CN, CP and TH&B

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Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1950s- 1970s

Locations: Hamilton, Dundas sub, Aldershot, Burlington, more

Length: 103 minutes

Sources: John Spring, Ken Spring, Bill Mathews

An amazing collection of all color films. Hamilton, Ontario Canada area. Vintage 1950s to 1970s. Rarities and everyday scenes; including, steam and diesel locomotives. Heavy on freight trains. Passenger trains as well.

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Official Subtitle is: Railroading in Hamilton during the 50’s – 70’s. Some extra information. A 1956 Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo chapter.  1967 Railfan Trip. 1977 Snow Plow. 1972 EL Reroute. 6218 Fantrip. More…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h06m21s007 A single DVD-R. This new 2019 release includes a detailed Chapter Menu. No maps. Everything has an informative graphic. No narrative.

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Digitally processed. Clean images. Many scenes appear to be 16mm film. Vibrant colors, overall. Some overcast weather, is duller. It is a great vintage film collection. All color!

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Audio is excellent. Train sounds with some Enviornmental audio. Good levels. Some occasional wind noise, but sensibly leveled.

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Strongly would have preferred a narrated show. The trains are coming at a fast pace! Explanation on certain rarities would have added value. Information in general, could have been extremely beneficial. An odd decision.

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The films are excellent! Great colors.  and balance throughout. No small feat. This is a motherlode of Canadian trains! Spanning two decades. Three film sources.

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The on-screen graphics denote trains, locations etc.. Solid information. Wish there was more. Without a map, no reference point to nail the given locations. However, these vintage scenes are worth owning.

Penn Central powered Canadian Pacific train, passing a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo switcher above.

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A wide array of trains. Surprising variety of roadnames. Including a fair amount of United States railroads. Enough cabooses to satisfy. Chesapeake and Ohio. Surprising!

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This review space will only skim the top of what is contained in this vast collection.

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Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo in 1956. An NRHS fantrip, behind a steam engine. See and depart the roundhouse area.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h01m21s745Let’s ride! You get the idea…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h53m58s655Canadian National F units, on a Queen’s train.

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Canadian Pacific, in the Maroon and Gray. Factory fresh paint above. Both, block and script lettered units are found.

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More steam action than expected. Regular service, fantrips, double-headers and this triple-header! Comes at the viewer, like a blizzard.

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Steam is present. Big and Small. Dead or Alive. In service, on display, or at the yards.

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New York Central is commonplace. If memory serves, I believe that Penn Central later had a Canadian division. Connections at, Detroit and Buffalo, more or less.

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In 1972, Erie Lackawanna was rerouting freights. Possibly, flooding. Several trains, this one serves nicely here.

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Check those Chicago and North Western bi-level cars. Believe it or not. A steam locomotive is on the front!

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Canadian National Faiirbanks Morse diesels are a rare sight.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h14m49s443How about this CN 1967 Centennial set? Never heard of those.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h07m50s916A fantrip was aboard this Canadian Pacific Budd car. It runs around a little. The bridge scenes is the best one.

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A one of a kind; New York Central with a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo. This is on a frigid, January day. 1967 fantrip.

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Canadian National is all over the place. The Alco designs in the CN wet noodle, are memorable.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h08m28s952Ontario Northland has a few different paint schemes on their F units.

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Late in the show. Several Comfort Cabs tip us off, to the 1970s. A wreck has the cranes at work, as well.

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GO Transit appears in some early versions.

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Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo caboose.

Green Frog has a fantastic release here. Really deserves a narrative. The strength of the quality vintage films makes it a must have for Canadian Railfans. There are enough items of general interest, that should appeal to all Railfans.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Griffith, Indiana

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Producer: Jonathan Quinley

Timeframe: Dec, 2016 to Sept, 2018

Location: Griffith, Indiana

Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Source: Jonathan Quinley

Griffith is a hot spot . The interlocking trackage is  located near Chicago. Six miles, from the Illinois and Indiana State line. Once, one of the busiest interlockings in the world. There are still about 45 daily trains here.

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C Vision has footage from 2 years. That was 2016 until 2018. CSX ran a daily train until 2018. Here are some highlights…

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December 2016 is the beginning of this timeline. According to the Chapter Menu.

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This single DVD-R has a detailed Chapter Menu. On/ Off narration. Detailed vicinity map is included, of the trackage.

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The on-screen graphics are super detailed. Every single train move has this much information.

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Picture looks great on a modern 55″ screen. Sound quality is awesome, via the sound bar. The levels are full. Turn the volume up and trains seem to be coming into the room!

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Don Grant is the narrator.  The script is a light one. Natural train sounds are the main sounds.

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Pretty good variety of roadnames on the non CN locomotives. These BC Rail units make an appearance on the lead.

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Too bad in this modern era. We get, Oh your Momma didn’t pay enough attention to you. So, now you graffiti train cars. Punks!

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The Videographer has a fine set of skills. He gets variations, from a limited area and on the ground. Camera is tripod mounted, with zero movement.

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Canadian National is the star in this show. The mixture of local and road trains equate to older and new power.

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Although Illinois Central was consumed. Some black IC units can still be found. Sharp editing, gives viewers choice views of the train consists, without having to sit through entire trains.

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Once common Grand Trunk blue engines are working locals. Such as these GP38’s.

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CSX still was active at Griffith, with a regular move. Y123 is this train.

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BNSF rolls some run through power by the camera.

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Some night scenes are interspersed. Elgin, Joliet& Eastern locomotive here. They formerly owned some of these tracks.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h19m45s553Action is predominantly mixed freight. Preferable to constant, boring unit  trains and double stack traffic. Check this Bessemer & Lake Erie trailing unit.

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Many are transfer freights. Others are far flung moves. Those graphics are interesting to read!

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Almost forgot you Union Pacific fans… No, it is not a UP move.

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The change of seasons adds to the appeal. Look close, it is an Illinois Central SD.

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Some of the power sets rumble the floor, as they approach! This show is fun.

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Norfolk Southern shows up, as well. An NS rebuild here.

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Griffith, Indiana is wall to wall freight trains. Enjoyable trainwatching for those who like this era. Has a definite trackside feel. Enough variation, in spite of what may seem to be limited, by location and era. This show is simply, a good time!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Railfanning with the Bednars Volume 6

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Producer: John Pechulis

Timeframe: 1976

Locations: Allentown, Horseshoe Curve area, more

Length: 63 minutes

Source: Bednar collection

See the dawn of Conrail in Pennsylvania. Bednar films and unique Pechulis film process, offer high quality viewing. Lehigh Valley was the home road for the Bednar family. They do venture out further on Penn Central rails.

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The Conrail merger had all roads equipment showing up at Mike’s yard! One never knew what might show up next. Extremely interesting time to be trackside.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h02m47s363Mike’s personal LV favorite. The Alco 212.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h00m42s392Mike said, that his Father was out filming all the time. Uncertain, if his Dad shot everything here. My guess is yes. In any case, excellent cinematography.

Penn Central GP30 units were some of the first new units to work Mike’s yard. Recollections like this, give firsthand insight into the transition to Conrail. Not to mention some rude telephone calls!

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h31m56s792Not only Lehigh Valley territory. The former, Penn Central is visited, around the Horseshoe Curve area. Middle Division and additional spots. Dead lines full of Baldwins and Alcos are shown.  Rockville Bridge is above. 

Informal style narrative by veteran Railroader Mike Bednar. His views are more akin to a running commentary. Knowing the people, remembering what transpired. A true insider’s perspective.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h58m35s797The film restoration is amazing. Hard to discern this was sourced from Super 8mm. It looks sharp! Probably, the finest merger Conrail film around.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h02m22s943Soundtrack also has live sound and filled with some background music. All of it is leveled nicely.

No maps are provided. No other extras. The program is a quick pace. It gets along without them. Although maps are always my preference.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h53m22s889Early in the timeline, the merged locomotives have not been renumbered. Too much to included everything. A jam packed show. Let’s see some highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h08m51s210Mike’s yard was very busy, after the Conrail merger. Model Railroaders can have a field day, with all of the freight cars! Much of this Volume is centered at Allentown Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h22m02s044One has to appreciate Mike’s experience. The Ironton switcher was liked by everyone. Dependable and ran fine, right until Conrail scrapped it.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h13m01s120A trio of Reading GP9 units are chased on a coal train. Rare assignment and fun.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h14m31s616This scene seems to capture the mood around merger time on Lehigh Valley.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-10h09m12s147The Canadian National GP40W. Mike Bednar climbs aboard to check it out. Conrail was getting power, anywhere possible. 

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h52m09s468Lehigh and Hudson River, received a high rating in the maintenance area.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h13m41s419Erie Lackawanna units were all over the place. Many to see at Allentown.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h56m11s176Jersey Central ‘Red Baron’ scheme locomotives, also show.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h07m28s556Here is a revelation. Delaware and Hudson, originally used tape to renumber units! There are many assorted D&H units. Brand New and absorbed ones. Normal locomotives too.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h26m10s140Action abounds, at and near Horseshoe Curve. The former Penn Central tracks were extremely busy, according to Mike. Practically, a film within the film. 

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h28m11s007A long lash-up descends. Note the old F units being used on the power short Conrail!

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h36m23s796Later, full on blue Conrail repaints began. First one about to roll by…

CR…aka ‘cockroach’ reletter jobs are also within. Just as ugly as ever. Cabooses as well. However, variety is the spice of life.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h52m14s636A plethora of cabooses to see. Original paint and CR hasty renumbers. Fresh Conrail paint.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h58m59s557Old Lehigh Valley, with their last innings to play, in old paint…

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-10h15m15s386Mike waves to Dad. A fitting place to end is here.

Anyone that is interested in Conrail merger. This is the show to have. Best quality, hands down. Entertaining and informative narration. A must have for Conrail fans.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

The Canadian

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Producer: Alva Morrison

Timeframe: 1960s

Locations: Montreal to Vancouver

Length: 47 minutes

Source: 2007 Remaster

Alva Morrison originally produced this film, with Sunday River Productions. Remastered and a re- edit by JMJ in 2007.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-08h44m24s793The Canadian, is a Transcontinental passenger train on Canadian Pacific. This is the original incarnation. Vancouver to Montreal. Calgary, Medicine Hat, Lake Superior, Banff and Schreiber. Not the later Yellowhead version.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h14m42s400Begins out West. On the waterfront,at Vancouver. A return from Montreal follows. That picks up Lake Superior.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h04m24s477Traversing the best scenery of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Kicking Horse Pass, with it’s tunnel and grades. Scenic canyons and rivers. Quite a trip!

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-08h52m37s610Similar to a PBS style presentation. Nicholas Morant, with at least one photographs used for comparison, along with other vintage pictures. Good history is included in the narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h03m39s065Multiple viewpoints. Onboard the train. Externals, both near and far. Scenery is nicely incorporated.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-08h47m29s713Soundtrack is music and train sounds. The train sounds are good. The musical interludes are very dated, to the 1960s. Oh well, not a deal breaker. Kicking Horse Pass.

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Alva Morrison performs the narrative. He does a fine job. Very knowledgeable.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h03m09s285CP Rail painted FP7A diesels are in charge of the train. Sometimes, GP 7/9 units assist.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h12m06s123On-screen graphics help with locations.

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Various views of the equipment.

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A group of grain elevators, that show a part of Canada’s huge business.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-08h42m44s027Some basic maps help out with geography. Higher detail on specific areas, as needed.

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Riverfront running in deep valleys.

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Famous location on Lake Superior, is Mink Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-08h54m23s562The program is very well put together. A bit long on several transitions. Well, that’s the reviewer talking. No big thing.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h02m19s723Visual quality looks fine. Good colors. Kicking Horse Pass Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-09-01-09h22m39s722The Canadian is a fine show. It stays on target. Complete coverage, with a tight focus on the subject. Good pacing, it moves along quickly. Before long, it nears the end! Where did the time go?

Alva Morrison really knew how to produce interesting Railroad films. This is a good one. A fine show for all viewers.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Superior Railroading

SuperiorRailroading

Producer: Greg Scholl

Timeframe: 1990

Locations: Schreiber, Cavers, Jack Fish, Red Rock, Mink Tunnel

Length: 87 minutes

Source: Rail Innovations

A two for one release from Greg Scholl. Travel along the shore of Lake Superior. Ride a diesel, hy-rail and helicopter! See CP Rail operate in Summer and Winter. Beautiful scenery. Rugged and very remote locations. Interested? Step right in…

These shows were originally produced by Rail Innovations. Purchased and re-released in this edition seen here. Greg Scholl was impressed by these shows.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h47m05s988Complete coverage of the Algoma Division mainline, on Canadian Pacific. Practically an understatement!

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h48m06s650They used all available means. The usual trackside video. The better Cab Ride footage across the sub. The even better, high rail pickup with the track inspection. The ultimate, helicopter fly along. In fact, let’s land it for more remote views!

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-12h31m59s443One would expect an intelligent script to match this brilliant edit of film. No worries. Enviornmental audio rounds out the proceedings.

We shall look at each show seperately. That is how they appear. A choice of ‘Play All’ is on the Top Menu. No other menu choices.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h21m08s351Maps are basic and meet the task. They are referenced in a timely fashion.

 

 (CP Rail North of Superior)

Length: 36 minutes

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Filmed in the Summer season. 130 miles Red Rock to Heron Bay. An engineering triumph at the time. A very expensive one. This section is loaded with: rock cuts, bridges, and tunnels. Along the shore of Lake Superior.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h31m04s394Schreiber is a division point on this line. Good history is given here.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h07m49s677Ride extra 5729 East out of town.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h33m06s495Jack Fish Bay was very costly mileage to construct. A scenic spot.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h47m55s770Mink Tunnel is another highlight.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h50m31s529Check those old boxcars!

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-09h53m28s176Back at Schreiber. Night ops. Weather.

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Ride with the CP Rail Roadmaster on a Hy- Rail Truck. This is a weekly track inspection.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h02m51s411At Cavers, a close-up look.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h05m15s878Red Rock. Interchange with Canadian National.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h15m51s376Night falls. Another cycle begins anew.

This was an abbreviated review of the show.

(A Superior Winter)

Length: 41 minutes

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This show covers the same territory. Filmed in the Winter season. Helicopter used and viewers will hear it operating. The landscape is transformed. Fascinating contrast to the previous program.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h33m08s964Cab Ride action, with a different feel.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h42m32s804Here is a powerful trio of MLW units. Using the Alco locomotive designs. They were still in Canadian service, years after most US built equivalents were retired.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-12h33m03s674White River is another crew change point.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h56m18s034Scenic beauty abounds on both shows.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-12h26m27s343The aerial views are memorable. Note the exposed frozen ice.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h30m25s016There are barely any towns by the tracks. The Transcontinental has plenty of traffic!

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-12h34m32s818Grain is huge business. An empty unit grain train is on the move.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-12h27m12s494Approaching Red Sucker Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h39m24s206In the post caboose era, it becomes crew change points.

vlcsnap-2019-08-26-10h47m52s797Greg Scholl Video Productions. They have a stellar release of rare, Canadian Pacific railroading. Definitive, and memorable. Excellent for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars