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

 

The Illinois Central:1990-1991

Illinois-Central-1990-1991-End-of-the-Paducah-Geep-Era-DVD-DC-IC91

Producer: Mary R. McPherson

Timeframe: 1990-1991

Locations: Centralia, DuQuoin, Rust Jct., Carbondale, more

Length: 1 hour 55 minutes

Sources: George Redmond and Kurt I. Jensen

The Heritage Series. Illinois Central:1990-1991. End of the Paducah Geep Era.

Last of 4 volumes about the Illinois Central, in the Heritage Series. This by Diverging Clear Productions. Mary McPherson is the Producer. Long program. Highlights only.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h15m45s008Obviously, the last stand for those old warhorse GP9 rebuilds, of various incarnations. From Orange and White Illinois Central,  later Illinois Central Gulf. The final survivors,  were mostly black repaints.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-20h12m51s263A single DVD-R, in a Slimline case. No Chapter Menu. No maps. Plenty of on-screen graphics. Full narration by Mary McPherson. Very informative. Train symbols, locations and railroad history/ operations. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h18m56s321

The Heritage Series. These are niche videos. Mainly filmed by George Redmond. Good with his camera. Age isn’t favorable to vintage videotapes. The subject matter is what makes these desirable.

Amateur shot videos. Produced and released by this Independent label. Mary has come a long way on this release. Restoration work. It looks better. Sharp editing, plays smoother. Balanced audio. Improvements in all areas!

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h28m48s781Some rare territory is included in this show. The Bluford division, aka the Edgewood Cut-Off. Oddly enough, this is not where those old geeps are to be found.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h04m37s442This show is dominated by second generation power. GP38 and GP40 engines. SD40 units. Also, those odd SD20 locomotives. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h23m33s443Of course there are: GP8, GP10 and GP11 units. Although, not in quantity, until later. So be patient. A rare GP35 in black, that was a Gulf, Mobile & Ohio unit appears.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h25m21s494

The first half is in the Bluford division. Shot in 1990. Plenty of inclement, wintery weather. The bridge viewpoint, is overused for too many head-on views of oncoming trains. Perhaps, a little editing could have been useful here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-18h01m20s037

Color balance is very good overall. Nothing weird. Brightness issues, in the first half. Videography is very good. Historical value, not modern viewing standards.

Trains look good on a large, HDTV. Backgrounds can look artificial, occasionally. Nothing to worry about. No deal breakers. A clean train picture, seems have been the goal.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h28m30s240Illinois Central was always known for hauling coal. Still, a main commodity.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h12m08s651The second half moves the show to: Centralia, Carbondale and DuQuion. Additional Southern Illinois towns. Better weather conditions. Much improved picture. Superior composition. Shot in 1991. Almost like watching two different shows. Grain train shown above. The other huge commodity on Illinois Central.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h38m58s102The entire program is well paced. It moves along quickly. Smooth edits. Audio is natural sound. Good balance of levels.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h24m30s709There are multiple pacing sequences. Different locomotives are featured. All are good.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-20h16m26s595Not a bunch of offline power. Norfolk Southern has it’s normal traffic, via Centralia.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-19h32m42s079There are quite a few Amtrak trains. Mary is an expert on Amtrak. She is an Amtrak Conductor! Has worked The City of New Orleans for years. I bet a trip on her train is major fun! Great sense of humor!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h07m28s169Those old geeps are already getting scarce! Hard to find in the lead, on long lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-17h21m34s916Easier to find, on switching, or small local trains.


vlcsnap-2019-11-14-19h45m17s964Black paint on newly acquired, ex: Burlington Northern SD-40-2 engines. This was the end, for the venerable Paducah Geep rebuilds.

vlcsnap-2019-11-14-19h29m46s282Still see some cabooses in service. Orange was always my favorite. That light gray looked like, no one could agree on a really good color. Like beige carpet.


vlcsnap-2019-11-14-16h29m11s200Heritage Series. Illinois Central:1990-1991. End of the Paducah Geep Era. A good collection of what is now, historical video. Probably, could have gotten the same thrill, in an edit. It does get somewhat repetitive. Still, a must have for Illinois Central fans. Overall, a well done volume in the series.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

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!

vlcsnap-2019-10-06-15h16m53s626

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.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-14h28m47s542

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.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h02m42s960

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.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-17h17m59s414

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.

vlcsnap-2019-09-30-15h20m59s740

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

 

The Best of Soo Volume 2

Best-of-SOO-Volume-2-After-the

Producer: CVP

Timeframe: 1986- 89

Locations: Minneapolis

Length:100 minutes

Source: Bob Rivard

This Second volume continues with the Milwaukee Road merger. Raises the interest level, with a greater assortment  of equipment. Videography has also improved over the course of time.

Visual quality is markedly improved versus volume one. Picture is in the very good range,overall. A good transfer to the DVD format.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h04m50s524

Audio is enviornmental, plus radio chatter. The scanner traffic explains several situations!

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-12h59m06s136

On-screen graphics denote: dates, locations and pertinent information. Everything ties together.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h02m34s061

There is a pic only Chapter Menu. No maps. I would have preferred some maps. Not knowing; Shoreham Hill from Humboldt Yard etc…

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h50m42s895

The Milwaukee Road power is still merger fresh at the beginning. Factory paint in the lash-ups. Later, the bandit paint begins to appear.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-14h35m38s200

Chicago and Northwestern locomotives make a few appearances. As does, Burlington Northern.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h13m14s714

Clean GP30 units are easy to find at first.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h17m00s504

Surprisingly, some GP7/9 units are still in service. Although, zero F units are seen.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h19m17s052

Much of this show was shot in winter.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h54m38s232

The pairing of the merger roads becomes more frequent, as the years pass. Milwaukee bandits replace the factory paint.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h42m34s460

Pushers are commonplace on Shoreham Hill. Soo Line 2126 received an emergency radio call. To hustle over, and shove on a stalled freight. A boxcar in tow, the 2126 renders assistance.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-14h18m25s192

See a grounded Soo caboose #85  get rerailed.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h35m00s818

At first glance, this appears to be a solid Milwaukee Road lash-ups. Check the middle unit..

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h27m42s915

Humboldt Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-14h36m26s822

This program is wall to wall action! Many freight cars are viewed, as the trains roll past the camera.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h33m12s183

Electromotive GP30 had a distinctive cab and roofline. It was all about muscle in the 1960s. The designers at EMD sure gave it the look!

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h38m15s868Milwaukee Road gives plenty of variety.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-14h09m21s767

A Bandit shot for comparison.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h04m24s944

Both Railroads supply their cabooses. Milwaukee Road with their Bay window models.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-14h03m19s763

Hey! It’s still a Soo Line show.

vlcsnap-2019-07-09-13h12m40s287

Soo Line wide vision style.

The Best of Soo Vol. 2

A diverse locomotive fleet is the key to an enhanced Soo Line volume. Volume 2 is improved in every area. It is a fast moving show. The lack of a formal narrative, keeps it in the realm of Railfans, and Model Railroaders.

Quite an enjoyable look, at vintage Soo/ Milwaukee trains around Minneapolis. Hands down, the best of the two volumes!

Rating: 4 Stars