Classic Steam of the ’20s to the ’40s

classic_stm20_40_DVD

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

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

 

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…

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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.

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

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Transition of Conrail, to Norfolk Southern is included.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!!

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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. 

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

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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.

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

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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

The Anthracite Roads in the 70s Vol.4 Reading Lines

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Producer: John Pechulis

Timeframe: 1970s

Locations: Bethlehem, Allentown, Rutherford, Reading

Length: 76 minutes

Sources: J. Reck, T. Nemeth, T. Kelcec, W. Chaplik, D. Latshaw

Sampled one of these Anthracite Roads shows. This one features Reading Railroad. Seems to be about 1972 to 1975, based on the narrative. Very focused on mostly freight operations of the Reading. Some passenger, in the forms of: Budd cars, Push- Pull and traditional FP7 led trains.

Having a clear preference for freight trains. Took a chance, on how this would work out. Very satisfied, with the heavy emphasis on freight traffic.

Too much to cover everything. Let’s see some highlights…

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The show has a detailed Chapter Menu. No maps or additional graphics. Added sound are train sounds.

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Various film sources have been compiled to complete this program. Some minor variations. The ultra fine restoration process by JPM, has everything appearing in best possible quality.

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The overall visuals are excellent! Any flaws are minor. The color balance is outstanding. All of the Cinematography is very well shot.

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Mike Bednar provides an informative and colorful narration. He has a true, insider viewpoint. Knowing the train symbols, loads, and much more! Learn why some hopper strings are on the front or rear of a mixed freight, on the Reading.

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Diesel assortment should satisfy most fans of the 1970s. First and Second Generation locomotives from: EMD and Alco are in daily service. GE U30C locomotives, as well.

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Paint schemes range from: Original 50s, 2nd Generation 60s and 70s are all here.

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Cabooses were a given. The RS3 engines were still in service. Although we see their fate, later on.

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GP30 power always had that ‘hot rod’ look. More so, in the 1960s. Something, that only General Motors would come up with.

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The GP35 would outline the design from Electromotive for many years to follow.

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Give me a six axle Alco Century C630, with High Adhesion trucks. A man’s locomotive!

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The late, dark green paint looked like a successful update for the colorful 1970s.

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A nice inclusion. Also, not a common find. Several trains offer the consists. So many 40′ boxcars are still rolling. Model Railroaders- take note.

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While we are it. What do loaded Anthracite cars look like?

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A plethora of pure Reading lash-ups. Nearly endless.

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Mike certainly gets a kick out of a Lehigh Valley ‘Snowbird’ shoving on a train.

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Used to seeing Chessie System units in weathered paint on other shows. It’s a bit of a shocker to find brand new GP40s here.

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Paired up B&O plus C&O engines, also power some moves.

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Obligatory Budd car. Seemed unattractive. Funny, that Mike felt similar.

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The FP7 was a smart looking locomotive, in Reading paint.

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Checkout Rutherford Yard for a quick visit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-20-15h35m36s305Wide Vision caboose. The best on the line.

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This show is a targeted one. The Reading probably did not have as many trackside viewers, as the larger railroads. Due to location and it’s size. Here is a chance to be trackside. In the few years before it disappeared into Conrail. The show in this high quality is a must see, for those who wish to have been there.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Into the Allegheny Range Volume 4


AR4-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Cumberland to Sand Patch Grade, Meyersdale, Connellsville,PA.

Length: 4 hours

Source: Iron Horse America

Final entry in this extensive series by Iron Horse America. Comprehensive coverage of former B&O line from Cumberland, Maryland to Sand Patch Grade. Second disc continues onward: Meyersdale to Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

While filmed over a three period in the early 1990s, wait there’s more. Has interpolating, steam era, color footage, from William Price!

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At a total length of 4 hours. There are the 2 DVDs in this Volume. This review will barely get the surface highlights. Quality is on par, with the other three shows. Par excellence!

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Mountainous terrain and CSX trains fighting their way up those tough grades. Shot in all seasons and any weather conditions. No stone is left unturned.

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All the previous extras are present. A generous supply of maps. Frequently referenced to mark our progress along the line. Elevation maps. Detailed, on-screen graphics with additional information.

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Bob Taylor announced a detailed narrative. Even includes tips on photographing or traversing the area.

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The journey begins at the Eastern end in Cumberland. This time period is the last stand for active, Armstrong towers.

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Tunnels are numerous. Both ends of each bore are covered. Amtrak moves appear throughout.

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Towers are visited. They may or may not exist now. Wonderful! How the Price footage is edited in so well

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A cornucopia of locomotive types. Predecessor paint scheme galore!

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Tom Biery gets credit for this sequence. This Western Maryland led freight is paced near Mt. Savage Jct. Shortly after the Chessie System merger.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h08m17s505Fairhope Tunnel provides a scene, that is perfect for Model Railroaders. The short tunnel, immediate bridge over a river, offer a wealth of possibilities.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h32m32s098 Mance is loaded with scenic opportunities. Receives an extended Chapter.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h45m35s744Mance has numerous close-up viewpoints. Note this former Louisville and Nashville GP38.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-10h19m31s889Majestic, aerial viewpoints are look alikes for model railroads. Some ambitious climbing, is how the Videographer attained some shots. Several are spectacular!

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Sand Patch Tunnel is a centerpiece. Plenty of still painted Chessie System power, in service.

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The CSX F unit set on a 1991 special.

 

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SA Tower is visited. Pistol grip controls here. The operation is explained by Ed Karsted.

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Yes, Bill Price includes early diesels.

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Display map of Sandpatch Grade summit.

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Disc Two continues the journey from the summit.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-09h43m31s852One more scene of those great B&O steam locomotives.

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Watch, as the rails are pulled up on the Berlin branch. Witness the final train there.

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A Somerset local on S&C with a rare Sunburst B&O GP30 in the lash-up.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h40m42s086Shoofly is an interesting tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h55m28s971Benford is great looking brick one.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h00m43s104Check that last GP16 operating on CSX.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h14m00s510Connellsville Yard has some fine; before and after film. At the time of this show, extremely limited usage.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-13h21m33s027A Cab ride aboard a Chessie System GP38 helper. About to pass under Salisbury Viaduct. This closes this show.

vlcsnap-2019-09-16-12h14m47s331Volume 4 is a winner! If you can only afford a single release or want to sample only one. This issue has comprehensive coverage of world famous Sand Patch Grade. 

Rating: 5 Stars