Southern Pacific Steam Anthology

DVD-SRP-SPSA-3D

Producer: Alva Morrison, JMJ

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: system

Length: 47 minutes

Source: John Kirkland

An updated 2016 remaster and new edit. John Kirkland spent years, documenting every type of Southern Pacific Steam locomotive. All encompassing collection. Everything from diminutive yard switchers, to SP exclusive Articulateds. Color film throughout!

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The Single DVD-R, has a finely detailed Chapter Menu. Full complement of maps. On-screen graphics on most everything. Organized like a book.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h58m32s149The film is beautifully remastered. Appears to have been originally filmed in 16mm. Excellent color balance. Very clean, with a minimum of any flaws. The overall impression of the collection is, Amazing!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h57m48s208The show is narrated. Audio is dubbed. Common with films of this vintage. Good results. Music is blended or used in the soundtrack. A former Cotton Belt engine is seen above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h24m58s952The Southern Pacific was a vast empire. Having extended into many other areas. Interurban service is the most commonly known. San Francisco to Oakland ferry service is briefly shown.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-08h57m03s499The only concern. Not a deal breaker by any means. As the locomotive catalog is revealed. The fast edits are very fast. Barely view the running gear, here comes the tender, and out. Next! It gets a little annoying. Perhaps, that is all there was available. Considering the goal, time and effort. I would guess there was a second or two more.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h03m50s616On this fantrip. Street running and a 1955 Chevy. Looks like Fiesta Red. A custom color, for Fender guitars. Those colors were from automobile paint. Off topic, but too cool to pass it up!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h07m09s994Action sequences are included for many types. Freight and passenger. Mainline, Branchline and Yard scenes. Stations, Street running and Fantrips.

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This Diamond Stack Special attracted attention, back in the day. Think about it.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h00m05s296A tiny Yard Goat rides the turntable at Mission in San Francisco. This served the Passenger engines there.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h15m34s573At the Bayshore yard. 2477 sets the pop valves.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h12m05s963The 2-8-0 Consolidations were workhorses in the SP empire. Larger boiler engines, were ex: St. Louis Southwestern. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h05m34s034Examine the detail on this 2-6-0 locomotive. Model Railroaders should note the weathering. A small Vanderbilt tender. Better views within…

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h28m09s639 Southern Pacific type, 4-10-2. Rolls off it’s last miles.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h28m18s390Appreciate the detail on the freight cars.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h33m03s855AC types could pull long trains..

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h30m59s236Pusher duty was some of the last service for AC-9 types.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h32m44s115The huge AC -10. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h11m03s424Old style SP cabooses. The standard for the era.

Southern Pacific Anthology.

A comprehensive overview of SP Steam in the mid- 20th Century. This awesome collection is in beautiful remastered all-color 16mm film.

The excellent Cinematographer, is a consistent source. Sharp production has a well organized show. Nice action sequences. A great selection, for any Steam Fan!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

Rails New York Metro

RailsNY_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1996- 99

Locations: Hudson River, Long Island, Southern Tier, Susquehanna, NJ, more.

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Rich Kugel

An overview of the New York area, before the Conrail split. Extra coverage of additional railroads that provide variety. Locations extend outward. Hudson River and Long Island. Southern Tier, and more.

DVD-R. Standard Frog Chapter Search. Professional production throughout. No maps. This release has not been remastered. Hence, images appear slightly soft on a larger HDTV screen. Colors and balance are fine. Do not expect current viewing standards. Show is very watchable.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h25m37s106The trains appear in chronological order. Begins in the year 1996. Fast paced show!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h58m01s916Rich Kugel, is the Green Frog Videographer. He has a fantastic eye for composition!

Bob Carrera, with a classic narrative. Good script. No maps, or on-screen graphics. Also available in the set, Trains around New York and New Jersey- collection.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h26m37s725Conrail is the star of this show. Fort Montgomery, New York. Many fine scenes in this program. Let’s have a sample…

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h55m58s401Susquehanna,also has a strong presence. Hawthorne, New Jersey.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h29m27s807New York Metro North. FL9 and Genesis locomotives operate, along the Hudson River. Garrison, NY. That Metro North never could create an attractive paint scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h28m31s254However, New Haven surely did have some classic livery! They did revive this paint job.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h32m12s290Chesapeake and Ohio #614. This makes several appearances. A choice scene at Otisville Tunnel.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h50m38s830 An ice storm creates memorable scenes.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h48m54s012This is the Millrift River bridge. Constructed in 1868, by the Erie Railroad. Connects New York state to Pennsylvania.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h22m34s351 In 1999, the Long Island Railroad was going to soon replace aging equipment. Alco FA is used as a power pack. Not a locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h01m31s171Let’s pickup more Long Island Railroad at Nassau Tower. This is located at Mineola. Good showing of some LIRR equipment.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h45m22s623Moodna Viaduct is a definite scenic highlight. This NJ Transit is but one, of some trains crossing here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h42m42s679Brand new BNSF General Electrics. They pause for a crew change. NJ Transit going to New York. Hint… These BNSF units get chased!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-15h44m15s436Norfolk Southern makes random appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h26m47s995Amtrak is also shown, by the Hudson. Also, several Electric motors, in New Jersey.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h18m00s978Susquehanna GP18, acts as a helper on a Sparta Hill move.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h12m49s869Conrail train that is 2 miles long! This view from a Mountain, along the Hudson River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h37m38s562After that whirlwind. What happened to Conrail? Why, they are now CSX!

vlcsnap-2019-11-13-16h38m33s984Give it up. All in now. Where’s those dress blues???

Rails New York Metro. Green Frog has a show that hits the advertised, very nicely. Action oriented and loaded with variety. The near one hour show passes quickly. That is the hallmark of an enjoyable program.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

CSX 3 Nashville to Louisville

CSX3_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Nashville to Louisville

Length: 57 minutes

Source: Rob McCormack

Third in the series. This one includes several sidebar visits. The main route is the original L&N Railroad. Not the most exciting line to see out there. Keep reading…

A couple of visits, help to add interest. RJ Corman had purchased a line from CSX. The Kentucky State Railway Museum operates the only L&N steam engine. Some cave visits really are off topic.

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The area is plentiful with Civil War history. Some of this is discussed. A large bridge, was the most interested story. This is not it.

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Well, with all of this side and background. Must be the mainline is lacking. To a point.

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DVD-R. Switch with option, on/ off narration. Usual, Chapter Search feature. Visual and Audio, consistent with series. No reference maps. Too bad. These little towns sure need one! The milepost statements are not very helpful. Obviously, we travel towards Louisville. Again, map.

Show is also available in the CSX Special set.

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The narrator is Dan Chandler. This script vassicillates between, fairly interesting and very simplistic.

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Those little red buildings. They look like a freshly built HO kit, on a Model Railroad. Proving, the prototype for everything theory. One need not weather everything.

The two CSX yards are bookends. Radner Yard in Nashville. Osbourne Yard at Louisville.

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In between is some Hill and Dale countryside. A unit coal train is chased on a branchline.

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Limited pre- CSX paint. Best of the lot. A former L&N GP38. Appears more than once.

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Union Pacific is seemingly on most every show.  Pre-Merger locomotive, check the trailing Seaboard System.

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RJ Corman is briefly visited. A pair of GP9 diesels are on duty.

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The light Pacific at the Kentucky Railway Museum. This 1905 Rogers built steam locomotive has appeared in full length shows. Unfortunately, it is paired with an ugly duckling ex: Santa Fe CF7 on the rear end. Lack of foliage, has things looking harsh.

The L&N has little cab room for the Videographer. The #152 is paced for a minute. The full shows with regular foliage, are the way to go, if this interests you.

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Onward we go. More unheard of places. No way to know, where we actually are located. Telling the names, doesn’t get it done.

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The Ft. Clark bridge is the big one! Better views of previous bridge versions, in still photos.

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The hotel that once served Mammoth Cave has it’s own story. The interior tour is overkill. Used to see that damage in Chicago anytime.

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Surprising, is the size of Osbourne Yard. Until, the narrative reveals multiple lines feeding this facility.

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CSX 3. Nashville to Louisville. So far, this is the weakling of the series. It is not a bad show. Surely tries to elevate into something more. Ends up a little off track at times. Rather unexciting overall. Call it a basic good. Next Volume…

Rating: 3 Stars

 

 

Big Boys and Brothers in the ’50s

51O5b6u-UpL._AC_SY400_

Producer: JMJ, Morty Farcus

Timeframe: 1950s

Length: 68 minutes

Locations: Cheyenne, Sherman Hill, Hermosa Tunnel, North Platte…

Sources: William J. Altheimer

Sunday River, with a remastered steam, and more show. Union Pacific Big Boy’s and Challengers are the stars. Additional: 800s, Turbines and Diesels. The collection is 98% color film, from the 1950s.

The single DVD is in a sturdy, plastic case. A detailed Chapter Menu. On-screen graphics. Technical specifications on display screens. A single map, with filmed territories.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h47m03s638The remastered film quality is excellent! Clear images with fine color balance.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h31m36s694Audio soundtrack is predominantly train sounds. The light narrative introduces the various locomotives. Trainwatching then proceeds, with the lively train audio. Some brief musical interludes, round out the presentation.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h13m07s930The on-screen graphics are targeting the engine numbers. Several locations. The only area where the details are a little light, are the locations. However, it is along the mainline, where the big steam was operating in the 1950s.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h34m12s273This show is divided by locomotive class. Further, sub-divided by types. FEF Northerns for example. There were three. Number 844 is an FEF-3. Detailed specs are given for each type. Above is 837. Inquire within…

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h57m53s245Big Boy’s lead-off the show. Individual numbers. Yes, fan favorite 4014 is above and below!

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h56m08s021There are Big Boys in a plentiful supply. Big Boy 4014 crew appears to be posing for the camera, as they pass so many years ago…

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h55m51s366Each engine he has, is highlighted by number and shown. Of course, an unnumbered section is included.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h53m54s042Sharing a brief personal story…

My Grandfather worked for the steam Railroads as a young man. I was about 5 years old. I asked Grandpa, Did the steam always blow straight up?

Grandpa chuckled, No. It could be brought down by a heavy rain or blown sideways by a strong wind.

A little hard for a 5 year to picture. The above screenshot, illustrates his memory.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h02m58s253The Cinematographer filmed plenty of pacing sequences. Steam and pacing, are a great natural pair. Two Big Boys above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h12m13s222Challengers are correctly split into the early and late versions. The early models had a slightly homely appearance.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h14m33s048Some redesign on the late Challengers had an improvement in performance. The lowered headlight, was one element to identify and actually looked better.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h28m29s159The 800 series are famous for number 844. Never having left the active roster.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h25m13s214These big Northerns were meant for passenger service. Late in their careers, they were assigned to freight duties.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h24m48s076There is a plethora of freight cars to see! A mine for Model Railroaders seeking period correct consists. Neat, clean and dull, boxcar red trains. Almost uniform, Pacific Fruit Express ice bunker reefers blocks.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h41m09s901Turbines were number one for a time.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-08h50m10s009 An assortment of early diesels conclude this show.

vlcsnap-2019-11-11-07h48m24s282Sunday River has a fantastic collection, of Union Pacific big steam and even more! The remaster has it in best possible quality. Enjoyable to hear the huge Articulateds and Northerns, at work.

A must have for Big Boy fans with this unique footage. Union Pacific, Steam train and Railfans, should all find this show, a worthy addition to their collections.

Rating: 5 Stars

CSX 1 Atlanta to Chattanooga

CSX1_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: early 1990s

Locations: Atlanta, Marietta, Dalton, Kennesaw, Chattanooga, more.

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rob McCormack, John M. Koch

This is the first in an extensive series on CSX Transportation. These volumes are focused geographically. Atlanta, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee is here. The era in which the railroad was filmed, still has some unrepainted, predecessor CSX locomotives.

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Green Frog DVD-R. Chapter Search, as is typical with the Frog. No maps. There are on-screen graphics. Don Chandler performs the narrative. He has a lively voice.

Also, available in a large Green Frog multi set, CSX Special.

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Videography is professional level. Editing is regular, high quality Green Frog. As is the audio. Enviornmental soundtrack. Well done. Everything in it’s place. Looks good on the big screen.

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This script includes good historical background. That is a fine bonus. Civil War battles were fought around the areas. Adds much interest.

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The Western and Atlantic Railroad owns this trackage. CSX leases it!

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Check these Family Lines, that have not been repainted. A B&O loco, brings up the rear.

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Howell Tower is an Atlanta hotspot. CSX and Norfolk Southern meet there. Many trains are viewed at Howell. Including a CSX move, that waits for the whole board to clear!

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Amtrak does show up, with The Southern.

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Norfolk Southern has busy mainline trackage through the vicinity. Dalton, GA. is a well known hotspot, with both railroads.

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Low angle shots look great on the waiting NS locomotives.

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Tunnel Mountain, that tunnel was constructed in 1923. That Chessie System 4447, sports old paint.

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Shortline, Georgia Northeastern still operates some EMD GP9 and GP18 units. Slow orders, on tight, urban tracks.

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CSX continues towards Chattanooga. Although, not much of that mileage is shown. Rather, several locations are featured. Seriously, they should have included some maps.

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The station displays some creativity, from the Videographer.

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BIG era freight cars are clean. My own term. I like it… Before Idiots Graffitied.

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A marked change in the terrain. This is Chattanooga. A few minutes to the show’s conclusion.

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Bringing it back home. CSX shares some rails and such in this area.

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Hitless on a caboose. No worries. Close with this steam engine, at Tennessee Valley Museum.

CSX 1. Atlanta to Chattanooga. An excellent look at CSX and some Norfolk Southern. The main focus is on the Atlanta vicinity. This show runs so smoothly, it is a fine one to view. Even if it may not match travel expectations.

They do mention, that the next volume will begin in Chattanooga. So, perhaps a slight tease in the title. I bet they have improvements. Which brings us, to the bottom line.

Smart production has elevated, a less interesting era of Railroading, into a higher level of entertainment. Creative filming and some interesting scriptwork, have done the job. Would have liked more coverage of the route mileage, and a map. Still, a satisfying show on CSX!

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars