Griffith, Indiana

DVD-or-Blu-ray-Griffith-Indiana-Pentrex

Producer: Jonathan Quinley

Timeframe: Dec, 2016 to Sept, 2018

Location: Griffith, Indiana

Length: 2 hours 20 minutes

Source: Jonathan Quinley

Griffith is a hot spot . The interlocking trackage is  located near Chicago. Six miles, from the Illinois and Indiana State line. Once, one of the busiest interlockings in the world. There are still about 45 daily trains here.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-21h11m04s139

C Vision has footage from 2 years. That was 2016 until 2018. CSX ran a daily train until 2018. Here are some highlights…

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-19h49m42s007

December 2016 is the beginning of this timeline. According to the Chapter Menu.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h42m26s165

This single DVD-R has a detailed Chapter Menu. On/ Off narration. Detailed vicinity map is included, of the trackage.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-21h59m34s355

The on-screen graphics are super detailed. Every single train move has this much information.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h07m25s569

Picture looks great on a modern 55″ screen. Sound quality is awesome, via the sound bar. The levels are full. Turn the volume up and trains seem to be coming into the room!

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h37m28s203

Don Grant is the narrator.  The script is a light one. Natural train sounds are the main sounds.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-21h19m50s467

Pretty good variety of roadnames on the non CN locomotives. These BC Rail units make an appearance on the lead.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h31m16s576

Too bad in this modern era. We get, Oh your Momma didn’t pay enough attention to you. So, now you graffiti train cars. Punks!

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h30m11s046

The Videographer has a fine set of skills. He gets variations, from a limited area and on the ground. Camera is tripod mounted, with zero movement.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h13m44s505

Canadian National is the star in this show. The mixture of local and road trains equate to older and new power.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-21h35m16s441

Although Illinois Central was consumed. Some black IC units can still be found. Sharp editing, gives viewers choice views of the train consists, without having to sit through entire trains.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h33m04s136

Once common Grand Trunk blue engines are working locals. Such as these GP38’s.

vlcsnap-2019-10-11-08h00m21s920

CSX still was active at Griffith, with a regular move. Y123 is this train.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h09m52s975

BNSF rolls some run through power by the camera.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h59m09s637

Some night scenes are interspersed. Elgin, Joliet& Eastern locomotive here. They formerly owned some of these tracks.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h19m45s553Action is predominantly mixed freight. Preferable to constant, boring unit  trains and double stack traffic. Check this Bessemer & Lake Erie trailing unit.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h52m33s635

Many are transfer freights. Others are far flung moves. Those graphics are interesting to read!

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-22h02m54s807

Almost forgot you Union Pacific fans… No, it is not a UP move.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-22h06m37s673

The change of seasons adds to the appeal. Look close, it is an Illinois Central SD.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-20h34m34s955

Some of the power sets rumble the floor, as they approach! This show is fun.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-22h00m48s811

Norfolk Southern shows up, as well. An NS rebuild here.

vlcsnap-2019-10-10-21h47m40s193

Griffith, Indiana is wall to wall freight trains. Enjoyable trainwatching for those who like this era. Has a definite trackside feel. Enough variation, in spite of what may seem to be limited, by location and era. This show is simply, a good time!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Michigan & Ohio Railroads in the Late 1970’s

MORDVD

Producer: C Vision

Timeframe: late 1970s

Locations: MI., OH.

Length: 1 hour 20 minutes

Source: Fred Crissey

Take a whirlwind tour back into the late 1970s. A cornucopia of locations. Multiple railroads. Some rarities that are worth the price of admission!

Fred Crissey was a busy Cinematographer. He was traveling in Michigan and Ohio here. Using an 8mm movie camera. All color film.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h25m26s429

A detailed Chapter Menu. On screen location graphics.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-13h50m01s446

Plenty of handy little maps.Switchable On/Off music. There are no train sounds.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h53m08s368

Full narration. A good script. Provides details on used locomotives. Certain train movements. Many of the lines. Probably, as complete as Fred’s notes.

Don Grant performs a smooth narrative.

Films are very clean overall. Color balance is very good. Well preserved.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-13h50m59s599

The show begins with a long Detroit, Toledo and Ironton segment. A show within the show.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h23m04s872

A scene of Street running in Ironton.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h12m18s561

Fred also shows trains, in context.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h43m40s716

He could do the mood shots too!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h38m41s870

The early Conrail material is the bomb! Much better than some of the competition. The paint still appears new on several ‘cockroach’ repaints.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h39m35s655

Former Penn Central F7A #1707 hits the diamonds. Renumbered in April, 1976.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h56m20s749 Two Alco RS3 locomotives ,and a Baldwin. These on Michigan Northern. Rare film. This train is chased from Cadillac, Michigan. Former, Chicago and Northwestern 1617. The 2036 is an ex: Southern. 

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h29m40s294

Alexis Tower is a definite highlight! A ton of action.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h46m49s953

Conrail paint is beginning to be seen.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h14m47s851

Chessie System in the 1970s was fantastic! Unmolested blue units could be seen from both; B&O plus C&O. Fred found both leading near Detroit.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h07m01s132

Try and find a C&O 5911 leading. A rare shot on 8mm film. Good supply of C&O.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h22m00s658

Chessie System steam suddenly appears!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h13m23s845

There is not much regular Chesapeake and Ohio out there. Let’s see some more. The 3575 is a GP35, in factory EMD paint.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-14h40m57s163

Ann Arbor is visited.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h32m14s275

You are asking. What about Grand Trunk? Only this one. Canadian National is present, as well.

Remember , the rarities in this show.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h19m23s716

A plethora of rolling stock is included, as this Burlington Route box car. He sometimes shows the entire train. Albeit, the shorter ones. Model Railroader alert!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h16m19s337In fact, he did it here. Check the C&O caboose. Enjoy all of the hard to find C&O!

 

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-15h22m52s962

A fun trip back to a favorite time of mine. The variety really gets rolling, and you never know what’s next. Much like the old days!

A solid show. Must see for 70’s railfans.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Into the ’90’s GT-2

s-l300

Producer: Todd Miller

Timeframe: 1993- 94

Locations: Battle Creek to Port Huron

Length: 2 hours

Source: Todd Miller, Dale Devene, Paul Geiger

The official description is a stretch. I was deciding, between this and GT-1. Both at two hours. This GT-2, had a few things going in its favor. I chose this, based on the advertised inclusions.

Steam, 1980s footage and Battle Creek. Does it include those items? Barely!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h11m32s010

You get several scenes of steam. A couple of scenes that is the 1980s. A few minutes total.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h15m33s537

Major GT yard at Battle Creek. I expected this to be a show highlight. Wait for it… A single aerial flyover!

Not a good start. There is more. Getting ahead of the review.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h20m04s167

The show is narrated by Todd Miller. He seemed to be self sufficient. His Videography is pretty good overall.

His post production work has good points. There are other areas needing help.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h13m31s272

The good. Maps are included in the program. Timely referenced. On screen graphics, with locations and milepost.

Weak are the lighting. Some scenes need the brightness lowered. Early on, this is annoying on the 1994 video. It settles down. No Chapter Menu.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h11m23s180Another area is the audio. Edit the volume on some of these crossing gate scenes. Fortunately, locations are included that are away from crossing gates.

Worst issue is the DVD transfer!

Ever wonder what it would be like to see your old worn out VHS tape on a DVD? Step right in.

Constant, roll and flutter is a distraction. A couple of sections, I thought the tape was being eaten! Only to remember, this is on a disc.

The former 2 tape set, is loaded with flaws. Wonder, why they could not have sourced a set of tapes in better condition?

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h32m04s760

Now, after all these issues. The actual show, is a decent visit to the Grand Trunk.

The beginning is at the throat of Battle Creek Yard. A train exiting the area. Program travels towards Canada.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h45m19s329

Durand is one of two extended show highlights. This visit overstays a little bit.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h47m44s413

A long lash-up at Durand.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h52m37s726

A connecting line provides some relief. Central Michigan. The sound of these General Electric locomotives, is a sweet symphony!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h10m20s741

Unexpected, is the amount of online grain elevators.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h56m28s472

At Flint, the famous Grand Funk bridge.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h36m33s561

Canadian Pacific rolls through the territory.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h12m58s805

 Not mentioned in the narrative. Several Amtrak trains, are joint USA and Canadian. Hence, the Via locomotives and Amtrak coaches.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h14m15s559Getting far north at Tappan. This freight has it’s destination at Burlington Northern’s Clyde Yard. BN also is seen earlier,with coal.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h51m57s831

CSX appears with intersecting trackage and various moves. Again with their yard and action at Port Huron.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h56m33s075

Port Huron contains another extended segment. A fascinating look at those: yard, ferry and tunnel operations!

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h42m05s272

This GP15 looks dwarfed by the auto racks. Too tall for the current tunnel. They need the river ferry. Three Railroads operate ferries here.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h37m43s393

Focused discussion of yard operation. Details given a detailed look. Plenty of Canadian National movement here.

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-08h46m33s365Canadian National power muscles out of the tunnel beneath the Saint Clair River. Note the construction equipment, building the new tunnel.

 

vlcsnap-2019-05-26-07h14m30s672

The single GT caboose on a train. This from the 1980s freight, constituting one half of that feature.

Into the ’90’s GT-2.

The description fails to deliver on the advertised. A reasonable expectation would be more time on the items, I brought up.

The VHS transfer quality is a dog. Seems like, better tapes could have been applied.

I would have chosen Volume One. Had this been described more accurately.

It is still a good show overall. Lower rating for the sloppy source and transfer.

Rating: 3 Stars

Chicagoland Tower Views

MOICTVD_209x300

Producer: Michael Pirelli

Timeframe: 1999- 2000

Locations: Southside + Indiana

Length: 63 minutes

Source: Machines of Iron

Take a tour of 13 Chicago area Railroad towers. These are mainly inside visits. Southside area. All the way down to Hammond, IN.  These old towers, amoung the last ones operating.

Each tower has a map with trackage. An exterior view of the structure. Shots of the boards and levers.

Brighton Park shows all, except a train.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h31m10s126

A Chapter Menu is provided. A choice of on/ off narration. Smooth edits. Well paced.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-16h23m54s053

Too much to cover. Some highlights…

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h42m40s935

Camerawork is steady. Some views are negatively affected by dirty windows. These units are going to Willow Springs.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h50m04s229

This local with ; Grand Trunk and Canadian National power. Rolls on former: Gulf, Mobile & Ohio trackage, to nearby Glenn Yard.

The narrative is limited. Rich Melvin does a fine job. Script is fine overall.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-16h23m44s248

State Line Tower, with some complicated trackage.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h48m39s725

Amtrak 305 to St Louis, at Corwith.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h42m06s857

Corwith Tower is an original Santa Fe. Serves BNSF here.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h43m12s198

Part of the board inside of Corwith.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h02m54s506

Blue Island Junction is an all time, classic hotspot. One of Chicago’s busiest!

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h04m06s813

Wisconsin Central travels through Blue Island Junction.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h02m14s035

Blue Island. Iowa Interstate departs the old Rock Island, Burr Oak Yard. Vermont Street.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-16h26m05s719State Line Tower has a long history. Once had over 200 levers! An original hotspot.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h25m56s591

A CSX locomotive leads through, Dolton. This location is action packed!!

vlcsnap-2019-04-26-09h45m29s733

Indiana Harbor Belt had purchased some ex: Illinois Central Gulf SD20 rebuilds.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h55m07s012

Ash Street takes the cake, for a small tower. It is electrically operated. Chicago River is nearby.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h36m12s925

Conrail paint still appears, as at Calumet Tower. East Chicago. SD40-2 on a light move.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-16h24m40s133

This Norfolk Southern on a light engine move is at State Line Tower. On former N&W trackage.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-13h58m48s262

The video is shot well. Consider the premise. Tower views. Obstructed views. Not an easy task.

Metra locomotives sure are ugly! Gresham.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h04m46s772

Canadian Pacific with Soo Line, at Blue Island Crossing.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h32m55s483Plenty of action at Hohman Tower.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h30m19s794Hohman Avenue crosses into Hammond, Indiana. An Indiana Harbor Belt transfer run to and from Gibson Yard. Hohman Tower is now closed.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h41m21s412

A rare drawbridge operation is seen.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h33m53s955

Viewers get a chance to tour some of the last operating towers in the Chicagoland area. An interesting trip, which includes some locations that are uncommon.

vlcsnap-2019-04-24-14h38m35s719

A worthy addition to any train video collection. Just a bit different!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Today’s Chicago Railroads

TCR-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1991

Locations: Many

Length: 2 hours

Do you like variety? Chicago provides the Motherlode! This guided tour, of Chicago and vicinity, will satisfy most any Railfan. Fallen flags, local lines and pre- merger roads. Many old Towers are shown.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h32m28s640

Pentrex maximized their time in the field. Concentrating on classic hotspots. Crossings, Yards, Towers are generally, multi- Railroad locations. Busy mainlines, can provide ample supply. Frequent trains are practically a lock.

All the best of the Pentrex production team results in a smooth and well paced program.

Familiar voice of David Drui performs the informative and balanced narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-22h15m19s975

There is a detailed, Chapter Menu. A master map, with nearly 2 dozen locations. Many close-up maps, as needed. Highly organized.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-22h37m40s256

Pentrex states that they only have room to hit the highlights of what they have. Likewise with my review. There is so much more to see!

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h29m02s518

As the sign says. To The Trains…

Alco C424 of Chicago Belt Railway.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-22h10m15s921

Best place to begin the tour. Is the center of the city. That is Union Station. Full visit. visit. Amtrak’s yard is plentiful. Burlington Northern commuters run behind the E9 locomotives, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h26m44s330

State Line Tower is far south. Norfolk Southern and CSX. Illinois – Indiana line.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-22h25m32s838

Speaking of towers. Van Loon Tower, is located in Indiana. Elgin, Joliet & Eastern with an SD40, in fresh paint. Norfolk Southern intersects here. I-80 is above.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h36m18s391

Blue Island has always been one of the best hotspots. Many roads move through here.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h41m39s156

Chessie System, now CSX, with a long lash-up of light locomotives. Barr Yard is nearby, not visited. Blue Island action.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h43m04s703

Dolton Jct. is very popular now. Easy to access, for railfans. CSX, Conrail and more.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h43m49s788

More.. A grimy Missouri Pacific pair, trundle through Dolton.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h37m41s478

McCook Crossing, features the busy Santa Fe Mainline. Multiple ATSF, trains passby. Willow Springs is next. Pre UPS days there.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h37m17s273

The details of the trackage at McCook. Everyone seemed to exercise trackage rights, on the Indiana Harbor Belt!

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h38m16s212

Old, beater CNW geeps are seen here.

Grand Trunk , Chessie, IHB, Amtrak too.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h58m03s423

WICT F units at Edgewood are a rare sight! Wisconsin and Calumet. Later, became part of Wisconsin and Southern. The road was called Wicket, for short.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h33m49s469

A Soo Line switch job receives a detailed chase. A low speed one. Street running at Goose Island. A truncated version is on Street Running by Pentrex.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h40m21s664

The Burlington Northern Racetrack is a must see on any Chicago visit.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h42m48s245

BN executive F units appear at Clyde yard in Cicero. You never know what shows up!

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h29m50s393

Hawthorne yard, has Belt Tower . This is visited inside. A former Illinois Central structure. Chicago Central was here. This structure, is gone now.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h34m03s782

Brighton Park has a full – on stop. Rare, a Switchtender with a shanty. A GT transfer caboose, hits the diamonds.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h34m33s667

Illinois Central SW14s on their ex: GM&O trackage. Note the unusual, hip cab roofs.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h35m55s358

CR 5032 is next to get the wave at Brighton.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h28m49s272

Bensenville is now a Soo Line stronghold. The former Milwaukee Road facilities are huge. A freshly painted SD40 powers a hot Soo Sprint train past B-17 tower.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h31m34s979

The engine house and Bensenville yard run right along a public road.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h55m48s335

Grand Trunk near Hayford Junction.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h50m16s762

Hegewisch still has electric interurban service. Chicago South Shore Line.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-15h50m40s267

Chicago and Northwestern, has a major line in a Westerly direction, from Proviso Yard. Union Pacific run through units are common. Metra is the local commuter service. Proviso Yard, is not seen in this show.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h53m34s519

Chicago Short Line is another rare find.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-13h33m24s682

Many of the trains, still employ a caboose. The Indiana Harbor Belt used these home built transfer ones for many years.

vlcsnap-2019-04-15-14h30m51s507

Pentrex has knocked it out of the park. A home run! An instant classic. This show will give viewers a high rerun value. There is simply, an astounding amount of various, and interesting trains. Outstanding videography, that hits the mark!

Rating: 5 Stars