Producer: John Pechulis
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.
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.
Mike’s personal LV favorite. The Alco 212.
Mike 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!
Not 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.
The film restoration is amazing. Hard to discern this was sourced from Super 8mm. It looks sharp! Probably, the finest merger Conrail film around.
Soundtrack 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.
Early in the timeline, the merged locomotives have not been renumbered. Too much to included everything. A jam packed show. Let’s see some highlights.
Mike’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.
One has to appreciate Mike’s experience. The Ironton switcher was liked by everyone. Dependable and ran fine, right until Conrail scrapped it.
A trio of Reading GP9 units are chased on a coal train. Rare assignment and fun.
This scene seems to capture the mood around merger time on Lehigh Valley.
The Canadian National GP40W. Mike Bednar climbs aboard to check it out. Conrail was getting power, anywhere possible.
Lehigh and Hudson River, received a high rating in the maintenance area.
Erie Lackawanna units were all over the place. Many to see at Allentown.
Jersey Central ‘Red Baron’ scheme locomotives, also show.
Here 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.
Action abounds, at and near Horseshoe Curve. The former Penn Central tracks were extremely busy, according to Mike. Practically, a film within the film.
A long lash-up descends. Note the old F units being used on the power short Conrail!
Later, 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.
A plethora of cabooses to see. Original paint and CR hasty renumbers. Fresh Conrail paint.
Old Lehigh Valley, with their last innings to play, in old paint…
Mike 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