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

 

 

 

 

 

 

CSX 14 Selkirk (Albany), New York

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Fort Montgomery, New York.

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

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

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A New England Central arrives at Palmer.

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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.

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

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Busy Selkirk trackage, has two trains, moving simultaneously.

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

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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.

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At Voorheesville. A BNSF run through unit.

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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.

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

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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

 

 

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 Fifties Express

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Producer: William Brown

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: USA, Canada

Length: 52 minutes

Source: Irving E. August

Irving August is a notable railroad Cinematographer, from the 1950s. This impressive all color collection, is a wide ranging one. Covering a variety of lines, in the United States, and Canada.

Steam and early diesel. Electrified lines. Freight and passenger trains. An ore hauler. A tourist line.vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h24m31s999

Mr. August filmed in high quality 16mm! A mixture of music, and train sounds. No additional extras.

Rege Cordic is the familiar voice on WB Video. He does a professional job.

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At under an hour, the pace is fast. Some of the edits are abrupt. Given the limitations of the period equipment. He probably ran out of film. For the rarity, it is a wash. Rather see those trains.

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Each railroad is billboarded. The corresponding footage is then shown. The earliest date quoted is 1950.

There is even more! Here are some highlights. Figure that it was probably the best of his own feels. More or less.

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Canadian National is west of Montreal.

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Boston and Maine. Pacific power on locals.

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New Haven is chased on a fantrip.

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Baltimore and Ohio. Action packed. Plenty of trains here Steam and diesel.

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Western Maryland, is using steam and diesels. Mid-train helpers and pushers.

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Milwaukee Road Little Joe electric locomotives, in rarely seen paint.

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New York Central has several trains.

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Nickel Plate Road, shared the right of way with New York Central, in Westfield, Ohio. Number 748 is one of the Berkshire class.

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Norfolk and Western, is one of the longest chapters. Although, there are no designated chapters, on a menu. Focus on the behemoth Y-6 class. The 600 series passenger locomotives are seen.

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An unusual scene. N&W work train in a backup move.

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Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. Another extensive visit. Yellowstone’s, for certain.

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Canadian Pacific receives lengthy attention around scenic Kicking Horse Pass. Including some footage from a passenger car.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-18h01m04s354Two for CP. Need a Selkirk. A beauty!

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Northern Pacific steam is hard to find. Irving has some here.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h54m35s448A large coaling tower gives the feel of keeping large steam in service. Northern Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h18m24s280Similar scene on Central Vermont.

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Caboose on Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. The majority of cabooses were shades of red. These are standouts!

The Fifties Express

An Express tour seeing over a dozen railroads in the fabulous 1950’s. A fine presentation. Suitable for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars