Rails Through the Hudson Highlands

RTTHH-DVD

Producer: Tim Walter

Locations: Poughkeepsie, Cold Spring, Garrison…

Timeframe: 1990

Length: 55 minutes

Remaster: Middle Earth Video

A new, 2020 remaster of a 1990 show. Have not seen the original show. Review will be on this, current release (obviously).

A single DVD-R. Master menu. Feature and Pentrex previews. Detailed Chapter Menu. This one offers locations. On screen graphics, with locations. No map.Peter Falconi handles the narration. Natural audio, for the main of the soundtrack.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h34m47s685Video quality is not modern viewing standards. The colors are very good. Variable imagery, as the camera adjusts to lighting on many scenes. Historical value is the consideration. Plenty to see. Checkout some highlights…

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-08h55m12s983A tour on ex: New York Central rails. Ossining is the initial location. Heavy commuter traffic. Metro North is the local carrier. Amtrak is busy, as well.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-08h54m22s595Conrail B23-7 pair, with  a Tarrytown freight.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h03m15s424Croton-on-Hudson. Worth a mention. The interlocking was still in service.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h17m54s225Amtrak has frequent trains. Would have liked to hear what the moves are. In fact, some of the trainsets themselves, should have been discussed.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h05m55s973The narrative is only as valuable, as the base script. Find the information is lightweight, overall. He mentions these SPB units. Never heard of them! Missed opportunity, to engage unfamiliar audience members.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-12h15m43s698Peekskill, NY. Here is the beginning of Hudson Highlands. The fl9 are in push pull. On the rear of this inbound.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-11h14m50s665Connecticut DOT owned these fancy, New Haven painted FL9 units.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h14m30s897Metro North had to be the ugliest paint, this side of Chicago’s Metra.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h04m14s919Breakneck Tunnel is a scenic one. Note the FL9 units, are now pushing the train.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h30m45s443Old building is a pumping station.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h32m49s565Checking out the River Line. A few freights. These are some long telephotos. Across the Hudson River!

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h00m32s393Hey… Wash your face!

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-09h37m09s592Garrison, has this often filmed tunnel.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-11h13m33s822Pougkeepsie, marks the end of Metro North territory. Also, the endpoint of this show.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-11h12m58s392Rails Through the Hudson Highlands. It delivers on the advertised tour. The fresh remaster presents it, in best possible quality. Old videotape has limitations.

vlcsnap-2020-03-07-08h57m22s682The length is fine. Enough to see the highlights. Not overly long, to reach boredom. There is variety, amoung the many passenger trains. Even the venerable FL-9 model, appears in various liveries!

All in all, a good look at Hudson River rail action circa 1990. Nice to see it, in a remaster.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

Conrail Memories of Big Blue

DVD-DCP-HS-BIGBLUE-3D-DVD-copy

Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1985 – 1991

Locations: Effingham, St. Elmo, Teutopolis, Mt. Vernon, Smithboro

Length: 1 hour 55 minutes

Source: George Redmond

Another Conrail entry in The Heritage Series. Running on former Pennsylvania and Missouri Pacific lines. Big blue was busy in Southern Illinois!

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h09m03s763George Redmond video. Shot beginning in 1985. The quality is a little rough early. It improves as the timeline progresses. Those are some color issues. Picture quality is very good, for video. Sound is live audio.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h41m47s451This A is a single DVD-R. Chapter Menu,No which is pictured and numbered. Zero maps. Plenty of on-screen, location graphics. Mary McPherson narrates in an as needed basis. Plenty of space to hear the trains operate.

Early action begins in Salem, 1985.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h05m07s975Effingham in 1986 & 1987. Much more from this location in this show, various years.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h40m45s092Teutopolis has high speed trains.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h27m53s081Mount Vernon, in 1988. Conrail 3374 is on the point. This on Union Pacific rails.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h35m06s032Mary is a unique Producer. She often has an element of humor or straight up fun. In this show, a collage of Conrail pacing sequences are a gas!

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h43m16s052Shot around Teutopolis. The trains operate at road speeds. They are every bit as enjoyable to listen to, as to watch.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h36m04s500A GP30 2213 is in the middle, on this eastbound move.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h51m03s006A quick break. Return to additional pacing. An SD40-2 on the point.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h42m36s784A quad of GP15 are a rare catch on the main! Noisy bunch, that remind us of sets of vintage GP9s.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-11h53m50s739This action, is almost as much fun, as a Lionel train running around a Christmas tree!

In 1989 now. Pacing With a GP40 leading an SD50.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h12m13s674CR 6273 with a hot piggyback.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h35m36s510Train INNL. Indy to North Little Rock behind 3375. At Benton.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h07m20s684The latter half drags off and becomes repetitive. Solid blue lash-ups of trains at the same locations. Effingham again. Union Pacific interchange is shown for a moment.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h51m20s209The common intermodal traffic, is also unexciting.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h46m53s085St. Elmo is frequently shown.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-13h19m37s882Finally, a change. Smithboro, Illinois. Here is the Conrail St. Louis line, at the BN crossing.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h33m44s484Again, back to Effingham area.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h24m16s600Compared to the somewhat similar, Conrail St. Loo to Horseshoe. Recommend this one for the better title. No, just kidding! Recommend this one, for higher video quality. Plus, the pacing action. The Illinois sections, cover about the same territory.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-13h33m32s696This show delivers a big bellyful of Conrail. No doubt about it. Fans of the Big Blue will be satisfied, at the near 2 hour length. Little deviation from the home road. For the rest, it may run too long. No scenic highlights. Already mentioned, is the repetitive nature.

vlcsnap-2020-02-24-12h02m37s563This is a good show. As is often the case with Diverging Clear. Less would be more, to my tastes. So, bump the rating up, if you like.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conrail St. Loo to Horseshoe

s-l300 (1)

Producer: Mary McPherson

Locations: Smithboro, St. Elmo, Effingham, Horseshoe Curve…

Timeframe: 1990-94

Length: 1 hour 57 minutes

Source: George Redmond

This Heritage Series features Conrail. The former Pennsylvania St. Louis line. Southern Illinois locations. Teleports over to more interesting Allegheny Mountains. Horseshoe Curve is the main feature, on the second half.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h46m03s801George Redmond had hundreds of hours of video footage. Good camera skills. A key source for specialized interests. If early to mid 1990s fits your bag. Even if you just like Horseshoe Curve, and who doesn’t? This is likely, worth a look.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h13m03s112A single DVD-R. Slimline case. Better than average, a highly detailed Chapter Menu. No maps, which are not needed. Plenty of on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h56m20s252Natural, Enviornmental audio soundtrack. Good levels. Plenty of space, to hear the locomotives working. Mary McPherson performs the sparse narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h28m20s871Smithboro, Il, is at a crossing, with the Burlington Northern in 1990.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h54m40s177St. Elmo, is a Conrail interchange point. Road traffic moves through, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h40m19s281Symbol KVPI comes off the Union Pacific Rails. Going to Pittsburgh from Kingsville, Texas.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h57m20s067NYDAZ at St Elmo with 6727 over to Union Pacific. New York to Dallas.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h17m33s640Effingham is a traditional Illinois hotspot. Illinois Central and Pennsylvania original railroads.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h26m13s258Winter of 93 at Effingham. Station is at left.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h42m46s458A look at some boxcars. Going to St. Louis.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h34m06s478A C30-7 is paced East of Teutopolis.

 

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h36m19s951Altoona at Alto Tower is next! Year is 1994.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h40m10s882Arrival at Horseshoe Curve! High expectations, for this world famous location. A word of wisdom. To avoid disappointment in all things, keep expectations low.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h48m18s187There are a few issues, with this lengthy chapter. Murphy’s law seemed to be in effect. First, some issues could have been minimized, via editing. Simply, eliminating some of the problems. Amtrak Broadway Limited is seen. Also, a rare Roadrailer.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h48m54s842No one is God. Weather is sometimes not conducive to shooting outdoor video. If one chooses to record, the producer may edit. A little rain or fog is usually acceptable. People travel long and far. 

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h57m48s348 A viewer should not have to suffer eye strain for 15 or 20 minutes. Unreasonable! Put it in a bonus section, if one doesn’t have the strength to cut it out.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-14h35m00s097Another issue here is a super annoying workman. Now, he is merely doing his work. Unfortunately, it is in direct conflict, with enjoyable listening, at Horseshoe Curve. What is the offense? A loud weedwacker! Fairly close to the video camera. The microphone picks it up efficiently. Here, the producer could have deleted these audio sections, in favor of anything else.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-14h43m23s489So, the total is: foggy and rainy, or plenty of weedwacker noise. The Conrail trains are out in force. It could have been presented better. Hence, Amateur level reality.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h46m27s695The Illinois half of the show is consistent, with most of the George Redmond videos. It does have a better overall appearance. The Horseshoe Curve with it’s issues, are the decision maker for this release. Despite the technical issues, it is still has, solid Conrail action. If that floats your boat. You should be fairly satisfied.

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

Kansas City Diesel Power Review

D146_CVR-RGB-FRONT-ONLY (1)

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1996- 2000

Locations: KC, Olathe, Bonner Springs, Holliday, more

Length: 1 hour 52 minutes

Source: David Defendorf

Kansas City is second only to Chicago, for America’s railroad capital. A cornucopia of this era’s railroads pass through this area. This program focuses upon the diesel power. Viewers will not be put to sleep watching unit trains.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h30m02s708

A single silver, factory pressed DVD. These are manufactured at the same facilities, as used by some Hollywood companies. ChapterMenu is numbered. Plentiful, are the on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h43m21s582

Custom made maps, a CSP standard. Details vary by requirements. Predecessor roads, locating junctions or suburbs. He makes  frequent use of various maps.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h37m52s092

Video quality is excellent. All of it has been digitally restored. The imagery is top shelf.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h36m52s797

Audio is very lively! These trains do sound off. Birds in fields are heard clearly. A few too many crossing bell scenes, but does move on.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h38m39s665

Charles does the narrative. He is much quieter, than usual. So, for those who feel that he talks too much. Here is your show!

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h55m38s284

This almost 2 hour show extends beyond Kansas City limits. We visit hotspots and some rural looking places.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h03m27s020

The Bottoms is recognizable, as the old City section of KC. This scene and below, have details for Model Railroaders. Take note!

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h47m45s908

Santa Fe Crossing is a classic location. Tower is visible in background. Modified GP7u locomotives, were still in daily service. Not bad, for Electromotive 1953 built diesels.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h46m36s069

Some additional hotspots, such as Olathe, Kansas. Very busy location.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h04m28s489

The Highline Bridge is unusual. An interesting place.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h45m32s031

Soo Line reached Kansas City, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h25m50s218

The setup at Bonner Springs, yields a bunch of close-up trains. Apparently, a Dash 8 is loading too much fuel.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h29m03s913

A Chicago and North Western pair, passes by the camera.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h09m13s172

Kansas City Southern is a railroad that was based here for decades.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h43m55s281

Gateway Western is a relative newcomer.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h21m46s669

Even more action, with Conrail power.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h07m48s409

Norfolk Southern appears, with various trains.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-15h47m46s741

BNSF brings up different possibilities.

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-18h29m20s294

It is mainly a Western Railroad show. Which brings up the question. What is the railroad that you think of, when Kansas City is mentioned?

vlcsnap-2019-11-29-17h38m07s252Rare find, is this Department of Defense caboose.

Kansas City Diesel Power Review.

Charles certainly delivers on the advertised. A trainload of diesel power! The large assortment of: locomotives, locations and railroads, keep it interesting. Definitive overview of the Kansas City area.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

CSX 6 Pittsburgh to Willard

CSX6_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Pittsburgh, Akron, Willard

Length: 58 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

CSX 6 leaps over to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The riverfronts and cityscape, are the setting for the initial round of trains. Pretty fall colors and wet weather will follow us Eastbound. The destination being the traditional hotspot of Willard, Ohio. A key facility dating back to B&O days. About 200 miles.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h06m10s853

This sixth volume in the comprehensive CSX series by Green Frog. Consistent production as the previous installments. Highly competent, Rob McCormack is the Videographer. Bob Carrera performs the professional narrative. A decent script.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h29m34s081

Seems to be a mid-1990s era. Plentiful, General Electric 3rd generation locomotives.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h26m16s883

Pittsburgh scenes are mostly panoramic. Visit is brief.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h32m02s328

At Rochester, a former P&LE bridge crosses the Ohio River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h09m14s107

CSX 9000 rounds a tight curve at Cuyahoga Falls.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h39m04s996

BPZ400 at West Pittsburg for Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Using Rochester and Southern 101 and 103. New Castle Yard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h48m06s023

The abandoned Pittsburgh and Lake Erie facility, a striking contrast to the busy CSX mainline.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h52m36s712

Chessie System power leads a short train. Viewed from inside SF Tower. Quick visit inside.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h03m28s480

Akron, Ohio has a Conrail train passing over this CSX switching move at AY Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h59m41s906

At Kent, Ohio. This waterfall steals the spotlight.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h16m20s982

Chessie System paint can be found on a rock train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h13m07s251

Autumn at a rural road in Sullivan, Ohio.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h19m11s818

Greenwich Jct. crossing Conrail.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h54m34s150

 

Unit Coal is plentiful. This train seen from SF Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h44m20s833

Amtrak test train, with a cabbage unit.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h20m39s277

Was expecting to see more of the facilities, at Willard, Ohio. Maybe, his access was restricted. Little more than a yard lead. This local waits to leave.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h23m20s756

Engine 163 departs J Tower at Willard, Ohio.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-10h30m32s992

Another CSX move, on a yard lead, entering at Willard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-27-09h49m30s544

Several cabooses in this show. None in a perfect picture pose. This shot will suffice.

CSX 6. Pittsburgh to Willard.

A well filmed trip. Contemporary railroading isn’t the most thrilling. The show is nicely done. Does contain some really good scenes. Bump it up, if you are a CSX fan. A fine volume to have.

Rating: 4 Stars