Big Boy Greetings From Kansas City

BBKC-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 2019

Locations: Kansas City, Topeka, Denver…

Length: 1 hour 25 minutes

Sources: Marc Lingenfelter, David Burritt, Stephan Johnson, Jim Tanis, Nancy Burritt

In the Steam Era, Kansas City would have been foreign territory, to a Union Pacific Big Boy. Times change and the 4014 attained KC, in 2019. This was the final run for 2019.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h06m20s859This show is on a DVD-R. It has a new style menu! The Top Menu is overlayed on a map. A detailed pictured Chapter Menu, lists locations. Quite modern. Also, a preview section and the music video.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-18h47m38s833A full page map is displayed, near the beginning of the show. On screen graphics denote locations. David Drui narrates.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-18h54m12s723his leg of the tour begins in Arkansas.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-18h56m25s878Vintage film of 4014 is included. Retirement was in 1961.

Brief history includes a little bit of 4014 update. Previous Pentrex Big Boy shows are referenced in this program.

Quickly into Oklahoma.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h01m27s822Fort Gibson bridge. Drone shot footage throughout

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h03m30s069Kansas City is next. The Union Station has been beautifully restored.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h11m38s848The Highline bridge is well documented, as waiting for the Big Boy to appear.Outstanding aerial view, as the 4014 is paced.

Additional drone footage is great! The train moves at a leisurely be pace towards Topeka. Sure is an advance, over endless runbys. As found in an average modern, steam show.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h22m21s286Arrival at Topeka. A restored UP station, now a museum.

Overnight here. Grain cars added for braking the following day.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h26m32s940A large amount of stored power at North Topeka. Evidence of changing opearational practices! Just a single yard. Think about it.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h17m08s648Are we there yet?

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h32m42s153Frequently referenced in old Western movies. This is Abilene. A modern canyon, created by grain elevators.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h35m22s469Model Railroad sized structures! Steam to diesel era. Your welcome.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h43m45s167Pentrex breaks the monotony, with a music video. It’s about the UP 9000 locomotive. Nebraska is the band. 9000 is the song.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h48m36s795Pretty amazing accomplishment. To obtain this amount of aerial. Not to be critical. If nature doesn’t cooperate, the results would be far less useable. Nearly all the scenes are perfect. Just be sure to appreciate it!

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h53m44s635A snowstorm is encountered. It is an improvement, over the brown fields.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h50m48s094If there is one new item learned with this aerial tour of rural Kansas. Not a burger joint in sight! Better pack a lunch. Lol.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h59m07s830Enter Hugo, Colorado. Desolation.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-20h01m02s283Limon has historical equipment on permanent display.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-20h08m41s937Arrival at Denver is in clear conditions. The city skyline is in the background.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-20h10m01s482Departing Denver, blizzard conditions are on hand the following morning.

vlcsnap-2020-02-15-19h24m07s661The aerial approach makes this show! Rural Kansas in drab November, is not very scenic. The weather is favorable, for the majority of the time. The Big Boy is the star. Expert camerawork makes this program fly. Smartly paced and an interesting script, move this tour along. Pentrex can sure dance! They certainly elevate this one.

While this release doesn’t have the natural, scenic advantages. The aerial videography, makes it a worthy addition, to any Big Boy collection!

Rating: 5 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sixty Years Along the Illinois Central

Train-DVD-60-Years-Along-The-Illinois-Central

Producer: Mary McPherson

Timeframe: 1938-1998

Locations: Carbondale, Centralia, Champaign, Edgewood Cut-Off,  Tuscola, more

Length: 2 hours

Sources, video: George Redmond, Kurt Jensen, Mary McPherson, Tom Dunn

Covering 60 years of Illinois Central history. Geographically, this is mainly in downstate Illinois. This is representative of the railroad, for the most part. So, do not expect the full system. Too much to get everything in this review. Let’s see some highlights…

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h53m31s717The timeline begins early in 1938. Moves forward into 1998. Two GP40s bracket a pair of GP9 units, in the Green Diamond scheme. This from the 1960s.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h08m27s129The single DVD-R contains a Chapter Menu. Plenty of on-screen graphics. No maps. Narrated by Mary McPherson.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h56m55s905Audio is natural sound on the contemporary sections. The vintage films have a mixture of, train sounds and music. Some extra attention to detail on the train sounds. Above, is at Effingham, an old hotspot. The crossing is Conrail trackage.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h32m18s345The 1938 film is black and white. Appears to have been filmed by someone, with approved access. Officials and workers posing, with train scenes. Clean footage. Good sounds. Fine chapter. Carbondale location.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h42m08s042Some amateur, 1950s color film. This from the transaction era. Quick glimpse of Chicago, a few trains. Follow a hostler. Frank Baumgarten in 1955.  A last look, on his normal steam engine, roundhouse, workday. A little more action, at Carbondale. Mikado 1516 above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-14h39m21s577A pacing sequence of the DeSoto local, ends this Chapter.  Watch for a diesel pace, same location later!

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h01m08s490The Metropolis bridge is stunning!

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h44m32s897The highlight is excellent color film from the 1960s. This small collection, from the Champaign area. Most from near the tower and yard lead. Slow speeds allow good views. Some from the on tower! GP9 locomotives, in original and new repaints. Rebuilt Geeps, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h54m32s266There are several passenger trains. Various viewpoints. Above is, The Shawnee. Viewed from Champaign Tower. Find a rare E6. Inquire within…

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h03m34s250Moving with a big leap forward. Well into the late Illinois Central Gulf era. Familiar George Redmond, with unreleased video! Nice, clean footage.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h00m22s031Raunchy looking power, was part of the rolling museum, of the 1980s Illinois Central Gulf. The GM&O sights, were incredible! Not included here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h06m00s470This black GP40 was the last one, in original, Green Diamond scheme. Pacing sequence above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h00m18s618The gray/orange scheme, was the ICG answer to heavy weathering. Unique to the railroad, SD20  locomotive. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h11m41s222Creeping into the 1990s. The black dip Illinois Central paint appears. It does look sharp, after many years of observing the ragtag fleet of ICG.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h20m54s706The show settles into a more standard, pattern of 1990s era trainwatching. Doesn’t the SD20 appear better in black?

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h13m17s706There are still some Paducah Geep rebuilds in service. The GP11 types will be the very last in usage.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h27m25s226Tuscola has a tower in it’s last year’s. A significant amount of time spent here. Inside tower visit, although not filmed the best. Still, beats no visit. Take it.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h56m47s737Rare territory is the Edgewood Cut-Off. Coal and grain were always money.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h02m22s243There’s a derailment! Whew! Only a single boxcar.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-10h52m50s984Need a rest after that scare. Compare the older orange, with the new image caboose. Yawn, for the gray one.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h17m21s343At Cobden, a grade requires a good headstart and enough horsepower. Some trains have to be split in two.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h27m24s246Winter snow dramatically alters the scene. An Operation Lifesaver #6068 on the point, at Cobden. An SD70 is in this lash-up. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h43m10s802Excellent night scenes in this show. Amtrak at a station. The reflective surfaces are great, for under the lights. City of New Orleans. Mary’s run! Laughed at that closing piece!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h38m27s668The Illinois Central does have some tunnels. This one is on the rarely filmed Edgewood Cut-Off in 1998, by Tom Dunn.

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-11h32m55s226At Edgewood. Train symbol MECR is Memphis to Conrail, at Effingham. More frequent SD70 appearances, signal that we are approaching the end, for the Illinois Central Railroad. The Stop sign foreshadows the roads future… 

vlcsnap-2019-11-24-09h51m06s299The venerable IC side door caboose. Mainline of Mid America slogan. Some of these served, into  ICG paint. Classics!

Sixty Years Along the Illinois Central.

The show meets it’s advertised. Vintage films are very worthwhile. The 1960s film is excellent. ICG update is very good video. The later 1990s video, is even better. Fast paced. An enjoyable look, at the Illinois Central. Action is around Southern Illinois. This Heritage Series, is their best release!

Rating: 5 Stars

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-14h50m07s564

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h46m09s107

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h36m43s427

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-14h56m53s669

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h34m59s738

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-14h59m32s360

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h47m22s990

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h30m40s578

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h05m45s444

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h44m56s576

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h02m11s398

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h26m11s636

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h23m51s098

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-15h54m33s346

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

vlcsnap-2019-11-12-14h53m45s150

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