CSX on the Tracks of the C&O

CRVCOT1-Classic-Railroad-Videos-DVD-CSX-on-the-Tracks-of-the-C-and-O-600-TheShortLine_211x300

Producer: A&R

Timeframe: 1995-2000

Locations: Lynchburg to Kenova

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

Source: Chester Kumada

Self guided tour of the given route. Third generation CSX locomotives. Unit coal trains. Not much in the way of variety. The most interesting aspect is the history. Yet, nothing is learned.

A major flaw. This show is advertised as ‘Narrated’. The terminology of narration. Commonly refers to a voiceover that is present throughout the program.

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Here, a limited bit of talk, at the beginning. After that brief portion. The remaining 90 minutes are NOT narrated!

A single route map. One look is all that is given.

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The edits are rough, in too many spots.  Contributed uncomfortable viewing session. Hard on the eyesight.

A small horizontal distortion bar is present at the bottom of the screen. Always there.

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Audio is whatever the High 8 Videocam recorded. Unedited. Including, the cameraman getting hassled to give some identification info!

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The dark paint is seen at Lynchburg, Virginia.

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Wind noise gets too loud at times. This should have been edited, in the Post production.

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The show plays like a raw video. The show contains some normal video flaws. Nothing to be a big concern. Just like watching a tape.

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Chester uses his camera as handheld. A fairly, steady hand. Although, there are shaky scenes. A little trimming could have smoothed some of this out of the show.

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A wasted opportunity to explore some history of the locations. Sometimes, a bit of signage designated a location. Otherwise, your guess is good as mine.

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Unit coal trains are as thrilling as watching paint dry. They could have discussed, the various moves and the companies involved. At the very least.

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Clifton Forge has a large yard. Now, there is a subject! Speaking of narration. This ex:B&O GP40 is cutout of the lash-up on a coal train. Dropped at the yard. No details.

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Chester gets a great view at this empty move!

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Here is an: almost but no cigar, GP30. A road slug. CSX 2211.

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A couple of Amtrak scenes. One at the platform is The Cardinal. The Public Address via the video microphone.

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Ohio River, is a shortline involving coal hoppers. An NW2 and an old Centercab diesel, are performing the mindless switching. No description= mindless.

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We are at the end of the show. A bit of logic. Must be Kenova, West Virginia. I have seen that Norfolk and Western trestle, in old films.

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The final tally is a weak result. Lack of narration is a huge downfall. As are the other production flaws. This becomes a drag.

A regular narrative could have made a big difference. Therefore, the lower rating.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

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Michigan and Ohio Railroads in the late 1970’s

MORDVD

Producer: C Vision

Timeframe: late 1970s

Locations: MI +OH

Length: 1 hour 20 minutes

Source: Fred Crissey

Take a whirlwind tour back into the late 1970s. A cornucopia of locations. Multiple railroads. Some rarities that are worth the price of admission!

Fred Crissey was a busy Cinematographer. He was traveling in Michigan and Ohio here. Using an 8mm movie camera. All color film.

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A detailed Chapter Menu. On screen location graphics.

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Plenty of handy little maps.Switchable On/Off music. There are no train sounds.

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Full narration. A good script. Provides details on used locomotives. Certain train movements. Many of the lines. Probably, as complete as Fred’s notes.

Don Grant performs a smooth narrative.

Films are very clean overall. Color balance is very good. Well preserved.

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The show begins with a long Detroit, Toledo and Ironton segment. A show within the show.

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A scene of Street running in Ironton.

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Fred also shows trains, in context.

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He could do the mood shots too!

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The early Conrail material is the bomb! Much better than some of the competition. The paint still appears new on several ‘cockroach’ repaints.

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Former Penn Central F7A #1707 hits the diamonds. Renumbered in April, 1976.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h56m20s749 Two Alco RS3 locomotives ,and a Baldwin. These on Michigan Northern. Rare film. This train is chased from Cadillac, Michigan. Former, Chicago and Northwestern 1617. The 2036 is an ex: Southern. 

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Alexis Tower is a definite highlight! A ton of action.

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Conrail paint is beginning to be seen.

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Chessie System in the 1970s was fantastic! Unmolested blue units could be seen from both; B&O plus C&O. Fred found both leading near Detroit.

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Try and find a C&O 5911 leading. A rare shot on 8mm film. Good supply of C&O.

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Chessie System steam suddenly appears!

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There is not much regular Chesapeake and Ohio out there. Let’s see some more. The 3575 is a GP35, in factory EMD paint.

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Ann Arbor is visited.

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You are asking. What about Grand Trunk? Only this one. Canadian National is present, as well.

Remember , the rarities in this show.

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A plethora of rolling stock is included, as this Burlington Route box car. He sometimes shows the entire train. Albeit, the shorter ones. Model Railroader alert!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h16m19s337In fact, he did it here. Check the C&O caboose. Enjoy all of the hard to find C&O!

 

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A fun trip back to a favorite time of mine. The variety really gets rolling, and you never know what’s next. Much like the old days!

A solid show. Must see for 70’s railfans.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

The Heritage Collection, Volume 1

Empire Builder Cover.indd

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1940 – 1950s

Locations: USA

Length: 1 hour 35 minutes

Five vintage films from the 1940s and ’50s. Professionally produced by the Railroad organizations of the time. Most, if not all of these have circulated. Convenient to have a group on a single DVD.

A detailed Chapter Menu breaks them down by the five movie titles.  A Play All option, as well.

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These shall be reviewed by individual title. All are narrated. Full color films.

A roll up and combined rating upon completion.

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Burlington Route FT set. One of the myriad of rarities.

On The Track 

AAR short film of 1950s era. Dudley Productions.  A shared theme of America produces, and ships by rail. Wide variety of railroads passby the camera.  

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There are a number of famous landmarks. Prosperous, post war America. There are similar films made during this time.

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Covers much subject matter in about 15 minutes. Historical look back into time. Heavy industry is one focus.

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Plenty of early diesels. F and E units dominate. A few odd, Alco and Baldwin units. Several steam locomotives.

 

Life – Line of the Nation

Another Carl Dudley Production. Don McNamara has the narrator credit.

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An earlier film. Deals with World War 2. The valuable role of US railroads to move the military. The industry to manufacture equipment.

C&O 1490 is shown above.

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Hence, a National defense theme. Milwaukee Road box cab electrics.

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Get busy identifying what you see in all of these shows. Look closely…

Florida East Coast!

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Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby!

Runs about 20 minutes. Plenty of steam.

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Rare, New York Central Empire State Express.

Early diesels in small numbers here.

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The might of the US industrial complex, to support the war effort. Cooperation amoung the railroads to move everything.

The responsibility of the railroads to keep the peace time America rolling.

 

225,000 Mile Proving Ground

A 1958 produced, Association of American Railroads. Dudley Pictures.

The Headline Story of Railroad Research.

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The subtitle sums up where this movie short is going. These old films do like to emphasize just how well they are doing!

This Union Pacific Turbine, is the future.

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The science of Railroading. Metallurgy, as in more durable rail is one subject. Freight car design and uniform improvements.

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Improved refrigerator equipment. Santa Fe.

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Modern hump yard.

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Modern signaling for reliable train movements. Great Northern.

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Boxcars are constantly improved.

America’s 225,000 rail miles are the proving ground for so much technology.

Suffice it to say, A Chicago headquarters, was at the forefront, of the leading edge.

Railroads and National Defense

Dudley Pictures. Korean War era.

America: with natural resources, industrial might and a strong military. Ready to meet any challenge. Transportation is the key.

 

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This short is packed with early diesels!

Missouri – Kansas – Texas E units. MKT.

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By now, you will notice the recycling of some footage. Remember, the producers were doing these films separately. They would have never dreamed of a single DVD!

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Seaboard train

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Buses move troops to the trains. Going to embarkation areas.

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Runs about 12 minutes. Many of the same trains seen previously. Like this Monon.

In a way, seen one, seen them all with these old short films. They vary somewhat. Yet, are quite similar.

Mainline USA

Also an AAR release from the 1950s. Dudley Pictures. Gilmore is this narrator.

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Probably the best of this collection. Many diesels. Pennsylvania Baldwin Sharks.

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Rock Island TA.

Again with the greatest America.

Same recycled footage. Much new and additional film.

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This one contains the largest selection of diesels. Western Maryland trio, in fireball paint scheme.

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Baltimore and Ohio F7A.

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Advances, such as truck trailers on flatcars.

Runs about 20 minutes.

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The Heritage Collection, Volume 1

Pentrex has delivered on the advertised. These vintage short films are of a historical nature. Repeat scenes, no extra charge!

Years ago, many old train films were difficult to obtain. Much has surfaced over the decades. There are still some rare birds. Although, only a quick glimpse of each.

Overall, an authentic period collection. Has trains, and much more. One viewpoint of American life. May or may not, be of interest.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

Into the Allegheny Range Volume 2

AR2-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1991- 93

Locations: Cumberland area

Length: 80 minutes

Source: Iron Horse America

Cumberland Terminal and Vicinity. Iron Horse continues, with the second of four volumes. CSX now owns the former B&O facility. A wide variety of power and paint, on tap!

Complete maintenance of locomotives and freight cars. A hump yard. Storage yard. Crew accommodations. These are some of the features of the sprawling Cumberland Terminal.

A detailed Chapter Menu is provided. Custom maps are frequently referenced.

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Videography is first rate. Audio is professional level. Post production is on a high level. Except the last Chapter.

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Bob Taylor with a balanced narrative. Allows trains to be heard.

CSX is attractive to Railfans, with many old paint schemes. Check the GP30, in dual B&O paint. Model Railroaders can have a blast, with the Sunburst remants, underneath the faded Capitol dome, logos and lettering!

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This volume is different, with contrasting interjection of some vintage film. Illustrates certain discussions. Nice!

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M Tower is the beginning.

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Trains are identified with on-screen graphics.

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Evitt’s Creek Yard is next. CSX crane set.

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Two SD40 are notable. One in Chessie. The other is the last one in original C&O paint.

CSXT Car Maintenance Facility receives a look.

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R344 with a B& O GP 40

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Locomotive Shops have an extended visit.

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Roundhouse from 1916 still has several stalls, although modified. A rare, Family Lines GP16 enters said roundhouse.

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Turntable area offers additional photo ops. Seaboard System is another sought after paint scheme.

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Safety Stop at crew change point.

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Yard switcher is dated as 10/92.

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City of Cumberland.. Baltimore Street

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Amtrak’s Capitol Limited stopped at the Station.

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Viaduct Junction.

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ND Tower. James Hotchkiss controls Viaduct Junction. Note those Armstrong levers!

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The remainder gets off topic. It feels like filler. The further it rolls, the more it feels stretched. Do viewers really need to see inside a food tent?

Western Maryland Scenic RR gets a brief visit. An unnarrated collage of the best images. Turns into an advertisement for the Pentrex video. A straight commercial.

Railfest with B&O  Museum equipment. Plays like a collection of high quality home videos. Could not believe the inclusion of a food tent! Amatuer vibe now…

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Lafayette is good material. Spare me the modern, black and white film.

Waiting for some excursions. Buried!

Troublesome engines and long segments of switching the locomotives around. Yawns…

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After watching this boring segment. The train finally pulls out out of town…

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This volume cruises along fine, and loses steam towards the end. The Railfest section is slow and clumsy, in comparison to the main feature. Drags down this otherwise excellent program.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

Rail Trek Volume One: The East

Rail-Trek---The-East-1960s-1970s-Volume-1-DVD-RVQ-RT1

Producer: Ron McElrath

Timeframe: 1960s-70s

Locations: East-South

Length: 140 min

Sources: R. McElrath, W. Sasser

One of three Rail Trek volumes. Eastern version. Wide coverage over 20 railroads. Updated in 2017 by Revelation Video for DVD release.

The new DVD has film repairs listed as: cleanup on splices and edits. Original sources of 8mm and Super 8. These still show limitations. Good to fair picture quality. Green overcast on occasional scenes.

 

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A detailed Chapter Menu is a fine addition. This lengthly program needs this feature. Especially, as it spends too much time on certain subjects. Definite pacing issues.

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A new, update (on- screen graphic) is used to correct previous narration mistakes. Even a bit of additional information.

The show is in full color. Brief segments with some live audio. Mostly a musical background. Same as previous edition.

Fully narrated by Ron McElrath. Same as the VHS series. Above scene from Marion.

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Show is a mixture of lineside and passenger train ride films. Covers a huge range of territories! Waynesboro, if you have trouble reading.

There is more than a basic review can fully get through here. Overview with some of the important parts to know.

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The railroads in the Southern states are hard to find. These alone, make this worth consideration. L&N, C&O, Southern, Auto-Train. Ride upon and view trains. You just don’t find much of anything, in the South on a train DVD.

Good developments, later in this show.

Earlier on, it was dragging badly. Roads that I like too. Just revolving, around and around, on passenger trains.

*Breakdowns are boring. The audience doesn’t care. Stuck like a bug on flypaper. Cut it short! The show is dragging…

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Endlessly looking around on New York Central. Finally, get out of there.

 

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Look! A neighbor, called New Haven. A chilly trip. Out and back, on a branchline

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A huge commuter mover. More than just Jamaica Yard. Long Island Railroad. Receives maybe, a minute! Really? Ugh…

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Only to get fixated, upon the very attractive Delaware and Hudson Alco PA locomotives.  Move it along…

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Norfolk and Western. This one scene is the best looking. Kind of loses it at Kenova. Experiments with shots and most don’t work. Chesapeake and Ohio. He blows most of the shots here miserably…

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Louisville and Nashville. Excellent choice. Rides an oddly named Pan Am train.

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C&O. 2nd chance. Gets it right now!

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Southern. Look South. GP30 looks awesome with a high hood.

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Birmingham. Hot Spot deluxe. A manned swing gate. Frisco here. More trains are seen. Who knew about this? Gate open…

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Take another look… Gate closed. Excellent.

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Florida. Auto Train gets a glimpse. Florida East Coast with a caboose is included within.

Florida has much more.

Pittsburgh in 15 minutes.. A fine chapter!

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Obligatory Amtrak shot. Cooler than most, with Three Rivers stadium!

 

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Pittsburgh and Philadelphia had vibrant trolley systems too. McElrath shows quite an assortment in both cities. I only have space for one. You’ve been told about it.

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Still in Pittsburgh. B&O action all around.

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Pittsburgh & Lake Erie. A train ride there.

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ATVR bonus. The Orange C was a give to ‘Green team’. New York Central. Red P was supposedly Red team. PRR staff. Neither side was satisfied. Everything reverted back to all white lettering. The rare, Orange C sure looked better to me! At Marion.

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In Ohio, things really get moving along. Erie Lackawanna is plentiful.

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Detroit, Toledo & Ironton, shows up for a minute.

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Marion Hot Spot. The ultimate all time?

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Get your good Norfolk and Western here.

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Recent early 1980s steam inclusion. Needless here. Better quality, easily is obtainable elsewhere. Quit when you are ahead.

Matter of fact. All steam on this show doesn’t really fit. Including, the poorly filmed breakdown outing, in the cold. Drags it down. Time waster that should not be here.

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Now, Atlantic Coast Line is a caboose, one rarely sees in service. There are some hard to find ones, bringing up the rear.

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Rail Trek Volume 1 The East The 1960s- 70s.

This show sure gets around. Large amount of railroads. A supply of rarities. Overall, weak on film quality. Needs some additional editing, for time. Create a stronger presentation.  Nice updates on the VHS. You have: the good, the bad and the ugly. A mixed bag. Make your choice.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars