Railfanning the Delaware and Hudson – Volume 3


Producer: John Pechulis

Locations: Binghamton, NY., Allentown, Philadelphia, DuPont, PA.

Time Period: 1978- 1985

Length: 73 minutes

Sources: Joe Bednar, Jonathan Reck

Third in this series continues the D&H story. A couple of mainlines are featured. Previous: Lehigh Valley, Central New Jersey, and Reading, were given to D&H to operate. Conrail trackage rights added even more territory, for D&H to run trains.


A brief introductory narrative. This is informative.  Preferred presentation, had it been given at relevant points throughout in the program.

Narration starts out strong. It is brief.  Returns in sparse segments.
This leaves natural audio for the remainder of the soundtrack. For the most part, it works out. A few scenes a little too much wind or background. Levelling could have been used, as well.

Overall, I much prefer to learn more. Operations, an area, or local history. These are some possibilities.


Now. That being said… Shot on Super 8mm film. The high quality visuals are a huge plus! It is a great looking show.


Maps, are such a nice piece to include. Simple, and effective to orientate viewers. Standard maps provide geographic orientation of the rail lines. They get the job done.

On screen graphics denote locations. Train designations are frequently included. The designations are pointless, without a corresponding narrative. Unless, one is familiar with the trains.


One glaring verbal error. Conrail is not a shipper. They are a Carrier. A Rail Carrier.

A shipper is an entity that provides freight. A factory, coal mine or steel mill, for example. A shipper can also be a Freight Forwarder. Container traffic.Another type of Carrier can be a Truckline. See the difference?


Back to the show. Action packed! Trains are non stop. They keep rolling across the screen. Fine cinematography!

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h23m50s719By this later date. Electromotive has become a serious player, on the  once Alco dominated, Delaware & Hudson roster.

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h29m30s302Surprising inclusion, is this Alco RS3M. Would have like to hear details about this Bi-Centenntial unit.


The Boston and Maine! Uncommon in railroad videos. Especially this clean. There are other B&M units to be found, within this program.

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-02h09m19s490Maine Central is another rare bird! The interest level continues to rise on this show.

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h50m15s315A cornucopia of D&H diesels to view. No call-outs on diesel designations. Obviously an Alco… I know what is. Do you?

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h44m44s952Norfolk and Western units appear frequently. Full sets, and mixed in, with other power. Another missed opportunity, on the narrative.

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h39m44s006Pushers are used on various trains. Note the former Reading unit here.

vlcsnap-2018-12-23-01h18m41s850Concluding with an independent line.
Anthracite Road. Former Reading Lines, Perkiomen branch is the operating trackage. An ex: D&H, RS-3 is the locomotive powering the freight.
Delaware and Hudson Volume 3 is a worthy addition to the series. The high level of action, and variety of locomotives, combine to a satisfying visit to the alphabet area.

Excellent visually. Good live train audio. More information via narration, would have rated higher marks.

Railfan only show.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars



Railfanning With The Bednars Volume 5

Railfanning With The Bednars Volume 5



John Pechulis Media

Years: 1973- 1976

Locations: Allentown, Sayre, Lehigh Gap and more… Pennsylvania and perhaps elsewhere?

Source: Bednar collection

Length: 58 minutes

Here is one of the John Pechulis series of Bednar filmed, Eastern Anthracite Railroads. This volume 5 covers much more, then the 10 months preceding the formation of Conrail. Footage dates back to 1973! Locations jump around in a timeline  format.

Sounds like this was from Mike Bednar father’s collection. Found after the previous volumes were released. Not having seen any of the previous shows. I do not know if any of this film is Mike’s, or how everything fits together.


Majority of cameras were focused on the larger railroads of this era. Quality footage is harder to find, of Lehigh Valley and Reading Railroad. We are quite fortunate, the Bednar films are available.

There are not any maps to follow. No chapters either. A formal organization is not apparent. The show does play better than it appears, organization wise.


Mike Bednar was an experienced railroad professional. He worked as a Towerman for years. He knew operations cold. Names nearly everyone who appears on film. Knows the designations of the trains. Locations are usually offered. Often, the contents of freight cars are known! This adds quite a bit of interest.

I would have liked to have had some in program,reference maps. Where the heck is Sayre? Lehigh Gap? Bloom?


Strange places. Geographical orientation would have been desirable.

Model Railroaders will love the attention paid to freight cars! Plenty of yard scenes like this one. Freight consists with road trains are viewed. Valuable information of period weathering, as well.


Reading GP30. In case you don’t know. Mike doesn’t do the locomotive call-outs often. Yes, he seems to know them all. At times, he will spit them out. Usually, too busy telling a story or giving an explanation or an opinion!

Film quality is excellent! John Pechulis goes through some detailed restoration process, from what I understand. The results are outstanding!


The high resolution is the high point of this production. Very clean looking film. Accurate colors. Nicely done. Bi-Centenntial paint was seemingly everywhere if you were alive in 1976!

Sound is dominated by Mike Bednar’s very detailed narrative. Expert level commentary.


Occassional humorous comments. Depth of knowledge is fascinating. He spent his life on the railroad. Very apparent when you listen to him speak.

There are natural sound scenes. Other scenes have musical background. Everything is balanced to acceptable levels. Narration is the dominant form.


There  is a large variety of motive power to be viewed in Volume 5. Lehigh Valley is the main feature. Reading has plenty to be seen. Delaware and Hudson, also puts in a strong showing. Very colorful era!


Not to be forgotten. Erie Lackawanna.Bednar travelled to record EL F-units operating at Bloom. Wherever the heck that place is located!  in this program. Additional EL power is present. SD power history was controversial on this Bloom line. GP35 locos are seen elsewhere on a freight.

Lesser amounts seen are Jersey Central. A few cameos by others. B&O and some steam power.


By this late date. Deferred maintenance has become a serious problem. Bad derailments have.caused some major wrecks! A few are on this show.

Large cranes are shown operating. This demonstrates the type of access that the Bednar’s enjoyed. They were able to get close to the action.


Hulcher equipment is likely rare footage. Mike believes it was the intial usage of them, on a wreck, on Lehigh Valley. Interesting, this show contains the old steam era cranes and the modern Hulcher style of wreck removal eqiupment. Mike was a proud professional. These men were upset to see their once excellent roads deteriorate.


A wide variety of motive power is on tap. Alco Century locomotives are operating on the Lehigh Valley plus the Delaware and Hudson. General Electric is making obvious inroads. EMD is easily found amoung all the railroads. All in all. This is a great looking collection of the Bednar films.


Cinematography is excellent overall. Nice, camerawork. Colors look great! Everything is well-balanced. A top notch appearing DVD.

Narrative is informative and interesting. Once you become used to Bednars voice. Well, it is authentic. I do find him entertaining!


Certain items that are not present. Maps and chapter selection, are what keeps this show, from the top rating. A worthwhile look at some action in the 1970s NorthEast Railroads.

A strong and enjoyable, one hour show.

Rating: 4 Stars