CSX 8 Baltimore Service Lane

CSX8_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1997

Locations: Cumberland, Hyndman

Length: 56 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

The eighth volume has a variety of subjects.

CSX Baltimore Service Lane. Cumberland Business Unit. CSX route mileage included. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, with it’s 2-8-0, on a cameo appearance.

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SD40-2 on the crossover at Hyndman Tower.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h59m38s328Consistent Green Frog production. Choice of on/ off narration. No Chapter Menu, maps or graphics. Bob Carrera performs the fine narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h57m24s688Videography by Rob McCormack. He is excellent!

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h27m00s338New power includes EMD SD70AC, such as 702. Delivered in 1997. Night action at Cumberland Yard.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h34m12s109Amtrak Capital Limited arrives at Cumberland. Genesis locomotives.

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CSX is a 24 hour operation… The paint still fresh, on 711.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h39m37s334Look inside, with a brief tour, in the Cumberland Shop.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h45m42s207Western Maryland Scenic. Consolidation. Here, at Cumberland.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h53m23s777The new, modern fueling facility at Cumberland. Protects crews from the weather.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h54m25s261Beginning at Mexico Tower. A trainwatching trip, down the ex: B&O mainline.

Check the rare Baldwin switcher in the lash-up.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-15h57m39s640Crossing the old C&O canal.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h16m11s663Cumberland Car maintenance shop.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-17h11m29s120Additional night views, around the Cumberland area.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-17h02m09s875This lash-up includes these Chessie System units.

vlcsnap-2020-01-27-16h47m26s325CSX Volume 8 is a satisfying and concise visit to the advertised areas. The first rate visuals are the strength of the show. A solid script and well paced program, make this a fine entry in the CSX series.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

Conrail St. Loo to Horseshoe

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Producer: Mary McPherson

Locations: Smithboro, St. Elmo, Effingham, Horseshoe Curve…

Timeframe: 1990-94

Length: 1 hour 57 minutes

Source: George Redmond

This Heritage Series features Conrail. The former Pennsylvania St. Louis line. Southern Illinois locations. Teleports over to more interesting Allegheny Mountains. Horseshoe Curve is the main feature, on the second half.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h46m03s801George Redmond had hundreds of hours of video footage. Good camera skills. A key source for specialized interests. If early to mid 1990s fits your bag. Even if you just like Horseshoe Curve, and who doesn’t? This is likely, worth a look.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h13m03s112A single DVD-R. Slimline case. Better than average, a highly detailed Chapter Menu. No maps, which are not needed. Plenty of on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h56m20s252Natural, Enviornmental audio soundtrack. Good levels. Plenty of space, to hear the locomotives working. Mary McPherson performs the sparse narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h28m20s871Smithboro, Il, is at a crossing, with the Burlington Northern in 1990.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h54m40s177St. Elmo, is a Conrail interchange point. Road traffic moves through, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h40m19s281Symbol KVPI comes off the Union Pacific Rails. Going to Pittsburgh from Kingsville, Texas.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h57m20s067NYDAZ at St Elmo with 6727 over to Union Pacific. New York to Dallas.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h17m33s640Effingham is a traditional Illinois hotspot. Illinois Central and Pennsylvania original railroads.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h26m13s258Winter of 93 at Effingham. Station is at left.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-12h42m46s458A look at some boxcars. Going to St. Louis.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h34m06s478A C30-7 is paced East of Teutopolis.

 

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h36m19s951Altoona at Alto Tower is next! Year is 1994.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h40m10s882Arrival at Horseshoe Curve! High expectations, for this world famous location. A word of wisdom. To avoid disappointment in all things, keep expectations low.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h48m18s187There are a few issues, with this lengthy chapter. Murphy’s law seemed to be in effect. First, some issues could have been minimized, via editing. Simply, eliminating some of the problems. Amtrak Broadway Limited is seen. Also, a rare Roadrailer.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h48m54s842No one is God. Weather is sometimes not conducive to shooting outdoor video. If one chooses to record, the producer may edit. A little rain or fog is usually acceptable. People travel long and far. 

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h57m48s348 A viewer should not have to suffer eye strain for 15 or 20 minutes. Unreasonable! Put it in a bonus section, if one doesn’t have the strength to cut it out.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-14h35m00s097Another issue here is a super annoying workman. Now, he is merely doing his work. Unfortunately, it is in direct conflict, with enjoyable listening, at Horseshoe Curve. What is the offense? A loud weedwacker! Fairly close to the video camera. The microphone picks it up efficiently. Here, the producer could have deleted these audio sections, in favor of anything else.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-14h43m23s489So, the total is: foggy and rainy, or plenty of weedwacker noise. The Conrail trains are out in force. It could have been presented better. Hence, Amateur level reality.

vlcsnap-2019-12-07-13h46m27s695The Illinois half of the show is consistent, with most of the George Redmond videos. It does have a better overall appearance. The Horseshoe Curve with it’s issues, are the decision maker for this release. Despite the technical issues, it is still has, solid Conrail action. If that floats your boat. You should be fairly satisfied.

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

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…

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-09h33m42s536Not 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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h26m51s928Those old Delaware and Hudson rails, are now Canadian Pacific ownership.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h56m05s262Transition of Conrail, to Norfolk Southern, is included.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-11h13m09s571Binghamton 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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h46m37s923Green 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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-09h32m36s014Audio 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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h11m31s447Modern 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.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h16m52s828Creating 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!!

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h00m12s643Millrift River bridge also gets the: then and now, comparison.

vlcsnap-2019-10-27-10h25m58s960This 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