Classic Burlington Northern Volume 1


Producer: C Vision

Timeframe: 1970s- 80s

Locations: Wyoming, Montana, Chicago, Washington, New Mexico, Texas, Colorado.

Length: 97 minutes

Source: Fred Crissey

Fred Crissey certainly traveled with his 8mm movie camera! This first of 2 volumes from C Vision covers BN territory in 7 states.

This release is comparable to similar C Vision with Fred Crissey titles. A now familiar formula of: vintage films, narration and music.

This show has a detailed Chapter Menu. Choice of on/ off, for the music. No maps. On-screen location graphics.


Don Grant is the usual narrator. Confident and has a smooth delivery. A well written script rounds things out.

Audio levels are spot on. Don’s voice is above the music. The narrative is relaxed. Plenty of trainwatching, with no narration. While I normally prefer more narrative. Being in the middle of nowhere, it is fitting for those scenes! Kickback and enjoy the music.


Film quality is very good overall. Color balance is a strength. Sometimes, specks and such are noticeable. Still, a better experience, versus looking at VHS tapes!


Fred had a tendency to shoot the trains in context. Capturing the scenery, along with the moving train. Wyoming had unobstructed views for his preference. This particular program, is loaded with long shots. Recommend a large screen, for maximum enjoyment.


A different style, and highlight is late in the proceedings. A cab ride aboard an E9 unit from, Aurora  to Chicago Union Station yard.


All in all, the show chases assorted local freights. Trackside for passing mainline moves. Helpers on mountain grades.  Vintage freight cars. Packs a ton of action, in many locations.


The story begins at Cheyenne, Wyoming. Quickly, we are out in the middle of nowhere. Following a freight train across a somewhat desolate Wyoming landscape.


Worland Depot is civilization. Fred shot a few trains there.


Lovell had this station.


A pair of GP9 (more or less) are a welcome sight.


BN 5335 leads a Southern Pacific unit. The 5335 is a U30-C. This was a General Electric locomotive.


BN local number 185 gets chased, as it goes about it’s tasks until dark. An SD40-2 with an SD9 are the power. A good variety, of first and second generation power is in daily use.


Wind River Canyon is former Burlington Route trackage. Rivals the Rio Grande for scenery! Who knew? Nice inclusion.


Mullan Pass receives a thorough once over. Good to visit here in an earlier era. Before Montana Rail Link. Great segment!


Mid-train helpers with a mixed bag of locomotives. Sure, there are closer looks.


Tiger stripe GP50 units at Skykomish, Washington. A notable former Great Northern location.


The famous BN Racetrack is a 30 mile stretch from Aurora to downtown Chicago, Illinois. A triple track mainline. Well maintained and good for high speed running. Fred gets a prime setup in the Fireman’s seat on an E9! LaGrange Road.

Appears to have been filmed in the 1980s. Every station and point of interest is mentioned. Light traffic suggests an off peak hour.


A former Colorado and Southern line has Fred’s attention. He gives ..


chase to a freight- all the way to Texas!


These images are unique to this Cinematographers style. While the BN is not a hard to find railroad. Try and obtain: this timeframe, action, and far flung (mostly) locations.

Plus, the show is nicely assembled into a smooth program. It has a good rerun value.

Any Burlington Northern railfan or model railroader, should be highly satisfied.

Rating: 4 Stars

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