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

 

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago

CSX5_dvd

Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Evansville to Chicago

Length: 1 hour

Source: Rob McCormack

I’m Volume 5 the CSX route is followed from the yard at Evansville, Indiana to the Chicago area. Mirroring the real world, there isn’t a whole lot to see in-between. Figured it would roll this way. The extended time spent in Evansville, tips their hand. Endpoints!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h25m59s585The production standards are the same as the previous volumes. A couple of improvements. There is a route map! The script is a better one. On/off narration. Chapter Search. Narrated by Bob Carrera. Enviornmental soundtrack. Also, available on the CSX Special set.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h35m48s056Return to a single Videographer. Rob McCormack. Improvements in the visuals, as well. Solid and consistent. The show opens in Henderson. Just long enough to leave town. Here, crossing the Ohio River.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h37m39s346Doesn’t this resemble a Model Railroad kit?

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h47m33s729There are outstanding night scenes around the Evansville engine servicing facility. Very well lit. Top notch video capture!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h05m06s288A cornucopia of additional railroads make this an interesting show. Soo Line, Norfolk Southern, with Toledo, Peoria and Western, as well.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-16h54m10s104The journey North towards Chicago is every bit as unremarkable, as one would expect. Not much to do, or see. They seem aware of this reality. Small towns are covered, as succinctly as possible. Decent trains along the way.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h00m03s429Here is an Indiana highlight. An old coaling tower, still stands. CSX 7801, C40-8W.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h04m46s761Danville has a small engine facility. A GP30 in a hard to find, early CSX scheme.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m16s238Things quickly pickup in the Illinois half. Gilman, is a traditional Illinois Central hotspot. Didn’t know that IC E8s came in gray!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h11m56s950Chicago and North Western #8523. A GE  C40-8, leads an Electromotive locomotive.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h08m17s414Several locomotives in Pre-Merger paint. The Family Lines General Electric has seen better days.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h13m19s115Of all things. Who would expect a Green Bay & Western with a Kankakee, Beaverville and Southern? Alcos to boot!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h10m54s500Amtrak has several appearances.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h16m31s575You know you hit Chicago, when it gets cloudy, and the weather turns bad. CSX C40-8W, at Crete. Bet it was on a weekend. Why? It always seemed to rain or snow then!!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h19m24s093The variety, picks up around the Chicago vicinity. The Southside is this CSX Gateway. An Elgin, Joliet and Eastern SD40-2, leads a Duluth Missabe and Iron Range unit.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h27m31s375Barr Yard, was the former Chessie System (B&O) classification yard.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h26m41s378Thornton Junction is a Southside hotspot. Indiana Harbor Belt, a common sight, in that part of town.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h24m27s827A freshly repainted Canadian National GP40, nee GT. This leads a lash-up, of Grand Trunk power. Note the Operation Lifesaver GP38, in the second spot.

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h28m21s417Dolton, another hotspot. Instead of the ubiquitous road power. Let’s see some Union Pacific switchers!

vlcsnap-2019-11-19-17h17m39s967Not a caboose, anywhere. So, we close a CSX Engineer waving, from this SD40-2. Which tells the story of a wave. Hello or Good-Bye?

CSX 5 Evansville to Chicago.

A worthy addition to the series. The use of the better end points, define this show. Train variety is excellent. Solid entry for CSX series.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Pittsburgh Line Blues

PLCON-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1990s

Locations: Conway Yard, Conpit Jct, Altoona, Horseshoe Curve, Allegheny Tunnel…

Length: 90 minutes

A Farewell to Conrail. This subtitle describes a final tour of The Pittsburgh Line. Conway to Altoona. Late 1990’s. While still, under the Conrail flag.

David Drui with his usual pro class narrative. Pentrex high quality production.

A detailed Chapter Menu, will result in easy navigation.

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Conrail was in great shape here. Shiny paint. A solid, clean physical plant. No longer, the gritty struggling entity that occupied this same area, years ago.

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Although a highly scenic rail line. The Pentrex creative energy seemed lower. Yes, they get those hard to reach shots. No tower visits or that going the extra mile. No cab rides, for another example.

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Excellent work as far as, filming the trains.

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Reference maps are helpful. Everything is identified.

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Conway Yard is the beginning.

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Standardized traffic and a modern locomotive fleet. Conrail has become a successful railroad! At the same time, less variety and interest, trackside.

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Conpit Jct. has a striking background. Amtrak’s Pennsylvanian, is one of several Amtrak moves seen in this show.

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Conrail Business Train comes into view.

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An expected highlight. Horseshoe Curve, is disappointing. Overgrown foliage, masks the former panoramic views.

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Alto Tower has this unusual viewpoint by Pentrex. It is a light engine move.

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This Oak Island to Pittsburgh, freight interjects some run through power.

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Our narrator perks up! Almost a solid lash-up of GP38 engines, front and back. Hard times for the railfan…

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The videographers still come up with those difficult shots. This, a long telephoto.

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Allegheny Tunnel has been modernized.

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Updated power, that has the railroad looking forward to the future.

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A restored caboose above the Allegheny Tunnel, is the only one shown.

Pittsburgh Line Blues

Another well done Pentrex show. This one doesn’t scale the heights of their top releases. Part of it is, the less interesting time period. Part is the feel, of a paint by the numbers production.

Perhaps they were a little less enthusiastic by this time, as well. It is still a very good show. Not outstanding.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

 

Conrail’s Beginning

Conrails-Beginning-A-Look-at-the-Eastern-Half-DVD-CRB

Producer: Clear Block

Timeframe:1976

Locations:East

Length:100 minutes

Source: Paul Geiger

In May, 1976 Paul Geiger took his 8mm movie camera to film Conrail. This is early in the merger. He visited many locations.

Another unrestored vintage, 8mm color film collection. The films are clean. Dark scenes too often. Nothing weird color wise. Good to very good, except for brightness issues. No maps or extras are included.

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The show does have natural sounding train audio. The sound is fine.

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Narrative is somewhat stiff in nature. Although, very busy and thorough. I see Paul Geiger narrates it himself.

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Too much to get everything here. Look at some highlights. Generally, everyday proceedings. In retrospect, this was a snapshot of 1976. See what is happening…

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Paul travels around Eastern points of Conrail. He will sometimes pan a scene. Mainly, this show is wall to wall action!

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Check this Conrail GG-1 at Enola Yard. Everyone was in, on the special celebration of the bi-centennial year.

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A grand Buffalo area tour. Bison Yard and Frontier Yard in Buffalo, NY. Tower visits. Buffalo Terminal. Historical aspects too. Amtrak E units are trading places here.

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Binghamton, NY. and the Delaware and Hudson. BD Tower. Binghamton station . Lackawanna Depot.

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As Paul travels around the new Conrail. He also films from a vehicle. Two for one shot. Kingsley Viaduct and a classic Texaco.

This one is for the Model Railroaders!

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Early merger units may display a renumber. As on this Erie Lackawanna.

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A cornucopia of trains! All kinds. Sans active steam. E-44 electric locomotives here.

 

A quick visit to Sayre,PA. and the Lehigh Valley.

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Coxton Yard. Lehigh Valley RS11 is working.

Allentown Yard at R Tower.

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RDC Bethlehem Reading line. Take a tour ride to Reading Terminal, in Philadelphia, PA.

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Lehigh and Hudson River visited. Very quiet. Nothing active at the moment.

Maybrook Yard is abandoned. Unused since 74 fire on Poughkeepsie bridge.

New York Central station. Penn Central FL9 Poughkeepsie. Hudson River line.

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Amtrak. Metro North, and New Haven. All crammed into the dense city areas.

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New Jersey Transit. Many GG-1 led trains are seen. Even in black Amtrak paint.

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Elizabethport, NJ. Central of New Jersey

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Reading PA receives an extended look.

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Reading fans will see a good supply.

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Pennsylvania Rockville bridge is very busy. Paul does a fine job of showing us this hot spot.

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A rare EMD electric demonstrator.

Altoona in the summer of 1976, is very busy.

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Horseshoe Curve. These three GP35 units, contain key components of the new Conrail.

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There is plenty of Penn Central freight moving through the Altoona vicinity.

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Fresh Conrail paint appears more frequently, as the summer of 1976 continues.

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Penn Central 6254 is an SD40. Compare with Conrail blue below.

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May of 1992. Video update with Penn. area.

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A solid composite, of the birth of Conrail. Consistent camera work. Good soundtrack. Well organized. Coverage includes quite a lot of territory.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars

 

Santa Fe’s Seligman Sub

new-sealed-railroad-dvd-santa-fes-seligman-1

Producer: William Brown

Locations: Flagstaff, Winslow, Seligman, Kingman, Canyon Diablo, Ash Fork, AZ. Needles, CA.

Timeframe: 1989

Length: One Hour

Source: Dave Gross

Santa Fe across Northern Arizona. A secondary feature is the Peavine Line towards Phoenix. Plenty of scenic views which may surprise those unfamiliar with Arizona. It’s various terrain, vegetation and elevations.

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This is a pro shot video throughout. I have not witnessed a substandard frame in the whole program. Kudos to WB Video for the quality in this area!

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The one cavaet is that; this film has not been transferred to modern standards. In effect, everything looks a little soft on a modern screen. Too bad, as this dates the show.

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Audio is also, professional and smoothly done. Everything is well-balanced.

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Rege Cordic sounds like a seasoned veteran on the microphone.

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Script is thought out, as well. Sometimes it is very simplistic. Perhaps, the writer did not want to lose viewers in railroad technicalities. Being an old release. Fine for it’s era.

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The show does lack any maps. No chapter menu either. Not a huge loss on this particular program regarding maps. It pretty much travels East to West. The one deviation is the Southern line to Phoenix.

Does not travel all the way to Phoenix. Goes to around Williams. Maybe, it is still the Seligman Sub territory. Though not mentioned.

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Santa Fe had rebuilt much of their earlier power by this time. Viewers will see mainly second generation EMD units. Some General Electric, as well. New third generation diesels are beginning to appear.

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Freight trains are well into the standardization era. Less interesting than previous decades. Still, some box cars and general freight cars in service, sans graffiti. So, good times!

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Mainline traffic is predominantly intermodal. Piggybacks and containers.

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Pre-merger Kodachrome SF units are fairly common. The end of train device has nearly replaced the caboose.

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Beautiful Arizona scenery is a visual attraction for the Seligman Sub.

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The Peavine Line takes the Santa Fe southbound to Phoenix. As stated, this show does not go to the city.

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Santa Fe had attractive stations. This one at Kingman, Arizona.

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Our tour concludes in Needles, California. A former Harvey House that is now the location for a crew change point.

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As other ex: Harvey Houses are shown. There is some history provided. A little more information would have been welcome. Although this is easily obtained. Interesting to seek out, if you are unfamiliar with Harvey House!

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WB Video has a solid program in Santa Fe’s Seligman Sub. Chief concern, is the overall softness on a larger, modern sreen.

It is a well produced train video. Suitable for family viewing. Excellent for: Railfans, Model Railroaders and those interested in Arizona.

Santa Fe – All the Way!

Rating: 4 Stars