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

 

 

CSX 3 Nashville to Louisville

CSX3_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Nashville to Louisville

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

Third in the series. This one includes several sidebar visits. The main route is the original L&N Railroad. Not the most exciting line to see out there. Keep reading…

A couple of visits, help to add interest. RJ Corman had purchased a line from CSX. The Kentucky State Railway Museum operates the only L&N steam engine. Some cave visits really are off topic.

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The area is plentiful with Civil War history. Some of this is discussed. A large bridge, was the most interested story. This is not it.

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Well, with all of this side and background. Must be the mainline is lacking. To a point.

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DVD-R. Switch with option, on/ off narration. Usual, Chapter Search feature. Visual and Audio, consistent with series. No reference maps. Too bad. These little towns sure need one! The milepost statements are not very helpful. Obviously, we travel towards Louisville. Again, map.

Show is also available in the CSX Special set.

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The narrator is Dan Chandler. This script vassicillates between, fairly interesting and very simplistic.

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Those little red buildings. They look like a freshly built HO kit, on a Model Railroad. Proving, the prototype for everything theory. One need not weather everything.

The two CSX yards are bookends. Radner Yard in Nashville. Osbourne Yard at Louisville.

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In between is some Hill and Dale countryside. A unit coal train is chased on a branchline.

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Limited pre- CSX paint. Best of the lot. A former L&N GP38. Appears more than once.

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Union Pacific is seemingly on most every show.  Pre-Merger locomotive, check the trailing Seaboard System.

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RJ Corman is briefly visited. A pair of GP9 diesels are on duty.

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The light Pacific at the Kentucky Railway Museum. This 1905 Rogers built steam locomotive has appeared in full length shows. Unfortunately, it is paired with an ugly duckling ex: Santa Fe CF7 on the rear end. Lack of foliage, has things looking harsh.

The L&N has little cab room for the Videographer. The #152 is paced for a minute. The full shows with regular foliage, are the way to go, if this interests you.

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Onward we go. More unheard of places. No way to know, where we actually are located. Telling the names, doesn’t get it done.

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The Ft. Clark bridge is the big one! Better views of previous bridge versions, in still photos.

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The hotel that once served Mammoth Cave has it’s own story. The interior tour is overkill. Used to see that damage in Chicago anytime.

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Surprising, is the size of Osbourne Yard. Until, the narrative reveals multiple lines feeding this facility.

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CSX 3. Nashville to Louisville. So far, this is the weakling of the series. It is not a bad show. Surely tries to elevate into something more. Ends up a little off track at times. Rather unexciting overall. Call it a basic good. Next Volume…

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

CSX 2 Chattanooga to Nashville

CSX2_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: early 1990s

Locations: Chattanooga, Cowan, Stephenson, Nashville, more

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Rob McCormack, Charlie Brown

Green Frog ups their game in CSX 2. Scenic Tennessee and Alabama territories. They include a mountain grade, Cab Ride. Visit a hump yard. See some sights, along the former L&N route.

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Chattanooga, Tennessee. That railroad bridge that crosses the interstate.

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Usual Green Frog DVD-R.C Chapter Search. This one has a glance, at a map. No on-screen graphics. Although, the narrative has everything covered.

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Videography is ace. Camera angles are varied. Imagery is clear, even on the modern, big screen.

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Audio is enviornmental. Levels are well balanced. Professional production, as one would expect from the Frog

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As with the other volumes, that I have seen. Some highlight locations are key. Cumberland Mountain is the major point, in this show. Radner Yard in Nashville, is another.vlcsnap-2019-11-06-11h17m05s455

Two bridges in Alabama, appear early in the route to Nashville. Both, CSX plus Norfolk Southern cross on these.

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By coincidence, a Norfolk Southern crossed the other bridge. Union Pacific in the lash-up of these mid-train helpers.

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Creative viewpoints are becoming a Hallmark of the CSX series. This one, from inside a diminutive steam engine display.

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Predecessor paint is within. Here is one, in Baltimore and Ohio blue.

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Checkout another. Seaboard System here. Note those curves on the train.

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At Cowan. The start of the run over Cumberland Mountain begins. Twisting and turning tracks are as challenging, as any mountain grade crossings.

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Even on a television screen. This trackage looks intimidating. Blind curves, sheet rock walls and twisting tracks.

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The original tunnel is 150 years old. Yes, we get it both ways!

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 three ways. The Cab Ride is out and back.

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The Radner Yard at Nashville is huge.

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Views from both the towers. These SD40-2 units assemble their trains.

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A second viewpoint. The SW1500 goes to retrieve more cars. The ex: Seaboard Coast Line… a little bonus!

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No caboose to close. This auto rack is not tipping over. Rather, travelling on a super-elevated curve. Looks awesome.

CSX 2 Chattanooga to Nashville. Green Frog, has improved upon the first volume. A good tour of the advertised route.  This one has included, that mountain Cab Ride! A winner!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 1 Atlanta to Chattanooga

CSX1_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: early 1990s

Locations: Atlanta, Marietta, Dalton, Kennesaw, Chattanooga, more.

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rob McCormack, John M. Koch

This is the first in an extensive series on CSX Transportation. These volumes are focused geographically. Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee is here. The era in which the railroad was filmed, still has some unrepainted, predecessor CSX locomotives.

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Green Frog DVD-R. Chapter Search, as is typical with the Frog. No maps. There are on-screen graphics. Don Chandler performs the narrative. He has a lively voice.

Also, available in a large Green Frog multi set, CSX Special.

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Videography is professional level. Editing is regular, high quality Green Frog. As is the audio. Enviornmental soundtrack. Well done. Everything in it’s place. Looks good on the big screen.

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This script includes good historical background. That is a fine bonus. Civil War battles were fought around the areas. Adds much interest.

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The Western and Atlantic Railroad owns this trackage. CSX leases it!

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Check these Family Lines, that have not been repainted. A B&O loco, brings up the rear.

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Howell Tower is an Atlanta hotspot. CSX and Norfolk Southern meet there. Many trains are viewed at Howell. Including a CSX move, that waits for the whole board to clear!

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Amtrak does show up, with The Southern.

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Norfolk Southern has busy mainline trackage through the vicinity. Dalton, GA. is a well known hotspot, with both railroads.

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Low angle shots look great on the waiting NS locomotives.

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Tunnel Mountain, that tunnel was constructed in 1923. That Chessie System 4447, sports old paint.

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Shortline, Georgia Northeastern still operates some EMD GP9 and GP18 units. Slow orders, on tight, urban tracks.

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CSX continues towards Chattanooga. Although, not much of that mileage is shown. Rather, several locations are featured. Seriously, they should have included some maps.

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The station displays some creativity, from the Videographer.

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BIG era freight cars are clean. My own term. I like it… Before Idiots Graffitied.

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A marked change in the terrain. This is Chattanooga. A few minutes to the show’s conclusion.

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Bringing it back home. CSX shares some rails and such in this area.

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Hitless on a caboose. No worries. Close with this steam engine, at Tennessee Valley Museum.

CSX 1. Atlanta to Chattanooga. An excellent look at CSX and some Norfolk Southern. The main focus is on the Atlanta vicinity. This show runs so smoothly, it is a fine one to view. Even if it may not match travel expectations.

They do mention, that the next volume will begin in Chattanooga. So, perhaps a slight tease in the title. I bet they have improvements. Which brings us, to the bottom line.

Smart production has elevated, a less interesting era of Railroading, into a higher level of entertainment. Creative filming and some interesting scriptwork, have done the job. Would have liked more coverage of the route mileage, and a map. Still, a satisfying show on CSX!

Rating: 4 1/2 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