one.
The subjects in Volume 1 will satisfy railfans who seek historic footage. Soundtrack surpasses the film quality. On screen graphics or actual railroad signage have locations. This is all 8mm film. Ranges from fair to good. Geared for hardcore railfans.
Tom Nemerth of Railpace magazine is credited as the main cinematographer here.
Time has progressed into the 1960s. Begins at Jersey Terminal, albeit with the less attractive green and gold livery. Reading gets major screentime. Random bits of old steam fantrips. Also, video from 1987 of Reading T1 excursion.
Reading Lines is a hidden gem. Action around Allentown, PA. This 60s era material is hard to find! Baltimore and Ohio plus Lehigh Valley are seen in small roles. Composition is much better here. Plenty of action in a very satisfying extended segment.
The combined shows equate to about a standard one hour show. Viewing clarity improves over the years. Mark 1 has really packed the shows full of action scenes. Soundtrack is excellent. High rarity factor is another positive.
Railfans should find this a satisfactory release. Model railroaders may wish for clearer imagery. Just don’t expect high viewing standards for the majority of both volumes. Northeast fans can have a good time with this collection.
Rating: 3 Stars