New York Central Odyssey Volume 2

New York Central Odyssey Volume 2

Green Frog Productions

Format: 2 DVD set

Length: 2 hours 45 minutes

Time Period: 1963- 1968

Locations: Detriot, Wayne Jct., Town Line Jct., Dearborn, Electric division, Syracuse division, Harmon,Toledo, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor…

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 39.95

New York Central was Emery’s favorite railroad. In this second volume of Green Frog’s Odyssey, we will complete the New York Central Odyssey, as seen through the lens of Emery Gulash. All of the film is 16mm color!

last day at mc

Emery Gulash was one of the best railroad cinematographers of all-time. He had an unparallelled eye for great shots. The ability to travel far and wide. He has left a legacy of outstanding films for eternity. I call him one of the Original Masters of train videos.

In this set, notice the shots with the camera angle looking upwards, from the ground. This accentuates the size of the train cars and locomotives. He was using more viewpoints over the years. Some ground level tracks with high-line, bridge crossings have simultaneous trains. This set is action packed!

m497                                                    Pride of the Central. 1966.

delray twr                        A GP7 at  Del Ray Tower, crossing B&O tracks.

The 16mm films are all in color. They are from many different years and trips by Emery. I just love the way, that was once everyday, is captured so very well. He also films in all seasons and any kind of weather. Experienced fans will note that Emery does frequent his favorite locations.

mail trainEast of Ann Arbor, a long mail and express train races towards the camera.

For those who never have seen New York Central operating before Penn Central, this is a good way to get familiar with the Water Level Route. Both volumes of New York Central Odyssey are worthy programs to add to your collection.

Green Frog has done excellent production, with the proper care and presentation of these films. The picture is sharp. The colors are accurate and balanced.  Dubbed sound is convincing. The fine quality enhances the viewing pleasure.

toledoAudio contains trains matched to the locomotive builder. An Alco sounds correct, and so on. Emery had a collection of trackside recordings that he had also done. His and some others really pop out during the show.

Narration is the high standard that we expect from Bob Carrera, and this veteran production house. Descriptions are right on top of the action. Quite informative. Nice script!

There are a pair of DVD’s in this set. A detailed chapter menu divides by locations or month and year. Very helpful for navigating around this long playing feature film.

Disc One runs from 1963 into 1966. A few happenings..

4

Show opens in 1963 at Town Line Jct. with Alco RS32’s. Lightning stripes adorn a GP7, as C&O GP30’s pass overhead, on a bridge. At Ypsilanti, E8A and E7B units in lightning stripes with a long mail/ express train. More at Town Line with lightning stripes.

cogp35

A wooden caboose can still be found on some freights. Stock car trains were getting outdated. Additional railroads found are: B&O, C&O, DT&I, D&TS, NKP and Wabash.

New York Central passenger trains are abundant. B&O Cincinnatian, once a week RDC, along with C&O action.

cincinnattian

4016 chicagoan1

Toledo and the Maumee River bridge is a hotspot. Many first generation diesels. Slow movements around the bridge let viewers get a good look at locos and freight cars. Some mail/ express and passenger trains. C&O checks in with E8 powered George Washington. Plenty of freights, a great chapter.

 

As a whole, there is a good balance of freight, mail and passenger trains. The interesting mix of locomotives is a highlight.

boxcarsViewing the assorted, vintage boxcars is a pleasure.

co det

The first DVD includes a nice supply of B&O / C&O action.

Disc Two contains 1966- 1968.

Electric Division that runs alongside the Hudson River has a chapter. Harmon yard was the end of electrified territory. The New York Central shops were located here. Twentieth Century Limited and Empire State Express are shown, exchanging diesel and electric motors.

wayne tower

Wayne Jct. gives us a mecca of NYC freight trains. Moving at slow speeds, past the tower, there are the freight car views, that railfans want to see. Many types of diesels are on parade. Alco FA, FB, EMD F7A, F7B, F3A, GP9, GP20, E8, GP35, GE U boats and GP40 units are some. SW7 locos are a contrast to its’ bigger brothers. A few too many Wolverines, but liveable.

2189

Although built in LaGrange, IL., nothing says ‘Detroit’ like a black GP30. Most of the power appears in the later ‘cigar band’ scheme. That’s fine with me. Those lightning stripes were always, way before my time. The logo looks even better on the nose of F7 locomotives. Speaking of what looks good, the numerous Alco FA units are like cab units on steroids! Doubly so, when filmed tight to the track.

Trains are quite a far cry from the boring, unit concepts of today. The multitude of boxcars provide a cornucopia of classic roadnames. I’ll take a meat train over a unit grain anytime. Unenclosed auto rack trains, like ML12, with over 1500 automoblies are something else. They were moved in daylight, to discourage vandals.

gp40

Mail trains with: REA cars, baggage and flexi-vans, are mixed with old Railway Post Office cars. These trains were once, priority service. New High- Cube boxcars for auto parts were all the rage in the mid-sixties. Many are shiny new.  Nearly, every freight has a jade green, bay window caboose to boot!

Passenger trains are present, in 1967, in quantity. They tend to be interspersed with the plethora of freights. There is a long passenger segment here, in 1967.

Epilogue as Penn Central, early 1968, post merger trains are seen. Mail trains now require a caboose. Other Pennsylvania practices and PRR locomotives, are incorporated onto ‘green team’ trains. Finally, Penn Central painted diesels are in the engine lash-ups.

caboose1This is one of the best Odyssey releases from Green Frog. Superb cinematography, smooth edits, fine audio are combined with an excellent narrative. There are numerous, striking first generation diesel lash-ups. Outstanding, is the attention given to those classic freight trains. A trainwatchers dream!

Rating: 5 Stars

American Train Video Reviews

New York Central Odyssey Volume 2

Green Frog Productions

Format: 2 DVD set

Length: 2 hours 45 minutes

Time Period: 1963- 1968

Locations: Detriot, Wayne Jct., Town Line Jct., Dearborn, Electric division, Syracuse division, Harmon,Toledo, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor…

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 39.95

New York Central was Emery’s favorite railroad. In this second volume of Green Frog’s Odyssey, we will complete the New York Central Odyssey, as seen through the lens of Emery Gulash. All of the film is 16mm color!

last day at mc

Emery Gulash was one of the best railroad cinematographers of all-time. He had an unparallelled eye for great shots. The ability to travel far and wide. He has left a legacy of outstanding films for eternity. I call him one of the Original Masters of train videos.

In this set, notice the shots with the camera angle looking upwards, from the ground. This accentuates the size of the train…

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TrainTown Toronto

Traintown Toronto TT Toronto

Green Frog

Length: 56 minutes

Time Period: early 1970’s

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 24.98

Emery Gulash was one of the most notable train cinematographers ever. His vast collection of color 16mm films contains many classic railroads. He was fortunate enough to be able to travel extensively in an interesting era for trains. This show originates at Toronto in the early 1970’s.

Green Frog Productions have produced a fine selection of Emery filmed shows for decades. This release was a surprise. Emery and his friend Walt journeyed to Toronto for a few days of filming the action near Toronto’s main station.

1Canadian National and Canadian Pacific are the headliners in this show. GO and a bit of Ontario Northland are also here.

7Peter Youngblood narrates the tightly scripted program. Many details about operations and equipment result in an informative show.

cn 3155A specially modified MLW RS18 powers a passenger train between Toronto and southern Ontario. This fleet sported a unique livery, as seen here.

rdc torontoThis shot with the RDC set has some of downtown Toronto. The area seems to be miles long. Locations vary and Emery comes up with a plethora of classic Canadian trains. Some hazy weather is present.  Camera is smooth and professional. All color on gorgeous 16mm film.

cp6543 rGreen Frog is commended for their state of the art digital production.

cn3232 c424Emery recorded sounds trackside as well. The soundtrack sounds good. CN 3232 returns with a light engine move at Cabin D. Earlier, these babies were hauling freight.

cn super continentalCanadian National’s Super Continental. It’s long summer consist departs Toronto. This scene captures more of the vastness of the rail network, in the Toronto vicinity.

walt sardinhaA salute to many of the railfans who were shooting trackside. To be Walt Sardinha alongside Emery back in the day. How cool is that?

go9801 gp40tc eastboundGovernment of Ontario Transit. Commonly referred to as GO Transit. This odd locomotive is a GP40TC.

cp6525 s3Some earlier paint schemes are seen on Canadian Pacific. The Pacman livery was new.

Usually, I like to close a review with a caboose. Due to the fact that we see CN and CP equally, let us see two…

cabin dCanadian Pacific, with some wonderful, old 40 foot boxcars. At Cabin D, all switches are hand thrown. Dedicated switchmen await orders, via a loudspeaker system. Hey, I waited all day to get the word via into this review. That’s right, this predates those VIA trains.

cnCanadian National with a pretty as picture money shot from Emery.

TrainTown Toronto is a highly enjoyable visit to the past. An excellent assortment of passenger and freight train action. Plenty of Canadian rarities that will satisfy everyone.

Although Emery Gulash has passed into history, his work lives on. There are many fine titles featuring his great cinematography. In fact, Green Frog has been remastering those shows. As far as TrainTown Toronto…. It is as fantastic as the rest. A must have for vintage railfans.

Rating: 5 Stars

Western Maryland “End Of An Era”

Western Maryland “End Of An Era”

Green Frog Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 70 minutes

Time Period: mid 1970’s

Locations: Cumberland, Connelsville, Elkins, Somerset, Bayard, Helmstetter’s Curve, Ohio Pyle..

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 24.95

Green Frog states: Here is mountain railroading in the east at its best. Considering standouts as: Pennsylvania, B&O and Norfolk & Western. That is a bold claim. Can the Western Maryland be the best?

The renowned combination of Emery Gulash and Green Frog is great. Exclusive 16mm all color film is a key element. So are the production abilities of Green Frog…

The Frog brings us synced sound. Period correct Electromotive of LaGrange built diesel locomotives. The 567 series engines sound fantastic!

Early in Chessie System merger. Majority of equipment appears in original liveries.

Narration is pretty basic and slightly weak. Good locations, somewhat informative operations, and too relaxed. This is not a usual Green Frog narrator. Older release that (naturally) doesn’t have the modern extra features. There is a map in the middle of the show. A remote control operated chapter search, no menu.             Norfolk & Western has a surprising presence of engines and cabooses.

Emery had a definitive ability regarding scene composition. Many times, the valleys and cuts in the terrain offer tight quarters for the cameraman. He turns a possible disadvantage into delightful close-up views.

Legendary as a railroad cinematographer. Emery has some subtle humor. Note the scene. Two fisherman are oblivious to the classic F7’s on a freight . They are missing a B&O F7 in the lashup!

In 3 days, Emery shot in: Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. The weather turns gloomy in the middle of the show. Many of the second day shots are in inclement weather- not twilight. There are some long chases through the mountains.

This scene illustrates this show in a single frame. Emery’s Suburban, fellow railfans and plenty of Western Maryland in the Appalachians.

Undulating terrain also provides nice overviews of the railroad.

Classic F7 locomotives are as ubiquitous on Western Maryland, as they once were across much of the country. This feature alone, is worth the price of admission.

Helpers Galore!

Western Maryland “End Of An Era”. This a vintage showcase for Emery Gulash. An interesting array of, first and second generation locomotives. Scenic Appalachian Mountains. Some dismal weather on one day. A solid audio track of EMD power.

It is a top level, eastern mountain program.  A great addition to anyone’s collection.

Rating: 4 1/2  Stars

Steam Giants Across America

Steam Giants Across America

Green Frog Productions

Format: DVD

Length: 57 minutes

Time Period: 1940’s, early 1950’s + bonus 1991.

Locations: USA (see the review)

Sources: Robert Flack, Emery Gulash, Jerry Carson, E.K. Verlag, Green Frog

MSRP: 24.95 single version. 59.95 for the 7 DVD package deal set.

This show is contained as a bonus disc in The Steam Special 7 Pak, as pictured. The DVD is also available as an individual release. The discs in the set have artwork.

Green Frog has a classic ‘big steam’  highlight show here. Huge articulated locomotives are  the featured subject materiel. A quality production house, Green Frog has plenty of vintage films for this program. They have some additional modern, fantrip footage to round things out. There are numerous shots of steam led trains, in service, back in the 1940′s and 1950′s. I enjoy viewing the steam era freight cars as well.

This is a compilation train video. Some, or perhaps all of the footage may appear in other Green Frog programs. As a bonus disc in the set, it doesn’t really matter. Fun to watch, even with overlap film.

Steam Giants Across America was released in 1996. The DVD is digitally mastered, and edited. No chapter menu or maps on this show. The maps aren’t important on a compilation like this one. The steamers are the subject, not the railroads. Stereo sound.

Jerry Carson filmed the Norfolk & Western locomotive service area at Roanoke.  Great color footage, and plenty of mainline action. A multitude of class A Mallets are shown. The huge articulateds are in mountain service.

They are seen, shoving hard on the rear of trains , doubleheading the front or both!

The 100 car coal trains are something to witness. Some class J locos are included. The long segment closes, with a parade of articulated powered trains, across Virginia and West Virginia. This chapter is a movie within the movie.

Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range, featured the massive Yellowstone 2-8-8-4 locomotives. These behemoths, pulled long strings of ore cars to the docks at Lake Superior. The big yard is at Proctor, Minnesota.

Union Pacific has to be ‘the mother of the biggest steam’. Plenty of Big Boys are on display, pulling freight, in the western United States. Challengers are up next in action. Cheyenne shops are a steam lover’s dream, albeit a brief one.

Logging railroads are represented by Rayonier. Engine #38, a 2-6-6-2, is dramatically filmed on the logging line. Grays Harbor, Washington area and Camp 14. Engine 120 is memorable, as it crosses an old wooden trestle.

Space age Norfolk Southern hosts a contemporary fantrip outing for N&W 1218 in Florida and Georgia. This portion is edited from the show ’1218′. Good stuff.

Railfair ’91 attracted Union Pacific 3985 and 844 doubleheaded to the fair. Much more action, with some spectacular scenery, as in Feather River Canyon.

As usual, the Frog provides a smooth, coherent script. The narration is balanced. Steam sounds and big band ‘steam era’ music, enhance the presentation. Film quality is excellent throughout. Not every scene has perfect light, but remember the era.  The stereo sound it is excellent.

A fine, well-paced program for any viewer. A compilation, it is an excellent study in articulated steam power.  Youngsters will really enjoy the sights and sounds in this show. This will please just about everyone. A great choice for family viewing. Naturally, any rail enthusiast, including model railroaders will want this release. The 7 DVD package deal, is another excellent option. Very enjoyable!

Rating: 5 Stars


Santa Fe Odyssey Volume 1 (Remastered)

Santa Fe Odyssey Volume 1 (Remastered)

Green Frog Productions

Format: 2 DVD set

Time Period: 1954-1980

Locations: Chicago, Joliet, Amarillo, Raton Pass, Willow Springs, Lemont, Las Animas, Emporia, Kansas City, Trinidad, many more..

Source: Emery Gulash

MSRP: 29.95

Green Frog has taken a longtime favorite, Santa Fe Odyssey Volume One and digitally remastered the show. This was originally filmed in 16mm, all-color film. Previous releases in VHS and DVD format have always looked good. American Train Video Reviews had previously reviewed the 2001 DVD version of this show. It was a highly rated program . The big question: Does the new release improve upon the earlier version?

Going back to the original High Definition 2D masters, Green Frog has modernized this fine show. The advertised toots the day and night comparison  of the 2011 version.

Having both copies of a non-remaster and the newest 2011 digital remaster calls for a comparison. A note on packaging is important. The outer packaging is identical for both versions! Green Frog has been notified of this, with a suggestion for notification to be added to the newer version. On the inside, both DVD’s are appropriately labeled. Buy from a reputable seller, or you may end up with a non-remastered show.

A highly detailed chapter menu, makes navigation a breeze. You’ll want to revisit favorite locations on this sprawling double disc set. There are also the audio selections. Stereo and Dolby 5.1 surround. Narration is switchable as on/ off.

Narration is the high standard that we expect from Green Frog. An excellent script with smooth, professional narrative by Peter Youngblood. Natural train sounds are present and they sound great.

On both versions, this is an extraordinary look at Santa Fe in 16mm all-color film. Emery Gulash was one of the best cinematographers of railroads. Expert composition, and with a great eye for the perfect shot, Emery’s work is fantastic! A very prolific catalog of film has been distilled into this ‘best of Santa Fe’ show.

A cornucopia of classic locomotives, passenger trains, vintage freight cars, cabooses and classic ATSF stations are all present. Great and varied locations, showcase the Santa Fe in an intriguing fashion. The timespan allows for comprehensive coverage of the railroad.

   Willow Springs is a classic Santa Fe location. Emery shot plenty of action here.

The remaster has some major image upgrades. The colors are more vibrant, without seeming fake. True authentic colors are immediately noticeable. Color balance is enhanced. The subtle shades of foliage, and not so subtle give an improved scenic framing for the trains. Some patches of old snow are another example. At times, there are small branches, and some weeds in the foreground that weren’t very noticeable before. The blue skies with clouds look better.

Santa Fe’s stucco and tile roof station has a mellowness to the color scheme of the buildings, a true to life feeling of being there. Sunlight has an extra warmth to the scenes.

The trains themselves have an increase in sharpness. They just about jump out of the screen, and into the room! The Super Chief, Grand Canyon, Super C and the rest look spectacular.

Alco RSD-15 trio at Vaughn, NM.

Blue and yellow diesel led freight trains. Yes, these are also enhanced now. EMD GP20 and Alco Alligators are some of the classic shots.

Even the old style, brown ATSF cabooses are more vibrant.

Distant shots emphasize the terrain and scenery. As the train gets closer, that gets the visual attention. The passing trains are a delight.

Amarillo, Texas has that great station and EMD F7’s along with the Alco RSD5. The San Francisco Chief arrives and looks superb. Emery has some excellent scenes of dusk and nightfall. The light glistens off the shiny warbonnets. A long lashup of GP30’s roll thru with a freight, at night. Morning has Alco PA’s. Amazing material.

Model railroaders can have a field day with the weathering alone! Many different years, locations and seasons offer a wide array of ‘seasoned equipment’ to study. Passenger trains are worthy of some focus on their various degrees of road grime. Freights are the best, there was an interesting mix of old and new railcars. Check the many shades of boxcar red.

Raton Pass has some action of F3/ F7’s on the point of a freight with an Alco pusher set. A warbonnet led set of F-units are serviced, as more mail is loaded at the station.

Emery gets a great pacing sequence with some weathered F7 units.

Disc 2 has the continuation of this 26 year odyssey. One of the newer inclusions is the introduction of the warbonnet freight scheme. Burlington Northern has pool power on unit coal trains. The Cascade Green paint is a spot-on match. Good action on the Joint Line. Amtrak is also found in part 2. The warbonnet F units serve into the 1970’s. Super Chief/ El Capitan is lettered Santa Fe FP45’s,with an Amtrak unit, on this Amtrak train. Complete Amtrak trains appear, like The Southwest Limited, as the timeline moves forward.

We return to some of Emery’s favorite locations over the years. This is similar to a time machine like viewpoint. As the railroad becomes more modern, much of the rest stays the same. He also visits some new places. Some bicentennial items are seen.

On it goes with the higher quality viewing. One other comparison of note. There are less shadowy shots. Much of that has been brightened up.

Overall, the improvements are dramatic. There is a striking difference with the 2011 release.This is a major upgrade over the last version on DVD. Santa Fe fans, this is a must see program. Any railfan or model railroader will thoroughly enjoy this Santa Fe Odyssey Volume 1.

Green Frog highly recommends the Blu-Ray edition, for those who have that equipment.

Day and night change in the show?  Yes, that is the new 2011 digital remaster.

Rating: 5 Stars