Covered Wagons of the Cascade

Covered-Wagons-of-the-Cascade--CWC-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1970s

Locations: Portland, Chicago, Washington state

Length: 48 minutes

Source: Nick Muff

Burlington Northern F units are the stars of the show. Washington state. Operating in the forests. Near the Canadian border. At the end of their heyday. In the 1970s.

The rest of this program fills out the agenda. Covered wagons vis-a-vis: E-units. Albeit a few Chicago blink and you will miss them! Also, a little bit at Portland station.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h04m57s009

Nice restoration of color 8mm film. The post production work makes a huge difference! No comparison to unrestored 8mm collections. Very good to near exellent view quality.

A chapter menu. Minimal effectiveness. Sort is for the 2 terminals and Washington.

Original audio recordings by the Cinematographer. These begin with a primitive cassette, player recorder. Many kids owned one back in the 1970s. Me too.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h30m21s099

You will immediately become aware of the  benefits for dubbing. The early tracks are weak. Notice the narrator speaking right over those.

Fortunately, the soundtrack significantly improves. Yet, there are some instances where some alternative would have better.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h19m20s620Portland in June 1971 had some interesting units. That BN F is in passenger, hockey stick paint!

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h49m37s599

We move onward to the meat and potatoes. Washington state is where the early Electromotive units are operating. This will include some GP9 and brethern.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h33m28s327

The F7 units were often seen leading.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h37m18s647

Our Cameramen was probably a friendly guy. He received an invitation to ride. Checkout the local tavern!

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h56m13s897

Pure F unit lash-ups can still be seen.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h08m55s100

As can a chicken wire F3B!

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h01m08s898

Model Railroaders, will find a healthy supply of potential models and consist examples.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h33m51s851

Many freight cars are shown as the trains roll by. We are near the Canadian border. Hence, many CP Rail.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h01m43s571

Life’s not perfect. Stuck with a GP9 leading! If things only got this bad. Ha! Even this is a winner.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-10h12m35s672

Canadian Pacific is the local interchange partner. A trio of geeps. Check the old paint scheme, on the middle unit.

vlcsnap-2019-03-10-09h34m16s177

One has to appreciate the caboose being included on each train. As it should be!

Anyone with an interest in vintage F7 units or Burlington Northern should enjoy this show. Professional production. A little weak on some of the audio, that keep it from a higher rating. No worries. Get it for the film.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Advertisements

Today’s Maine Railroads

71I1tCW+F6L._SY445_

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990’s

Locations: Maine

Length: 1 hour 40 min.

A colorful show. Maine railroading in the early 1990’s. Interesting, with the usual, and the unexpected.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h36m04s998

Springfield Terminal, is Guilford’s version of the Maine Central. This is the major carrier in the state. Boston and Maine, lettering on numerous Guilford’s diesels. Plenty of traffic here.

Bangor and Aroostook, is still operating up there. Some locals get filmed.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h29m24s779

Interchange partner CP Rail is expected. The MLW built Alco designed power a surprise. These MLW C424 series bring a freight train.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h11m25s745

While, Maine Coast Shortline is a contrast to those. You will find even more.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h23m27s233

Pentrex has the top shelf quality in every fashion! All production is professional level.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h07m07s780

Maps are plentiful. Frequently referenced and carefully explained. Excellent! On screen graphics, displayed as needed. Assorted information.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h10m42s596

Each subject railroad receives a brief but effective, class like attention.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h19m16s851

Sometimes, the location becomes the dominant subject. Otherwise, the operation. Whatever tells the story best.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h28m28s981

Cinematography is first rate. All weather. Day or night. The camera crew never closes! At least it seems that way.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h05m47s842

Ambient audio is, balanced and clean. Very nicely done.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h31m39s672

The fine narrative is balanced, as well. An informative script does provide good background on the locales.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h22m22s168

Locomotives are discussed in some detail, at times. Example, as to where used engines were purchased.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h13m36s323

Saint Lawrence & Atlantic. Another shortline that is featured. Runs a few former Central Vermont GP9 units.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h23m45s253

Bangor and Aroostock still has quite a bit of equipment up there. This program includes looking at much of that. In service or not. Rigby Yard visit.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h34m20s871

Belfast & Moosehead Lake is another contrast. Tourist train line, with diminutive 70 tonners.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h33m51s930

An armstrong turntable at the small roundhouse. Look at those three men shoving… Armstrong!!! Receive a tour of this line. Belfast to Brooks.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h17m57s049

Those grey painted locomotives keep showing up. Not a bad thing.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h14m03s118

Beautiful Maine scenery along the routes.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h39m48s721

Not a caboose to be found on the mainlines.

vlcsnap-2019-03-02-16h24m28s694

Bangor and Aroostook plow waits for the next big snowstorm…

Today’s Maine Central.

A general tour of Maine railroading. Class One and small shortlines, are  given a comprehensive overview. An excellent program. Pentrex with another fine one!

Rating: 5 Stars

A 1960’s Train Travelogue

A 1960’s Train Traveloguecvr

C Vision Productions

Length: 65 minutes

Time Period: 1960’s

Locations: Marinette, Charleston, Naperville, Ontario, Wisconsin and more..

Sources: Joe Siedl,. Lynn Longley

MSRP: 29.95

C Vision surprises us, with another new source of upper midwest vintage railroading. This cinematographer also traveled to Canada. There are some hard to find lines and locomotives. Mid 1960’s timeframe is highly desirable. Filmed in color, on Super 8mm.

soo neenahJoe Siedl is the main cinematographer for this program. He had an Argus camera. Filmed alot around Marinette, Wisconsin. CNW and SOO are prominent. Canada has a big chunk of the program. Canadian Pacific, CN and Ontario Northland. Seaboard Coast Line is a highlight. Burlington Route is another feature. A few GG1 electrics too.

1535CNW 1535 is a GP7, with a Fairbanks Morse Baby Trainmaster.

Don Grant narrates the show. Music background is used to fill the rest. There is an off switch for the music. The keyboard player is pretty good. Improved overall music versus older releases. Basic narration is good with: locomotive call-outs, locations and some more. I have added a little extra information, for my readers.

soo gp35 gp30 stevens point 2                  Soo Line GP35 with a GP30 are at Steven’s Point, Wisconsin.

Camera appears to be handheld. For the most part, it is steady. A few scenes have some shakes or possible film jumps. Nothing to worry about. Colors look good. Film looks original, unrestored. Composition is well done. Graphics for locations.

Chicago and North Western is loaded with freight and passenger trains. Many locomotive types. CNW fans should be satisfied.

 

cnw f7 4052A peshtigoCNW 4052A at Peshtigo, WI. This is not an F3. Rather, an F9AM. A rebuild from original FT series, built in 1945. The 4050 series are tricky, with some being F3 before rebuilding. I had to look it up. Otherwise, what a sweet scene!

cnw 901 rs27Here is CNW 901 in 1966. Misidentified as an Alco C425. It is a rare Alco RS27. This occurs more commonly then you may realize on many train videos. Not worth bothering, except this engine has an interesting history. Purchased new in 1962. Traded in with the other 3 RS27’s after only 4 years for C425 models. Alco leased it and sold it to Precision National. Leased to Canadian Pacific. Sold to GBW in 1976. On to WC in 1987. Minnesota Commercial in 1992. Interesting…back to the show.

cp alco fa fbCanadian Pacific Alco FA/ FB combo. It is a maroon and gray CP seen in this era.

dh17What amounts to small segments: Green Bay and Western, LS&I. Milwaukee Road and Great Northern. A cameo on Delaware and Hudson. Former Santa Fe PA17 heads The Laurentian.

 

Joe was stationed at Charleston, SC. Circa 1968. Worth the price of admission for this chapter. A hard to find supply of Seaboard Coast Line. A fine variety of vintage diesels.

scl 585 e7   SCL 565 is an E7A. Seen at Charleston station. Also, are rare E6 and common E8 units.

scl 2006Could have filled the page with cool shots of Seaboard Coast Line activity. SD45 displays flags because it is running extra.

scl  959The GP9, GP18 lash-up includes some interim looking paint schemes.

cbqA bunch of Chicago, Burlington and Quincy at Naperville, Ill. Even in the 60’s this was a known hotspot. Triple track mainline all the way into Chicago. The freights were to Clyde Yard. Passenger action is plentiful. All stainless passenger trains look great. Chinese red and gray on the freights is a bonafide classic. The GP20 on the lead, was a hot mainline locomotive in 1966!

cbq 4960At Baraboo, Wisconsin. The circus train with it’s very colorful consisit of classic circus wagons. These wagons are loaded on flatcars. The loading methods used by the circus industry, helped develop early piggyback transportation. In this scene, Burlington Route 4960. a 2-8-0 Light Mikado hauls the train.

pbxOntario Northland Polar Bear Express. Joe caught some rare ON freight as well. Must see.

soo fp7aA classic scene of the mid-1960’s. A single four axle EMD locomotive with a freight train. This Soo Line FP7 is a classic.

Lynn Longley’s bonus section at the end doesn’t match the quality of the main show. It will not be factored into the rating. A few minutes of 1950’s Milwaukee Road. Poor to fair at best.

scl 2007 rearNot much in the way of cabooses in this show. We shall close with a passing SD45 leading 4 F units from the SCL yard. The high horsepower units were strong entries in the headlong race for more power. Mixed in with this unusual lash-up of 1950’s era covered wagons. The F unit engines that defeated steam. A modern second generation model that would replace the earlier diesels. Atlantic Coast Line merged with Seaboard Air Line. All pass into history.

A 1960’s Train Travelogue. Here is a worthy assortment of circa 1966-67 railroading. The rarities make it one that railfans may need. It plays well and the nonstop action passes the time quickly. Overall, a nice release to add into a collection.

Rating: 4 Stars

F-Units on the Nanticoke: CN 9100’s

F-Units on the Nanticoke: CN 9100’sNanticoke

Green Frog / Canrail

3 DVD Set

Length: 3.2 Hours

Time Period: 1986

Locations: Hamilton to Nanticoke

Source: Rob McCormack

MSRP: 40.00

Green Frog has this extensive set, which feature vintage, rebuilt F7 units. The year is 1986. Canadian National had reassigned the venerable F7 Units to the steel train job at Hamilton. They are in ABA configuration. Specialized flatcars and gondolas haul the steel. The Canrail video crew spent 6 weeks recording the activity.

9169Trackside. (DVD 1)

9173Canadian National 9173 is the star of the show. This unit is the one that viewers will ride.

The first DVD contains a one hour film. This is not narrated.Graphics list locations. A map is needed. Without a map, there is no frame of reference. Appears to operate as an empties/ loads cycle. Basic service to a steel plant. Viewers will see various industrial steel products. .

grand river bridge1Videography is competent. Editing is smooth. Audio is environmental sound. Whatever the microphone picked up, is what we hear. Content is like watching raw video, with good edits.

caledoniaThe Trackside disc plays fine. Keep in mind, there is no narration. Would have enjoyed hearing this story. Oh well, at least hearing the normally aspirated power is a treat!

Covered Wagons Cab ride Part 1 : Hamilton to Hagersville.

hamilton                                  The train originates for this show at a CN yard.

street run                     Street running on the CN train. The cab is busy and noisy.

engineer                                       Canadian National Engineer is Ross Pearce.

woodsA basic cab ride on this branchline. Unique, as this was an actual working, revenue service F7 unit. Most other F unit rides are on museums or excursions. The radio communication and train orders add an extra bit of action. This is a fine way to experience an F7 unit.

Part 2: Hagersville to Nanticoke and Return to Caledonia

gate                                   Train 725 goes to the Stelco plant and picks up steel.

pearcePart 2 has more content of watching the engineer at work. The radio crackles as Joe communicates with the dispatchers and train crew.

riverAs the freight travels back, we see some now familiar sights. Grand River Bridge.

lakeThe camera gets bouncing on this segment. Likely rough trackage. Generally, it is best edited out. For historical value and completeness, well… hit the fast forward button.

roadF Units on the Nanticoke provides a trip back in time aboard CN 9173. The 2 part cab ride is the main feature. That is over 2 hours in an operating F7. Add to the fact, this is on a Class One railroad in 1986. A rare type of show.

mixedA Canadian National caboose (van in CN terminology) is at both ends of these trains. Though not stated, the ABA sets are probably run around the train, to always lead.

The Trackside footage is satisfactory. Seeing the vintage locomotives working is good. This one is screaming for a narrative. Green Frog usually has great scripts. Seems to be a Canrail production issue. Still, the trains are seen with a steady camera.

This is a fine set to have. On the whole, it has a workman like quality. Appeal is best directed to the hardcore railfan. Casual viewers will be left bassically clueless, without a narrative. Canadians should love it. True railfans will appreciate the historical aspect of the package.

Rating: 4 Stars

Pacing! 25 Years Along the High Iron

Pacing! 25 Years Along the High IronPacing-

Diverging Clear

Length: 3 1/2 Hours

Time Period: 1986- 2013

Locations: Illinois farmlands

Source: Dunn, Jensen, McPherson, Redmond

Producer: Mary McPherson

MSRP: 25.00

This new release by Diverging Clear should be subtitled: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. A 2 disc set. One is dedicated to 25 years of steam. The 2nd is 25 years of Diesel.

cn 5432Canadian National on former Illinois Central rails in 2013.

The show is action driven. Constant movement of the locomotives on the screen.

mpEach disc features 25 trains. There is a Chapter Menu. The volume level of the loading and menu portion is way too loud. It needs to balance with the program. The sound level will blow one put of the room.

sou 2638The Good: A nice assortment of Steam and Diesel. You would think the Steam would win a pacing show hands down. The drivers, the stack talk and the steam whistles are a formidable array. However, the Diesel portion is equally interesting. Theses are almost all rare. That is in the sense that the everyday operations of the late 1980’s and some 1990’s are not widely available in a pacing format.

4501Southern 4501 has one of the best whistles in the set. Great tone and it sounds ‘wet’.

9639

Most DCP shows do contain pacing sequences. Many of those presented are in the form of extended chase scenes.  Depending on individual taste, you can watch it or hit the ‘next’ button to skip ahead.

The Bad: Steam has some excessive wind noise. The type that has the potential to damage audio speakers.This is unfortunate. Skipped a few scenes that started out with loud pop and crackle noises. Having a raised volume is just plain fun with steam engines. Diesels is far better and the noise only occasionally is an issue.

csxcsx 2531

The Ugly: Diesels has those familiar old VHS cassette tape issues that are common. Work has been done to color correct. The source tapes can be a nasty challenge for anyone. Like many other train videos, the scarcity of the subject material can be the deciding factor.

ns 2595

Steam is loaded with the usual performers from the time period. NW 611, UP 3985, NKP 765 and 567, Soo 1003 plus L&N 152 are some. Black Hills Central, Ohio Central, and Northern Pacific are the ones not beat do death everywhere.

261 2000Milwaukee Road has a few appearances. In 2000, the wind noise isn’t annoying or present.

1522

Frisco 1522 is too common on this show. Variety in the form of actual vintage whistles used. Kurt Jensen does the very minimal narrative. Good plan, the locomotives are well suited to task. Each scene displays informative graphics.

chessie

Today’s technology should have rendered the wind noise inert. Just doesn’t belong on a year 2014 production. Various options could have improved the sound, including assorted substitutions.

crcnw 5097

That being said, This program does offer the chance to see 50 trains being paced in one set. The diesel variety seems to have a great mix of period lash-ups. The Heritage Series parallels the roadnames on this set. A few exceptions at the end. Ohio Central F units and modern BNSF ‘whatever they are’ set to music.

mpup 87

The producer has stated this release is a response to railfan requests. The bottom line for all viewers amounts to your choice. If you seek this footage- here it is. Can be adequate for pacing,as long as you consider it’s shortcomings. If you are hesitant to shell out. Similar and same action is available in many DCP programs.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars