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No More Mindless Runbys
Below are the ten newest releases from Big "E" Productions in both DVD-R and VHS format.

The Alaska Railroad Blu-Ray

Alaska - the Last Frontier, land of glaciers, incredible vistas, the mountain known as “The Great One” - Denali, and incomparable wildlife – whatever superlative one applies to our largest and forty-ninth state, it can also be applied to the Alaska Railroad, arguably the most unique railroad in the United States.  The Alaska Railroad bills itself as “the last full-service railroad in North America”.  Twenty-seven percent of its revenues are from passengers.  No other freight common carrier that is not a commuter railroad in the lower forty-eight even comes close to that.  Its passenger car fleet, much of which is glass-topped and traditional domes and is supplemented by tour operators and cruise lines’ cars in three different color schemes, is easily the most eclectic in the country.  And its freight operations are unique also – with its captive rail cars and only connections to the outside railroad world being weekly barges from Seattle and twice monthly from Prince Rupert.  Yet the railroad is impeccably modern with welded rail, diesels with AC traction motors, distributed power, and majestic bi-level passenger cars all dressed up in a beautiful blue and gold.  Alaska has always been a land of booms and busts.  Tourism is the latest boom and the now state owned Alaska Railroad has taken full advantage of that.  This program shows the trains and traffic including all scheduled passenger and freight trains on the Alaska Railroad between the ports of Seward and Whittier and Fairbanks with many trains set in the grandeur of the Bold Land that is Alaska filmed in late August and September of 2016.  Length = 79 minutes.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration. 

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: Blu-Ray

The Alaska Railroad DVD

Alaska - the Last Frontier, land of glaciers, incredible vistas, the mountain known as “The Great One” - Denali, and incomparable wildlife – whatever superlative one applies to our largest and forty-ninth state, it can also be applied to the Alaska Railroad, arguably the most unique railroad in the United States.  The Alaska Railroad bills itself as “the last full-service railroad in North America”.  Twenty-seven percent of its revenues are from passengers.  No other freight common carrier that is not a commuter railroad in the lower forty-eight even comes close to that.  Its passenger car fleet, much of which is glass-topped and traditional domes and is supplemented by tour operators and cruise lines’ cars in three different color schemes, is easily the most eclectic in the country.  And its freight operations are unique also – with its captive rail cars and only connections to the outside railroad world being weekly barges from Seattle and twice monthly from Prince Rupert.  Yet the railroad is impeccably modern with welded rail, diesels with AC traction motors, distributed power, and majestic bi-level passenger cars all dressed up in a beautiful blue and gold.  Alaska has always been a land of booms and busts.  Tourism is the latest boom and the now state owned Alaska Railroad has taken full advantage of that.  This program shows the trains and traffic including all scheduled passenger and freight trains on the Alaska Railroad between the ports of Seward and Whittier and Fairbanks with many trains set in the grandeur of the Bold Land that is Alaska filmed in late August and September of 2016.  Length = 79 minutes.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration. 

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

BNSF at Perry, Oklahoma Blu-Ray

Perry, a county seat town in north-central Oklahoma, sixty-three miles north of Oklahoma City, is in a unique position on the sprawling BNSF system.  (Second commentary)  There, two important main lines run side by side through this town of 5100 residents – the north-south former Santa Fe Kansas City to Fort Worth and Galveston line  and the east-west former Saint Louis San Francisco or Frisco and later Burlington Northern Tulsa to Avard line.  Avard is ninety-three miles west of Perry where it connects with the BNSF Chicago to California Transcon and Tulsa is eighty-three miles east of Perry.  The two lines cross at Black Bear, six miles northeast of Perry.   After the BNSF merger connecting tracks were installed at Black Bear and Perry in order to allow westbounds from the hump classification yard in Tulsa to head south onto the former Santa Fe main at Black Bear and vice-versa.  The former Santa Fe line through Perry, BNSF’s present day Red Rock subdivision, has been an important trunk line since shortly after the Santa Fe took over the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe in December of 1886 and opened a through route between Kansas City and Galveston.  Until 1973 the former Frisco line through Perry was a sleepy branch line with a train a day between Tulsa and junction of two branch lines and some of the largest terminal elevators in the wheat belt at Enid, thirty five miles west of Perry.  Then in 1973 the Santa Fe and Frisco moved their interchange point for transcontinental traffic from Floydada in the Texas Panhandle to Avard.  At that time heavier rail was installed and several sidings lengthened but the Avard branch or Avard subdivision as it is known today didn’t really come into its own until after the merger of the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern to form BNSF in 1995.   This program shows over twenty-four hours of action at Perry in April of 2016.  Length = 1 hour, 52 minutes.  This program can be watched with ot without narration.

Price: $34.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: Blu-Ray

BNSF at Perry, Oklahoma DVD

Perry, a county seat town in north-central Oklahoma, sixty-three miles north of Oklahoma City, is in a unique position on the sprawling BNSF system.  (Second commentary)  There, two important main lines run side by side through this town of 5100 residents – the north-south former Santa Fe Kansas City to Fort Worth and Galveston line  and the east-west former Saint Louis San Francisco or Frisco and later Burlington Northern Tulsa to Avard line.  Avard is ninety-three miles west of Perry where it connects with the BNSF Chicago to California Transcon and Tulsa is eighty-three miles east of Perry.  The two lines cross at Black Bear, six miles northeast of Perry.   After the BNSF merger connecting tracks were installed at Black Bear and Perry in order to allow westbounds from the hump classification yard in Tulsa to head south onto the former Santa Fe main at Black Bear and vice-versa.  The former Santa Fe line through Perry, BNSF’s present day Red Rock subdivision, has been an important trunk line since shortly after the Santa Fe took over the Gulf, Colorado, and Santa Fe in December of 1886 and opened a through route between Kansas City and Galveston.  Until 1973 the former Frisco line through Perry was a sleepy branch line with a train a day between Tulsa and junction of two branch lines and some of the largest terminal elevators in the wheat belt at Enid, thirty five miles west of Perry.  Then in 1973 the Santa Fe and Frisco moved their interchange point for transcontinental traffic from Floydada in the Texas Panhandle to Avard.  At that time heavier rail was installed and several sidings lengthened but the Avard branch or Avard subdivision as it is known today didn’t really come into its own until after the merger of the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern to form BNSF in 1995.   This program shows over twenty-four hours of action at Perry in April of 2016.  Length = 1 hour, 52 minutes.  This program can be watched with ot without narration.

Price: $34.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

Norfolk Southern's former D&H - a Phoenix Rising Blu-Ray

Norfolk Southern’s takeover of the former Delaware and Hudson south of Schenectady on September nineteenth of last year has continued the slow increase in traffic on the critical midsection of the former D&H that began with the 2004 trackage and haulage rights agreement with Norfolk Southern that resulted in a modicum of profitability for this beleaguered line.  The midsection and main stem of the former D&H where we videotaped has long been known as the Susquehanna Division and later as the second or Susquehanna subdivision and is now part of Norfolk Southern’s Freight Main Line, continuing the title and mileposts that under Guilford ownership had been applied to their main line from Mattawaumkeag, Maine to Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  The Delaware and Hudson has surmounted many challenges and been near death more than once in the past eighty or so years – first with the loss of the anthracite coal business to oil and gas, then the loss of friendly connections as a result of the formation of Penn Central and later Conrail that led to near death in the late seventies and early eighties before Guilford took them over, the bankruptcy and directed service crisis after the strikes on Guilford in the mid-eighties, and finally Canadian Pacific’s indifference to growing the traffic after failing to find an acceptable buyer for the D&H and their constant cutbacks in service in the past few years.  Preceded by Norfolk Southern acquiring haulage rights on much of the D&H in 2004 and a half interest in Pan Am’s line from Mechanicville to Ayer Massachusetts in 2009, Norfolk Southern’s acquisition of the south end of CP’s D&H subsidiary seemed a foregone conclusion but it still took years for the parties to come to an agreement.  For the first time since the 1920s the former D&H is arguably entering a stable period where its future isn’t in doubt.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of action on the former second subdivision between Delanson where the now truncated Albany main joins the main line and Belden tunnel, sixteen miles from Binghamton, in July of 2016. Length = 61 minutes.  This program can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: Blu-Ray

Norfolk Southern's former D&H - a Phoenix Rising DVD

Norfolk Southern’s takeover of the former Delaware and Hudson south of Schenectady on September nineteenth of last year has continued the slow increase in traffic on the critical midsection of the former D&H that began with the 2004 trackage and haulage rights agreement with Norfolk Southern that resulted in a modicum of profitability for this beleaguered line.  The midsection and main stem of the former D&H where we videotaped has long been known as the Susquehanna Division and later as the second or Susquehanna subdivision and is now part of Norfolk Southern’s Freight Main Line, continuing the title and mileposts that under Guilford ownership had been applied to their main line from Mattawaumkeag, Maine to Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  The Delaware and Hudson has surmounted many challenges and been near death more than once in the past eighty or so years – first with the loss of the anthracite coal business to oil and gas, then the loss of friendly connections as a result of the formation of Penn Central and later Conrail that led to near death in the late seventies and early eighties before Guilford took them over, the bankruptcy and directed service crisis after the strikes on Guilford in the mid-eighties, and finally Canadian Pacific’s indifference to growing the traffic after failing to find an acceptable buyer for the D&H and their constant cutbacks in service in the past few years.  Preceded by Norfolk Southern acquiring haulage rights on much of the D&H in 2004 and a half interest in Pan Am’s line from Mechanicville to Ayer Massachusetts in 2009, Norfolk Southern’s acquisition of the south end of CP’s D&H subsidiary seemed a foregone conclusion but it still took years for the parties to come to an agreement.  For the first time since the 1920s the former D&H is arguably entering a stable period where its future isn’t in doubt.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of action on the former second subdivision between Delanson where the now truncated Albany main joins the main line and Belden tunnel, sixteen miles from Binghamton, in July of 2016. Length = 61 minutes.  This program can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

UP's Historic Council Bluffs to Gibbon Main Blu-Ray

The Union Pacific main line up the Platte River Valley west of Council Bluffs to the junction with the line from Kansas City at Gibbon is one of the most historic and best known rail lines in this country – the first track to be laid by the first transcontinental railroad.  This line is still one of the most important and busier rail lines in the U.S. for freight traffic in spite of the recent recession and downturn in coal that has battered U. S. railroads the past decade.  The track structure that we will see today is dramatically different from that spindly single track laid on a dirt roadbed in 1866.  Today’s trains are even longer and heavier than those seen during our last visit to this historic line in 2010.  Once best known as the Overland Route, this line today is part of UP’s heavily trafficked Central Corridor.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of action on UP’s Columbus and Kearney Subdivisions on both sides of Grand Island in April of 2016.  UP's Historic Council Bluffs to Gibbon Main is two hours and thirty minutes in length and can be watched with or without narration. 

Price: $38.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: Blu-Ray

UP's Historic Council Bluffs to Gibbon Main DVD

The Union Pacific main line up the Platte River Valley west of Council Bluffs to the junction with the line from Kansas City at Gibbon is one of the most historic and best known rail lines in this country – the first track to be laid by the first transcontinental railroad.  This line is still one of the most important and busier rail lines in the U.S. for freight traffic in spite of the recent recession and downturn in coal that has battered U. S. railroads the past decade.  The track structure that we will see today is dramatically different from that spindly single track laid on a dirt roadbed in 1866.  Today’s trains are even longer and heavier than those seen during our last visit to this historic line in 2010.  Once best known as the Overland Route, this line today is part of UP’s heavily trafficked Central Corridor.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of action on UP’s Columbus and Kearney Subdivisions on both sides of Grand Island in April of 2016.  UP's Historic Council Bluffs to Gibbon Main is two hours and thirty minutes in length and can be watched with or without narration. 

Price: $38.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

Union Pacific's Marysville Subdivision Blu-Ray

Old timers would not recognize the way that the Union Pacific Marysville subdivision looks today.  This line stretches from Topeka, sixty-eight miles west of Kansas City, to Gibbon, Nebraska where the triple track main to North Platte begins.  UP’s Kansas City main today is two main tracks on wide centers with centralized traffic control as compared to the single track CTC line with 110 car sidings as late as the early 1970s.  With little straight track until its gets close to Gibbon, most of this line is quite different from UP’s Omaha main with its long tangents up the North Platte Valley.  The St. Joseph and Grand Island which UP had a difficult time maintaining control of due in part to the restrictions in their charter against building branch lines, is a busy main line today with at least half of the trains being coal trains to and from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.  During the previous decade almost as many trains would head southeast at Gibbon onto the Marysville sub towards Kansas City than proceeded straight on the main line to Omaha.  But these are not normal times and the coal traffic is way off with the low price of natural gas and bloated utility stockpiles due to a warm winter.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of fast paced action on UP’s still busy Marysville Subdivision both sides of Fairbury, Nebraska in April of 2016. Union Pacific's Marysville Subdivision is 77 minutes in length and it can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: Blu-Ray

Union Pacific's Marysville Subdivision DVD

Old timers would not recognize the way that the Union Pacific Marysville subdivision looks today.  This line stretches from Topeka, sixty-eight miles west of Kansas City, to Gibbon, Nebraska where the triple track main to North Platte begins.  UP’s Kansas City main today is two main tracks on wide centers with centralized traffic control as compared to the single track CTC line with 110 car sidings as late as the early 1970s.  With little straight track until its gets close to Gibbon, most of this line is quite different from UP’s Omaha main with its long tangents up the North Platte Valley.  The St. Joseph and Grand Island which UP had a difficult time maintaining control of due in part to the restrictions in their charter against building branch lines, is a busy main line today with at least half of the trains being coal trains to and from the Powder River Basin in Wyoming.  During the previous decade almost as many trains would head southeast at Gibbon onto the Marysville sub towards Kansas City than proceeded straight on the main line to Omaha.  But these are not normal times and the coal traffic is way off with the low price of natural gas and bloated utility stockpiles due to a warm winter.  This program shows over twenty-four hours of fast paced action on UP’s still busy Marysville Subdivision both sides of Fairbury, Nebraska in April of 2016. Union Pacific's Marysville Subdivision is 77 minutes in length and it can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD