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

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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

Classic Steam of the ’20s to the ’40s

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Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1920s-1940s

Locations: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Kansas City, more.

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Frank W. Schlegel, Vince Ryan, Jack Alexander

A smorgasbord of films. Spanning 4 decades. Some rare and not so rare, steam locomotives. A Collection of: black and white, plus a little color film. Eastern Railroads mainly. Everything is worthwhile.

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See: Delaware and Hudson, New York Central, Lackawanna, Central of New Jersey and Frisco (above). Also, Pennsylvania  Erie, Wabash, Rahway Valley, B&O, and much more. Steam, Electric and several early diesels.

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Frog DVD-R. Nothing extra. Plays straight through. The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby…in Milwaukee!

The show is narrated by Dan Chandler.  Script is good. Fine work on the dubbed trains.

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Camerawork varies by source. As does the visual quality. Majority is fine. About what an experienced Railfan would expect, from a wide ranging assortment. Good on the big screen.

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There is way too much to cover the whole show. Highlights of this fine program. New York Central, Empire Star Express. Two steam pushers on the rear. The show’s gem!

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Reading Crusader at Dunellen, New Jersey.

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Camelback is a strange looking steam engine. It hauls a fantrip out on to the Long Branch.

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Turns around, the yard in Bay Head Jct. A joint CNJ and PRR. So, Pennsylvania power is there with K4s. Compare the access the people had, in those days. More PRR is seen, in their home state.

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A 1936 fantrip over the former, Ulster and Delaware. This one required a double header with a pusher, and ran two sections!  The New York Central ten wheelers were added to the head end. Former U&D power. Depart Kingston.

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Oneonta roundhouse on D&H was destination.

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Check the size of the people against this Lackawanna locomotive.

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Steam and Electric. New York Central. Harmon, NY.

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The big surprise is at Pennsylvania’s Enola Yard. Before retarders were used, brakeman manually controlled the cars, from the hump. Dangerous work in the winter. Unbelievable by today’s safety!

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The Alton. Street running! How rare is this?

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Middletown and Union, has a face, only a mother could love. Come closer..

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Venerable, Boston and Maine Mogul type.

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Rock Island at St. Louis.

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Erie passes with it’s train.

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Indiana Railroad was a large, Electric Interurban. Ran streetcars and freight.

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Delaware and Hudson Northern type. Plenty of D&H is within.

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Springfield Terminal in it’s original incarnation. Take a trolley. Quite a difference, from later SD45s in grey paint!

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A Lackawanna Milk Train, really harkens back to an earlier era.

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A Chicago, Burlington and Quincy sits in a huge yard. Burlington Route, was a road that ran steam late, on the Colorado and Southern.

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This is a cornucopia of steam era scenes. Here, the ice bunker reefers are loaded at the Chicago Stockyards. South Shore Electric cars to the right.

There are even bonus shots. City pan views (Philadelphia), street scenes, humoungous Chicago stockyards. A well thought-out production. Packs a bunch, into a fast moving one hour program.

Also available on the, Trains around New York and New Jersey – collection.

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Closing caboose is a Wabash.

Green Frog has a must see show, for any fans of steam era Railroading. The black and white film, adds to the vintage feel. Fascinating and varied visit to the past.

Rating: 5 Stars

Reflections of the New York Central

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Producer: Jim Herron

Timeframe: 1928- 1962

Locations: Harmon, Chicago, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, more

Length: 54 minutes

Sources: John Prophet, Dick Baldwin, H.R.Blackburn, MD., Ben T. Young Jr., more.

Herron has a great collection of films spanning four decades of New York Central. Consisting of both: color, with black and white film. Shot with; 8 and 16mm movie cameras. Post production, with actual recorded sounds.  Disney Studios processed the film to tape transfer. Digital restoration was also done to the film.

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This show is fully narrated. Ralph  E. Morse performs the narrative. Organized in a chronological fashion. Focus is strong on mainline steam. Additional coverage of branch line steam. Early diesels as they came into the railroad. Exciting cab ride moments!

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There are no extras, like newer shows. A single DVD-R. It plays straight, from beginning to end. No Chapter Menu, maps or on-screen graphics. Except for decades markers, at those breaks.

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The locations are closely marked. Either vocally, or the classic signage shot. The black and white films look fine. Earliest is 1928. Others, from the 1930s to the 1950s.

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Concentration is on a high quality film. The excellent visual, and audio components do succeed!

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A Hudson pulls mixed passenger cars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-08h28m27s428Road chase a Niagara in color! The Empire State Express.

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-08h36m27s102Check that big tender on that Hudson! This will cruise at 80 mph . Don’t believe me? Hop in the cab. In 16mm- crazy good!

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-08h37m44s336Ride along with the crew, in this 5413. A Hudson locomotive. Speedometer reads 70 to 80 mph!

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Scooping water on the fly. What was once everyday- no longer exists.

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Those Niagara class, looked awesome. Witness the race, between The Twentieth Century Limited and The Broadway Limited.

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-08h34m06s544Harmon, New York was a sprawling facility, along the Hudson River. The Steam facilities are shown.

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Rural branchline operations are seen in color. A steam powered local is shadowed. Notice the water stop. Here, the engine is turned around on a classic ‘Armstrong’ turntable. Almost have it, men!

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Englewood in Chicago was New York Central facility. To the right, a Pittsburgh and Lake Erie locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-09h06m27s318Mohawks were another key class of steam for the Central. Served their final days hauling coal.

vlcsnap-2019-10-18-08h44m10s282A steam powered, branchline freight train is followed. Nice contrast, to the rush of the busy mains.

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Alco FA. These were the venerable steam locomotive builders answer to the EMD F units. They didn’t matchup.

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EMD E series diesels. They eventually,  hauled all New York Central passenger trains. These were inserted as fast as they came online. Above, The Twentieth Century Limited, and Pennsylvania Broadway Limited.

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Alco RS32 were the latest in second generation diesel road power.

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Reflections of the New York Central. This is a fine overview, of a large Eastern railroad, with so much history. Impossible to get everything in this amount of time. This show concentrates on the material it presents. Viewers will come away with a good feel for the scope, and some innovative qualities, that were New York Central.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

The Fifties Express

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Producer: William Brown

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: USA, Canada

Length: 52 minutes

Source: Irving E. August

Irving August is a notable railroad Cinematographer, from the 1950s. This impressive all color collection, is a wide ranging one. Covering a variety of lines, in the United States, and Canada.

Steam and early diesel. Electrified lines. Freight and passenger trains. An ore hauler. A tourist line.vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h24m31s999

Mr. August filmed in high quality 16mm! A mixture of music, and train sounds. No additional extras.

Rege Cordic is the familiar voice on WB Video. He does a professional job.

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At under an hour, the pace is fast. Some of the edits are abrupt. Given the limitations of the period equipment. He probably ran out of film. For the rarity, it is a wash. Rather see those trains.

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Each railroad is billboarded. The corresponding footage is then shown. The earliest date quoted is 1950.

There is even more! Here are some highlights. Figure that it was probably the best of his own feels. More or less.

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Canadian National is west of Montreal.

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Boston and Maine. Pacific power on locals.

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New Haven is chased on a fantrip.

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Baltimore and Ohio. Action packed. Plenty of trains here Steam and diesel.

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Western Maryland, is using steam and diesels. Mid-train helpers and pushers.

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Milwaukee Road Little Joe electric locomotives, in rarely seen paint.

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New York Central has several trains.

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Nickel Plate Road, shared the right of way with New York Central, in Westfield, Ohio. Number 748 is one of the Berkshire class.

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Norfolk and Western, is one of the longest chapters. Although, there are no designated chapters, on a menu. Focus on the behemoth Y-6 class. The 600 series passenger locomotives are seen.

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An unusual scene. N&W work train in a backup move.

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Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. Another extensive visit. Yellowstone’s, for certain.

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Canadian Pacific receives lengthy attention around scenic Kicking Horse Pass. Including some footage from a passenger car.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-18h01m04s354Two for CP. Need a Selkirk. A beauty!

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Northern Pacific steam is hard to find. Irving has some here.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h54m35s448A large coaling tower gives the feel of keeping large steam in service. Northern Pacific.

vlcsnap-2019-05-31-17h18m24s280Similar scene on Central Vermont.

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Caboose on Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range. The majority of cabooses were shades of red. These are standouts!

The Fifties Express

An Express tour seeing over a dozen railroads in the fabulous 1950’s. A fine presentation. Suitable for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars