Into the ’90’s GT-2

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Producer: Todd Miller

Timeframe: 1993- 94

Locations: Battle Creek to Port Huron

Length: 2 hours

Source: Todd Miller, Dale Devene, Paul Geiger

The official description is a stretch. I was deciding, between this and GT-1. Both at two hours. This GT-2, had a few things going in its favor. I chose this, based on the advertised inclusions.

Steam, 1980s footage and Battle Creek. Does it include those items? Barely!

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You get several scenes of steam. A couple of scenes that is the 1980s. A few minutes total.

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Major GT yard at Battle Creek. I expected this to be a show highlight. Wait for it… A single aerial flyover!

Not a good start. There is more. Getting ahead of the review.

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The show is narrated by Todd Miller. He seemed to be self sufficient. His Videography is pretty good overall.

His post production work has good points. There are other areas needing help.

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The good. Maps are included in the program. Timely referenced. On screen graphics, with locations and milepost.

Weak are the lighting. Some scenes need the brightness lowered. Early on, this is annoying on the 1994 video. It settles down. No Chapter Menu.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h11m23s180Another area is the audio. Edit the volume on some of these crossing gate scenes. Fortunately, locations are included that are away from crossing gates.

Worst issue is the DVD transfer!

Ever wonder what it would be like to see your old worn out VHS tape on a DVD? Step right in.

Constant, roll and flutter is a distraction. A couple of sections, I thought the tape was being eaten! Only to remember, this is on a disc.

The former 2 tape set, is loaded with flaws. Wonder, why they could not have sourced a set of tapes in better condition?

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Now, after all these issues. The actual show, is a decent visit to the Grand Trunk.

The beginning is at the throat of Battle Creek Yard. A train exiting the area. Program travels towards Canada.

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Durand is one of two extended show highlights. This visit overstays a little bit.

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A long lash-up at Durand.

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A connecting line provides some relief. Central Michigan. The sound of these General Electric locomotives, is a sweet symphony!

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Unexpected, is the amount of online grain elevators.

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At Flint, the famous Grand Funk bridge.

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Canadian Pacific rolls through the territory.

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 Not mentioned in the narrative. Several Amtrak trains, are joint USA and Canadian. Hence, the Via locomotives and Amtrak coaches.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h14m15s559Getting far north at Tappan. This freight has it’s destination at Burlington Northern’s Clyde Yard. BN also is seen earlier,with coal.

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CSX appears with intersecting trackage and various moves. Again with their yard and action at Port Huron.

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Port Huron contains another extended segment. A fascinating look at those: yard, ferry and tunnel operations!

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This GP15 looks dwarfed by the auto racks. Too tall for the current tunnel. They need the river ferry. Three Railroads operate ferries here.

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Focused discussion of yard operation. Details given a detailed look. Plenty of Canadian National movement here.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h46m33s365Canadian National power muscles out of the tunnel beneath the Saint Clair River. Note the construction equipment, building the new tunnel.

 

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The single GT caboose on a train. This from the 1980s freight, constituting one half of that feature.

Into the ’90’s GT-2.

The description fails to deliver on the advertised. A reasonable expectation would be more time on the items, I brought up.

The VHS transfer quality is a dog. Seems like, better tapes could have been applied.

I would have chosen Volume One. Had this been described more accurately.

It is still a good show overall. Lower rating for the sloppy source and transfer.

Rating: 3 Stars

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Kansas City Southern

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Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990

Locations: system

Length: 1 hour 20 minutes

Early 1990 visit to the Kansas City Southern. Pentrex will cover the entire KCS. Long program, that is jam packed with trains, and locations. Hit some highlights…

High quality is a Pentrex Hallmark. All the production elements are professional. Keep in mind, this was an earlier production. 

Pentrex does process their old shows for DVD. A detailed Chapter Menu is included.

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Knoche yard is in Kansas City. This begins a tour of the Railroad. Although, not the start of this review. The yard scenes look similar.

This program has a fine narrative. It is an older release. On screen graphics with many locations. Moves around and there is much territory to see.

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At this time, the white paint scheme is dominant. A front end comparison. Seems to me, the new gray was somewhat better.

The older white ‘ghost scheme’. That always struck me like an economy version, of Soo Line.

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There is no shortage of newer paint in 1990. Surprised to see it on an F unit slug!

 

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Pittsburgh with an old crane and a connecting shortline.

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Lanagan, MO. has a new gray pair leading.

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Flint Creek power plant is a vital coal user. Coal business saved this railroad. Learned a few things while watching this show.

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There are few branchlines on KCS. 785 leads. Here, a Wednesday only run, on once a week service.

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SD40X is 701 at Heavener engine facility. Only four were built.

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Oauchita Mountains.

A train is chased across the mountain grades.  At Hatfield, AK. Train 2 heads back.

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Here is one, that you do not see everyday. Despite the headlight. They say the hi-rail is following this train. A helper set in the mountains. I thought they might be hauling the Pentrex camera crew!

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Ridge Mountain meet with train 9. Number nine is a hotshot for KCS.

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Texas,Oklahoma & Eastern, is a major interchange partner.

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Shreveport, Louisiana. Brief section of street running.

vlcsnap-2019-03-12-11h29m57s306Kiamichi Railroad is another new shortline.

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Superdog moves over a Louisiana bayou. 

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Train 54 with an F, in the lash-up. This train going to the Santa Fe at Dallas, Texas.

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Burlington Northern provides run through power.

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New Orleans area has an extended visit.

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Generally, a railfan wants to know a few things about an older KCS show. Does it contain: F units, GP30s and a few cabooses?This one checks all the boxes.

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We wind up in Jefferson City, Texas. KCS always seems to be crossing one thing or another.

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What is it about viewing a train on a trestle?

Kansas City Southern.

Pentrex has an excellent show. A comprehensive tour of the system. Good variety of motive power. Plenty of rail action. A fine snapshot of this railroad circa 1990.

Rating: 5 Stars