Early CSX: Changing Times on the West End

DVD-DCP-CSXWEST-3D

Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1985- 2000

Locations: Salem, Mt. Vernon,Odin, E. Louis,

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Source: George Redmond

Another entry in The Heritage Series by Diverging Clear. Somewhat, rarer material that has predecessor CSX paint in good quantity. Although in the later years, more normal CSX is present. Historical value is obvious. Non existent scenes are here.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h38m15s441George Redmond video is the show source. A single DVD-R. A numbered Chapter Menu. Plenty of location graphics. No maps. Natural, enviornmental audio.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-10h52m07s249Mary McPherson with a relaxed narrative. Colors are weaker than similar, Heritage recent releases. Picture quality is ranging from good to very good. Realize, these are earlier years. Equipment limitations on original lighting and videotape aging, effect the results. Still, everything is watchable. Nothing too weird. A bit green or yellow sometimes.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-10h52m32s372Story begins at a now, disappeared yard in East St. Louis. Check that blue  B&O switcher.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-10h54m47s712A GE U-30-B departs E. St. Louis yard in 1985.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h13m22s995Still wearing Seaboard Coast Line paint. GP38 #2541, is paced to Delafield Illinois. Videography apprears better, in later years.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h22m06s316At Mount Vernon. Action in 1988 and 1990.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h54m01s882Ashley scenes shot in September, 2000. This train goes to Nashville. Switch the grain elevator. Long segment. A GP40 and modified GP30.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h08m25s022Salem in 1985. GP35 C&O 3584 and the 6593, work some cars here. Former C&EI trackage. Union Pacific interchange.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h08m09s562Let’s eyeball that B&O 6593.. Nice!

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h23m57s873Salem crossing has numerous trains.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h36m11s557Odin has newer CSX locomotives. Salem shows even more. Too much repeition on these C40 units, for me.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h43m11s019Back at Salem crossing. Relief with different power. Foreign locomotives seen: Santa Fe, Southern Pacific, and Conrail.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-12h57m15s837Operation Redblock livery on this GP38. At Vincennes, IN. with a local.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h29m47s690Seaboard System and Family Lines, are found in the earlier years. In 1985, some cabooses. Note the rare, GP16 on the lead.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h26m26s940Pretty typical, for a Diverging Clear, Heritage Series. It does contain some  harder to find, circa 1985 and 1991 action. Those scenes are the highlights of this show. Remainder is dominant CSX gray. This is where I would have cut film, in a major fashion.

vlcsnap-2020-03-19-11h33m29s725A Family Lines caboose, wears SBD reporting marks. Bet you thought it would be a Chessie System!

I am not much for repetion. She is the opposite. So, depending on your point of view. Too long or never enough, timewise.

Being the reviewer. I will perform my role. Runs too long. There are good nuggets. So, worthy for those. If you like early CSX, it’s in there.

Rating: 3 Stars

Magnolia Cut-Off of the CSX

CSX0_dvd (1)

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1992

Locations: Carothers, Stuart, Randolph, Graham tunnels, Magnolia Bridge…

Length: 59 minutes

Source: Steve Neff

This original Baltimore and Ohio line was constructed along the Potomac River. Magnolia Cut-Off is a more efficient route. Completed in 1914. The river line has since been removed. Cut-Off is over 5 miles shorter, than that first route.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-10h44m14s224Coverage ranges from; Paw Paw to HO Tower at Orleans Cross Road. Shot in 1992.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h28m27s789A DVD-R. Chapter Search. Switchable narration. A map. No additional graphics. Bob Carrera narrates, a well written script. Balance of the audio is enviornmental. High Green Frog standards.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-10h48m17s252SD 50 8585 exits Carothers Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-10h52m35s004Symbol freight S347. This is a second section. Note the old B&O position signal lights.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h04m06s704Rare General Electric, U-30-C exits Graham tunnel. This is a Military move.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h24m47s528A great scene. Captures the grade and some twisting trackage.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h31m12s593Do yourself a favor. Look at the locomotive lash-ups. Interesting units, are often buried in the rear. A couple of GP30s and a Seaboard System switcher, are in this train.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h10m07s984Three in Chessie paint, lead over Magnolia Bridge. B&O and C&O lettered Chessie System locomotives, are still found in 1992.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h12m35s013At Stuart a gray ghost painted unit. Train is Q375. Heading is Westbound.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-10h55m39s899The opposite portal at Stuart Tunnel. Train Q376.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h05m36s662Before CSX had the locomotives all wearing yellow painted ends. Train R342.A pair of GP40 units, with a beat up Family Lines GP38.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h40m51s025Amtrak number 30 makes several appearances.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h20m43s432R135. Randolph Tunnel and Potomac River.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h33m49s357Pre-merger paint! B&O with a Family Lines.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-10h58m12s099The Concrete Wall is an awesome construction fest. CSX locomotives are in a good variety in 1992 here. All 2nd and 3rd generation.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h38m04s608This Chessie engine at a meet, with another CSX freight.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h33m03s694Conrail has some run through power.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h40m11s790Although less on special scenery, the East End is still busy. Nearing the end of the Cut-Off route.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-13h04m29s818A CSX work train trundles through the small yard at HO Tower. This area begins the conclusion of this program.

vlcsnap-2020-03-09-11h41m51s301Magnolia Cut-Off of the CSX. An excellent visit to this territory! The Videographer gets the highlights. In just under an hour, a highly satisfying look, at one of the most scenic routes in the United States. One of the top programs, in the Green Frog CSX catalog. Do not miss this one!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 8 Baltimore Service Lane

CSX8_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Cumberland, Hyndman

Length: 56 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

The eighth volume has a variety of subjects.

CSX Baltimore Service Lane. Cumberland Business Unit. CSX route mileage included. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, with it’s 2-8-0, on a cameo appearance.

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SD40-2 on the crossover at Hyndman Tower.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h59m38s328Consistent Green Frog production. Choice of on/ off narration. No Chapter Menu, maps or graphics. Bob Carrera performs the fine narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h57m24s688Videography by Rob McCormack. He is excellent!

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h27m00s338New power includes EMD SD70AC, such as 702. Delivered in 1997. Night action at Cumberland Yard.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h34m12s109Amtrak Capital Limited arrives at Cumberland. Genesis locomotives.

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CSX is a 24 hour operation… The paint still fresh, on 711.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h39m37s334Look inside, with a brief tour, in the Cumberland Shop.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h45m42s207Western Maryland Scenic. Consolidation. Here, at Cumberland.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h53m23s777The new, modern fueling facility at Cumberland. Protects crews from the weather.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h54m25s261Beginning at Mexico Tower. A trainwatching trip, down the ex: B&O mainline.

Check the rare Baldwin switcher in the lash-up.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h57m39s640Crossing the old C&O canal.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h16m11s663Cumberland Car maintenance shop.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-17h11m29s120Additional night views, around the Cumberland area.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-17h02m09s875This lash-up includes these Chessie System units.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h47m26s325CSX Volume 8 is a satisfying and concise visit to the advertised areas. The first rate visuals are the strength of the show. A solid script and well paced program, make this a fine entry in the CSX series.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

CSX 6 Pittsburgh to Willard

CSX6_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Pittsburgh, Akron, Willard

Length: 58 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

CSX 6 leaps over to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The riverfronts and cityscape, are the setting for the initial round of trains. Pretty fall colors and wet weather will follow us Eastbound. The destination being the traditional hotspot of Willard, Ohio. A key facility dating back to B&O days. About 200 miles.

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This sixth volume in the comprehensive CSX series by Green Frog. Consistent production as the previous installments. Highly competent, Rob McCormack is the Videographer. Bob Carrera performs the professional narrative. A decent script.

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Seems to be a mid-1990s era. Plentiful, General Electric 3rd generation locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h26m16s883

Pittsburgh scenes are mostly panoramic. Visit is brief.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h32m02s328

At Rochester, a former P&LE bridge crosses the Ohio River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h09m14s107

CSX 9000 rounds a tight curve at Cuyahoga Falls.

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BPZ400 at West Pittsburg for Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Using Rochester and Southern 101 and 103. New Castle Yard.

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The abandoned Pittsburgh and Lake Erie facility, a striking contrast to the busy CSX mainline.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h52m36s712

Chessie System power leads a short train. Viewed from inside SF Tower. Quick visit inside.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h03m28s480

Akron, Ohio has a Conrail train passing over this CSX switching move at AY Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h59m41s906

At Kent, Ohio. This waterfall steals the spotlight.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h16m20s982

Chessie System paint can be found on a rock train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h13m07s251

Autumn at a rural road in Sullivan, Ohio.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h19m11s818

Greenwich Jct. crossing Conrail.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h54m34s150

 

Unit Coal is plentiful. This train seen from SF Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h44m20s833

Amtrak test train, with a cabbage unit.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h20m39s277

Was expecting to see more of the facilities, at Willard, Ohio. Maybe, his access was restricted. Little more than a yard lead. This local waits to leave.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h23m20s756

Engine 163 departs J Tower at Willard, Ohio.

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Another CSX move, on a yard lead, entering at Willard.

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Several cabooses in this show. None in a perfect picture pose. This shot will suffice.

CSX 6. Pittsburgh to Willard.

A well filmed trip. Contemporary railroading isn’t the most thrilling. The show is nicely done. Does contain some really good scenes. Bump it up, if you are a CSX fan. A fine volume to have.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago

CSX5_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Evansville to Chicago

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rob McCormack

I’m Volume 5 the CSX route is followed from the yard at Evansville, Indiana to the Chicago area. Mirroring the real world, there isn’t a whole lot to see in-between. Figured it would roll this way. The extended time spent in Evansville, tips their hand. Endpoints!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h25m59s585The production standards are the same as the previous volumes. A couple of improvements. There is a route map! The script is a better one. On/off narration. Chapter Search. Narrated by Bob Carrera. Enviornmental soundtrack. Also, available on the CSX Special set.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h35m48s056Return to a single Videographer. Rob McCormack. Improvements in the visuals, as well. Solid and consistent. The show opens in Henderson. Just long enough to leave town. Here, crossing the Ohio River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h37m39s346Doesn’t this resemble a Model Railroad kit?

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h47m33s729There are outstanding night scenes around the Evansville engine servicing facility. Very well lit. Top notch video capture!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h05m06s288A cornucopia of additional railroads make this an interesting show. Soo Line, Norfolk Southern, with Toledo, Peoria and Western, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h54m10s104The journey North towards Chicago is every bit as unremarkable, as one would expect. Not much to do, or see. They seem aware of this reality. Small towns are covered, as succinctly as possible. Decent trains along the way.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h00m03s429Here is an Indiana highlight. An old coaling tower, still stands. CSX 7801, C40-8W.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h04m46s761Danville has a small engine facility. A GP30 in a hard to find, early CSX scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m16s238Things quickly pickup in the Illinois half. Gilman, is a traditional Illinois Central hotspot. Didn’t know that IC E8s came in gray!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m56s950Chicago and North Western #8523. A GE  C40-8, leads an Electromotive locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h08m17s414Several locomotives in Pre-Merger paint. The Family Lines General Electric has seen better days.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h13m19s115Of all things. Who would expect a Green Bay & Western with a Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern? Alcos to boot!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h10m54s500Amtrak has several appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h16m31s575You know you hit Chicago, when it gets cloudy, and the weather turns bad. CSX C40-8W, at Crete. Bet it was on a weekend. Why? It always seemed to rain or snow then!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h19m24s093The variety, picks up around the Chicago vicinity. The Southside is this CSX Gateway. An Elgin, Joliet and Eastern SD40-2, leads a Duluth Missabe and Iron Range unit.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h27m31s375Barr Yard, was the former Chessie System (B&O) classification yard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h26m41s378Thornton Junction is a Southside hotspot. Indiana Harbor Belt, a common sight, in that part of town.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h24m27s827A freshly repainted Canadian National GP40, nee GT. This leads a lash-up, of Grand Trunk power. Note the Operation Lifesaver GP38, in the second spot.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h28m21s417Dolton, another hotspot. Instead of the ubiquitous road power. Let’s see some Union Pacific switchers!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h17m39s967Not a caboose, anywhere. So, we close a CSX Engineer waving, from this SD40-2. Which tells the story of a wave. Hello or Good-Bye?

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago.

A worthy addition to the series. The use of the better end points, define this show. Train variety is excellent. Solid entry for CSX series.

Rating: 5 Stars