Union Pacific and Cotton Belt, Midwest Joint Lines

Heritage-Series-Union-Pacific-and-Cotton-Belt-Midwest-Joint-Lines-DVD-DC-UPCB

Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1989- 1993

Locations: Kirkwood, Gray’s Summit, MO. Aldridge, Thebes, IL. more

Length: 1 hour 55 minutes

Source: George Redmond

An exciting assortment of pre-merger action, centered around Kirkwood, Missouri! This show is an unpredictable one. It might be the best in the well established Heritage Series, by Diverging Clear Productions.

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Videographer George Redmond was out circa 1989. Hotspot, Kirkwood Missouri supplied a wealth of great trains. Union Pacific, Missouri Pacific, Southern Pacific, Cotton Belt, Rio Grande, MKT and Amtrak.

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A single DVD-R in a Slimline case. Detailed Chapter Menu. On-screen graphics. No maps. Enviornmental soundtrack. Balanced levels. Good color balance, on restored video. Crisp editing, that has a well paced program.

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The show begins at the station. Kirkwood Missouri. This is on the Jefferson City subdivision. MKT and a Missouri Pacific SD40, lead one of the trains, at this busy place.

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Gray’s Summit is outside of St Louis. Perfect for Model Railroaders! Note the striking face. Sharp, vertical angles would make a compact scene. This screen, is for those modellers. Yes, plenty of cool trains here.

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Rio Grande actually took over, Southern Pacific. For anybody that needs to know. Hence, there are DRGW locomotives traveling via Kirkwood at this time.

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Union Pacific shares the headline. This scene is from the Illinois half of the show.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h08m37s392Cotton Belt is a show co-star. SD40T-2, at Kirkwood, Missouri. Plentiful supply of their trains. Bottom line is, must have a tunnel motor in this review!

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MoPac, also became a part of the Union Pacific. Sometimes, they are seen repainted and lettered as, Missouri Pacific. Canaries!

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Amtrak stops to a herd of people at Kirkwood, in 1989.

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More Union Pacific rolls through the territory. Solid and mixed lash-ups. Note the MKT, way back there. This shot in the rain.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-09h49m46s055Gray and Scarlet, also abounds. Cotton Belt and Southern Pacific lettering. As one would expect.

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We need a blue MoPac on the lead. 6071 it is. Actually, SP Kodachrome paint is fun. Want even more fun? You find them!

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Cabooses galore! Hit or miss, on any given train. Even concerning roadnames. Surprises that one can love – even for those, who hate surprises! I left more surprises.

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Halfway through the show. The Chester subdivision is featured. This is in Illinois. Can the Chester sub match the thrilling first half? The timeline is now 1993. Moves between 1991- 93. Take a look…

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h32m49s163At Chester, a CNW leads a UP move.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h59m06s848Some water gives off a reflection, of the passing UP train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h40m20s205At Gorham, the Chicago sub begins. Bounce between Chester and Chicago subs. A Conrail run through, gives some variation.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-11h20m11s340The bridge at Alridge sees enough trains to function as a hotspot here. Single track and busy! Visit both sides. See plenty of SP too.

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A speed lettered Southern Pacific unit. Receives the time tested, pan shot.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h47m21s399Not as much variety as the Missouri half. Still, there is much action.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-11h33m09s531A bridge at Thebes. Double track. Even more rust, than then the previous one.

vlcsnap-2019-11-17-10h55m13s352Several cabooses on this half.

Union Pacific and Cotton Belt, Midwest Joint Lines. The Heritage Series.

So far, this is the best entry that I have seen! The Missouri half is a real good time. Never know what’s coming next. Illinois is a tad less a blast, but still good. The sharp pace, keeps everything moving along. Fine show by Diverging Clear. If you want to try out a Heritage Series. This one is a great way to start.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

CN, CP and TH&B

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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

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

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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.

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

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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.

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

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GO Transit appears in some early versions.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twilight of the New Haven RR Electrics

TwilightOfNewHaven_Pt7_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: mid 1960s

Locations: Stamford, New Rochelle, Bronx, Van Nest,Valhalla, Montauk, more

Length: 47 minutes

Source: Frank Schlegel

The final years of an independent New Haven Railroad. Electrified operations are the main feature, on this 2019 new release. Small percentage of diesels. Several New York Central scenes. Brief Long Island Railroad, visit in 1962. This at Montauk.

The film appears to be of the 8mm type. All color. Good color balance. Clean picture overall. Handheld camera, with shakiness throughout. Pretty steady where it counts. Naturally, the train rides bump along.

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Green Frog DVD-R.  Has a detailed Chapter Menu included. Narration selection menu:on /off fx. No maps or graphics. Narration by John Osgood.

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Soundtrack is a combination. The movie projector background. You may have heard this before, on prior Frog shows. Musical background.

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Several diesels appear. As does this Fairbanks Morse unit.

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A nice facet of this film collection, is attention to freight train consists. Model Railroaders, will appreciate the many freight cars that are on parade. Forty foot boxcar car delight!

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The identification of Electric locomotives is good for viewers. Learn easily, if one doesn’t know.

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The big, ex: Virginian EF4 types are awesome, in the bright orange paint!

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EP5, aka Jets are workhorses. See one on a freight train.

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Familiar, as some still operate in New Haven McGinnis paint. The EMD, dual service FL-9 engines.

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MU trains, while less exciting, are a part of the operation.

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A fantrip had our Cinematographer, taking a grand tour via Grand Central Station. Proceeding on and out to New Haven. Also, a return.

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Later, some quick snippets at Valhalla, on the New York Central. Both New Haven and New York Central were powering the NYC passenger trains there.

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A visit to the Long Island Railroad in 1962. Montauk Point is way out there. These RS3 locomotives were switching. Amoung some other LIRR activities.

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A New Haven caboose in classic McGinnis paint. Uncommon on old film. As is this show. Not much available on New Haven.

A slight bump up, for new source in 2019.

Very good show, for fans of New Haven. Mid sixties timeframe is hard to find. A fast paced program, with a surprising amount of freight trains. Modern Green Frog processing, has realistic and vibrant colors. Handheld camera, but nearly all under the wires. Well worth it, if this is your interest.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

East Broad Top (remastered)

EBT_Remaster_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1953 – 1976

Locations: Orbisonia, Shirleysburg, more

Length: 117 minutes

Source: Emery Gulash

Green Frog has remastered some of their older shows. This new release features, a brand new remaster. Original source of quality color 16mm film. This from the Master Railroad Cinematographer, Emery Gulash!

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East Broad is a narrow gauge coal hauler. Operating in Pennsylvania. The year is 1953. Several time updates, as Emery returns. Witness the 1960 reopening, as a tourist line. Progressive visits conclude in the winter of 1976.vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h49m10s972Audio is live sound. The early film is likely dubbed. The later material, was probably live recorded. In any case, the soundtrack is excellent.

Check the amazing level of detail, in the screenshots. This bridge scene, tells it.

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The show is on a single DVD-R. It has a detailed Chapter Menu. This menu displays on my TV screens, although not the new laptop. No other extra features. Realize, this is an older release. Be happy with a Chapter Menu.

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Fully narrated. Good script. Narrative allows for plenty of listening to the trains.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-10h20m57s403It is not limited to only steam trains. Trolleys, do appear later in the timeline. Several configurations. M-1 Brill type, to the right.

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The Remaster has the most vibrant colors! Results are stunning. Trains seem to be in almost 3-D image. Great seperation. Worth it to re-buy. A major upgrade. The Frog hits a home run!

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h51m34s168Emery gets some creative views.

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Let’s recap.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h09m50s333Original East Broad Top. Hauls coal to a few brick plants in the 1950s. All narrow gauge steam. Limited passenger service.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h20m32s049Reopens in 1960. This, after the entire EBT has been sold for scrap! Now, a tourist event. After the owner exceeded a request to have a static, display train.

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By 1963, the owner opens East Broad Top. Now, a serious tourist line.

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Expands the roster, over the years. Adds electric trolleys. Constructs a wye, to turn entire consists. Some additional equipment.

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Emery makes several trips to the tourist line. These are Baldwin built locomotives.

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East Broad Top ran simulated freight trains.

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Beautiful scenery in any season.

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Winter has a stark beauty.

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Roundhouse area access allowed for unique photo opportunities.

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An ancient wooden bridge provided multiple chances, for cool scenes.

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Triple- header. Are you kidding? Great!

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A classic red caboose. Perfect end to the train.

East Broad Top. A successful remaster by Green Frog. The high quality image, looks fantastic on a hi- def screen. Emery’s camera skills are legendary. A fine soundtrack. Classic trains in Pennsylvania scenery. Filmed in all four seasons. Plenty of variety. All good elements. Not limited to Railfans. Suitable for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi

Railfanning-Cajon-and-Tehachapi-1976-1993-DVD-D-150

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1970 – 1993

Locations: Cajon Pass, Tehachapi Pass, Colton, San Bernardino,

Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

Sources: Jon Davis and more

Cajon Pass  and Tehachapi Pass. They are featured in this new release, from Charles Smiley Presents. This program looks further, than just those two areas. A desirable era, the includes films from the 1970s.

The single DVD is a silver, factory pressed disc. Same facilities, as used by Hollywood.

A numbered Chapter Menu, is included. CSP always provides, highest quality, custom made maps. Frequently referenced, and appropriate close-ups. Preview section of additional CSP shows.

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A multitude of on-screen graphics. Providing a variety of information. Sometimes, quite detailed which adds to the discussion.

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Sample of one map. Palmdale is being targeted. Color coded trackage.

Three Class One Railroads are all co-stars.

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Santa Fe

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Southern Pacific

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Union Pacific.

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Additional roadnames, such as Burlington Northern. Run through power, with Chicago and North Western.

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Audio has accurate to the locomotive sounds. Laid-back background music balanced the soundtrack.

Charles Smiley narrates. He his always, interesting and informative. Giving a wealth of knowledge, on these subjects.

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Film quality is excellent, overall. Digital restoration has great color balance. Appears to be predominantly 8mm sourced. Camera work is highly competent. Clear views of trains. All seasons.

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Cajon with snow. Amtrak passengers had a spectacular view!vlcsnap-2019-10-24-12h13m41s779Cajon Pass. There is a good amount of footage here. A welcome change from recent times! By this time, the Pinstripe Blue scheme has been replaced with the popular Warbonnet scheme.

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Of course, Santa Fe and Southern Pacific have the rails. Kodachrome repaints are easily found on Santa Fe.

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Colton has abundant trains. The yard leads and Colton Crossing. An SP Kodachrome.

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Of note. Talk about a pig train! A rare scene, is this move of hogs.

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Model Railroaders will be pleased. FYI- Charles has a fascinating Model Railroad. A plethora, of vintage freight and trailer on flatcars, roll by the camera. Eyeball, that blue L&N boxcar!

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-11h42m30s479Double – Diesels are a fine chapter. Electromotive gets the nod. DD40AX.  Built in 1969… Centennials.

vlcsnap-2019-10-24-15h27m21s404Static photographs augment the show. Earlier, DD35 units are also shown, on movie footage. 

Learn the background of the Double Diesels. The UP goals, and implementation.

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General Electric Turbines get looked at, as well. How did these Big Blows, relate to the later EMD units that followed? Answers within the show.

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Tehachapi Pass is well done. Different Cinematographers, with fine views on the scenes.

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Tunnels, in particular are a fine assortment.

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Good overview of Tehachapi area.

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Railfanning Cajon and Tehachapi. Comprehensive coverage of two, world famous locations. Additional areas simply add to this enjoyable show! The three featured railroads are classics.

This Charles Smiley Presents, checks all the boxes. What’s not to like?

Rating: 5 Stars