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

 

CN, CP and TH&B

CN_CP_THB_50s70s_DVD

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h59m49s620

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h16m22s108

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h45m20s649

In 1972, Erie Lackawanna was rerouting freights. Possibly, flooding. Several trains, this one serves nicely here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h52m36s488

Check those Chicago and North Western bi-level cars. Believe it or not. A steam locomotive is on the front!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h17m22s546

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h08m10s487

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h02m45s356

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into the Allegheny Range Volume 4


AR4-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Cumberland to Sand Patch Grade, Meyersdale, Connellsville,PA.

Length: 4 hours

Source: Iron Horse America

Final entry in this extensive series by Iron Horse America. Comprehensive coverage of former B&O line from Cumberland, Maryland to Sand Patch Grade. Second disc continues onward: Meyersdale to Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

While filmed over a three period in the early 1990s, wait there’s more. Has interpolating, steam era, color footage, from William Price!

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At a total length of 4 hours. There are the 2 DVDs in this Volume. This review will barely get the surface highlights. Quality is on par, with the other three shows. Par excellence!

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Mountainous terrain and CSX trains fighting their way up those tough grades. Shot in all seasons and any weather conditions. No stone is left unturned.

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All the previous extras are present. A generous supply of maps. Frequently referenced to mark our progress along the line. Elevation maps. Detailed, on-screen graphics with additional information.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h13m19s271

Bob Taylor announced a detailed narrative. Even includes tips on photographing or traversing the area.

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The journey begins at the Eastern end in Cumberland. This time period is the last stand for active, Armstrong towers.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h35m17s822

Tunnels are numerous. Both ends of each bore are covered. Amtrak moves appear throughout.

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Towers are visited. They may or may not exist now. Wonderful! How the Price footage is edited in so well

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h52m19s240

A cornucopia of locomotive types. Predecessor paint scheme galore!

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-09h42m13s326

Tom Biery gets credit for this sequence. This Western Maryland led freight is paced near Mt. Savage Jct. Shortly after the Chessie System merger.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h08m17s505Fairhope Tunnel provides a scene, that is perfect for Model Railroaders. The short tunnel, immediate bridge over a river, offer a wealth of possibilities.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h32m32s098 Mance is loaded with scenic opportunities. Receives an extended Chapter.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h45m35s744Mance has numerous close-up viewpoints. Note this former Louisville and Nashville GP38.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h19m31s889Majestic, aerial viewpoints are look alikes for model railroads. Some ambitious climbing, is how the Videographer attained some shots. Several are spectacular!

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Sand Patch Tunnel is a centerpiece. Plenty of still painted Chessie System power, in service.

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The CSX F unit set on a 1991 special.

 

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SA Tower is visited. Pistol grip controls here. The operation is explained by Ed Karsted.

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Yes, Bill Price includes early diesels.

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Display map of Sandpatch Grade summit.

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Disc Two continues the journey from the summit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-09h43m31s852One more scene of those great B&O steam locomotives.

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Watch, as the rails are pulled up on the Berlin branch. Witness the final train there.

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A Somerset local on S&C with a rare Sunburst B&O GP30 in the lash-up.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h40m42s086Shoofly is an interesting tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h55m28s971Benford is great looking brick one.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h00m43s104Check that last GP16 operating on CSX.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h14m00s510Connellsville Yard has some fine; before and after film. At the time of this show, extremely limited usage.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h21m33s027A Cab ride aboard a Chessie System GP38 helper. About to pass under Salisbury Viaduct. This closes this show.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h14m47s331Volume 4 is a winner! If you can only afford a single release or want to sample only one. This issue has comprehensive coverage of world famous Sand Patch Grade. 

Rating: 5 Stars