Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities

s-l400 (1)

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1998

Locations: Minneapolis area

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Extensive coverage around Minneapolis and St. Paul vicinity. Multiple hot spots. A fine supply of roadnames. The amount of variety, is surprising here. While not as much as historical peaks, still a healthy amount of railroading to be seen in 1998.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h05m01s289So many trains. Only room for some highlights.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h19m57s997Some major locations: Northtown, Division St., University St., Hoffman, Pig’s Eye Yard and Dayton’s Bluff.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h38m47s693Pentrex high quality standards. Single silver DVD. Master menu. Detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section.Multiple reference maps, keep viewers on top of the locations. On screen graphics, are often displayed. David Drui with a detailed narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h00m45s748Northtown yard is the first major point. Burlington Northern power. SD9s and EMD switchers work the yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h36m56s267Soo Line paint is found easily. University Street, is one of many hotspots. This lash-up has notable Soo Line motive power.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h26m19s355Canadian National zebra paint still looks good, on these older units. SD40.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h23m57s379Burlington Northern on the BNSF mainline. The CP Rail train, is taking a turn onto Candian Pacific rails.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-18h51m02s728A BNSF stack move.  Sample of the on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h27m23s973A Wisconsin Central move leaves Shoreham yard. These three SD45s are getting onto Burlington Northern rails, at University.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h30m27s670Union Pacific 179. A GE B23-7, is an ex: MoPac unit. 

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h38m06s499Chicago and NorthWestern paint endures, on this train.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h45m59s693Union Pacific GP units are not often seen in solid lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h49m56s486Milwaukee Road #261 is operating. A late Northern. The 4-8-4 is an Alco, from 1944. The Midway Area is in between, the twin cities.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h11m26s570Minnesota Commercial has interesting power working at Midway yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h13m38s232This Alco RS27 is a rare bird! They run additional Alco locomotives.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h24m52s799Amtrak Empire Builder eases it’s way through town. Passing the Minnesota Commercial engine facility.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h29m09s213Twin Cities and Western running GP20C. These are now Cat powered.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h31m46s689Unusual grade crossing equipment. This Soo Line MP15 still wears a Milwaukee Road ‘bandit’ paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m30s940Pig’s Eye Yard is the last major railyard visited.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m58s755Montana Rail Link, although identified as I&M Rail Link. At Pig’s Eye Yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h21m18s500Burlington Northern SD40-2 leads an Electromotive SD40-3.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h22m42s049Hoffman is outside Pig’s Eye Yard. Another area hot spot.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h11m09s732The Soo Line caboose appears. Although in beater condition. It is a welcome sight.

Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities. A plethora of train action. This should satisfy nearly, any Railfan or Model RaiIroader. In the top tier of Pentrex shows!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classic Steam of the ’20s to the ’40s

classic_stm20_40_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1920s-1940s

Locations: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Kansas City, more.

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Frank W. Schlegel, Vince Ryan, Jack Alexander

A smorgasbord of films. Spanning 4 decades. Some rare and not so rare, steam locomotives. A Collection of: black and white, plus a little color film. Eastern Railroads mainly. Everything is worthwhile.

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See: Delaware and Hudson, New York Central, Lackawanna, Central of New Jersey and Frisco (above). Also, Pennsylvania  Erie, Wabash, Rahway Valley, B&O, and much more. Steam, Electric and several early diesels.

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Frog DVD-R. Nothing extra. Plays straight through. The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby…in Milwaukee!

The show is narrated by Dan Chandler.  Script is good. Fine work on the dubbed trains.

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Camerawork varies by source. As does the visual quality. Majority is fine. About what an experienced Railfan would expect, from a wide ranging assortment. Good on the big screen.

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There is way too much to cover the whole show. Highlights of this fine program. New York Central, Empire Star Express. Two steam pushers on the rear. The show’s gem!

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Reading Crusader at Dunellen, New Jersey.

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Camelback is a strange looking steam engine. It hauls a fantrip out on to the Long Branch.

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Turns around, the yard in Bay Head Jct. A joint CNJ and PRR. So, Pennsylvania power is there with K4s. Compare the access the people had, in those days. More PRR is seen, in their home state.

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A 1936 fantrip over the former, Ulster and Delaware. This one required a double header with a pusher, and ran two sections!  The New York Central ten wheelers were added to the head end. Former U&D power. Depart Kingston.

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Oneonta roundhouse on D&H was destination.

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Check the size of the people against this Lackawanna locomotive.

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Steam and Electric. New York Central. Harmon, NY.

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The big surprise is at Pennsylvania’s Enola Yard. Before retarders were used, brakeman manually controlled the cars, from the hump. Dangerous work in the winter. Unbelievable by today’s safety!

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The Alton. Street running! How rare is this?

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Middletown and Union, has a face, only a mother could love. Come closer..

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Venerable, Boston and Maine Mogul type.

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Rock Island at St. Louis.

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Erie passes with it’s train.

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Indiana Railroad was a large, Electric Interurban. Ran streetcars and freight.

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Delaware and Hudson Northern type. Plenty of D&H is within.

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Springfield Terminal in it’s original incarnation. Take a trolley. Quite a difference, from later SD45s in grey paint!

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A Lackawanna Milk Train, really harkens back to an earlier era.

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A Chicago, Burlington and Quincy sits in a huge yard. Burlington Route, was a road that ran steam late, on the Colorado and Southern.

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This is a cornucopia of steam era scenes. Here, the ice bunker reefers are loaded at the Chicago Stockyards. South Shore Electric cars to the right.

There are even bonus shots. City pan views (Philadelphia), street scenes, humoungous Chicago stockyards. A well thought-out production. Packs a bunch, into a fast moving one hour program.

Also available on the, Trains around New York and New Jersey – collection.

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Closing caboose is a Wabash.

Green Frog has a must see show, for any fans of steam era Railroading. The black and white film, adds to the vintage feel. Fascinating and varied visit to the past.

Rating: 5 Stars

New York Railroading in 1998

NY_Railroading1998_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1998

Locations: Poughkeepsie, Marlboro, Campbell Hall, Iona, more.

Length: 89 minutes

Source: William D. Sternitzke, William E. Sternitzke

A general tour of New York area circa 1998. Many locations. No narrative. Conrail is still intact. A show of, basically mindless runbys.

Chapter Search. Motion Menu. No maps. Switchable on-screen graphics. Default is off. Dolby Audio, with natural sounds.

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Videography is predominantly standard 3/4 views. Shot trackside. Clear images, although rather pedestrian. Several scenes are shot differently. The second Videographer perhaps.

Did not play this on the big screen. Looked very clean on the laptop. Audio was fine.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h05m44s857Watched it, with and without the location graphics. Without any point of reference. Maps for example. The train symbols and locations, are meaningless. Little upstate towns. Who knows where these places are?

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Poughkeepsie, sure that is widely known.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h07m17s367An NJ Transit at a nameless tunnel. Yawn.

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Here is an Amtrak. Unknown private cars.

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This show requires narration.

Riverline, Haverstraw. Now, there is a name! What about this place? Ugh!

I do believe they mean, The River Line. Yes, that works better. Hudson Line. River Line. So, it is a place called Haverstraw, on the River Line. Ok.

Now, some Union Pacific locomotives do appear on the River Line.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-13h57m40s236The Poughkeepsie Bridge is in the background. About the only recognizable scenes, are at Poughkeepsie. Here we have a Conrail business train. Doing what?

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h01m01s657 I was really looking forward to reviewing this release. Part of the fun, is learning about the different areas. Didn’t learn much. Extremely disappointed.

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Susquehanna eases past some derailed freight cars. A CP Rail unit trails. Not enough additional information. The graphics offer a few tidbits. Old HJ. What’s that? Susquehanna at Greycourt, Hudson Secondary. Never heard of Greycourt. Where does the Hudson Secondary run? Some time is spent here. Revisited later on. This show is annoying.

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A Conrail train at Suffern. A yard there or lineside industry? Who knows. I do know, that it is, Buffalo to Oak Island. I did learn that this town (never heard of it) is in New York.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-14h57m58s221Poughkeepsie station. FL-9s. I know more, but they are not talking…

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What about this operation? Even a brief ride on this switcher is given.

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These empty flatcars summarize, how I rate this show. Not much meat on the bone. Too bad. However, I viewed the, Green Frog, Rails New York Metro. A review is forthcoming. Check that one, for a traditional, narrated show. Similar material. Better show!

Also available in the, Trains around New York and New Jersey set.

This is a wasted opportunity. The visuals are fine. The lack of much additional information, torpedoes this release. Probably fine for the locals.

Please. Spare me any comments, with after the fact details. This show is over. Move on.

Not recommended.

Suggestion. Narrate it.

Rating: 2 1/2 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.

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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