Big "E" Newsletter
Big “E” Productions
P.O. BOX 75
GREENLAND, NH 03840
Our DVDs show the whole train!
Our web page is at www.trainvideos.com, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
800-832-1228 or 603-430-3055 Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover Card Orders Accepted.
Frequency – four times a year Issue #144 June, 2013
Our Big Summer Sale is now on – Buy 3, get 1 free. Ends 8/31/13.
The big news this month is that our summer sale is on. Buy 3 DVD’s and get 1 free. Two or three DVD sets count as one. There is no restriction on the cost of the free DVD, so this can be quite a deal. The most expensive DVD is free! Order as many times or as many programs as you would like. This 4 for 3 sale ends 8/31/13. Other discount offers cannot be used with this sale. This is your best opportunity to replace your favorite tapes with DVD’s or buy early Christmas presents! We now have 268 programs available in DVD. This is the only newsletter that will announce this sale!
Two new programs on NS’s Fostoria District and on both CN and CP in southwestern Ontario are ready to ship. All of our DVD’s have chapters and menus and the 103 newest ones – everything videotaped from 2004 on and a few programs from 2003 - have a choice of being watched with narration and without narration by using the audio or language button on your DVD player controller. 268 programs are available in DVD and all are listed in the flyers. No other train video producer shows and explains railroading like we do and our catalogue includes programs on fallen flags ATSF, SP, Wisconsin Central, and Conrail. Our shipping and handling charge on repeat orders remains $5.00 with no charge on orders over $100. We offer discounts on large orders. See flyers for details. These discounts are available only by mail and phone. If you have questions and get our answering machine, please leave your name and number and we will call you back as soon as possible.
New this month is “Norfolk Southern’s Fostoria District in 2012” and “CN and CP Southwestern Ontario Mains”. “Norfolk Southern’s Fostoria District in 2012” shows over 24 hours of action on Norfolk Southern’s Fostoria District, west of Fostoria and east of New Haven, Indiana where the Fostoria District joins the former Wabash line from Detroit, in September of 2012. This part of the Fostoria District is nearly straight and very flat as it crosses what was once known as the Black Swamp of northwest Ohio. And it was the heart of the greatly admired Nickel Plate, arguably the financially strongest railroad in the East before its disappearance into the Norfolk and Western in 1964. Once the home of the famous 700 series Berkshires, today big GEs that have taken on the nickname catfish thunder across the northern Ohio countryside. “Norfolk Southern’s Fostoria District in 2012” is 58 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. For over 120 years Canadian National and Canadian Pacific railways and their predecessors have competed for traffic in Southwestern Ontario between Toronto and the Buffalo – Niagara Falls gateway and the U. S. border at Sarnia or Windsor with the large industrial city and one-time crew change point of London roughly midway between Toronto and the border. “CN and CP Southwestern Ontario Mains” shows over twenty-four hours of action in September of 2012 on both CN and CP main lines in southwestern Ontario. Canadian National was videotaped first on their Dundas Subdivision in the beautiful Thames River valley east of London around Ingersoll, then Canadian Pacific was videotaped on their Windsor Sub west of London in the flatter farmland of extreme southwestern Ontario. CN’s Dundas Sub between Toronto and London is two main tracks with CTC and also hosts five pair of Via passenger trains, while CP’s Windsor sub is a throwback to a previous era of railroading with automatic block signals, hand thrown siding switches, and track occupancy warrants issued by radio. “CN and CP Southwestern Ontario Mains” is 1 hour and 25 minutes in length and sells for $32.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.
New three months ago was “Kansas City Southern in the Ozarks” and “Norfolk Southern’s ex-Wabash Detroit Line”. 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 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. “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 sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.
New six months ago was “BNSF around Afton, Oklahoma” and “UP Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS”. 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. It sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. “UP Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS” shows 30 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 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 rebuilding of the Golden State Route is nearly finished and the Golden State Route, in conjunction with the BNSF Transcon east of Kansas City, is UP’s preferred route between Chicago and Southern California. “UP Between Pratt and Hutchinson, KS” is 59 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.
New eight months ago was “The Transcon in Northeast Missouri” and “UP’s Central Corridor in Eastern Iowa”. 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. It sells for $38.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling. “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 and wayside signals to this line, 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 Chicago and North Western main across Iowa, the line east of Belle Plaine has several restrictive cures and grades. “UP’s Central Corridor in Eastern Iowa” is a two disk set and is 1 hour and 47 minutes in length. It sells for $34.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.
Other recent releases that can be watched with and without narration include “CSX Blue Ridge Subdivision”, “NS Trains on the Rathole in 2011”, “CSX on Sand Mountain in Northern Alabama”, “CSX on Duff Mountain north of Knoxville”, “The FEC North End in 2011”, “CSX “S” and “A” Lines in North-Central Florida”, “CP River Line south of Winona, MN”, and “NS and KCS around Mexico, MO”. “CSX Blue Ridge Subdivision” 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. “NS Trains on the Rathole in 2011 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. “CSX on Sand Mountain in Northern Alabama” 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 on Duff Mountain north of Knoxville” shows over 24 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. “The FEC North End in 2011” shows how this dynamic and once controversial little railroad is faring in the fall of 2011 on the north end of its system. “CSX “S” and “A” Lines in North-Central Florida” shows over 24 hours of action on both of CSX’s main lines from Jacksonville to Tampa and Miami in north-central Florida in October of 2011. “CP River Line south of Winona, MN” shows the trains and operations for over twenty-four hours on the historic, former Milwaukee Road main line now owned by Canadian Pacific along the Mississippi River railroad east but geographically south of Winona, Minnesota in May of 2011. “NS and KCS around Mexico, MO” shows three days and one night of action on the NS and KCS lines around Mexico, Missouri, including the unique Schneider National trains on KCS, in June of 2011.
Our next releases in late August should be on BNSF between Birmingham, Alabama and Memphis and on NS between Birmingham and Meridian, Mississippi.
Dick and Barb Eisfeller