Montana Rail Link EMDs in the Rockies Volume 2 The West End

CVMRL2DVD-C-Vision-Productions-DVD-Montana-Rail-Link-EMDs-in-the-Rockies-Volume-2-The-West-End-600-TheShortLine_216x300

Producer: C. Vision

Locations: Helena, Mullan Pass, Evaro Hill, DeSmet, Paradise, Sandpoint

Timeframe: circa 2014

Length: 2 hours

Source: Mike Savona

Likely the sleeper in the large C. Vision catalog. A spectacular last part, sets this apart! Postcards brought to life. This is an accurate description of the scenes, as this show travels towards Sandpoint, Idaho. One amazing scene after another. Getting ahead of the review.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h30m45s882

Here is the second of a two volume issue from C. Vision, about the contemporary Montana Rail Link. Long vanished, are EMDs in Burlington Northern paint. Shiny dark blue here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h27m43s690

The roster is looking prosperous. Newer SD70AC locomotives. SD45 and updated SD40 class power. Some older GP9 or similar types in clean MRL paint.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h27m18s716

BNSF units are plentiful, as well. Sometimes in their own solid sets. They can appear in mixed lash-ups. Also, single rearend helpers. Odd looking as that is.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h54m02s718

The line coverage is complete. Where the MRL has many points seen with a train or two. Much more of the route mileage, can be viewed. Several maps are included.

The single DVD-R is enclosed in a sturdy plastic case. A detailed Chapter Menu. Choice of the narrative is on/ off.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h38m38s163

The Videography is top shelf! Production is first class throughout. The skill level of the Videographer meets and exceeds anyone, on the current scene. Don Grant does the narration.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h07m19s313

As a reviewer. It is also my role, to discuss any concerns. In this case, wildfire smoke is visible, in some scenes. Similar to inclement weather. The scenes are completely watchable. Nothing serious.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h04m43s270

Audio is natural, Enviornmental Sound. Professional production levels. Show is narrated. Focused on locations, movements and trackage. Could have used additional locomotive information, but not a major miss. The emphasis on train sounds seems to be the priority.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h41m49s613

Obviously, at a two hour program length. Only room to skim the surface. Highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h04m14s598

The appearance of the newer SD70AC, Electromotive diesels scream, Brute Force! Perfect for conquering mountain grades.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h54m24s666

Even with those bad boys on the roster. Nothing is wrong with dependable second generation EMD turbo charged muscle. SD40XR.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h23m40s496

Luckily, this was filmed over a few years. A now discontinued local was still working. The Paradise local, as seen here. Also, another the Darby local.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h37m23s564

After viewing all the high horsepower diesels. Venerable first generation, Electromotive of LaGrange built locomotives, still get the job done. Some about 50 years later!

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h17m40s225

Mullan Pass and the area, is often photographed. As is the Continental Divide.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h40m29s473

A surprising find. The important Gas Trains. Day and Night scheduled runs. Some pulling along with mixed freight. All trains have their symbols.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h33m56s330

Coal has always been a big commodity. A railroad stronghold.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h38m00s285

Far on the West End. The beautiful water provides many reflections.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-09h50m28s039

Sandpoint, Idaho is the end of Montana Rail Link territory.

vlcsnap-2019-11-09-08h35m15s166

A Montana Rail Link caboose is faded, but completely serviceable.

C. Vision has this; Montana Rail Link EMDs in the West End Volume 2. A great release. The fantastic ending of the second half makes this a must see, for any Railfan who enjoys the picturesque side of Railroading.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

CSX 14 Selkirk (Albany), New York

CSX14_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1999- 2001

Locations: Hudson River, Selkirk area, Mohawk Valley, Palmer, Framingham

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Richard A. Kugel.

Albany- Capital District, is the central theme. The lines to Selkirk Yard, are the point in Volume 14. Three mainlines are chiefly visited. The River Line, Hudson Line and Boston Line. Selkirk Yard is shown, for a minute. A Selkirk branchline receives a long look.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h40m40s713

The pretty common, Green Frog DVD-R setup. A Chapter Search, sans a menu. No on-screen graphics, or location maps. Do not see access to the switchable narration, in the multi- set.vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h55m00s980

Color balance is fine. Image quality, is not modern viewing standards. Slight grain overall, and watery at times. Watchable, on a hi-def 55′ screen, although soft. A horizontal distortion bar is constant, along the bottom of the screen. Another, vertical distortion along the left hand side.

Audio is rated as Dolby 5.5 surround. Sounds fine in stereo. Good narrative, by  Peter Youngblood. Enviornmental soundtrack. Levels are well balanced.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h41m33s512

Show tours the areas, in a geographic fashion. The obvious lines. A little uncertain on where certain scenes are, in relation to Albany. Really could have used some maps.  Where is the bridge?

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h38m33s436

Train action abounds. Always, a Green Frog strong point. Bagoda, New Jersey is on the River Line. A Norfolk Southern unit is rare, since the changeover to CSX.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h39m37s738

Unexpected, are some Wisconsin Central SD45s. Seems, that CSX was leasing various locomotives. Burlington Northern, BNSF, and more appear.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h48m15s039

The River Line is located on the West bank of the Hudson River. These New Haven painted FL-9 units are a nice find, on a Metro North. This is at Manitou, NY.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h52m39s305

Amtrak, also runs trains, along the Hudson Line.

This is one of the scenes that highlight the vastness of this vicinity. Videography is well done. Solid camerawork.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h53m52s895

Fort Montgomery, New York.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h04m49s748

A somewhat abrupt, transition to Framingham, Massachusetts. This passenger station serves the Boston Line. MBTA locomotive with a rock screen, over the windshield.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h06m10s933

Palmer, Mass. is shown. Here, a Conrail diamond crossing, with New England Central. A well known spot for Railfans.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h07m04s236

A New England Central arrives at Palmer.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h10m53s744

A CSX lash-up at Selkirk Yard. Time spent, is about a minute, at this huge facility. Expected more, given that Selkirk, is listed in the show title. Not a deal breaker.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h16m28s315

West of Selkirk Yard. Several freights pass. Canadian Pacific is shown. Canadian National power, is also seen.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h14m31s286

Busy Selkirk trackage, has two trains, moving simultaneously.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h00m38s565

The mammoth Poughkeepsie Bridge in the background. A CSX steel move, roars past at Highland.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h20m06s909

Speaking of bridges. This ballast train passes through at Guilderland, NY. Believe he is mispronouncing it. I looked on an online map, this seemed to match.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h18m26s416

At Voorheesville. A BNSF run through unit.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h47m51s311

Back to New York. East of Amsterdam. The Mohawk River, is in front of this CSX train. Doesn’t this look like a model railroad scene?

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h23m18s811 Fullers, New York is on the Selkirk Branch.  A CSX line here now. Good trainwatching along this line.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h20m49s561

At another Guilderland spot. Conrail TV-LA, is on the left. This was their hottest train. Shortly before the CSX takeover.

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h58m48s538

No caboose. Let’s end with the freight of the time. Yes, double stacks. Ugh! What can one do? The show must go on…

CSX 14 Albany (Selkirk). The Capital District and the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. Also available on the: Trains Around New York and New Jersey – Collection set.

Green Frog has targeted coverage of the advertised areas. Would have expected more of Selkirk Yard. Could have used, less Framingham. Maps were really needed, to clarify some of the locations.

The main of the show is enjoyable. Wall to wall action! A good assortment, of trains and locations. The choice of filming in all four seasons, adds zest.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi

Railfanning-Cajon-and-Tehachapi-1976-1993-DVD-D-150

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1970 – 1993

Locations: Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Pass, Colton, San Bernardino,

Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

Sources: Jon Davis and more

Cajon Pass  and Tehachapi Pass. They are featured in this new release, from Charles Smiley Presents. This program looks further, than just those two areas. A desirable era, the includes films from the 1970s.

The single DVD is a silver, factory pressed disc. Same facilities, as used by Hollywood.

A numbered Chapter Menu, is included. CSP always provides, highest quality, custom made maps. Frequently referenced, and appropriate close-ups. Preview section of additional CSP shows.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h28m40s781

A multitude of on-screen graphics. Providing a variety of information. Sometimes, quite detailed which adds to the discussion.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h32m53s539

Sample of one map. Palmdale is being targeted. Color coded trackage.

Three Class One Railroads are all co-stars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h26m11s273

Santa Fe

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-13h11m17s195

Southern Pacific

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h22m57s586

Union Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h53m16s795

Additional roadnames, such as Burlington Northern. Run through power, with Chicago and North Western.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-13h12m21s854

Audio has accurate to the locomotive sounds. Laid-back background music balanced the soundtrack.

Charles Smiley narrates. He his always, interesting and informative. Giving a wealth of knowledge, on these subjects.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h24m06s738

Film quality is excellent, overall. Digital restoration has great color balance. Appears to be predominantly 8mm sourced. Camera work is highly competent. Clear views of trains. All seasons.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h32m30s675

Cajon with snow. Amtrak passengers had a spectacular view!vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h13m41s779Cajon Pass. There is a good amount of footage here. A welcome change from recent times! By this time, the Pinstripe Blue scheme has been replaced with the popular Warbonnet scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h08m50s006

Of course, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific have the rails. Kodachrome repaints are easily found on Santa Fe.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h27m23s259

Colton has abundant trains. The yard leads and Colton Crossing. An SP Kodachrome.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h54m20s172

Of note. Talk about a pig train! A rare scene, is this move of hogs.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h08m00s491

Model Railroaders will be pleased. FYI- Charles has a fascinating Model Railroad. A plethora, of vintage freight and trailer on flatcars, roll by the camera. Eyeball, that blue L&N boxcar!

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h42m30s479Double – Diesels are a fine chapter. Electromotive gets the nod. DD40AX.  Built in 1969… Centennials.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-15h27m21s404Static photographs augment the show. Earlier, DD35 units are also shown, on movie footage. 

Learn the background of the Double Diesels. The UP goals, and implementation.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h45m09s174

General Electric Turbines get looked at, as well. How did these Big Blows, relate to the later EMD units that followed? Answers within the show.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h40m20s080

Tehachapi Pass is well done. Different Cinematographers, with fine views on the scenes.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h48m11s509

Tunnels, in particular are a fine assortment.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-13h04m21s530

Good overview of Tehachapi area.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h32m31s216

Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi. Comprehensive coverage of two, world famous locations. Additional areas simply add to this enjoyable show! The three featured railroads are classics.

This Charles Smiley Presents, checks all the boxes. What’s not to like?

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Denver & Rio Grande Western

DRGW-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1986

Locations: Denver, Royal Gorge, Moffat Tunnel, Tennessee Pass, Winter Park,…

Length: 1 hour 52 minutes

Rio Grande’s entire mainline, is covered from, Denver to Salt Lake City. The year of 1986 had, many solid DRGW lash-ups. Some of the best scenery in the United States, is on this railroad.

All of the major locations are visited. Moffat Tunnel. Climb to the summit of Tennessee Pass. Ski Train at Winter Park. A bonus Cab ride through the beautiful Royal Gorge. This program is jam packed, with a non- stop tour across this historic line.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h23m24s548A detailed Chapter Menu, allows convenient navigation over the single DVD. No on screen graphics. Basic maps for the straightforward line routes. On/ Off narration.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h09m07s182View from Rio Grande tracks, in Royal Gorge.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h05m14s938David Drui, with his smooth and professional narration. Classic Pentrex, with high quality in all departments. 

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h08m45s072Action at six mile long, Moffat Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h29m09s600Viewing a Rio Grande diesel that is this clean, is rare!

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h13m07s456Model Railroaders. Quick quiz. How do you justify double the locomotives on a regular California Zephyr?… Answer… Add some private varnish on the rear!

Quite a few Amtrak views in this show.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h38m13s876Excitement as we are transported into multiple views from, a cab.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h45m20s607Another Cab ride. This time, in Gore Canyon

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-14h48m03s191In the hole we go.. Meeting a Coal Train.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h40m46s695Checkout those Missouri Pacific units in Canary paint.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h06m21s654Red rocks provide a scenic backdrop. Spectacular scenery throughout this program. Cameras have viewpoints both, near and far. A sense of scale, will be communicated to the viewer.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h12m48s269Glenwood Springs has always been a popular tourist destination. Scenery is highlighted, along with the station.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h20m03s353Minturn Yard is a busy place. Here, a meet. Just a fast look here.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h52m57s972The Joint Line has been the subject of it’s own shows. A brief visit in this program. Burlington Northern and Santa Fe shared this trackage with Rio Grande.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-16h06m01s862Ski Train has a Chapter. Denver to Winter Park.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h33m14s117Tennessee Pass at over 10,000 feet. Power is largely SD40T-2 locomotives. The newer SD50 class are out in force. GP40 engines round out most of the DRGW units. Perhaps, older locos were in less critical service. 

 

Besides Cotton Belt and Southern Pacific. Burlington Northern run throughs will frequent the lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-18h03m25s451An add-on Bonus coverage feature. A 23 minute Cab Ride. A GP40 pair with a local. Tours Royal Gorge Canyon! November, 5 1986. Other trains are encountered. Awesome!

vlcsnap-2019-10-03-15h35m34s174One of the very few cabooses that appear. Was tough to find this one, with a clear view. Doesn’t meet advertised. Promised many cabooses. A few is the reality. Not a deal breaker.

Denver and Rio Grande Western. An excellent visual overview. Seemingly endless viewpoints.  Narrative is an early Pentrex. Lightweight on details. They make up for it with later releases, that cover the same territory.

This show has great mainline coverage of a pre-merger Rio Grande. They did a fine job of filming the railroad. A show that fans will want to rewatch multiple times.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Burlington Northern’s Funnel

Burlington_Northerns_Funnel_DVD_FUNNEL-DVD

Producer: Bill Lambert

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Spokane,WA., to Sandpoint, Idaho

Length: 80 minutes

Source: Bill Lambert

The Funnel is a single track mainline between Spokane, Washington and Sandpoint, Idaho. This key section of Burlington Northern trackage is a hotspot. Carrying 90% of the BN container traffic. A huge amount of lumber. Plenty of grain and general freight, as well. Over 100 trains daily travel this line.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h42m45s789Video Rails was the original production company of this program. There is no Chapter Menu. It is sparsely narrated. A basic map outlines the towns, along the 71 mile route. Bare bones presentation. Jim Knight narrates a simple, script.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-13h45m37s075The show begins at Spokane. An oddly named location, named Latah Junction. Notice how much of the shooting is distant. Gives the show a detached feel.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-13h56m08s944Marshall Canyon is up next. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h40m04s850A cut where too much time is spent.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h41m32s730Back and forth, the trains go…

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h49m52s957Containers, stack trains. Seen one- seen them all. They come in red, blue and green. Modern standardization reality. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h00m27s028The lake scenery is gorgeous! 

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h05m03s383What is even more boring than watching modern container trains? This!… Empty flatcars from across a lake.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h47m19s563A rock cut provides additional scenic variety.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-14h57m59s011A workmanlike program. Videography is fine. Although, it stays too long in spots. Lacks a certain creative sense. Though it does try.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h05m51s913This show runs very quiet. Live sound and little else happening. Yes, all single track running and no helper locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-08-15-15h08m37s061Modern and relatively boring container traffic. The whole works feels repetitive pretty quickly. Script does not contain enough interest to save it. Not a show that has much rerun value. Snoozer…

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars