Producer: Mary R. McPherson
Locations: Centralia, DuQuoin, Rust Jct., Carbondale, more
Length: 1 hour 55 minutes
Sources: George Redmond and Kurt I. Jensen
The Heritage Series. Illinois Central:1990-1991. End of the Paducah Geep Era.
Last of 4 volumes about the Illinois Central, in the Heritage Series. This by Diverging Clear Productions. Mary McPherson is the Producer. Long program. Highlights only.
Obviously, the last stand for those old warhorse GP9 rebuilds, of various incarnations. From Orange and White Illinois Central, later Illinois Central Gulf. The final survivors, were mostly black repaints.
A single DVD-R, in a Slimline case. No Chapter Menu. No maps. Plenty of on-screen graphics. Full narration by Mary McPherson. Very informative. Train symbols, locations and railroad history/ operations.
The Heritage Series. These are niche videos. Mainly filmed by George Redmond. Good with his camera. Age isn’t favorable to vintage videotapes. The subject matter is what makes these desirable.
Amateur shot videos. Produced and released by this Independent label. Mary has come a long way on this release. Restoration work. It looks better. Sharp editing, plays smoother. Balanced audio. Improvements in all areas!
Some rare territory is included in this show. The Bluford division, aka the Edgewood Cut-Off. Oddly enough, this is not where those old geeps are to be found.
This show is dominated by second generation power. GP38 and GP40 engines. SD40 units. Also, those odd SD20 locomotives.
Of course there are: GP8, GP10 and GP11 units. Although, not in quantity, until later. So be patient. A rare GP35 in black, that was a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio unit appears.
The first half is in the Bluford division. Shot in 1990. Plenty of inclement, wintery weather. The bridge viewpoint, is overused for too many head-on views of oncoming trains. Perhaps, a little editing could have been useful here.
Color balance is very good overall. Nothing weird. Brightness issues, in the first half. Videography is very good. Historical value, not modern viewing standards.
Trains look good on a large, HDTV. Backgrounds can look artificial, occasionally. Nothing to worry about. No deal breakers. A clean train picture, seems have been the goal.
Illinois Central was always known for hauling coal. Still, a main commodity.
The second half moves the show to: Centralia, Carbondale and DuQuion. Additional Southern Illinois towns. Better weather conditions. Much improved picture. Superior composition. Shot in 1991. Almost like watching two different shows. Grain train shown above. The other huge commodity on Illinois Central.
The entire program is well paced. It moves along quickly. Smooth edits. Audio is natural sound. Good balance of levels.
There are multiple pacing sequences. Different locomotives are featured. All are good.
Not a bunch of offline power. Norfolk Southern has it’s normal traffic, via Centralia.
There are quite a few Amtrak trains. Mary is an expert on Amtrak. She is an Amtrak Conductor! Has worked The City of New Orleans for years. I bet a trip on her train is major fun! Great sense of humor!!
Those old geeps are already getting scarce! Hard to find in the lead, on long lash-ups.
Easier to find, on switching, or small local trains.
Black paint on newly acquired, ex: Burlington Northern SD-40-2 engines. This was the end, for the venerable Paducah Geep rebuilds.
Still see some cabooses in service. Orange was always my favorite. That light gray looked like, no one could agree on a really good color. Like beige carpet.
Heritage Series. Illinois Central:1990-1991. End of the Paducah Geep Era. A good collection of what is now, historical video. Probably, could have gotten the same thrill, in an edit. It does get somewhat repetitive. Still, a must have for Illinois Central fans. Overall, a well done volume in the series.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars