Archive for March, 2011

Train Video Reviews – Northeast Rails Remembered II (DVD)

Sunday, March 27th, 2011
Northeast Rails Remembered II DVD from Charles Smiley Presents

Northeast Rails Remembered II DVD from Charles Smiley Presents

Northeast Rails Remembered II on DVD (2011) makes its debut March of 2011 highlighting the end of the Delaware and Hudson (D&H) in the early 1990s. It succinctly covers the history of the D&H, and gives interesting tidbits about some of the towns, industry, and history surrounding the rail line and its transition to Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail.

All the power you will see in this video is diesel-electric from GP38s to SD50s & B23-7s to C40-8s all built between 1967 and 1991 including paint from: Canadian Pacific (CP), Chesapeake & Ohio (CO), Conrail (CR), Chessie Seaboard Multiplied Transportation (CSXT), Delaware & Hudson (D&H), Grand Trunk (GT), Maine Central (MEC), Missouri Pacific (MP), Norfolk Southern (NS), New York, Susquehanna & Western (NYSW), Richmond, Fredericksburg & Potomac (RFP), Santa Fe (SF), Seaboard System (SBD), Seaboard Coast Line (SCL), SOO Lines (SOO), Southern Railway (SOU), as well as some leased power from GATX & PLMX.

Delaware & Hudson power from Northeast Rails Remembered II DVD by Charles Smiley Presents

Delaware & Hudson power from Northeast Rails Remembered II DVD by Charles Smiley Presents

That’s a lot of variety but nothing like the variety of rolling stock witnessed during the 93 minutes of this program. Aside from the road names already mentioned you’ll see the following in varying quantities: Ashley, Drew & Northern (ADN), Bangor & Aroostook (BAR), Bay Line Railroad (BAYL), Boston & Maine (BM), Berlin Mills Railway (BMS), Burlington Northern (BN), Columbus & Greenville (CAGY), Corinth & Counce Railroad Company (CCR), Canadian National (CN), Green Bay & Western (GBW), Greenville & Northern (GRN), Illinois Central Gulf (ICG), Illinois Terminal (ITC), Lamoille Valley (LVRC), Milwaukee Road (MILW), Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern (MNS), Norfolk Western (NW), Oregon, California & Eastern (OCE), Pittsburgh & Shawmut (P&S), Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), Quebec Central (QC), Reading (RDG), Sandersville Railroad (SAN), Southern Pacific (SP), St. Louis Southwestern Railway (SSW), Terminal Railway Alabama State Docks (TASD), and Union Pacific (UP).

But wait! There’s more! In addition to all that you get to see acid trains, coal trains (I was pleased to see a bunch of Shawmut Line hoppers!), iron ore trains and phosphate trains. Also checkout the Rail Analyzer Car and Track Geometry Car courtesy of Conrail, a few passenger cars via Chicago & Northwestern (CNW) and North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDT) and a great look at the James E. Strates Railroad Carnival.

James E. Strates Railroad Carnival from Northeast Rails Remembered II from Charles Smiley Presents

James E. Strates Railroad Carnival from Northeast Rails Remembered II from Charles Smiley Presents

Phew! That’s a lot of variety.  Which in some ways dictates the overall form of the video. Although there is some narration regarding D&H and some of the history and locales, the majority of this film is simply presenting run-by after run-by of colorful trains. Many trains will make an appearance several times throughout the video as it passes through different locations. To some, that might sound dangerously boring but as a chronicle of graffiti-free trains from a time gone by it excels, giving you plenty of opportunities to view the trains from different vantage points. This format also allows you to experience much uninterrupted natural sounds from the trains with almost no competing sounds from the environment. It provides a nice, pure train experience.

Shot by Tom Luckey (Mountain Grades of the B & O, Northeast Rails Remembered) this video was filmed in the late 1980s and early 1990s throughout all the seasons (though winter/fall seems to dominate with most shots containing bare northeastern trees). Aside from some landmarks like the Lehigh River, Hill to Hill Bridge, and Bethlehem Steel Plant the frequency of winter forests are a nice neutral backdrop for all the colorful trains to stand out against.

Northeast Rails Remembered II Map from Charles Smiley Presents

Northeast Rails Remembered II Map from Charles Smiley Presents

Northeast Rails Remembered II is great for people who like diesel locomotives, lots of variety in road names, and appreciate seeing pre-graffiti trains of the northeast, particularly Pennsylvania. The majority of this film simply lets the trains roar by telling their own story however, it’s punctuated by the tried and true Charles Smiley maps and narration giving some reference and structure to what is a high volume, quality, and variety of train footage.