Burlington Northern- In the Former ‘Q’ Coal Fields


Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1986- 1991

Locations: Centralia, Goreville Hill,

Length: 1 hour 49 minutes

Source: George Redmond

This Heritage Series release is on Burlington Northern coal trains. Shot in Southern Illinois. Some general freight and intermodal trains, are included.  Various BN diesel power.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h38m56s333George Redmond was out with his video camera. What you see, is what you get. Enviornmental soundtrack. Mary does the narrative. A numbered Chapter Menu. Plenty of on-screen graphics. No maps.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-13h58m04s269Video quality is variable. Weather and natural light levels. Colors are good. It’s old videotape sourced. The best is here. Do not expect a modern image. Let’s take a look, see what’s going on.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h12m34s809General Electric 12 axle locomotives, are heavily utilized. Older, U30C engines are mixed with C30-7 power. The ubiquitous SD40-2 locos are here, but must be concentrated elsewhere.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-13h43m22s107 A GP20 makes the scene!

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-15h23m21s943BN, was easily identified on the coal hoppers, in the old days.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-15h25m01s451Cabooses are frequently seen throughout. The intermodals, were amoung the first to lose them.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h44m45s015There are discrepancies. Compass heading, versus timetable direction. Simple solution, is to see the show and let Mary explain it all. 

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h39m22s624Centralia, Shattuck and Cravat Hill. These are the main areas frequented.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-13h44m18s494Cravat Hill has a grade. These locomotives smoke it up. Also, check the graphic.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h41m24s867Experimental scheme. Big BN, plus a whiteface, on this GP50 unit.


Neilson Jct. is another busy location. GP38 pair, with a mixed freight.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h16m46s784The blue units are Electromotive.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-15h13m51s105A whiteface C30-7 caught George’s eye.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-15h17m48s599It gets chased, all the way to the Metropolis Bridge!

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-15h40m28s316Electromotive units on their own.


A GP30 with the whiteface, is rare! The show is well paced. Nicely edited, doesn’t drag.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-13h42m04s993These two cabooses sport the old and the new. A green BN. An original CB&Q, Burlington Route. You can just make the rectangular, Burlington Route logo.

vlcsnap-2019-12-02-14h37m41s371Burlington Northern- In the Former ‘Q’ Coal Fields.

Certainly does the job. Coal trains and more coal trains. A minimum of variety. There is the weather! The advertised clearly states, Coal. So, if a Railfan enjoys; Burlington Northern and coal. That is a clear match.

Everyone else, realize these are specific tapes. Check the Diverging Clear line for your own mates. Solid show for BN fans.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars


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