Classic Chicago & North Western Volume 3


Producer: C. Vision

Timeframe: Late 1970s

Locations: Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota

Length: 1 hour 36 minutes

Source: Fred Crissey

Continuation of Fred Crissey’s films from the late 1970’s. A smorsgasboard of locations. Across 3 midwestern states. CNW freight trains operate on ex: Rock Island, Chicago Great Western and Minneapolis & St. Louis trackage.


This third volume was shot in Iowa, Missouri and Minnesota. Dawn to dark.


These are silent reels. Basic narration and musical overlays. There are zero live train sounds. Still, the show is very worthwhile, to the right people. I mean railfans.


Graphics denote locations along the bottom of the screen. Unfortunately, no maps to make any sense, of these small towns. Rendering the graphics nearly useless. There is a chapter menu.


Fred is a capable Cinematographer. Improved editing, would make his hard work appear finer, in the finished product. The way it turns out in this program. Good composition, about half the time.


Too far away- too often. Across farm fields. While chasing trains. Semi-obstructed views at other times. Editing much of this out. Viewers would never have missed most. There are too many. Not long, but frequent.


The dramatic bridge views are fine. A few shaky grab shots. Could have trimmed those too. Plenty of quality, is left to watch.


Railfans who already are familiar with CNW, may be best suited for this series. The collection of period films should be satisfactory. Lack of ambient train sounds, not a deal breaker. Given the specific subject matter at hand.

Good narration. Simple style. Locations and some engine types. A few more details. Could have used additional information. It is sufficient, at a minimal level.

What was known as the Spine Line from St. Paul, Minnesota to Kansas City, Missouri.


The yellow and green was an attractive paint scheme. The low hood units wore it well. A surprise Falcon Service SD40-2 leads an empty coal train.


A variety of EMD locomotives operated. SD45 units always looked strange on CNW. The lack of dynamic brake blisters, left the long hood looking bare. Plus the odd nose bell.


Some foreign power is also seen, occasionally.

vlcsnap-2019-02-08-04h50m52s325Say- Yes to Chicken wire! The F- units in daily service, are worth the price of admission!


There are: F7A, F3A and F7B units, that are active. Still leading many trains!


Some F-7s are chased,  leading on freight over former M&St.L , plus Chicago Great Western tracks. A way too long of a chase for sure.


Fred does enjoy a train chase. I do somewhat… only to a point. They vary. Would have much more, preferred to see the caboose on each train.


A caboose was generally required on the end. You would never know it. They are almost never seen in this show.


C Vision has a basically satisfying program.

The main act- first generation locomotives.

Electromotive of LaGrange.

Get your green and yellow, F unit groove on!

Rating: 3 Stars


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