Heritage Unit Roundup

HUR-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe 2015

Locations: SoCal, Chicago, Yuma sub

Length: 1 hour 54 minutes

Pentrex dives into the somewhat boring modern locomotive railroad scene. They seek out those specially painted Heritage units.

These engines were schemes to commererate previous paint jobs or general railroads, as aqquisitions.

Let’s checkout some show highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h08m29s251

As I have little interest in modern railroading. Only what is shown within this show, shall be reviewed. I really do not care what is missing.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h23m15s008

A detailed Chapter Menu highlights the individual UP units, plus a Norfolk Southern general listing.

Dependable Pentrex quality is assured.

Narrative includes some history on predecessor roads.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h25m39s689

Notable locations include: Cajon Pass, Beaumont Hill, Colton, Yuma and more..

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-18h56m23s534

Amtrak has several units, that cover various phases. This scene from Chicago has a Phase One paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h02m46s253

UP 1982 is a tribute to Missouri Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h19m48s815

UP 1983 is Western Pacific. The WP is a long chapter.Numbering is approximate merger years, more or less.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h43m14s100

UP 1988. The red Katy is a sharp looking one!

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h53m33s359

UP 1989 wears the Rio Grande.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h00m55s286

UP 1995 in Chicago and Northwestern.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h19m05s580

UP 1996 is heavily featured.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h04m09s087

Why not? The Southern Pacific. One of the most attractive of the group.

Norfolk Southern visitors…

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h29m14s671

Savanna and Atlanta, leads on an inbound and outbound move. Many leading Heritage units get paced.

 

A Virginian is buried in a lash-up.

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-20h33m13s906

Pennsylvania is a vintage, eye popper! Nicely paced…

vlcsnap-2019-06-26-19h40m03s400

The double stacks are what these newer locomotives are usually hauling. Endless long trains of container traffic. Yawn.

Heritage Unit Roundup. Pick your favorites. Argue what’s missing. Seems that Pentrex could have included more Eastern. Fine show of these modern diesels. Not my wheelhouse. Perhaps it is yours.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Advertisements

The Stormy

STORMY-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Locations: Tucson to Lordsburg

Timeframe: 1995

Length: 90 minutes

Southern Pacific’s Lordsburg District. Filmed in the spring of 1995. Last of the semaphore signal usage there. Some double track installation, along with signal upgrades.

This was a power short SP. Leased units abound. No cabooses. Not much excitement in general here. Double stacks and more double stacks…

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h59m47s184

Pentrex has a quality show. Excellent presentation. Detailed Chapter Menu. Full narration. Plenty of graphic extras.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h27m58s319

The show begins at the SP yard in Tucson, Arizona. It will proceed East until the conclusion at Lordsburg, New Mexico.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h49m48s200SP dark grey paint is what you get.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h34m22s582

Maps are used at the appropriate times.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h54m47s084

The last of the vintage semaphore signals are shown in operation.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h43m15s585

There are some sizeable bridges.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h31m09s929

Much of the fleet needs repainting in 1995. Variety of locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h49m46s054

SD units are the dominate road power.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-16h52m45s419

Top notch videography. Note, the CSX locomotive on the lead.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-13h04m30s852

Pentrex does so well at the pan.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h27m33s360

There are some old structures from the steam era, still standing along the route. Check the GE on the head end.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h04m19s387

Amtrak makes several quick appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h18m33s294

Willcox still has a Station in use by SP.

vlcsnap-2019-06-12-12h48m16s968

After awhile, the trains begin to look the same.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-16h55m46s064

Intermodal traffic is the main traffic.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h15m12s225

A hot Union Pacific train breaks the monotony of SP led freights.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h37m54s571

Pentrex can be great at identification of trains. On screen graphics, combined with narration, decide this information.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h26m34s625

A couple of shortlines get a glimpse. Arizona Eastern here.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-16h59m28s324

The camera crew captures all of the major highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h23m42s059

Here are some leased diesels.

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h46m09s264

Lordsburg provides an anti-climatic conclusion. Fairly quiet. Oddly enough, Pentrex returns to Tucson!

vlcsnap-2019-06-13-17h00m24s410

This is the lone caboose in this show. San Pedro Southwestern.

The route traverses scenic, yet relatively barren desert terrain. Sleepy, small towns. In fact, outside of the speeding freights, the show does have a sleepy feel. Most of the time, trains are the only thing moving.

Rating: 4 Stars

Diesels on the Union Pacific

WB013.jpg

Producer: William Brown

Timeframe: early 1980s

Locations: Cheyenne, Sherman line, more..

Length: 2 hours 7 minutes

This combination of two old VHS tapes into this double DVD set. Viewers will experience what watching those old tapes is like. No remaster or enhancement here. Too bad, the visuals do need help.

The shows are jam packed with 1980s action! That is the main attraction. The video begins, around the main yard at Cheyenne. A major Union Pacific location, with a rich history.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h41m07s681

Visual quality is barely adequate or below overall. It is quite messy. A good sized distortion bar runs horizontal, along the bottom of the screen. On the left side, a vertical distortion bar.

There are many small horizontal distortion lines in the upper third to half of the picture. This fault is variable. Yet, too frequent. A worn out master tape.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h39m05s974

Color balance tries to hangs tough. Barely adequate, to less than that. Some green rails appearing. Yellow shade gets off kilter.

The show is somewhat watchable. Just on the low end. Keep your expectations low.

Audio is considerably better. Live sound captures the diesels very well. Particularly satisifying when chasing the Centennials.

No maps or Chapter Menus are included. A bare bones release.

Rege Cordic has a clear slot in the narrative. The script is quite basic.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h31m32s394

Some good news. A caboose on every train. They come from various railroads! Keeps things interesting.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h18m05s162

Good assortment of run through power. Plus, the trains themselves were more interesting, as well.

One disc plays One hour. The other 67 minutes.

To the Trains ..

Disc 1

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h08m54s380

The tour starts sensibly, at the Cheyenne roundhouse. The various steam engines and random diesels are browsed there.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h11m54s831

Moving on, after a brief yard tour. The mainlines are featured.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h34m30s203

Hordes of EMD SD40-2 were dominate. Classic film locations are seen.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h37m06s265

General Electric does have a presence.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h42m19s119

Centennials were activated. A chase over Sherman Hill.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h58m20s593

A caboose on every train! Chicago and  Northwestern on some unit coal. Other roads, though mostly Union Pacific.

The Sequel

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-09h23m33s049

Exact same format. Video quality is slightly worse overall. Note the unnatural purple distortion lines that fill the sky. Also, lower horizontal and side distortion bars.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-09h35m42s898Still, a full action show! A high vantage point provides some good looks at the passing freights.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h39m57s781

Checkout the access the Videographers had in this era! Famous locations and likely no hassles.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-10h07m50s556

An odd, no narrative with various Amtrak scenes segment.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-09h44m15s760

A cornucopia of cabooses. Road variety keeps it interesting. Yes, trainwatching was better.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-09h41m27s295

This was the last hurrah.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-10h23m01s292

It is -50 degrees, with the wind chill. Baby, it’s cold!

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-10h26m04s493

Cab ride onboard Centennial #6922. Travel from Denver towards Cheyenne.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-10h41m21s202

The passenger special relays the train to Challenger 3985.

vlcsnap-2019-06-08-17h51m44s595

Diesels on the Union Pacific

This is a good historical trip, back to the 1980s. While it was well shot originally. Age has not been kind to the videos.

It  is still watchable. Although, it would be tough on one’s eyesight, to view both discs in a single sitting.

The decreased visual quality relegates this set into the land of hardcore railfans. The content is strong. Too bad about the viewing.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

CSX on the Tracks of the C&O

CRVCOT1-Classic-Railroad-Videos-DVD-CSX-on-the-Tracks-of-the-C-and-O-600-TheShortLine_211x300

Producer: A&R

Timeframe: 1995-2000

Locations: Lynchburg to Kenova

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

Source: Chester Kumada

Self guided tour of the given route. Third generation CSX locomotives. Unit coal trains. Not much in the way of variety. The most interesting aspect is the history. Yet, nothing is learned.

A major flaw. This show is advertised as ‘Narrated’. The terminology of narration. Commonly refers to a voiceover that is present throughout the program.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h43m42s762

Here, a limited bit of talk, at the beginning. After that brief portion. The remaining 90 minutes are NOT narrated!

A single route map. One look is all that is given.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-09h55m41s452

The edits are rough, in too many spots.  Contributed uncomfortable viewing session. Hard on the eyesight.

A small horizontal distortion bar is present at the bottom of the screen. Always there.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-09h27m18s830

Audio is whatever the High 8 Videocam recorded. Unedited. Including, the cameraman getting hassled to give some identification info!

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-09h45m09s133

The dark paint is seen at Lynchburg, Virginia.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h01m26s442

Wind noise gets too loud at times. This should have been edited, in the Post production.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h59m37s819

The show plays like a raw video. The show contains some normal video flaws. Nothing to be a big concern. Just like watching a tape.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h38m39s801

Chester uses his camera as handheld. A fairly, steady hand. Although, there are shaky scenes. A little trimming could have smoothed some of this out of the show.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h00m35s807

A wasted opportunity to explore some history of the locations. Sometimes, a bit of signage designated a location. Otherwise, your guess is good as mine.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h41m04s491

Unit coal trains are as thrilling as watching paint dry. They could have discussed, the various moves and the companies involved. At the very least.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-10h50m14s339

Clifton Forge has a large yard. Now, there is a subject! Speaking of narration. This ex:B&O GP40 is cutout of the lash-up on a coal train. Dropped at the yard. No details.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h00m31s397

Chester gets a great view at this empty move!

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h14m45s976

Here is an: almost but no cigar, GP30. A road slug. CSX 2211.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h11m11s276

A couple of Amtrak scenes. One at the platform is The Cardinal. The Public Address via the video microphone.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h31m45s796

Ohio River, is a shortline involving coal hoppers. An NW2 and an old Centercab diesel, are performing the mindless switching. No description= mindless.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h44m16s637

We are at the end of the show. A bit of logic. Must be Kenova, West Virginia. I have seen that Norfolk and Western trestle, in old films.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-11h14m36s611

The final tally is a weak result. Lack of narration is a huge downfall. As are the other production flaws. This becomes a drag.

A regular narrative could have made a big difference. Therefore, the lower rating.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

Into the ’90’s GT-2

s-l300

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!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h11m32s010

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h15m33s537

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.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h20m04s167

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.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h13m31s272

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?

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h32m04s760

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.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h45m19s329

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h47m44s413

A long lash-up at Durand.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h52m37s726

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h10m20s741

Unexpected, is the amount of online grain elevators.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h56m28s472

At Flint, the famous Grand Funk bridge.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h36m33s561

Canadian Pacific rolls through the territory.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h12m58s805

 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.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h51m57s831

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h56m33s075

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h42m05s272

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

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h37m43s393

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.

 

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h14m30s672

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