No More Mindless Runbys
Kansas City Southern in the Ozarks DVD
The Kansas City Southern main line through the western edge of the Ozark Mountains in southwest Missouri and northwest Arkansas south of Neosho, has three, one and a half percent grades against the normally heavier southbounds. Although these climbs are only about five miles in length, unit trains of coal and grain are down on their knees as they approach the summits as we will see on this program. This KCS line through the Ozarks is part of their Kansas City to Shreveport main stem. With most of the southbounds being heavy unit trains this is quite a show. And many of the KCS units are in the new heritage paint scheme that railfans refer to as the Southern Belle or retro-belle scheme. This underdog in the land of giants currently uses distributed power on most of their trains on this line and some have power at three points in the train. This program shows a day and a half of action on KCS’s Heavener Subdivision in the Ozark Mountains between Neosho, Missouri and Decatur, Arkansas in April of 2012. “Kansas City Southern in the Ozarks” is 62 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 and has the option to be watched with or without narration.
Norfolk Southern's ex-Wabash Detroit Line DVD
“Norfolk Southern’s ex-Wabash Detroit Line” shows over twenty-four hours of action in September of 2012 on Norfolk Southern’s Detroit and Huntington Districts between Britton, Michigan, forty-seven miles southwest of Detroit and Blakeslee, Ohio, fifty-seven miles further west and eight miles west of the one-time division point at Montpelier. This line was once part of the Wabash Railroad Detroit to Kansas City main line and today is a key part of Norfolk Southern’s automotive artery from Detroit to St. Louis and Kansas City. In addition, Canadian Pacific has overhead rights for its trains between Detroit and Chicago on this line. After dropping during the great recession, the train count on this line has recovered to near record levels as the Michigan auto industry has come back and CP has begun running ethanol and crude oil trains on this line enroute to destinations in the Northeast and in eastern Canada. On some days this line sees more CP trains than NS trains. “Norfolk Southern’s ex-Wabash Detroit Line” is 63 minutes in length and has the option to be watched with or without narration.
Union Pacific Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS DVD
“UP Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS” shows thirty hours of action on UP’s Golden State route between the outskirts of Pratt and Hutchinson in south-central Kansas in April of 2012. The former Rock Island and Southern Pacific, now Union Pacific Golden State Route between Kansas City and El Paso has seen its share of ups and downs in the past 35 years. In the late 1970’s this line was given up for dead and nearly abandoned as the track structure deteriorated and traffic dwindled to only one train in each direction as the bankrupt Rock Island prepared to exit the railroad business. Revived and rebuilt by the Southern Pacific beginning in 1980, the physical condition of this line deteriorated again prior to the Union Pacific takeover of the SP in 1996. The Golden State Route, in conjunction with the BNSF Transcon east of Kansas City, is UP’s preferred route between Chicago and Southern California. The rebuilding of the Golden State Route is nearly finished and traffic has been recovering from losses suffered in the great recession. “UP Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS” is 59 minutes in length and can be watched with or without narration.
BNSF Around Afton, Oklahoma DVD
Afton in northeast Oklahoma, 183 miles south of Kansas City and just across the border from Missouri, is where the BNSF line that heads south from Kansas City joins their Springfield, Missouri to Tulsa, Oklahoma main line. Both lines are former St. Louis-San Francisco or Frisco track. The junction at Afton was important in Frisco days and it remains important today, with in excess of two dozen trains through Afton on peak days of the week, more than ran through here during the last days of the Frisco. Intermodal trains from St. Louis, Birmingham, and Memphis for the West Coast run through Afton as do many manifest trains from Kansas City, St. Louis and Memphis that are headed to the busy, former Frisco hump classification yard in Tulsa. And the power is an amalgam of what is on the BNSF roster with a mix of newer and older AC and DC units. This program shows over twenty-four hours of action in and around Afton and nearby Vinita in April of 2012. “BNSF around Afton, Oklahoma” is 1 hour and 15 minutes in length and can be watched with or without narration.
The Transcon in Northeast Missouri DVD
If you want to see the greatest show in freight railroading in this country, head to the BNSF main line between Chicago and Los Angeles known as the Transcon. In northeast Missouri around Ethyl, the former Santa Fe, Chicago to Kansas City portion of the Transcon, known in past years as the Airline and Speedway, encounters rough terrain that necessitated many cuts and fills. As trains surmount the hogbacks between the river valleys there, they encounter grades up to eight tenths of a percent and curvature that limits trains to between forty-five and fifty-five miles an hour for many miles and even slower speeds on the grades. Several wooden bridges giving overhead views of trains have brought railfans to this scenic part of northeast Missouri for decades. This program shows over twenty-four hours of awesome action on BNSF’s Marceline Subdivision, part of the BNSF Transcon, in northeast Missouri in April of 2012. And Union Pacific trains between Los Angeles and Chicago use this line also, a condition of the Burlington Northern – Santa Fe merger. “The Transcon in Northeast Missouri” is a two disk set and is 2 hours and 20 minutes in length. This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.
UP's Central Corridor in Eastern Iowa DVD
“UP’s Central Corridor in Eastern Iowa” shows over 24 hours of action on UP’s Clinton Subdivision both sides of Belle Plaine, Iowa in April of 2012. Part of UP’s Central Corridor between Chicago and Ogden, this former Chicago and North Western main line hums with activity in spite of the downturn in traffic due to the recent recession, the warm winter, and UP’s penchant for running longer trains. UP recently added centralized traffic control to this line along with double crossovers about every ten miles. Wayside signals were also added, doing away with the North Western’s left hand current of traffic running. Belle Plaine is 111 miles west of Clinton and 86 miles east of Boone. In contrast to most of the former North Western main across Iowa, the line east of Belle Plaine has several restrictive cures and grades as it heads into the Iowa River Valley at Belle Plaine. “UP’s Central Corridor in Eastern Iowa” is a two disk set and is 1 hour and 47 minutes in length. This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.
CSX Blue Ridge Subdivision DVD
The Clinchfield Railroad, now part of the far flung CSX system, which runs through the Appalachian, Valley and Ridge, and Blue Ridge geological provinces of Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina rather than around them, is considered to be one of the best engineered rail lines in this country and certainly one of the most spectacular in the Eastern half of the U. S. CSX’s Blue Ridge Subdivision, the southern half of the former Clinchfield, extends from the former headquarters of the Clinchfield at Erwin, Tennessee, to Spartanburg, South Carolina, a distance of 137 miles. Half of that distance is spent ascending and then descending the Blue Ridge. This video shows portions of four days and one night along CSX’s Blue Ridge Subdivision between Erwin and Sevier on both sides of the Blue Ridge including the famed “loops”, in November of 2011. Once a bridge route for Florida perishables into the Midwest and a route for locally originated coal to get to power plants in the Southeast, today this heavily railfanned line with some of the best scenery in the East is a corridor for coal from mines in Kentucky and West Virginia to power plants in the Southeast. The Blue Ridge sub is also CSX’s testing ground for distributed power or radio controlled slave unit pushers as all unit trains over 75 cars utilize distributed power, the only part of CSX where DPU has replaced manned pushers as of the fall of 2011. Length = 1 hour and 45 minutes. This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.
NS Trains on the Rathole in 2011 DVD
One of the most storied and best known sections of railroad in this country is the second district of the CNO&TP subsidiary of Norfolk Southern between Danville, Kentucky and Oakdale, Tennessee, better known as the Rathole, for the tight, smoke filled tunnels that once existed on this line. This program shows over twenty-four hours of awesome action on Norfolk Southern’s Rathole on the Cumberland Plateau, just north of the Tennessee-Kentucky border in November of 2011. Business is again growing on this busy up and down line that still challenges the modern power of today, and the variety of that power and traffic is amazing with many intermodal, mixed carload, auto, and unit trains clogging the alternating single and two track main line of the Rathole. 2 disk set. 1 hour and 45 minutes in length. This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narrtion.
CSX on Duff Mountain north of Knoxville DVD
There are few manned pusher districts left in the eastern U. S. One of these is on Duff Mountain north of Knoxville in eastern Tennessee. This program shows over twenty-four hours of operations on Duff Mountain – CSX’s crossing in the Appalachian Mountains over the divide between the Cumberland and Tennessee River watersheds in November of 2011. Duff Mountain is on CSX’s KD Subdivision that stretches between Corbin, Kentucky, and Etowah, Tennessee. Part of CSX’s former Louisville and Nashville main line between Cincinnati and Atlanta, this busy line is near capacity with unit grain and coal trains, manifest trains including one pair that used to take the former Clinchfield to the Southeast, and a pair of priority intermodal trains in CSX’s new double digit number series. This DVD can be watched with or without narration.
CSX on Sand Mountain in Northern Alabama DVD
CSX’s climb up Sand Mountain as it crosses the Appalachian Mountains in northern Alabama on CSX’s S&NA North subdivision is one of only a handful of manned pusher districts left in the Eastern U. S. This program shows over twenty-four hours of action in November of 2011 on CSX’s S&NA North subdivision on and around Sand Mountain, which begins at Cullman, Alabama, fifty-two miles north of Birmingham. CSX’s S&NA North sub between Nashville and Birmingham was the busiest part of the Cincinnati to New Orleans main line of the Louisville and Nashville, and today is part of CSX’s busiest north-south traffic lane between the Midwest and Southeast. The one point one percent climb for southbounds up Sand Mountain was double tracked a decade ago and a manned pusher station was then added to assist heavy southbounds up the hill. As part of what CSX calls their Southeast Corridor, the freight train count on this line has more than tripled in the past fifty years as CSX’s other Midwest to Southeast traffic lanes are now at capacity. This DVD can be watched with or without narration.