Heritage Unit Roundup

HUR-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe 2015

Locations: SoCal, Chicago, Yuma sub

Length: 1 hour 54 minutes

Pentrex dives into the somewhat boring modern locomotive railroad scene. They seek out those specially painted Heritage units.

These engines were schemes to commererate previous paint jobs or general railroads, as aqquisitions.

Let’s checkout some show highlights.

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As I have little interest in modern railroading. Only what is shown within this show, shall be reviewed. I really do not care what is missing.

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A detailed Chapter Menu highlights the individual UP units, plus a Norfolk Southern general listing.

Dependable Pentrex quality is assured.

Narrative includes some history on predecessor roads.

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Notable locations include: Cajon Pass, Beaumont Hill, Colton, Yuma and more..

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Amtrak has several units, that cover various phases. This scene from Chicago has a Phase One paint scheme.

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UP 1982 is a tribute to Missouri Pacific.

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UP 1983 is Western Pacific. The WP is a long chapter.Numbering is approximate merger years, more or less.

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UP 1988. The red Katy is a sharp looking one!

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UP 1989 wears the Rio Grande.

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UP 1995 in Chicago and Northwestern.

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UP 1996 is heavily featured.

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Why not? The Southern Pacific. One of the most attractive of the group.

Norfolk Southern visitors…

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Savanna and Atlanta, leads on an inbound and outbound move. Many leading Heritage units get paced.

 

A Virginian is buried in a lash-up.

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Pennsylvania is a vintage, eye popper! Nicely paced…

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The double stacks are what these newer locomotives are usually hauling. Endless long trains of container traffic. Yawn.

Heritage Unit Roundup. Pick your favorites. Argue what’s missing. Seems that Pentrex could have included more Eastern. Fine show of these modern diesels. Not my wheelhouse. Perhaps it is yours.

Rating: 4 Stars

 

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Union Pacific Classic Collectors Series

VRUP-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Timeframe: 1950s

Locations: Cheyenne, Sherman Hill line, Laramie, Green River, more…

Length: 90 minutes

Source: Video Rails

Pentrex has three former Video Rails shows on a single DVD. Hence, The Collection. All vintage Union Pacific Steam. Each feature is thirty minutes.

A master Chapter Menu allows access to the individual shows. Detailed menu on the shows. Narration by Michael Berger.

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Film and sound credits, contain notable names. All the elements are top shelf.

Big Boys

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An entertaining half an hour. Full color, high quality film. Informative script, that begins with the development of these locomotives.

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Big Blow UP exclusive Turbines were sometimes the assistance.

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A single F3A is almost comical in appearance, as a front end helper.

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Big Boys could also simply help themselves!

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Winter of 1956 is the final chapter.

Challengers

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Early history leads off with the growing need for larger locomotives. Wahsatch grades required ever powerful engines.

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The year 1936, saw the initial delivery of 15 new Challenger class. A second order included some improvements.

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1942 . New 3950 to 3969 were the Heavy Challengers. Designed to work in conjunction with, the Big Boys over the Wahsatch Mountains. Last of the series.

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Doubleheader with a Pacific. Both in Two- tone gray paint.

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In Nebraska the 3936 operated in the snow.

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Two tone grey Challengers we’re painted in Portland. Primarily assigned to passenger service. They are shown hauling freights.

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Last stand, were as helpers along the Green River. In a classic and rare scene…

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The Turbine is assisted by a Heavy Challenger.

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This is an outstanding Challenger show! A  chase through the mountains is a highlight.

 

Steam

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The venerable 0-6-0 switchers were in service for decades. They were stationed systemwide at Union Pacific yards.

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The 1243 is briefly seen in operation. Various UP steam engines are covered.

 

Former passenger engine Pacific’s were downgraded, until winding out their careers in freight duty.

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In 1958, at the Grand Island, Nebraska roundhouse. UP #428 is one of only 2 active steamers there. The Consolidations were used in branchlines service in later years.

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Mikado 282 . 1924 is one of the oldest operating in the Wahsatch.

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Northern’s. FEF class. 4-8-4. North Platte.

vlcsnap-2019-06-22-14h06m58s603Now in twilight, 833 is now a beater!

 

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A Challenger and Northern 839, are about to depart.

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Union Pacific put on a glorious steam show.

Here is a great collection of classic Union Pacific steam programs. Anyone with an interest in steam era railroading should find this an enjoyable look at the Union Pacific steam in the 1950s.

Rating: 5 Stars

 

Diesels on the Union Pacific

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Producer: William Brown

Timeframe: early 1980s

Locations: Cheyenne, Sherman line, more..

Length: 2 hours 7 minutes

This combination of two old VHS tapes into this double DVD set. Viewers will experience what watching those old tapes is like. No remaster or enhancement here. Too bad, the visuals do need help.

The shows are jam packed with 1980s action! That is the main attraction. The video begins, around the main yard at Cheyenne. A major Union Pacific location, with a rich history.

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Visual quality is barely adequate or below overall. It is quite messy. A good sized distortion bar runs horizontal, along the bottom of the screen. On the left side, a vertical distortion bar.

There are many small horizontal distortion lines in the upper third to half of the picture. This fault is variable. Yet, too frequent. A worn out master tape.

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Color balance tries to hangs tough. Barely adequate, to less than that. Some green rails appearing. Yellow shade gets off kilter.

The show is somewhat watchable. Just on the low end. Keep your expectations low.

Audio is considerably better. Live sound captures the diesels very well. Particularly satisifying when chasing the Centennials.

No maps or Chapter Menus are included. A bare bones release.

Rege Cordic has a clear slot in the narrative. The script is quite basic.

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Some good news. A caboose on every train. They come from various railroads! Keeps things interesting.

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Good assortment of run through power. Plus, the trains themselves were more interesting, as well.

One disc plays One hour. The other 67 minutes.

To the Trains ..

Disc 1

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The tour starts sensibly, at the Cheyenne roundhouse. The various steam engines and random diesels are browsed there.

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Moving on, after a brief yard tour. The mainlines are featured.

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Hordes of EMD SD40-2 were dominate. Classic film locations are seen.

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General Electric does have a presence.

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Centennials were activated. A chase over Sherman Hill.

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A caboose on every train! Chicago and  Northwestern on some unit coal. Other roads, though mostly Union Pacific.

The Sequel

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Exact same format. Video quality is slightly worse overall. Note the unnatural purple distortion lines that fill the sky. Also, lower horizontal and side distortion bars.

vlcsnap-2019-06-09-09h35m42s898Still, a full action show! A high vantage point provides some good looks at the passing freights.

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Checkout the access the Videographers had in this era! Famous locations and likely no hassles.

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An odd, no narrative with various Amtrak scenes segment.

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A cornucopia of cabooses. Road variety keeps it interesting. Yes, trainwatching was better.

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This was the last hurrah.

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It is -50 degrees, with the wind chill. Baby, it’s cold!

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Cab ride onboard Centennial #6922. Travel from Denver towards Cheyenne.

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The passenger special relays the train to Challenger 3985.

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Diesels on the Union Pacific

This is a good historical trip, back to the 1980s. While it was well shot originally. Age has not been kind to the videos.

It  is still watchable. Although, it would be tough on one’s eyesight, to view both discs in a single sitting.

The decreased visual quality relegates this set into the land of hardcore railfans. The content is strong. Too bad about the viewing.

Rating: 2 1/2 Stars

 

 

 

Kansas City Rails

KCRAILS-DVD

Producer: Pentrex

Location: Kansas City area

Timeframe: 1996- 97

Length: 1 hour 38 minutes

Visit the number two, American Railroad hub. See the hot spots. Pentrex was there, in 1996 to 1997. Besides the variety of locations, many railroads operate in this city.

Amtrak, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, CP Rail, Kansas City Southern, Gateway Western, Norfolk Southern, and Union Pacific. Older pre- merger paint schemes, as well. Soo Line in original paint, seen below.

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No Chapter Menu. Too bad with the large assortment of locations.

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Basic maps. They have a healthy supply of these.

Narration with be natural sound. Good, even level levels. A fine script. The show is well paced.

A jet snow blower is shown operating. Not here. Too much to see, to have everything.

Many shots are somewhat obscured, at the beginning of scenes. Tree branches are the culprit. Perhaps, the way it is around Kansas City. The views do clear up. A bit odd for a Pentrex film.

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A BNSF on a Santa Fe crossing. Kansas City has a cornucopia of trackage and trains!

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h03m00s050Locomotives both old and new, will be found. Norfolk Southern 8854.

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Speaking of old. Union Pacific E9 units return from a Super Bowl game.

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Sticking with old for another frame. Model Railroaders can have a field day, with vintage structures.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h16m20s240Chicago Northwestern 8686, leads a train on this stunning shot. Looks like a painting.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h47m18s355Tough to choose a Kansas City Southern. These SD45T3 rebuilds are singular!

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h01m42s795Gateway Western with a transfer run.

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Apparently, CP Rail had to go through some circuitous routing, to get around the city.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-20h06m15s819Armourdale Yard. This vast facility was a Rock Island property.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-18h54m53s049Although the lighting isn’t perfect. The trestle displays a part of the charm of KC. Those Southern Pacific locomotives must be testing the strength of the steel.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-19h22m20s850Burlington Northern original Cascade Green paint. This is still plentiful here.

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Santa Fe, is also beaucoup in both schemes.

vlcsnap-2019-05-01-18h59m26s486Soo Line 6045 still wearing it’s factory paint. Leads a Canadian Pacific move.

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This BNSF is going to Willow Springs, Illinois. Argentine Yard was a Santa Fe. It is featured and the largest in the area.

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The caboose was off the mainline trains here. Not even seen on the locals. This Union Pacific Super Bowl Special. It is a worthy closer. Times do change…

This show provides comprehensive coverage, of Kansas City and vicinity. It extends outward, into some rural locations.

The plethora of: railroads, trains and locations, is nearly overwhelming. It will stand up to some repeat viewings.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Illinois Junctions

GSIJ_212x300

Producer: Greg Scholl

Timeframe: 2003

Locations: Watseka, Gilman, Tolono, Sidney, Tuscola

Length: 2 hours

Sources: Greg Scholl, Lee Jarrett

 

Five hot spots located in Central Illinois. Crossing trackage is the key. Maximum train action. Some names are familiar. Gilman, is a well known location, from Illinois Central days. Others, might be new.

Chapter Menu. Accessible via the five locations.

Narrated by Greg Higgensberger. Script is on the basic end. Lightly narrated. Favors train sounds. Enough detail to maintain interest and basic information.

Watseka

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Alco used as switcher.

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Canadian National travels through the town.

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CSX move with a former Conrail on the lead.

Gilman

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All locations include a map. Gilman.

vlcsnap-2019-05-05-08h13m56s225Known for Illinois Central. That paint can still be seen here!

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Canadian National has taken over.

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Rail America has interchange business.

Tolono

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Not much here. Except a bunch of trains! Norfolk Southern dominates.

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Union Pacific on the crossing.

Sidney. Singular, with this old Wabash bridge.

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A former Wabash line. Norfolk Southern runs many trains here.

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Several Union Pacific moves underneath.

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The second camera is minimal throughout. Only shows for the last train at Sidney. Breaks the monotony.

Tuscola

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Another busy place. CSX has a former B&O route.

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Amtrak has a crew change point.

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Union Pacific also appears on the other tracks.

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A busy show, at the featured hot spots. Smooth running production. Feels strange, with only Illinois Central as a traditional roadname, on these lines. Amtrak, as well.

That is indicative of changing times. Canadian National, Norfolk Southern and Rail America, a part of that changing face.

If you like this modern era. An enjoyable two hours at these locations.

Still, a good program for those who prefer the good old days. Enough variety and plenty of action.

Rating: 4 Stars