Rails New York Metro

RailsNY_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1996- 99

Locations: Hudson River, Long Island, Southern Tier, Susquehanna, NJ, more.

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Rich Kugel

An overview of the New York area, before the Conrail split. Extra coverage of additional railroads that provide variety. Locations extend outward. Hudson River and Long Island. Southern Tier, and more.

DVD-R. Standard Frog Chapter Search. Professional production throughout. No maps. This release has not been remastered. Hence, images appear slightly soft on a larger HDTV screen. Colors and balance are fine. Do not expect current viewing standards. Show is very watchable.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h25m37s106The trains appear in chronological order. Begins in the year 1996. Fast paced show!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h58m01s916Rich Kugel, is the Green Frog Videographer. He has a fantastic eye for composition!

Bob Carrera, with a classic narrative. Good script. No maps, or on-screen graphics. Also available in the set, Trains around New York and New Jersey- collection.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h26m37s725Conrail is the star of this show. Fort Montgomery, New York. Many fine scenes in this program. Let’s have a sample…

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h55m58s401Susquehanna,also has a strong presence. Hawthorne, New Jersey.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h29m27s807New York Metro North. FL9 and Genesis locomotives operate, along the Hudson River. Garrison, NY. That Metro North never could create an attractive paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h28m31s254However, New Haven surely did have some classic livery! They did revive this paint job.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h32m12s290Chesapeake and Ohio #614. This makes several appearances. A choice scene at Otisville Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h50m38s830 An ice storm creates memorable scenes.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h48m54s012This is the Millrift River bridge. Constructed in 1868, by the Erie Railroad. Connects New York state to Pennsylvania.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h22m34s351 In 1999, the Long Island Railroad was going to soon replace aging equipment. Alco FA is used as a power pack. Not a locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h01m31s171Let’s pickup more Long Island Railroad at Nassau Tower. This is located at Mineola. Good showing of some LIRR equipment.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h45m22s623Moodna Viaduct is a definite scenic highlight. This NJ Transit is but one, of some trains crossing here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h42m42s679Brand new BNSF General Electrics. They pause for a crew change. NJ Transit going to New York. Hint… These BNSF units get chased!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h44m15s436Norfolk Southern makes random appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h26m47s995Amtrak is also shown, by the Hudson. Also, several Electric motors, in New Jersey.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h18m00s978Susquehanna GP18, acts as a helper on a Sparta Hill move.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h12m49s869Conrail train that is 2 miles long! This view from a Mountain, along the Hudson River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h37m38s562After that whirlwind. What happened to Conrail? Why, they are now CSX!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h38m33s984Give it up. All in now. Where’s those dress blues???

Rails New York Metro. Green Frog has a show that hits the advertised, very nicely. Action oriented and loaded with variety. The near one hour show passes quickly. That is the hallmark of an enjoyable program.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

New York Railroading in 1998

NY_Railroading1998_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1998

Locations: Poughkeepsie, Marlboro, Campbell Hall, Iona, more.

Length: 89 minutes

Source: William D. Sternitzke, William E. Sternitzke

A general tour of New York area circa 1998. Many locations. No narrative. Conrail is still intact. A show of, basically mindless runbys.

Chapter Search. Motion Menu. No maps. Switchable on-screen graphics. Default is off. Dolby Audio, with natural sounds.

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Videography is predominantly standard 3/4 views. Shot trackside. Clear images, although rather pedestrian. Several scenes are shot differently. The second Videographer perhaps.

Did not play this on the big screen. Looked very clean on the laptop. Audio was fine.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h05m44s857Watched it, with and without the location graphics. Without any point of reference. Maps for example. The train symbols and locations, are meaningless. Little upstate towns. Who knows where these places are?

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Poughkeepsie, sure that is widely known.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h07m17s367An NJ Transit at a nameless tunnel. Yawn.

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Here is an Amtrak. Unknown private cars.

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This show requires narration.

Riverline, Haverstraw. Now, there is a name! What about this place? Ugh!

I do believe they mean, The River Line. Yes, that works better. Hudson Line. River Line. So, it is a place called Haverstraw, on the River Line. Ok.

Now, some Union Pacific locomotives do appear on the River Line.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-13h57m40s236The Poughkeepsie Bridge is in the background. About the only recognizable scenes, are at Poughkeepsie. Here we have a Conrail business train. Doing what?

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-15h01m01s657 I was really looking forward to reviewing this release. Part of the fun, is learning about the different areas. Didn’t learn much. Extremely disappointed.

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Susquehanna eases past some derailed freight cars. A CP Rail unit trails. Not enough additional information. The graphics offer a few tidbits. Old HJ. What’s that? Susquehanna at Greycourt, Hudson Secondary. Never heard of Greycourt. Where does the Hudson Secondary run? Some time is spent here. Revisited later on. This show is annoying.

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A Conrail train at Suffern. A yard there or lineside industry? Who knows. I do know, that it is, Buffalo to Oak Island. I did learn that this town (never heard of it) is in New York.

vlcsnap-2019-11-02-14h57m58s221Poughkeepsie station. FL-9s. I know more, but they are not talking…

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What about this operation? Even a brief ride on this switcher is given.

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These empty flatcars summarize, how I rate this show. Not much meat on the bone. Too bad. However, I viewed the, Green Frog, Rails New York Metro. A review is forthcoming. Check that one, for a traditional, narrated show. Similar material. Better show!

Also available in the, Trains around New York and New Jersey set.

This is a wasted opportunity. The visuals are fine. The lack of much additional information, torpedoes this release. Probably fine for the locals.

Please. Spare me any comments, with after the fact details. This show is over. Move on.

Not recommended.

Suggestion. Narrate it.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

 

CSX 14 Selkirk (Albany), New York

CSX14_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1999- 2001

Locations: Hudson River, Selkirk area, Mohawk Valley, Palmer, Framingham

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Richard A. Kugel.

Albany- Capital District, is the central theme. The lines to Selkirk Yard, are the point in Volume 14. Three mainlines are chiefly visited. The River Line, Hudson Line and Boston Line. Selkirk Yard is shown, for a minute. A Selkirk branchline receives a long look.

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The pretty common, Green Frog DVD-R setup. A Chapter Search, sans a menu. No on-screen graphics, or location maps. Do not see access to the switchable narration, in the multi- set.vlcsnap-2019-10-29-10h55m00s980

Color balance is fine. Image quality, is not modern viewing standards. Slight grain overall, and watery at times. Watchable, on a hi-def 55′ screen, although soft. A horizontal distortion bar is constant, along the bottom of the screen. Another, vertical distortion along the left hand side.

Audio is rated as Dolby 5.5 surround. Sounds fine in stereo. Good narrative, by  Peter Youngblood. Enviornmental soundtrack. Levels are well balanced.

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Show tours the areas, in a geographic fashion. The obvious lines. A little uncertain on where certain scenes are, in relation to Albany. Really could have used some maps.  Where is the bridge?

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Train action abounds. Always, a Green Frog strong point. Bagoda, New Jersey is on the River Line. A Norfolk Southern unit is rare, since the changeover to CSX.

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Unexpected, are some Wisconsin Central SD45s. Seems, that CSX was leasing various locomotives. Burlington Northern, BNSF, and more appear.

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The River Line is located on the West bank of the Hudson River. These New Haven painted FL-9 units are a nice find, on a Metro North. This is at Manitou, NY.

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Amtrak, also runs trains, along the Hudson Line.

This is one of the scenes that highlight the vastness of this vicinity. Videography is well done. Solid camerawork.

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Fort Montgomery, New York.

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A somewhat abrupt, transition to Framingham, Massachusetts. This passenger station serves the Boston Line. MBTA locomotive with a rock screen, over the windshield.

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Palmer, Mass. is shown. Here, a Conrail diamond crossing, with New England Central. A well known spot for Railfans.

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A New England Central arrives at Palmer.

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A CSX lash-up at Selkirk Yard. Time spent, is about a minute, at this huge facility. Expected more, given that Selkirk, is listed in the show title. Not a deal breaker.

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West of Selkirk Yard. Several freights pass. Canadian Pacific is shown. Canadian National power, is also seen.

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Busy Selkirk trackage, has two trains, moving simultaneously.

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The mammoth Poughkeepsie Bridge in the background. A CSX steel move, roars past at Highland.

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Speaking of bridges. This ballast train passes through at Guilderland, NY. Believe he is mispronouncing it. I looked on an online map, this seemed to match.

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At Voorheesville. A BNSF run through unit.

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Back to New York. East of Amsterdam. The Mohawk River, is in front of this CSX train. Doesn’t this look like a model railroad scene?

vlcsnap-2019-10-29-11h23m18s811 Fullers, New York is on the Selkirk Branch.  A CSX line here now. Good trainwatching along this line.

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At another Guilderland spot. Conrail TV-LA, is on the left. This was their hottest train. Shortly before the CSX takeover.

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No caboose. Let’s end with the freight of the time. Yes, double stacks. Ugh! What can one do? The show must go on…

CSX 14 Albany (Selkirk). The Capital District and the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys. Also available on the: Trains Around New York and New Jersey – Collection set.

Green Frog has targeted coverage of the advertised areas. Would have expected more of Selkirk Yard. Could have used, less Framingham. Maps were really needed, to clarify some of the locations.

The main of the show is enjoyable. Wall to wall action! A good assortment, of trains and locations. The choice of filming in all four seasons, adds zest.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

The Susquehanna along the Southern Tier

susquehanna_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1996- 2000,+1970s

Locations: Binghamton, Tunkhannock Viaduct, Portage Bridge, Starrucca Viaduct,Butler, Hawthorne…

Length: 80 minutes

Sources: Rich A. Kugel, Emery Gulash

Green Frog takes us on an ambitious sojuorn, across the Southern Tier. Susquehanna begins the first half of this show. Northern New Jersey territory.

The action moves onto former Delaware and Hudson rails. Conrail and Canadian Pacific, lead most of these trains. Suzie Q still runs trains here, albeit with some other power.

There is a surprising amount to see. Some of the highlights here…

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Not being familiar with some of this. Susquehanna in particular. It is a Class Two with a complex history. It was revitalized, with intermodal traffic.

The Susquehanna Southern Tier, is the New Jersey territory. Former Erie Lackawanna. Originally, was Hoboken, NJ to Buffalo, NY .

Northern trackage, Binghamton to Campbell Hall, NY. is disconnected. Former D&H. Accessible, via trackage rights.

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Those old Delaware and Hudson rails, are now Canadian Pacific ownership.

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Transition of Conrail, to Norfolk Southern is included.

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Binghamton to Portage Bridge. This will constitute the Northern section. Geographic progress, save any train chase.

There is not a Chapter Menu. A Chapter Search is present. Motion menus. No maps, or on-screen graphics. Would have preferred some maps.

Peter Youngblood narrates the show. A good script, that is interesting and informative.

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Green Frog has an excellent picture. Looks good on a large, hi-def TV screen. Fantastic color balance. The vintage Gulash film appears impeccable. There are some source defects in the video. Minor ones, but present. Belden Tunnel.

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Audio is Enviornmental. Dolby 2.0 Stereo.  Some trains, sound like they will pop out of the television! Quality is very high. Fine job by the Frog!

They mention that this show, was four years in the making. Ending right before the final end for Conrail.

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CSX has some moves. Although you need a scorecard to know. Here is a CSX train. Look at that detail in the image.

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Modern era trainwatching can become repetitive and boring. Face it. The Frog has a brilliant solution! Interpolating some vintage Emery Gulash from the 1970s.

At Starrucca Viaduct. Erie Lackawanna in the 1970s vs. Susquehanna. Just one sample.

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Creating some unexpected and uplifting, now and then scene comparisons. Maybe, not the only to do it. Yet, it works so very well. After all, it is remastered Emery film!!

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This is modernized Susquehanna Railroad. Big, third generation power is entrenched. Older SD45 locomotives still serve.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h47m33s061Run through or leased, power is abundant. Norfolk Southern, is most frequent. St. Lawrence & Hudson Railway on CP. Even the Union Pacific, makes a scene!

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-11h02m45s923Plenty of Conrail locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h19m50s937Good history of the line. The town of  Susquehanna, and it’s lineside hotel, was a new one.

 

That audio can rumble a subwoofer. Check the difference of a heavy double stack vs. a lighter TOFC. Hear those flatcars rattle. 

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Binghamton is familiar, from Delaware and Hudson days. BD Tower is a no brainier. A Ross Rowland steam locomotive, leads a special in 1973. 

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This Soo Line led move is a Canadian Pacific train. A St. Lawrence & Hudson Railway, with a CP Rail two flags, in this lash-up. A chase is done.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h52m27s215Tunkhannock Viaduct is always a spectacular sight. Instant highlight. Do you get an Emery comparison? Yes.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-11h09m17s978Back on the Southern Tier.

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The Portage Bridge, over the Gennessee River is an awesome sight! Busy spot with varied views.

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Turns out,  this closing caboose scene must be a vintage one. Early Conrail, with a Reading caboose. A classic, from Emery Gulash.

This program is also available in a larger four, DVD-R set. Title: Trains around New York and New Jersey Collection.

Green Frog has a winner here! Combining past and present. Providing an intriguing visit to this area. A nice assortment of road power. The fine scenery is the icing on the cake.

Rating: 5 Stars

Railfanning with the Bednars Volume 6

RFWTBV6B-cvr-1200

Producer: John Pechulis

Timeframe: 1976

Locations: Allentown, Horseshoe Curve area, more

Length: 63 minutes

Source: Bednar collection

See the dawn of Conrail in Pennsylvania. Bednar films and unique Pechulis film process, offer high quality viewing. Lehigh Valley was the home road for the Bednar family. They do venture out further on Penn Central rails.

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The Conrail merger had all roads equipment showing up at Mike’s yard! One never knew what might show up next. Extremely interesting time to be trackside.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h02m47s363Mike’s personal LV favorite. The Alco 212.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h00m42s392Mike said, that his Father was out filming all the time. Uncertain, if his Dad shot everything here. My guess is yes. In any case, excellent cinematography.

Penn Central GP30 units were some of the first new units to work Mike’s yard. Recollections like this, give firsthand insight into the transition to Conrail. Not to mention some rude telephone calls!

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h31m56s792Not only Lehigh Valley territory. The former, Penn Central is visited, around the Horseshoe Curve area. Middle Division and additional spots. Dead lines full of Baldwins and Alcos are shown.  Rockville Bridge is above. 

Informal style narrative by veteran Railroader Mike Bednar. His views are more akin to a running commentary. Knowing the people, remembering what transpired. A true insider’s perspective.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h58m35s797The film restoration is amazing. Hard to discern this was sourced from Super 8mm. It looks sharp! Probably, the finest merger Conrail film around.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h02m22s943Soundtrack also has live sound and filled with some background music. All of it is leveled nicely.

No maps are provided. No other extras. The program is a quick pace. It gets along without them. Although maps are always my preference.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h53m22s889Early in the timeline, the merged locomotives have not been renumbered. Too much to included everything. A jam packed show. Let’s see some highlights.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h08m51s210Mike’s yard was very busy, after the Conrail merger. Model Railroaders can have a field day, with all of the freight cars! Much of this Volume is centered at Allentown Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h22m02s044One has to appreciate Mike’s experience. The Ironton switcher was liked by everyone. Dependable and ran fine, right until Conrail scrapped it.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h13m01s120A trio of Reading GP9 units are chased on a coal train. Rare assignment and fun.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h14m31s616This scene seems to capture the mood around merger time on Lehigh Valley.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-10h09m12s147The Canadian National GP40W. Mike Bednar climbs aboard to check it out. Conrail was getting power, anywhere possible. 

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h52m09s468Lehigh and Hudson River, received a high rating in the maintenance area.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h13m41s419Erie Lackawanna units were all over the place. Many to see at Allentown.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h56m11s176Jersey Central ‘Red Baron’ scheme locomotives, also show.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h07m28s556Here is a revelation. Delaware and Hudson, originally used tape to renumber units! There are many assorted D&H units. Brand New and absorbed ones. Normal locomotives too.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h26m10s140Action abounds, at and near Horseshoe Curve. The former Penn Central tracks were extremely busy, according to Mike. Practically, a film within the film. 

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h28m11s007A long lash-up descends. Note the old F units being used on the power short Conrail!

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h36m23s796Later, full on blue Conrail repaints began. First one about to roll by…

CR…aka ‘cockroach’ reletter jobs are also within. Just as ugly as ever. Cabooses as well. However, variety is the spice of life.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h52m14s636A plethora of cabooses to see. Original paint and CR hasty renumbers. Fresh Conrail paint.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h58m59s557Old Lehigh Valley, with their last innings to play, in old paint…

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-10h15m15s386Mike waves to Dad. A fitting place to end is here.

Anyone that is interested in Conrail merger. This is the show to have. Best quality, hands down. Entertaining and informative narration. A must have for Conrail fans.

Rating: 5 Stars