Santa Fe Combo: Heartland/ Merger

Santa Fe Combo: Across the Heartland / Countdown to Mergerpentrex


Length: 2 hours and 49 minutes

Time Period: 1995

Locations: Chicago to Kansas City

MSRP: 29.95

Pentrex has a double feature with 2 full programs. Each show reviewed individually here.

Across the Heartland – Santa Fe’s Chillicothe Subdivision

Length: 84 minutes

Locations: Chicago to Ft. Madison, Iowa

Two weeks prior to the 1995 BNSF merger. Pentrex began to film Santa Fe from Corwith Yard to end of the subdivision. Follow the route from Chicago to Fort Madison, Iowa. A companion show with the Marceline sub, is included on this double feature.

chpxCorwith Yard and a tower visit to start the tour. A hotshot departs on former ICG trackage. Encounter additional railroads including: Amtrak, Conrail and Indiana Harbor Belt.

Special attention is given to each train designation. Symbol freights such as Q-trains and numbered priorities. Manifest freights, Amtrak and other train movemens. Very informative.

Featured locations. McCook, Willow Springs, Steator, Galesburg, Chillicothe, Edelstein Hill and more.

These 2 shows were filmed in September, 1995. They are essentially a two part series. Same characteristics and no need to duplicate here. See more details below.

geepsMany earlier diesels are still in use. By this time, they are rebuilds. That includes: GP9, GP20,GP30, GP35 and more. Superfleet red and silver locos are abundant.

miss bridgeCrossing the Mississippi River on this long bridge. This concludes this show.


Countdown to Merger – Santa Fe’s Marceline Subdivision

Length: 85 minutes

Locations: Fort Madison to Kansas City

Santa Fe Railway was filmed one week before the 1995 merger with Burlington Northern. Pentrex chose the remote Marceline subdivision. This lonely route is an uncommon location for railfan films of Santa Fe. The countdown is a week until merger day. The Pentrex crew documents the final week on this release.

214This was a good time to film Santa Fe. Superfleet locomotives are in full swing. Blue and Yellow warbonnets are still plentiful. Freight cars have not yet been ruined by graffiti punks. This is near the end of railroading that has anything interesting.

6410High quality is a hallmark of Pentrex. They are among the best in train videos. All the elements of an excellent show are present. Everything is thought out. They really ‘get it done’.

sfWhile the 1990’s were less interesting for watching trains. Santa Fe created a buzz with a revival of the classic red and silver warbonnet livery. Not since the days of the Super Chief and shiny F7 locomotives was this scheme prevalent. Of all the locomotive paint schemes, this one could be number 1 for all time. Rival Union Pacific, maybe the only real challenger (no pun intended). UP is still around!

main map                                Maps are useful. Basic reference points get it done.

Now, if the year isn’t that great for trainwatching. How do they maintain interest? The answer is a good, informative narrative. This makes dull TOFC, COFC, and unit trains bearable.

q nylaTraffic is identified, via graphics and narration. The announcer gives in depth detail of route and commodities. Every train assignment and function adds interest.

The weather deteriorates into rain and clouds. The show must go on. Seems like they hurry to finish.  We travel to Kansas City for conclusion. Goodbye Santa Fe. Welcome BNSF.


Henrietta Station. The Santa Fe logo in concrete. Some things remain the same.

Pentrex has done a nice job of documenting the final days of the Santa Fe. Viewers will see the line from Chicago to Kansas City. They make the most of the railroad scene of the time. The wide assortment of locomotives will satisfy railfans. Nice pair of programs.

Rating: 4 Stars

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