Alcos, Iron Ore and More!

s-l300-2

Producer: Marc S. Balkin

Timeframe: 1985

Locations: Escanaba, Green Bay, Marquette, more…

Length: 1 hour

Source: Marc Balkin

Join Jim Boyd on a three day tour. Editor of Railfan & Railroad Magazine. He travels with Marc Balkin of Mark 1 Video.  They videotape this show in July, 1985.

They set out to record the still operating Chicago and North Western Alco Century 628 locomotives. Lake Superior and Escanaba, Baldwin in Great Northern colors. Lake Superior and Ishpeming operations. A bit more.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h10m43s348Jim Boyd is an enthusiastic narrator! The script is a little on the sparse side. Time left to hear the locomotives operate. Enough information is provided. 6702 gets a great pacing sequence!

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h58m25s666Chicago and North Western. Lake Superior and Ishpeming, are the main railroads featured. Along with Escanaba and Lake Superior. No Chapter Menu. A single DVD-R. Sturdy hardshell plastic case.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h13m06s175Escanaba Yard, has CNW C628, in old and new paint schemes.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h15m32s829The Century engines are nearly worth the price of admission. But wait, there’s more…

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h33m23s598Image quality is an obvious video source. Minor tape flaws appear all during the show. It is like watching an old video. Has a constant horizontal  distortion bar along bottom of the screen. Color balance is fine. Sound levels are good. Narrative and live sound. Assorted maps. On-screen graphics with additional information.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h26m30s618On Escanaba & Lake Superior. A clean Baldwin RS12, in Great Northern colors! All the rage it was in 1985. It is great to hear the odd sounding Baldwin operate, as paced.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h20m44s844The pacing sequences are all shot smoothly. This Baldwin pulls a short cut. There are steady pacing shots throughout the show.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h37m01s278A trio of red LS&I units. Included their only running General Electric U25C.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h54m14s622Lake, Superior & Ishpeming. The various jobs are described concisely. Yet, detailed enough for viewers. Dock Job shown here.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h33m39s745Good views of the loading of an ore boat. Camera work is rock solid.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h42m27s842C&NW trains are interjected, from time to time.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h44m28s838Excellent details on heritage of the various LS&I units shown. RSD12s from C&O, for example.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h45m14s710Former Santa Fe ‘Alligator’ Alco RSD15, wait for a crew. Eagle Mills Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-16h01m26s503Appleton Yard,  former New York Central, Alco RS32 locomotives. Now working for Chicago and North Western.

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-16h13m49s650The Green Bay and Western gets a single train. Street chase at Green Bay, Wisconsin. Yes, this Engineer hollers at  careless driver! No, you can’t hear him. 

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-16h00m06s201Not a caboose to be found in this show. Let’s begin to  close, with this shot of our lively host. Nice work, Jim and Marc!

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Alcos, Iron Ore and More! The Diesels of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Delivers on the promised locomotives. Good visual and audio presentation. Video flaws are too much for ignoring. Very good show, with the hard to find power in service, on the Upper Peninsula and Green Bay area.

Rating: 4 Stars

Classic Chicago and North Western Vol 2

CNW2

Producer: CVP

Timeframe: 1977- 88

Locations: Iowa, Minn., Wisc.,NE, Glen Ellyn, Escanaba…

Length: 98 minutes

Source: Fred Crissey

This middle Volume follows the CNW in the Midwest via Fred Crissey’s movie camera. Predominantly a rural show. Some lines have since been abandoned. A long Chapter of steamer 1385 from a 1986 outing is included. Also, the big Alco Century locomotives appear.

Typical of the other C Vision and Fred Crissey programs. All color 8mm film. Musical background soundtrack. Switchable on/ off at the menu.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h00m51s246A basic narrative. Generally, it offers locations. On-screen graphics denote similar information. Sometimes, a specific year is mentioned. A few line details.

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Films are original condition in appearance. Clean overall, with good color balance. Handheld camera. Steady for the most part.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h42m44s553Quite a bit of the first half is shot with some distance from the camera. The only real concern with most Fred Crissey film collections. Though, not a deal breaker by any means.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h03m15s594Several overview maps. Simple, but effective. Here, is a really handy one!

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h30m36s371He doesn’t train chase as extensively, as some other times. Save the 1385. This results in a better program.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h28m20s385Many trains are fronted by SD40 or even SD45 units. Those SD40s were ubiquitous, at the time. Lake Crystal, MN.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h18m44s765Union Pacific or Conrail trailing power are not uncommon. Run through units, as the Union Pacific pair. An occasional Milwaukee Road, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h46m07s177Semaphore signal territories. Fred often has the trains, split the signal locations. Baldwin, Wisconsin. Keep a sharp eye out!

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h49m12s761CNW at Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h29m18s877Although harder to find. Other engine classes work the lines. Left in some extra graphics, for additional information.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h52m25s299Knapp Hill with a steep grade.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h34m31s116First gen EMD units at Pig’s Eye Yard, amoung the interesting equipment.

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GP50s lead a hot TOFC train. Near Glen Ellyn, Ill. at Deadman’s Curve.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h26m05s655Other railroads seen operating trains. Milwaukee Road and Burlington Northern.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h24m38s430Observe this hard to find, EMD cow and calf set!

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h29m49s620Back on the main. A GP30 lash-up with a set out car of fertilizer.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h26m34s379At the Kate Shelly bridge. A CNW locomotive, leads Amtrak’s California Zephyr, which was detoured.

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CNW 808 leads a GP30 pair on a ballast train in Iowa. I believe the heavy green stripe painted, were ex: Chicago Great Western units.

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Major bridges throughout the program. Blair, Nebraska shown here.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h20m11s351Escanaba, Michigan to Green Bay,Wisconsin.  The Alco C628 locomotives in ore car service. Former Norfolk and Western power here. Behemoth diesels that are seen in multiple unit lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h14m46s542A Century pair on a general freight gets chased to Green Bay. The 6709 leads.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h29m57s093Volume 2. A rural looking CNW. A wide ranging show. It gives an interesting look at branch, and mainline action.

Wide variety of freight trains. The 1385 is alright. The big Centuries are a quick bonus. A strong entry in this three volume series.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

Tribute to Tennessee Pass

 

TRIBUTE-DVD

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Royal Gorge, Minturn, Mitchell, Salida, TP Summit, more

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

In 1997 the word was given. Historic Tennessee Pass was going to be closed by the railroad. Pentrex then documented the Tennessee Pass subdivision. A 200 mile line.

The show is organized into three main sections. One third from Pueblo, Colorado. Another third from Dotsero. A middle section with the Summit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h27m07s992Actually, the Summit is also acheived via another Chapter. Tennessee Pass Tunnel. Twice visited. Great!

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There is so much to see. Let’s hit some highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h21m56s489In 1997, the SD40T-2 were still to be found, in Rio Grande paint.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h15m24s105Pentrex extras include many reference maps. On screen graphics with; train designations and locations.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h36m58s470Dave Drui narrates in his smooth as glass style. A smart script matches the professional Pentrex production.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h12m35s521Expert videography is on tap. Beautifully shot. Encompasses the magnificent mountain scenery along with the centerpiece trains. Well done!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h42m05s914Audio is live sound. Pro sound throughout. Some obvious video source flaws late in the program. Minor glitches. No worries. Part of the review.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h08m11s617The program begins on the Western end and travels towards the center. A rather sharp decision. Viewers end up at Tennessee Pass Summit. The tunnel is the Summit.

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Restart at the opposite end of the sub. Achieve the summit twice! Brilliant.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h49m46s976Relentless train movement. Ever changing scenic vistas will keep eyes on the screen.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h31m14s382At Minturn. The pace slows down. Watch the process. Mid-train helpers are cut into a heavy, unit coal train.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h21m13s805Royal Gorge is a scenic highlight.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h56m50s242A hard to find (in 1997) Rio Grande GP30 is out on the mainline.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h58m37s198Several out of staters do appear. CSX,NW, and CNW. Here is one. CNW SD40-2.

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Although the GE AC4400 were dominate. Tunnel motors and the The Rocky Mountains. Go together like peanut butter and jelly. A classic!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-10h47m10s366Union Pacific locomotives are plentiful.

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h54m18s899Those sweeping curves at Mitchell. They have been filmed since the steam era. Still exciting, even with diesels!

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h58m54s556Here we are…

vlcsnap-2019-09-06-11h14m04s018Not a caboose to be found in this show. There is this vintage DRGW boxcar. Close enough for horseshoes. Ain’t she sweet? Let’s go with this for the closer.

Tribute to Tennessee Pass. Has all the elements. Mountain territory, good mix of power and freight. Excellent visuals with a sharp narrative. A fine program for the whole family. This amoung the top Pentrex shows!

Rating: 5 Stars

Heritage Unit Roundup

HUR-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe 2015

Locations: SoCal, Chicago, Yuma sub

Length: 1 hour 54 minutes

Pentrex dives into the somewhat boring modern locomotive railroad scene. They seek out those specially painted Heritage units.

These engines were schemes to commererate previous paint jobs or general railroads, as aqquisitions.

Let’s checkout some show highlights.

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As I have little interest in modern railroading. Only what is shown within this show, shall be reviewed. I really do not care what is missing.

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A detailed Chapter Menu highlights the individual UP units, plus a Norfolk Southern general listing.

Dependable Pentrex quality is assured.

Narrative includes some history on predecessor roads.

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Notable locations include: Cajon Pass, Beaumont Hill, Colton, Yuma and more..

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Amtrak has several units, that cover various phases. This scene from Chicago has a Phase One paint scheme.

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UP 1982 is a tribute to Missouri Pacific.

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UP 1983 is Western Pacific. The WP is a long chapter.Numbering is approximate merger years, more or less.

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UP 1988. The red Katy is a sharp looking one!

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UP 1989 wears the Rio Grande.

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UP 1995 in Chicago and Northwestern.

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UP 1996 is heavily featured.

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Why not? The Southern Pacific. One of the most attractive of the group.

Norfolk Southern visitors…

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Savanna and Atlanta, leads on an inbound and outbound move. Many leading Heritage units get paced.

 

A Virginian is buried in a lash-up.

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Pennsylvania is a vintage, eye popper! Nicely paced…

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The double stacks are what these newer locomotives are usually hauling. Endless long trains of container traffic. Yawn.

Heritage Unit Roundup. Pick your favorites. Argue what’s missing. Seems that Pentrex could have included more Eastern. Fine show of these modern diesels. Not my wheelhouse. Perhaps it is yours.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Kansas City Rails

KCRAILS-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Location: Kansas City area

Timeframe: 1996- 97

Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

Visit the number two, American Railroad hub. See the hot spots. Pentrex was there, in 1996 to 1997. Besides the variety of locations, many railroads operate in this city.

Amtrak, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, CP Rail, Kansas City Southern, Gateway Western, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. Older pre- merger paint schemes, as well. Soo Line in original paint, seen below.

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No Chapter Menu. Too bad with the large assortment of locations.

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Basic maps. They have a healthy supply of these.

Narration with be natural sound. Good, even level levels. A fine script. The show is well paced.

A jet snow blower is shown operating. Not here. Too much to see, to have everything.

Many shots are somewhat obscured, at the beginning of scenes. Tree branches are the culprit. Perhaps, the way it is around Kansas City. The views do clear up. A bit odd for a Pentrex film.

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A BNSF on a Santa Fe crossing. Kansas City has a cornucopia of trackage and trains!

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h03m00s050Locomotives both old and new, will be found. Norfolk Southern 8854.

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Speaking of old. Union Pacific E9 units return from a Super Bowl game.

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Sticking with old for another frame. Model Railroaders can have a field day, with vintage structures.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h16m20s240Chicago Northwestern 8686, leads a train on this stunning shot. Looks like a painting.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h47m18s355Tough to choose a Kansas City Southern. These SD45T3 rebuilds are singular!

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h01m42s795Gateway Western with a transfer run.

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Apparently, CP Rail had to go through some circuitous routing, to get around the city.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-20h06m15s819Armourdale Yard. This vast facility was a Rock Island property.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-18h54m53s049Although the lighting isn’t perfect. The trestle displays a part of the charm of KC. Those Southern Pacific locomotives must be testing the strength of the steel.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h22m20s850Burlington Northern original Cascade Green paint. This is still plentiful here.

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Santa Fe, is also beaucoup in both schemes.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-18h59m26s486Soo Line 6045 still wearing it’s factory paint. Leads a Canadian Pacific move.

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This BNSF is going to Willow Springs, Illinois. Argentine Yard was a Santa Fe. It is featured and the largest in the area.

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The caboose was off the mainline trains here. Not even seen on the locals. This Union Pacific Super Bowl Special. It is a worthy closer. Times do change…

This show provides comprehensive coverage, of Kansas City and vicinity. It extends outward, into some rural locations.

The plethora of: railroads, trains and locations, is nearly overwhelming. It will stand up to some repeat viewings.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars