Rio Grande Rememberances

 

bXtW2TRyRuP1ycodRTR0_RGNGremembrances

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1954- 1969

Locations: Durango, Arboles, Salida, Antonito, Gunnison, Farmington…

Length: 1 hour 36 minutes + previews

Sources: Andy Payne, Fred Hust, Harvey Laner

A fascinating, time travel visit, into vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge steam. Andy Payne was a Rio Grande Engineer. He was also an independent Railfan / Cinematographer. Early on, he acquired a Bolex 16mm movie camera. Filmed mostly in 16mm. All films are full color. Only some highlights here.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h42m45s238Harvey S. Laner digitized Payne’s film collection in 2008. Three narrators on this show. Harvey, Andy and Charles Smiley.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-17h58m04s178The earliest films are in 8 mm. Those are very good, for their age. Durango is above. The gems are the 16mm films. Excellent quality! Nearly all freight trains.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m11s365The custom Charles Smiley maps are extremely helpful. Also, explains other lines.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h54m40s564Alamosa to Antonito dual guage trackage. This on the San Juan Extension. This line continues towards Laboto Trestle.

 

The old freight cars are bursting with character! Railfans and Model Railroaders will have a grand time, with the varied equipment.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h24m54s770Various class Mikado’s are reviewed. 480-489. K-36 seen here.These 2-8-2 are seen with close-ups. Maintenance functions.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h20m08s102Andy has detailed Hostler duties and discussion of steam locomotive fire. This is unique amount many steam shows!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h12m42s404Soundtrack is mixed. Authentic steam sounds, background music and narrative. All interwoven in that Charles Smiley style.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h44m32s005Old Arboles area is shown, before a water dam project buried this area. A highline is being installed. Navajo River.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-19h55m54s838Gunnison in 1955.  The 268 was Baldwin built in 1882. Leased here for a scrap train.

Salida in 1955. Dual gauged.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h03m38s252The Durango Loop was Railroad built around 1967.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h09m15s939Andy rode freight trains on off days. Filmed from assorted viewpoints. Here, on a revenue stock train.

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See how to get a Mike rerailed, without a crane.

A number of Hollywood feature films were filmed, in part at or near Durango.

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Oil and the Freight business. Farmington Branchline in 1955. South of Durango. Carbon Jct. had a small switch yard.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-18h55m02s160Model Railroaders will get a kick out of seeing GRAMPS oil tank cars!

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h27m57s907Declining traffic spelled the end of the San Juan Extension.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h29m15s953Andy filmed Springtime snow and slide clearing of the Silverton line. An old Caterpillar bulldozer does the job!

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This is a wonderful collection of vintage Rio Grande Narrow Gauge action! Inclusion of rare locations and singular viewpoints, set it apart from the competition. Not too mention Andy Payne’s first person accounts of the action. Harvey Laner provides the bulk of a clear narrative. Many are interview style, with his friend Andy.

Starting as a Los Angeles Transit Motorman. Andy hired on as Fireman with DRGW in 1957. He loved his work and filming the trains. He passed away in 2012.

vlcsnap-2020-08-16-20h14m54s921Charles Smiley organized everything, into a highly enjoyable viewing experience! As usual, it shall take multiple viewings to get it all in. The 90 minutes literally fly-by. Always the mark of a fun program.

This is a must see, for Rio Grande and Narrow Gauge steam fans.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

CSX 12 Pennsylvania and Western Maryland, Fall Spectacular

CSX12_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Locations: Cumberland, Sand Patch, Harper’s Ferry…

Length: 84 minutes

Timeframe: 1999

Source: Rich Scheid

Green Frog with the twelfth edition, in their popular CSX series. Quite an overview of various routes. This one contains some of the best scenery in the CSX system. Fall colors make it even more desirable.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h59m30s740Consistent high quality. Standard Green Frog CSX feature set. Chapter Search. No Chapter menu or maps.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h20m42s613Very descriptive narrative by Peter Youngblood. Everything is reasonably well-covered.  Videographer Rich Scheid is excellent! Composition and variety of views. Only have space for some highlights.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h43m47s365Tour begins in Pittsburgh. Quickly moves along to Connellsville. A GP38-2 with a heavy transformer. This is perfect model railroad scene.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h48m32s816CSX and Conrail paint, at Ohio Pyle. A westbound empty pig train.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-09h52m07s461Meyersdale station in the morning with westbound  a Dash nine DC unit. Former B&O line.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h01m12s844An SD50 assists a coal train upgrade on Sand Patch Grade.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h01m57s471The tunnel and big cut on Sand Patch Grade.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h04m56s004An SD40 goes past the tower, with high cube boxcars. Also, on Sand Patch.

vlcsnap-2020-04-21-10h12m18s639A GE powered work train. Note the Maintenance of Way, Orange paint on the locomotive.

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Amtrak Celebrate the Century train.

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At Mance, a little diversity. CSX, Soo, SP SD40T.

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Conrail paint at Foley, with a grain train of Candian National cars. Five pushers on this heavy move!

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Falls Cut Tunnel and a leased GE.

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Corriganville , Maryland provides a picturesque backdrop.

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Cumberland has the Western Maryland Scenic Railway. This is a sixteen mile tourist line. Steam locomotive on this scene.

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Back onto CSX rails. This is at the Narrows. Amtrak slips by a CSX freight train.

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Cumberland with some brief scenes of the yard and town.

Kessler Bridge on the Magnolia Cut-off. No, you will have to see another CSX volume, to tour this fantastic area.

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A final train at Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia is an odd choice to close. No fall colors here. Only a single freight at this historic site.

CSX 12 is surely one of the best in the series! All of the trains are nicely shot. Great scenery is the main highlight. Although, the trains are always front and center. A good script and fast paced action. Green Frog with a top shelf release!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

Battle Up Sherman Hill

VR017-DVD (1)

Producer: Bill Lambert

Locations: Sherman Hill, Cheyenne

Timeframe: 1950s- 1989

Length: 1 hour

Sources: multiple

Steam to modern diesel in the never ending challenge to move trains over Sherman Hill. The fabled Union Pacific route is where some of the largest locomotives in the world have operated. This original Video Rails show, has been remastered by Pentrex on a DVD.

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Multiple film sources from decades of time. All color and Pentrex has it all in best quality here. Original and added sounds that give an authentic experience. Full narration by Jim Knight.

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This show plays like a videotape from that era. It has no Chapter Menu. A single map. Simply hit play.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h24m54s475Divided mostly, into locomotive type chapters. Steam, Early Diesel, Turbines…

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Hermosa Tunnel is seen in different years. This scene from modern era.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h20m29s228DD40AX. The largest diesels! Awesome to watch as they operate. Brief cab ride.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h28m15s965Some footage may look familiar. That depends on what the viewer has seen. This review shall stick to this presentation.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h31m16s857Big Boys and Challengers are no brainers. As are the big Northern type.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h40m18s251Turbines receive a detailed Chapter. They were built in three variants.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h44m04s273Early Diesels are always of high interest. Many types are shown.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h10m10s707Double diesels are rare and memorable. GE U-50-B trio here. 

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-12h07m18s842Passenger trains are those long streamliners. Northern assistance to Amtrak era.

vlcsnap-2020-04-01-11h46m02s309Other Railroads has some surprises. Burlington Route in this scene. Southern Pacific is the most common.

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The current day is the best appearing. Also, not as fascinating. Dash 8 and SD60 here.

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Battle Up Sherman Hill. Delivers the goods! About half vintage and half modern. Although that itself, is late 1980s. All is satisfying Sherman Hill route. Plenty of variety. Well paced and enjoyable show!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Chicago Steam Celebration

Chicago Steam Cover.indd

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1993

Locations: Chicago, East Union..

Length: 2 hours

A varied program. This is more than a steam show at Chicago. A trip to the Illinois Railway Museum is included. Ride the Chicago Transit Authority. See some steam, operate in poor weather. Hey, it’s Chicago. Tourists may find it fascinating. Locals may give a few yawns, in places.

A single DVD-R. Detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section. Maps and on-screen graphics. High quality throughout.

This was officially, the 1993 NRHS Convention. You will be reminded of that, by numerous shots of the attendees in this show.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h38m46s450As in other releases of this type. Pentrex has some of the trips to the event. Former Southern green is seen at Morristown, Tennessee. This does not travel to Chicago.

NW 611 runs another leg. Doesn’t show in Chicago. This feels disjointed..

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-12h40m12s565Union Pacific 3985 ran a Central Stated Challenger Special. Heavy rains. Weather clears on day 2. Illinois on third day under cloudy skies.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h47m38s940Fort Wayne had a double header Nickel Plate train. This train all the way on ex: NKP rails.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h52m11s847Day One. Metra F units, wearing the ugliest paint this side of Metro North. Everyday commuter cars to Elgin. The F pair is pulled before the return to Chicago. Yawn..

A show highlight follows…

Illinois Railway Museum.

vlcsnap-2020-03-28-11h57m21s756Burlington Route Nebraska Zephyr. All stainless steel. See it run. Car ride too. Rare E5 diesel.

North Shore Electroliner. Wearing fresh paint!

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Milwaukee Road 118C. A vintage freight train too.

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Baldwin built in 1918. Frisco 1630. IRMs main steamer.

 

A general tour of the museum. Ride the mainline. Ride the trollies on the backlot. See big power. Plenty of information. Highly interesting chapter!

Day Two. Ride the CTA elevated. Yawn. For tourists, I suppose.

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Meanwhile, the 3985 is at the yard in Lansing. This train goes to Findlay Jct. Happy riders get interviewed. Cab action with Steve Lee the engineer. This trip is another highlight.

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Crossing at Tuscola, Illinois. Note the tower. Spare me the lunches…

Day Three. Indoors at the Palmer House Hotel. Union Station has been restored! Wow, it is actually clean. Dedication ceremony, for a couple of plaques.

Next section made me chuckle. Tour of ugly Metra locomotives. Everyone is more interested in the two BN E9 units. You betcha!

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Day Four. Calumet Yard. This is Norfolk Southern now.  The 587 leads the bigger 765. Venerable State Line Tower. Much of this trip is under clouds or in the rain.

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Dumbest part of the show at Argos, Indiana. The big crowd is served lunch.  Not enough seating has some people sitting on the wet ground! Nothing like a wet butt, for the trip back. Good job. More rain. Not a pretty trip. Could have edited much of this out.

Day 5. Ride the South Shore. More for the out of towners. Non steam. It’s raining again. Between the snow, cold and rain, why people move! Excessive. Most of this could have been deleted.

Chicago Steam Celebration. A mixed bag. The couple of highlights are well done. CNW 1385 was marooned, due to flooding. A loss, that resulted in filler here. The NW 611 disappears, as well.  Union Pacific trip is a good one. If a bit crowd heavy.

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The Illinois Railway Museum is the best part of this grab bag. IRM is an absolutely wonderful train museum! This chapter alone is worth the price of admission. Frankly, saves this show from a lower rating.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities

s-l400 (1)

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1998

Locations: Minneapolis area

Length: 1 hour 45 minutes

Extensive coverage around Minneapolis and St. Paul vicinity. Multiple hot spots. A fine supply of roadnames. The amount of variety, is surprising here. While not as much as historical peaks, still a healthy amount of railroading to be seen in 1998.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h05m01s289So many trains. Only room for some highlights.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h19m57s997Some major locations: Northtown, Division St., University St., Hoffman, Pig’s Eye Yard and Dayton’s Bluff.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h38m47s693Pentrex high quality standards. Single silver DVD. Master menu. Detailed Chapter Menu. Preview section.Multiple reference maps, keep viewers on top of the locations. On screen graphics, are often displayed. David Drui with a detailed narrative.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h00m45s748Northtown yard is the first major point. Burlington Northern power. SD9s and EMD switchers work the yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h36m56s267Soo Line paint is found easily. University Street, is one of many hotspots. This lash-up has notable Soo Line motive power.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h26m19s355Canadian National zebra paint still looks good, on these older units. SD40.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h23m57s379Burlington Northern on the BNSF mainline. The CP Rail train, is taking a turn onto Candian Pacific rails.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-18h51m02s728A BNSF stack move.  Sample of the on-screen graphics.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h27m23s973A Wisconsin Central move leaves Shoreham yard. These three SD45s are getting onto Burlington Northern rails, at University.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h30m27s670Union Pacific 179. A GE B23-7, is an ex: MoPac unit. 

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h38m06s499Chicago and NorthWestern paint endures, on this train.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h45m59s693Union Pacific GP units are not often seen in solid lash-ups.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-19h49m56s486Milwaukee Road #261 is operating. A late Northern. The 4-8-4 is an Alco, from 1944. The Midway Area is in between, the twin cities.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h11m26s570Minnesota Commercial has interesting power working at Midway yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h13m38s232This Alco RS27 is a rare bird! They run additional Alco locomotives.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h24m52s799Amtrak Empire Builder eases it’s way through town. Passing the Minnesota Commercial engine facility.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h29m09s213Twin Cities and Western running GP20C. These are now Cat powered.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-20h31m46s689Unusual grade crossing equipment. This Soo Line MP15 still wears a Milwaukee Road ‘bandit’ paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m30s940Pig’s Eye Yard is the last major railyard visited.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h12m58s755Montana Rail Link, although identified as I&M Rail Link. At Pig’s Eye Yard.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h21m18s500Burlington Northern SD40-2 leads an Electromotive SD40-3.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h22m42s049Hoffman is outside Pig’s Eye Yard. Another area hot spot.

vlcsnap-2020-03-11-21h11m09s732The Soo Line caboose appears. Although in beater condition. It is a welcome sight.

Hot Rails Through the Twin Cities. A plethora of train action. This should satisfy nearly, any Railfan or Model RaiIroader. In the top tier of Pentrex shows!

Rating: 5 Stars