Classic Steam of the ’20s to the ’40s

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Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1920s-1940s

Locations: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Chicago, Kansas City, more.

Length: 1 hour

Sources: Frank W. Schlegel, Vince Ryan, Jack Alexander

A smorgasbord of films. Spanning 4 decades. Some rare and not so rare, steam locomotives. A Collection of: black and white, plus a little color film. Eastern Railroads mainly. Everything is worthwhile.

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See: Delaware and Hudson, New York Central, Lackawanna, Central of New Jersey and Frisco (above). Also, Pennsylvania  Erie, Wabash, Rahway Valley, B&O, and much more. Steam, Electric and several early diesels.

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Frog DVD-R. Nothing extra. Plays straight through. The Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby…in Milwaukee!

The show is narrated by Dan Chandler.  Script is good. Fine work on the dubbed trains.

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Camerawork varies by source. As does the visual quality. Majority is fine. About what an experienced Railfan would expect, from a wide ranging assortment. Good on the big screen.

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There is way too much to cover the whole show. Highlights of this fine program. New York Central, Empire Star Express. Two steam pushers on the rear. The show’s gem!

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Reading Crusader at Dunellen, New Jersey.

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Camelback is a strange looking steam engine. It hauls a fantrip out on to the Long Branch.

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Turns around, the yard in Bay Head Jct. A joint CNJ and PRR. So, Pennsylvania power is there with K4s. Compare the access the people had, in those days. More PRR is seen, in their home state.

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A 1936 fantrip over the former, Ulster and Delaware. This one required a double header with a pusher, and ran two sections!  The New York Central ten wheelers were added to the head end. Former U&D power. Depart Kingston.

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Oneonta roundhouse on D&H was destination.

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Check the size of the people against this Lackawanna locomotive.

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Steam and Electric. New York Central. Harmon, NY.

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The big surprise is at Pennsylvania’s Enola Yard. Before retarders were used, brakeman manually controlled the cars, from the hump. Dangerous work in the winter. Unbelievable by today’s safety!

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The Alton. Street running! How rare is this?

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Middletown and Union, has a face, only a mother could love. Come closer..

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Venerable, Boston and Maine Mogul type.

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Rock Island at St. Louis.

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Erie passes with it’s train.

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Indiana Railroad was a large, Electric Interurban. Ran streetcars and freight.

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Delaware and Hudson Northern type. Plenty of D&H is within.

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Springfield Terminal in it’s original incarnation. Take a trolley. Quite a difference, from later SD45s in grey paint!

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A Lackawanna Milk Train, really harkens back to an earlier era.

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A Chicago, Burlington and Quincy sits in a huge yard. Burlington Route, was a road that ran steam late, on the Colorado and Southern.

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This is a cornucopia of steam era scenes. Here, the ice bunker reefers are loaded at the Chicago Stockyards. South Shore Electric cars to the right.

There are even bonus shots. City pan views (Philadelphia), street scenes, humoungous Chicago stockyards. A well thought-out production. Packs a bunch, into a fast moving one hour program.

Also available on the, Trains around New York and New Jersey – collection.

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Closing caboose is a Wabash.

Green Frog has a must see show, for any fans of steam era Railroading. The black and white film, adds to the vintage feel. Fascinating and varied visit to the past.

Rating: 5 Stars

East Broad Top (remastered)

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Producer: Green Frog

Timeframe: 1953 – 1976

Locations: Orbisonia, Shirleysburg, more

Length: 117 minutes

Source: Emery Gulash

Green Frog has remastered some of their older shows. This new release features, a brand new remaster. Original source of quality color 16mm film. This from the Master Railroad Cinematographer, Emery Gulash!

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East Broad is a narrow gauge coal hauler. Operating in Pennsylvania. The year is 1953. Several time updates, as Emery returns. Witness the 1960 reopening, as a tourist line. Progressive visits conclude in the winter of 1976.vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h49m10s972Audio is live sound. The early film is likely dubbed. The later material, was probably live recorded. In any case, the soundtrack is excellent.

Check the amazing level of detail, in the screenshots. This bridge scene, tells it.

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The show is on a single DVD-R. It has a detailed Chapter Menu. This menu displays on my TV screens, although not the new laptop. No other extra features. Realize, this is an older release. Be happy with a Chapter Menu.

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Fully narrated. Good script. Narrative allows for plenty of listening to the trains.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-10h20m57s403It is not limited to only steam trains. Trolleys, do appear later in the timeline. Several configurations. M-1 Brill type, to the right.

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The Remaster has the most vibrant colors! Results are stunning. Trains seem to be in almost 3-D image. Great seperation. Worth it to re-buy. A major upgrade. The Frog hits a home run!

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h51m34s168Emery gets some creative views.

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Let’s recap.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h09m50s333Original East Broad Top. Hauls coal to a few brick plants in the 1950s. All narrow gauge steam. Limited passenger service.

vlcsnap-2019-11-01-09h20m32s049Reopens in 1960. This, after the entire EBT has been sold for scrap! Now, a tourist event. After the owner exceeded a request to have a static, display train.

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By 1963, the owner opens East Broad Top. Now, a serious tourist line.

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Expands the roster, over the years. Adds electric trolleys. Constructs a wye, to turn entire consists. Some additional equipment.

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Emery makes several trips to the tourist line. These are Baldwin built locomotives.

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East Broad Top ran simulated freight trains.

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Beautiful scenery in any season.

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Winter has a stark beauty.

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Roundhouse area access allowed for unique photo opportunities.

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An ancient wooden bridge provided multiple chances, for cool scenes.

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Triple- header. Are you kidding? Great!

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A classic red caboose. Perfect end to the train.

East Broad Top. A successful remaster by Green Frog. The high quality image, looks fantastic on a hi- def screen. Emery’s camera skills are legendary. A fine soundtrack. Classic trains in Pennsylvania scenery. Filmed in all four seasons. Plenty of variety. All good elements. Not limited to Railfans. Suitable for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway

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Producer: Charles Smiley

Timeframe: 1940- 1963

Locations: Greater Los Angeles area

Length: 1 hour 53 minutes

Sources: Lloyd Salkeld, Ross Salkeld, Ed Minshall, Paul Lukens, Roy Gabriel

Charles Smiley Presents with a double feature. The two streetcar lines, that once served Los Angeles, and vicinity. Pacific Electric is the much larger of the two companies. Los Angeles Railway is the second company.

Both had extensive coverage in their territories. Originally construction, was before the common usage of automobiles and freeways. The commuters traveled in much different fashion.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h19m50s821There is much color movie film, to document the cornucopia of various, equipment and lines. Which serve the area. Years of the restored color footage. They are from 1940 to 1963. Though the scope of the show, goes back earlier in time.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h38m39s558This show is loaded with extras. A factory pressed DVD. Detailed Chapter Menu. A long preview section that runs for 20 minutes.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h11m00s865Custom made Maps throughout. Any line that is discussed, gets highlighted.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h30m27s957On-screen graphics that have all sorts of additional information. These details augment the on going discussions.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h40m08s665Varied soundtrack. Notice the high level of detail on enviornmental scenes. Hear the auto traffic on some scenes? Hear the flanges squeel, as a trolley hits a turn? Background music elsewhere.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h10m27s663Simply, too much to cover everything within, this fully loaded program. This collection of films must be rare. Let’s hit on some highlights…

IF you haven’t seen a Charles Smiley Presents yet. You are in for a treat! These are: part train video, part history lesson, extra information, at no extra charge! All neatly wrapped in a PBS style program. Charles Smiley narrates.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h42m02s403Pacific Electric had about 1000 miles of trackage. Extended beyond Los Angeles. Long Beach, San Pedro, San Bernardino to name a few. Their large red cars were well known.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h01m48s654Los Angeles Railway was Henry Huntington’s, from 1898. This also extended past the city limits, although not so far. Yellow and green colors.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h47m50s348Later on, the so called, fruit salad colors came into usage.

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The streetcar system predates the freeway system.

A small portion of the Oakland Key System is included, into this story. Another, El Paso, Texas to Mexico, as well!  Plus more. Learn the dispositions of various streetcars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h06m46s982Here , at Inglewood viewers get a sense of streetcars running in traffic. Check those two sets of rails.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-16h57m28s620Later, the now numerous  cars in the downtown area, brought resentment towards the big streetcars.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h51m27s014Watts Station is on the right.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h41m05s627This Watts bound car, originated up on a substantial  elevated platform. 

Electric buses are even included!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h11m31s623The 1938 PCC built cars offered riders many improvements. Charles explains types and improvements.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h43m35s589Notice how massive the streetcar is compared to the bus.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h12m22s287The old Sears building on the P line is gone. Resembles other vintage Sears, in other parts of the US.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h08m35s605The diminutive white safety zones, in the middle of busy streets. These are almost a joke by modern standards.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h18m24s601Here is a scene with potential for Model Railroaders. Have a trolley line that; dead ends, near a standard gauge track!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-15h40m05s602The many onboard rides, give viewers the feel of streetcar transportation. Assorted lines and years. Fascinating material.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h22m39s781Big Bertha tows a broken down car.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-18h37m34s633A final fantrip with a couple of streetcars. A discontinued line, complete with rusty rails. Amazing!

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h28m58s333These trolley subjects offer a time machine visit into the past. One doesn’t have to be from Los Angeles to enjoy this either. Plenty of these scenes no longer exist.

vlcsnap-2019-10-15-17h19m24s278Vintage is vintage! Autos, trucks, pedestrians, businesses, and the chance to witness the changes. Fascinating material that you see in fine quality here. There is simply too much, to retain everything in a single viewing. That is good news. Rerun value. Suitable and interesting, for family viewing.

Rating: 5 Stars

Ohio Steam in the ’50’s

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Producer: A&R

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: Ohio

Length: 1 hour 40 minutes

Source: Ed Birch, Sr.

A fabulous collection of classic steam. Filmed during the 1950s. Ed Birch shot all of this, in full color. He was on a high level.  This covers several railroads.

Baltimore and Ohio, Nickel Plate, New York Central plus Pennsylvania Railroad. Special guest stars, are big Santa Fe 5000 class power!

There is even a little Grand Trunk Western. Cameos of Detroit interurbans.

A sprinkling of early diesels appear.

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There is no Chapter Menu. No maps either. Dubbed sound for the trains. Good sound levels. Some scenes work better than others.

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Carrothers Tower, with Pennsylvania Railroad signage

 Narration by Aaron Gonthier. Basic script. Locomotives and locations. Additional information.

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Excellent looking films! Some occasional flaring. Very clean. Fine Cinematography.

Too much to get it all here. Hit some highlights. Not in running order.

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Baltimore and Ohio had moved steam into this area. Their behemoth, EM-1 can be found operating with a Pacific. Going to Wheeling. 

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EM-1, in a flurry of scenes around the yard.

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Ride into Deschler. On a B&O passenger train. Quick trip. Much happens at busy Deschler station. The inclusion of railroad structures are valuable.

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4618 leaves Deschler, with a friendly wave from the Engineer.

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5301  Cincinnatian. Streamlined Pacific stops at Deschler. Ride this train to Toledo.

 

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New York Central. Niagara 6014 departs with a passenger train. Toledo.

 

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Central Union Terminal. A modern passenger station. Built in 1950.

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Grafton, West Virginia. An important B&O facility. A good visit there.

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B&O 4453 getting water. Fascinating scene, 50 ton hoppers elevated.

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Cincinnatian to Detroit. PCC cars on Woodward Ave.

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Grand Trunk Western Station. Milwaukee Junction.  See the locomotive service area. A bit dark. Time of day perhaps. Notice, how they do not promote this segment.

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Sandusky in 1956. ATSF 2-10-4 engines on lease. Model Railroaders will find plenty of freight cars in the trains.

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Berkshire 776 has picked up orders at Bellvue. Nice sequence.

 

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A Santa Fe 5000 class, on the: Mansfield to Carrothers, Pennsylvania Railroad line.

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Attica Jct. This tower gives a sense of size to the large 2-10-4 Santa Fe steam engines. Note the man at the bottom of the stairs.

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Tiffen, on the Pennsylvania. A PRR J1

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B&O Q4 Mikado paced sequence.

vlcsnap-2019-05-13-17h43m34s743A Nickel Plate Road Berkshire, meets newer diesels. This was the near the end for steam on NKP.

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Baltimore and Ohio caboose,with an older paint scheme. Look at those colors!

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Nickel Plate Road, with High Speed Service.

Excellent program that exceeded expectations. Non- stop action of classic transition era trains. Variety of locomotives and the railroads are intriguing.

Ed Birch’s work, will stand with any of the well known Cinematographers. Outstanding composition. This man knew how to film a train!

This show is a must see for any steam fan.

Great for family viewing. You might find yourself wishing for more…

Rating: 5 Stars

The Heritage Collection, Volume 1

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Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1940 – 1950s

Locations: USA

Length: 1 hour 35 minutes

Five vintage films from the 1940s and ’50s. Professionally produced by the Railroad organizations of the time. Most, if not all of these have circulated. Convenient to have a group on a single DVD.

A detailed Chapter Menu breaks them down by the five movie titles.  A Play All option, as well.

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These shall be reviewed by individual title. All are narrated. Full color films.

A roll up and combined rating upon completion.

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Burlington Route FT set. One of the myriad of rarities.

On The Track 

AAR short film of 1950s era. Dudley Productions.  A shared theme of America produces, and ships by rail. Wide variety of railroads passby the camera.  

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There are a number of famous landmarks. Prosperous, post war America. There are similar films made during this time.

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Covers much subject matter in about 15 minutes. Historical look back into time. Heavy industry is one focus.

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Plenty of early diesels. F and E units dominate. A few odd, Alco and Baldwin units. Several steam locomotives.

 

Life – Line of the Nation

Another Carl Dudley Production. Don McNamara has the narrator credit.

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An earlier film. Deals with World War 2. The valuable role of US railroads to move the military. The industry to manufacture equipment.

C&O 1490 is shown above.

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Hence, a National defense theme. Milwaukee Road box cab electrics.

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Get busy identifying what you see in all of these shows. Look closely…

Florida East Coast!

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Milwaukee Road Hiawatha. Nice runby!

Runs about 20 minutes. Plenty of steam.

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Rare, New York Central Empire State Express.

Early diesels in small numbers here.

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The might of the US industrial complex, to support the war effort. Cooperation amoung the railroads to move everything.

The responsibility of the railroads to keep the peace time America rolling.

 

225,000 Mile Proving Ground

A 1958 produced, Association of American Railroads. Dudley Pictures.

The Headline Story of Railroad Research.

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The subtitle sums up where this movie short is going. These old films do like to emphasize just how well they are doing!

This Union Pacific Turbine, is the future.

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The science of Railroading. Metallurgy, as in more durable rail is one subject. Freight car design and uniform improvements.

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Improved refrigerator equipment. Santa Fe.

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Modern hump yard.

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Modern signaling for reliable train movements. Great Northern.

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Boxcars are constantly improved.

America’s 225,000 rail miles are the proving ground for so much technology.

Suffice it to say, A Chicago headquarters, was at the forefront, of the leading edge.

Railroads and National Defense

Dudley Pictures. Korean War era.

America: with natural resources, industrial might and a strong military. Ready to meet any challenge. Transportation is the key.

 

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This short is packed with early diesels!

Missouri – Kansas – Texas E units. MKT.

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This one reassures the public, that our railroads are more than ready to move the military.vlcsnap-2019-04-28-20h15m48s775

By now, you will notice the recycling of some footage. Remember, the producers were doing these films separately. They would have never dreamed of a single DVD!

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Seaboard train

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Buses move troops to the trains. Going to embarkation areas.

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Runs about 12 minutes. Many of the same trains seen previously. Like this Monon.

In a way, seen one, seen them all with these old short films. They vary somewhat. Yet, are quite similar.

Mainline USA

Also an AAR release from the 1950s. Dudley Pictures. Gilmore is this narrator.

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Probably the best of this collection. Many diesels. Pennsylvania Baldwin Sharks.

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Rock Island TA.

Again with the greatest America.

Same recycled footage. Much new and additional film.

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This one contains the largest selection of diesels. Western Maryland trio, in fireball paint scheme.

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Baltimore and Ohio F7A.

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Advances, such as truck trailers on flatcars.

Runs about 20 minutes.

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The Heritage Collection, Volume 1

Pentrex has delivered on the advertised. These vintage short films are of a historical nature. Repeat scenes, no extra charge!

Years ago, many old train films were difficult to obtain. Much has surfaced over the decades. There are still some rare birds. Although, only a quick glimpse of each.

Overall, an authentic period collection. Has trains, and much more. One viewpoint of American life. May or may not, be of interest.

Rating: 3 1/2 Stars