CN, CP and TH&B

CN_CP_THB_50s70s_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1950s- 1970s

Locations: Hamilton, Dundas sub, Aldershot, Burlington, more

Length: 103 minutes

Sources: John Spring, Ken Spring, Bill Mathews

An amazing collection of all color films. Hamilton, Ontario Canada area. Vintage 1950s to 1970s. Rarities and everyday scenes; including, steam and diesel locomotives. Heavy on freight trains. Passenger trains as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h40m41s909

Official Subtitle is: Railroading in Hamilton during the 50’s – 70’s. Some extra information. A 1956 Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo chapter.  1967 Railfan Trip. 1977 Snow Plow. 1972 EL Reroute. 6218 Fantrip. More…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h06m21s007 A single DVD-R. This new 2019 release includes a detailed Chapter Menu. No maps. Everything has an informative graphic. No narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h03m21s271

Digitally processed. Clean images. Many scenes appear to be 16mm film. Vibrant colors, overall. Some overcast weather, is duller. It is a great vintage film collection. All color!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h15m01s332

Audio is excellent. Train sounds with some Enviornmental audio. Good levels. Some occasional wind noise, but sensibly leveled.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h33m41s998

Strongly would have preferred a narrated show. The trains are coming at a fast pace! Explanation on certain rarities would have added value. Information in general, could have been extremely beneficial. An odd decision.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h49m15s335

The films are excellent! Great colors.  and balance throughout. No small feat. This is a motherlode of Canadian trains! Spanning two decades. Three film sources.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h28m38s079

The on-screen graphics denote trains, locations etc.. Solid information. Wish there was more. Without a map, no reference point to nail the given locations. However, these vintage scenes are worth owning.

Penn Central powered Canadian Pacific train, passing a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo switcher above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h31m56s409

A wide array of trains. Surprising variety of roadnames. Including a fair amount of United States railroads. Enough cabooses to satisfy. Chesapeake and Ohio. Surprising!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h21m48s524

This review space will only skim the top of what is contained in this vast collection.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h59m49s620

Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo in 1956. An NRHS fantrip, behind a steam engine. See and depart the roundhouse area.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h01m21s745Let’s ride! You get the idea…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h53m58s655Canadian National F units, on a Queen’s train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h01m48s755

Canadian Pacific, in the Maroon and Gray. Factory fresh paint above. Both, block and script lettered units are found.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h41m53s326

More steam action than expected. Regular service, fantrips, double-headers and this triple-header! Comes at the viewer, like a blizzard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h39m18s576

Steam is present. Big and Small. Dead or Alive. In service, on display, or at the yards.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h16m22s108

New York Central is commonplace. If memory serves, I believe that Penn Central later had a Canadian division. Connections at, Detroit and Buffalo, more or less.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h45m20s649

In 1972, Erie Lackawanna was rerouting freights. Possibly, flooding. Several trains, this one serves nicely here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h52m36s488

Check those Chicago and North Western bi-level cars. Believe it or not. A steam locomotive is on the front!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h17m22s546

Canadian National Faiirbanks Morse diesels are a rare sight.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h14m49s443How about this CN 1967 Centennial set? Never heard of those.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h07m50s916A fantrip was aboard this Canadian Pacific Budd car. It runs around a little. The bridge scenes is the best one.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h08m10s487

A one of a kind; New York Central with a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo. This is on a frigid, January day. 1967 fantrip.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h39m32s896

 

Canadian National is all over the place. The Alco designs in the CN wet noodle, are memorable.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h08m28s952Ontario Northland has a few different paint schemes on their F units.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h57m38s527

Late in the show. Several Comfort Cabs tip us off, to the 1970s. A wreck has the cranes at work, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h02m45s356

GO Transit appears in some early versions.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h05m50s680

Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo caboose.

Green Frog has a fantastic release here. Really deserves a narrative. The strength of the quality vintage films makes it a must have for Canadian Railfans. There are enough items of general interest, that should appeal to all Railfans.

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…

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-09h33m42s536

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h26m51s928

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

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h56m05s262

Transition of Conrail, to Norfolk Southern is included.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-11h13m09s571

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h46m37s923

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-09h32m36s014

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-09h46m09s225

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

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h11m31s447

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h16m52s828

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!!

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h25m58s960

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. 

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h27m31s372

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

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h37m42s797

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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-11h12m39s174

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

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h22m01s892

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.

vlcsnap-2019-09-05-09h00m45s838

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

 

 

Conrail’s Beginning

Conrails-Beginning-A-Look-at-the-Eastern-Half-DVD-CRB

Producer: Clear Block

Timeframe:1976

Locations:East

Length:100 minutes

Source: Paul Geiger

In May, 1976 Paul Geiger took his 8mm movie camera to film Conrail. This is early in the merger. He visited many locations.

Another unrestored vintage, 8mm color film collection. The films are clean. Dark scenes too often. Nothing weird color wise. Good to very good, except for brightness issues. No maps or extras are included.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h22m15s682

The show does have natural sounding train audio. The sound is fine.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h04m53s806

Narrative is somewhat stiff in nature. Although, very busy and thorough. I see Paul Geiger narrates it himself.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h00m22s675

Too much to get everything here. Look at some highlights. Generally, everyday proceedings. In retrospect, this was a snapshot of 1976. See what is happening…

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h38m36s580

Paul travels around Eastern points of Conrail. He will sometimes pan a scene. Mainly, this show is wall to wall action!

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h06m03s517

Check this Conrail GG-1 at Enola Yard. Everyone was in, on the special celebration of the bi-centennial year.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-21h57m52s321

A grand Buffalo area tour. Bison Yard and Frontier Yard in Buffalo, NY. Tower visits. Buffalo Terminal. Historical aspects too. Amtrak E units are trading places here.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h18m54s117

Binghamton, NY. and the Delaware and Hudson. BD Tower. Binghamton station . Lackawanna Depot.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h14m12s333

As Paul travels around the new Conrail. He also films from a vehicle. Two for one shot. Kingsley Viaduct and a classic Texaco.

This one is for the Model Railroaders!

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-21h59m49s375

Early merger units may display a renumber. As on this Erie Lackawanna.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h07m18s435

A cornucopia of trains! All kinds. Sans active steam. E-44 electric locomotives here.

 

A quick visit to Sayre,PA. and the Lehigh Valley.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-21h48m10s305

Coxton Yard. Lehigh Valley RS11 is working.

Allentown Yard at R Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h24m07s346

RDC Bethlehem Reading line. Take a tour ride to Reading Terminal, in Philadelphia, PA.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h24m48s377

Lehigh and Hudson River visited. Very quiet. Nothing active at the moment.

Maybrook Yard is abandoned. Unused since 74 fire on Poughkeepsie bridge.

New York Central station. Penn Central FL9 Poughkeepsie. Hudson River line.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h41m11s152

Amtrak. Metro North, and New Haven. All crammed into the dense city areas.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h32m33s036

New Jersey Transit. Many GG-1 led trains are seen. Even in black Amtrak paint.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h37m40s107

Elizabethport, NJ. Central of New Jersey

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h47m09s452

Reading PA receives an extended look.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h52m00s149

Reading fans will see a good supply.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h57m50s439

Pennsylvania Rockville bridge is very busy. Paul does a fine job of showing us this hot spot.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-22h56m39s614

A rare EMD electric demonstrator.

Altoona in the summer of 1976, is very busy.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h19m23s914

Horseshoe Curve. These three GP35 units, contain key components of the new Conrail.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h10m37s013

There is plenty of Penn Central freight moving through the Altoona vicinity.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h28m55s893

Fresh Conrail paint appears more frequently, as the summer of 1976 continues.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h36m18s733

Penn Central 6254 is an SD40. Compare with Conrail blue below.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h40m48s255

May of 1992. Video update with Penn. area.

vlcsnap-2019-03-06-23h15m24s330

A solid composite, of the birth of Conrail. Consistent camera work. Good soundtrack. Well organized. Coverage includes quite a lot of territory.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

Rail Trek Volume One: The East

Rail-Trek---The-East-1960s-1970s-Volume-1-DVD-RVQ-RT1

Producer: Ron McElrath

Timeframe: 1960s-70s

Locations: East-South

Length: 140 min

Sources: R. McElrath, W. Sasser

One of three Rail Trek volumes. Eastern version. Wide coverage over 20 railroads. Updated in 2017 by Revelation Video for DVD release.

The new DVD has film repairs listed as: cleanup on splices and edits. Original sources of 8mm and Super 8. These still show limitations. Good to fair picture quality. Green overcast on occasional scenes.

 

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h40m57s312

A detailed Chapter Menu is a fine addition. This lengthly program needs this feature. Especially, as it spends too much time on certain subjects. Definite pacing issues.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h24m04s617

A new, update (on- screen graphic) is used to correct previous narration mistakes. Even a bit of additional information.

The show is in full color. Brief segments with some live audio. Mostly a musical background. Same as previous edition.

Fully narrated by Ron McElrath. Same as the VHS series. Above scene from Marion.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h36m39s695

Show is a mixture of lineside and passenger train ride films. Covers a huge range of territories! Waynesboro, if you have trouble reading.

There is more than a basic review can fully get through here. Overview with some of the important parts to know.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h26m56s962

The railroads in the Southern states are hard to find. These alone, make this worth consideration. L&N, C&O, Southern, Auto-Train. Ride upon and view trains. You just don’t find much of anything, in the South on a train DVD.

Good developments, later in this show.

Earlier on, it was dragging badly. Roads that I like too. Just revolving, around and around, on passenger trains.

*Breakdowns are boring. The audience doesn’t care. Stuck like a bug on flypaper. Cut it short! The show is dragging…

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h40m35s284

Endlessly looking around on New York Central. Finally, get out of there.

 

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h48m45s083

Look! A neighbor, called New Haven. A chilly trip. Out and back, on a branchline

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h52m58s791

A huge commuter mover. More than just Jamaica Yard. Long Island Railroad. Receives maybe, a minute! Really? Ugh…

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-21h07m18s604

Only to get fixated, upon the very attractive Delaware and Hudson Alco PA locomotives.  Move it along…

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-21h00m39s196

Norfolk and Western. This one scene is the best looking. Kind of loses it at Kenova. Experiments with shots and most don’t work. Chesapeake and Ohio. He blows most of the shots here miserably…

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h33m29s961

Louisville and Nashville. Excellent choice. Rides an oddly named Pan Am train.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h36m17s424

C&O. 2nd chance. Gets it right now!

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h44m43s045

Southern. Look South. GP30 looks awesome with a high hood.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h43m16s116

Birmingham. Hot Spot deluxe. A manned swing gate. Frisco here. More trains are seen. Who knew about this? Gate open…

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h43m09s941

Take another look… Gate closed. Excellent.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h49m35s410

Florida. Auto Train gets a glimpse. Florida East Coast with a caboose is included within.

Florida has much more.

Pittsburgh in 15 minutes.. A fine chapter!

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h05m36s381

Obligatory Amtrak shot. Cooler than most, with Three Rivers stadium!

 

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h15m42s435

Pittsburgh and Philadelphia had vibrant trolley systems too. McElrath shows quite an assortment in both cities. I only have space for one. You’ve been told about it.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h09m05s754

Still in Pittsburgh. B&O action all around.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h17m56s780

Pittsburgh & Lake Erie. A train ride there.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h25m01s030

ATVR bonus. The Orange C was a give to ‘Green team’. New York Central. Red P was supposedly Red team. PRR staff. Neither side was satisfied. Everything reverted back to all white lettering. The rare, Orange C sure looked better to me! At Marion.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h22m19s922

In Ohio, things really get moving along. Erie Lackawanna is plentiful.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h21m01s960

Detroit, Toledo & Ironton, shows up for a minute.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h26m07s012

Marion Hot Spot. The ultimate all time?

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h25m54s142

Get your good Norfolk and Western here.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-20h07m35s626

Recent early 1980s steam inclusion. Needless here. Better quality, easily is obtainable elsewhere. Quit when you are ahead.

Matter of fact. All steam on this show doesn’t really fit. Including, the poorly filmed breakdown outing, in the cold. Drags it down. Time waster that should not be here.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h43m00s233

Now, Atlantic Coast Line is a caboose, one rarely sees in service. There are some hard to find ones, bringing up the rear.

vlcsnap-2019-02-22-19h48m12s296

Rail Trek Volume 1 The East The 1960s- 70s.

This show sure gets around. Large amount of railroads. A supply of rarities. Overall, weak on film quality. Needs some additional editing, for time. Create a stronger presentation.  Nice updates on the VHS. You have: the good, the bad and the ugly. A mixed bag. Make your choice.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars