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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This one reassures the public, that our railroads are more than ready to move the military.vlcsnap-2019-04-28-20h15m48s775

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

 

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Colorado’s Colorful Joint Line

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Producer: Bill Brown

Timeframe: 1986- 1988

Locations: Denver, Littleton, Palmer Lake

Length: One Hour

Source: Dave Gross, Bill Brown

The Joint Line is 118 miles, shared by three Railroads in Colorado. Burlington Northern, Santa Fe and Rio Grande in pre-merger days of the late 1980’s.

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Rege Cordic is an excellent narrator. He performs on other WB Video shows. A relaxed style, that allows trains to be heard.

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This one has listed: broadcast video, live sound and color. The original VHS release was dated as 1989. This DVD has Highball Productions as current.

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WB and/ or whoever took over this program. They have not added any Chapter Menus to this DVD. No maps within the show either. Seems to be a straight transfer.

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-17h30m06s931Picture is soft on a newer high definition screen. Do not expect current standards!

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Oakway SD60 locomotives have caught the attention of Gross’ Camera early on. Alot of scenes of these with the leased units. Too many, for a well balanced presentation.

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You will not see a Rio Grande road train on the mainline. Should be included.

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-16h58m01s897Pacing of coal train… Later, an LMX is paced.

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BN SD40-2 helpers, shove hard. Decent shots for the time.

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-17h05m51s343Newer GE B39-8 LMX. This one leads a BN GP50.

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-17h09m48s997There are some featured, Kodachrome schemed SF units. Rege refers to them as, red and yellow SF units!

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The Colorado Springs switcher is a lone GP30. A good assortment of Kodachromes.

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This pair of GP30 diesels pull the very first Santa Fe Q Train. Like a dog with a bone, Q Train after Q Train…

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-17h25m06s147Santa Fe 3446 moves slowly at Palmer Lake.

A too long, look at DVLJ moves becomes tedious. There ARE other trains boys!

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Palmer Lake is scenic. Still stuck on Santa Fe Q trains…

vlcsnap-2019-04-22-17h32m41s842Denver, finally! Three quarters through. BN action gives blessed relief!

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BN 5562 is a General Electric C30-7.

The 20th Street area, is where the trains are concentrated.

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DRGW light engine move at Denver.

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They are scarce in this show. Elusive Rio Grande units!

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This show falls short on the advertised. One would expect to see Rio Grande trains, operating on the Mainline. Denied. Pretty major fault, considering so much time was spent on Santa Fe Quality Train- DVLJ. Disproportionate.

That results in a lower overall score. Why spend all that time watching repetitive, Santa Fe piggybacks?

A bit much on the Oakway leased SD60 power, as well. Seen one, seen them all. Even back when they were brand new!

Missed opportunities. Overkill on others.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

Western Rails

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Producer: Greg Scholl

Timeframe: 1994-97

Locations: CA, CO, IA, KS, NM, WY

Length: One hour

Source: Greg Scholl

A tour of various locations in the Western States. Sweeping across the Plains to California. Many railroads are viewed. Various cameos are additional. All combined into this show. Unique viewpoints on numerous shots. There are a cornucopia of scenes.

Narrator, is the familiar voice of Greg Hingsbergen. He always does a fine job.

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Natural audio on a live soundtrack. The only issues, are some loud levels on freeway traffic.

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Pro level videography. All production aspects are professional. Tight edits. A well paced program. Greg always has an appreciation for nature. A good amount for balance. No extra charge!

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A detailed Chapter Menu is included. A generous Preview section. This with a detailed Menu, as well. Split into American and Canadian preview lists.

There are minor maps. Just enough to orient the audience. Good enough.

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Kansas City Southern, in an intriguing view. Burlington, Iowa. Mississippi River.

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Santa Fe warbonnets, with Union Pacific passenger cars. Topeka, Kansas. See the show, for more details on this scene.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h51m37s581There is much variety in this show. Former Rio Grande Potash branch, near Moab, Utah.

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Santa Fe Southern. Lamy, New Mexico.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h39m11s606Enjoy these two for one scenes! A BNSF train waits at Dotsero, Colorado. While the Union Pacific moves up the Tennessee Pass route. Nice sequence.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h36m11s013The Southwest Chief. Amtrak fans, will get serviced, more than once, in Western Rails. 

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h48m27s336Southern Pacific meet in Utah. May 94.

vlcsnap-2019-03-27-10h52m25s063Burlington Northern. Sheridan, Wyoming. A crew change point.

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SD70MAC engines with a long coal train.

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Columbia River Gorge. This is an extended Chapter. Burlington Northern on the one side. Georgeous area.

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Union Pacific rails on the other. One of several scenic highlights!

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California is next on the journey. Southern Pacific’s Coast Line. Trains in scenery, type of cinematography. Spectacular views here!

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Tehachapi Loop gets a brief visit in 1995. Southern Pacific with a GP60. Two pushers on the rear. Unusual, to see a GP60 lead versus SD class locomotives.

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Western Rails

An interesting compilation, that delivers on the advertised. This whirlwind tour should contain, something for everyone. A favorite Railroad, or a location. Likely, more than one. Perhaps, viewers may find new interests.

This is a fine train program. Compact and action packed! Great cinematography. Excellent for: Railfans, Model Railroaders and the family.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

The Joint Line

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Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: CO.

Length: 85 minutes

A mutually operated Colorado line. Highlights include: Denver, Castle Rock, Palmer Lake and Pueblo. Filmed over a 4 year period. The mid 90’s.

This show has four main railroads. Burlington Northern, Santa Fe, Southern Pacific and Rio Grande.

The expected Pentrex standard of excellence is here. Everything is proper and as it should be. Early map reference outlines what constitutes The Joint Line. A detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section.

Balanced and intelligent narration. It backs off, to let the viewer observe and listen to some trains. Nicely done.

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Burlington Northern is the dominant player here. Mainly due to extensive coal trains. Cascade Green fans will be very pleased.

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Santa Fe has plenty on tap. Fresh red and silver warbonnets abound! Blue and yellow scheme, too.

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Southern Pacific was releasing speed lettered repaints, on fresh rebuilds. Plus, a smattering of Cotton Belt units.

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Denver and Rio Grande Western. Now, that’s a different picture. Grimy for the most part. Road numbers are often tough to read.

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A colorful assortment of run through power. Conrail, Kansas City Southern, LMX, Norfolk Southern, Soo Line, Union Pacific and more!

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Let’s look at some Kansas City Southern. A white ghost is buried in the consist.

Pentrex delves into the long history of The Joint Line. Effective usage of old photos. They certainly go the extra mile.

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Colorado has varied scenery. This line begins with the small cityscape, of South Denver.

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Obligatory Amtrak image. Here you go.

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Onward, we take a long look around The Joint. Arid high country.

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Pretty lakeside vista at Palmer Lake.

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What a gorgeous town to watch trains.

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Surprise snowstorm encountered due to elevation.

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Coal is always a big commodity. More BN.

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Handy lesson on Pusher/ Helper service!

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An old Santa Fe bridge gets busy.

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Santa Fe ran a hot intermodal Quality train.

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Burlington Northern was highlighted with their new SD70MAC locomotives.

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Southern Pacific is shown with an old GP9. Check that Kodachrome paint!

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BN was still using a contraption called a caboose!

The Joint Line.

An exceptional visit to this scenic Colorado rail line. Nice additions, with history and a few older train moves. Expert cinematography and production.

Four classic railroads. A great area with scenery and history. This one is a no brainer.

Rating: 5 Stars