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

Canadian Electric Rails

CA-E-RAIL-FRONT

Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, more

Length: 1 hour 11 minutes

Sources: William Warrick, William Whittaker, Bentley Salkeld, Lloyd Salkeld, Richard Pratt

Charles Smiley takes us back in time. The decade of the 1950s. Five Electric lines in Canada. Always said that Charles would have made a great History Instructor. Here is an opportunity to see and learn!

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h40m23s686A single, factory pressed DVD. Detailed Chapter Menu. A 20 minute bonus section of previews. All the usual CSP extras. On-screen graphics. Custom made reference maps.

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h14m40s101Let’s look at the five individually.

Predominantly, a color film program. Small segments, of black and white footage. All restored to best appearance. PBS style program. Period photographs. Meticulous attention; to a recreation of trolley/ streetcar sounds and environment. Background music that is appropriate. Everything is first class. Full narration by Charles Smiley.

London & Port Stanley

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h22m13s190This electrified line ran from Port Stanley to London. Recreational passenger service, and local service.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h54m29s869Station @St. Thomas, Ontario.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h58m34s858BX Tower. The Interurban lines had facilities similar to regular railroads. Yards, Towers, Stations and some a turntable. Specialized equipment too.

 

Niagara, St. Catherine’s & Toronto

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h34m08s821The largest Company. Controlled by Canadian National. Served Niagara Falls, amoung other areas. Commonly known as the NS&T.

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h40m11s959One of many custom made maps.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h41m24s600Charles will use still photographs to augment discussions. NS&T freight motors here. Maintenance of way and various passenger cars, are some additional subjects. Valuable information.

Toronto Transit

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h43m05s550Original, 1938 built streetcar. You will learn much about the history of the Toronto system. Excellent city scenes!

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h55m15s9461954 Stop with PCC car. What is PCC? Inquire within…

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-14h55m53s898

Before the Internet… Newspapers were vital. Big cities offered Morning and Evening editions. A Newspaper truck!

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h04m14s746This was the first Toronto Subway. Some sections ran above ground. Many scenes are long gone.

Montreal & Southern Counties

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h13m03s736Scenes from the early 1950s to about 1958.

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h12m04s650A more involved map. Green line is M&SC. This line ran 47 miles, to Granby.

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h14m46s096Connecting the city to countryside. Before, the advent of common automobile travel, with good roads.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h40m08s787Montreal street scene, with a classic 1950s work vehicle. A panel truck. Makes my day!

Quebec Railway Light & Power

 

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h32m29s509The most interesting streetcar line, to myself. This turntable was used at Quebec City.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h33m06s892Served a huge textile mill. Scenic Montmorency Falls, as well. Also, the substantial Cathedral at St. Anne’s.

vlcsnap-2019-11-21-13h28m25s204Another Canadian National line. Yes, there are several CN Steam locomotives. Brief appearances, in this show. 

vlcsnap-2019-11-20-15h50m41s761This is an intriguing journey into the past Interurban history of Eastern Canada. Never considered that they had trolley service. Charles Smiley has a class on this subject. Learned quite a bit. Viewed another world, that has long since passed. 

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!

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h21m29s383

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.

vlcsnap-2019-11-18-09h08m23s984

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

 

 

CN, CP and TH&B

CN_CP_THB_50s70s_DVD

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1950s- 1970s

Locations: Hamilton, Dundas sub, Aldershot, Burlington, more

Length: 103 minutes

Sources: John Spring, Ken Spring, Bill Mathews

An amazing collection of all color films. Hamilton, Ontario Canada area. Vintage 1950s to 1970s. Rarities and everyday scenes; including, steam and diesel locomotives. Heavy on freight trains. Passenger trains as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h40m41s909

Official Subtitle is: Railroading in Hamilton during the 50’s – 70’s. Some extra information. A 1956 Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo chapter.  1967 Railfan Trip. 1977 Snow Plow. 1972 EL Reroute. 6218 Fantrip. More…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h06m21s007 A single DVD-R. This new 2019 release includes a detailed Chapter Menu. No maps. Everything has an informative graphic. No narrative.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h03m21s271

Digitally processed. Clean images. Many scenes appear to be 16mm film. Vibrant colors, overall. Some overcast weather, is duller. It is a great vintage film collection. All color!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h15m01s332

Audio is excellent. Train sounds with some Enviornmental audio. Good levels. Some occasional wind noise, but sensibly leveled.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h33m41s998

Strongly would have preferred a narrated show. The trains are coming at a fast pace! Explanation on certain rarities would have added value. Information in general, could have been extremely beneficial. An odd decision.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h49m15s335

The films are excellent! Great colors.  and balance throughout. No small feat. This is a motherlode of Canadian trains! Spanning two decades. Three film sources.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h28m38s079

The on-screen graphics denote trains, locations etc.. Solid information. Wish there was more. Without a map, no reference point to nail the given locations. However, these vintage scenes are worth owning.

Penn Central powered Canadian Pacific train, passing a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo switcher above.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h31m56s409

A wide array of trains. Surprising variety of roadnames. Including a fair amount of United States railroads. Enough cabooses to satisfy. Chesapeake and Ohio. Surprising!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h21m48s524

This review space will only skim the top of what is contained in this vast collection.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h59m49s620

Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo in 1956. An NRHS fantrip, behind a steam engine. See and depart the roundhouse area.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h01m21s745Let’s ride! You get the idea…

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h53m58s655Canadian National F units, on a Queen’s train.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h01m48s755

Canadian Pacific, in the Maroon and Gray. Factory fresh paint above. Both, block and script lettered units are found.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h41m53s326

More steam action than expected. Regular service, fantrips, double-headers and this triple-header! Comes at the viewer, like a blizzard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h39m18s576

Steam is present. Big and Small. Dead or Alive. In service, on display, or at the yards.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h16m22s108

New York Central is commonplace. If memory serves, I believe that Penn Central later had a Canadian division. Connections at, Detroit and Buffalo, more or less.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h45m20s649

In 1972, Erie Lackawanna was rerouting freights. Possibly, flooding. Several trains, this one serves nicely here.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-11h52m36s488

Check those Chicago and North Western bi-level cars. Believe it or not. A steam locomotive is on the front!

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h17m22s546

Canadian National Faiirbanks Morse diesels are a rare sight.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h14m49s443How about this CN 1967 Centennial set? Never heard of those.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h07m50s916A fantrip was aboard this Canadian Pacific Budd car. It runs around a little. The bridge scenes is the best one.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h08m10s487

A one of a kind; New York Central with a Toronto, Hamilton, and Buffalo. This is on a frigid, January day. 1967 fantrip.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h39m32s896

 

Canadian National is all over the place. The Alco designs in the CN wet noodle, are memorable.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h08m28s952Ontario Northland has a few different paint schemes on their F units.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h57m38s527

Late in the show. Several Comfort Cabs tip us off, to the 1970s. A wreck has the cranes at work, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-12h02m45s356

GO Transit appears in some early versions.

vlcsnap-2019-11-16-13h05m50s680

Toronto Hamilton and Buffalo caboose.

Green Frog has a fantastic release here. Really deserves a narrative. The strength of the quality vintage films makes it a must have for Canadian Railfans. There are enough items of general interest, that should appeal to all Railfans.

Rating: 4 Stars