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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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A cornucopia of locomotive types. Predecessor paint scheme galore!

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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

Huntington Steam Combo

HSC-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe:1991

Locations: Huntington, Owasso, Lima, Cincinnati, Kenova, Hurricane, Thurmond, more

Length: 3 Hours

Sources: Dan Hadley, Stan McInturf, Mike Topham

Pentrex with a two for one show. Steam to Huntington. Huntington Steam Celebration. Featured locomotives are: Pete Marquette 1225, Nickel Plate 765 and Norfolk and Western 1218. The two shows combine for 3 hours of entertainment.

National Railroad Historical Society event in 1991. Main celebration at Huntington, West Virginia. The first program shall be focused on the steam engines, as they travel to the gala.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-19h25m33s021Here are the high standards of Pentrex quality. Visuals, audio, script and editing are all razor sharp. Too much to get it all. Some highlights within…

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h54m24s647David Drui is rock solid, with a smooth narrative on both shows. The choice of which program. No Chapter Menu.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h25m24s523Nice maps on both shows. Timely usage.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h24m16s852Plenty of on screen graphics with locations and dates. A lengthy preview section follows the program.

Steam to Huntington

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-17h57m04s315Pere Marquette 1225 is the lead-off player. At Owasso, Michigan. This will be her maiden voyage outside of Michigan. A 1941 Lima built Berkshire.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h24m49s711The camera crews get many angles. 

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h28m22s186A tribute to the Lima Works at Lima, Ohio. The two engines sound their steam whistles as they pass their birthplace!

ne31 Included this shot is purely for kicks! Steam rules!!

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h51m43s368The double-header continues onward.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h49m13s516A restored Nickel Plate caboose, on this train.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h53m48s425Cab ride aboard the Nickel Plate.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h59m38s844Norfolk and Western 1218 departs Cincinnati, Ohio. The behemoth, articulated is a striking contrast to the Berkshire types.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-19h12m41s798All the engines have fine pace sequences.

Huntington Steam Celebration

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-20h58m15s514The N&W 1218 appears seperate. Reason being the trackage didn’t connect to the CSX.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h38m04s687Two days of excursions behind the lone 1218 are shown.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h13m07s231Oiling around is a necessary and time honored tradition of steam operation.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h38m31s810The 1218 is an awesome spectacle!

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h32m36s334The tail car on the N&W consist.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-22h12m45s115NKP leads the PM on the double-header move. This is at Thurmond. A town that is frozen in time.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-18h43m25s505The 365 is highlighted with some pacing.

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h52m14s555The main event is side by side running of these Berkshire class locos. Memorable!

vlcsnap-2019-08-01-21h40m28s532The NKP 365 was pulling a string of empty CSX Hoppers and this Chessie System caboose.

Huntington Steam Combo. A great show, that features a trio of classic steam locomotives. Beautifully recorded in the visuals and audio. Some fitting scenic areas. Perfect for family fun. One of the top Pentrex modern steam releases.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

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

Michigan & 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