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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 FEC North End in 2011 DVD

Over the past five decades the Florida East Coast Railway has had a most fascinating ride as it went from a railroad that had never paid a dividend, to one of the most profitable, and for many years the fastest growing rail line in North America. FEC’s trains today have an incredible mix of truckers’ containers and trailers on them. To its historian, the FEC of the last 50 years has been America’s greatest railroad – a maverick who went its own way and developed many of the operating practices now common on all railroads today. However labor groups fifty years ago held a contrarian view. The great recession still grips most of Florida with housing starts and construction way down from the level of five or so years ago. This video shows how this dynamic and once controversial little railroad is faring in the fall of 2011 on the north end of its system. As you will see, the Florida East Coast, currently owned by the Fortress Investment Group who also owns short line conglomerate Rail America, has fought back with fewer but longer trains and maintained its profitability.  The FEC North End in 2011 is 49 minutes in length.  This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.

Price: $28.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

CP River Line south of Winona, MN

This program 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. Once the double track main line of the Milwaukee Road and the route of the Hiawathas, this line fell on hard times in the 1970s. Rescued by the CP owned Soo Line, this line today, known as CP’s River Subdivision and part of their Chicago to Twin cities main, is in excellent condition and carries more trains today than anytime since at least World War II, thanks to increasing numbers of unit trains of agricultural products, fertilizer, coal, and coke from the northern plains and from Canada. “CP River Line south of Winona, MN” is 81 minutes in length and sells for $32.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.  This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.

Price: $32.95

CP River Line south of Winona, MN DVD

This program 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. Once the double track main line of the Milwaukee Road and the route of the Hiawathas, this line fell on hard times in the 1970s. Rescued by the CP owned Soo Line, this line today, known as CP’s River Subdivision and part of their Chicago to Twin cities main, is in excellent condition and carries more trains today than anytime since at least World War II, thanks to increasing numbers of unit trains of agricultural products, fertilizer, coal, and coke from the northern plains and from Canada. “CP River Line south of Winona, MN” is 81 minutes in length and sells for $32.95 plus $5.00 for shipping and handling.  This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

NS and KCS around Mexico, Missouri

The small town of Mexico in northern Missouri, not quite half way between St. Louis and Kansas City, is a neat railroad center with two class I railroads running next to each other through the center of town. Between Mexico and Centralia, a distance of 14 miles, Norfolk Southern’s St. Louis District between St. Louis to Moberly, and Kansas City Southern’s line between St. Louis and Kansas City run side by side. Once main lines of the Wabash and Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio, respectively, and home to Union Pacific’s City Streamliners, these tracks have seen many changes and several owners over the decades. This program 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. “NS and KCS around Mexico, Missouri” is 61 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.  This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

NS and KCS around Mexico, Missouri DVD

The small town of Mexico in northern Missouri, not quite half way between St. Louis and Kansas City, is a neat railroad center with two class I railroads running next to each other through the center of town. Between Mexico and Centralia, a distance of 14 miles, Norfolk Southern’s St. Louis District between St. Louis to Moberly, and Kansas City Southern’s line between St. Louis and Kansas City run side by side. Once main lines of the Wabash and Gulf, Mobile, and Ohio, respectively, and home to Union Pacific’s City Streamliners, these tracks have seen many changes and several owners over the decades. This program 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. “NS and KCS around Mexico, Missouri” is 61 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.  This DVD has the option of being watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

UP Spine Line south of Des Moines

Thrown adrift after the Rock Island went out of business in March of 1980, the Rock Island’s 429 mile long Twin Cities to Kansas City line known as the Spine Line was first leased and then acquired by the Chicago & North Western in 1983. Today this line is owned and operated by Union Pacific. UP calls the track between Des Moines and Sheffield, just outside of Kansas City where trains get onto the Kansas City Terminal, their Trenton Subdivision. UP uses this line in conjunction with the former Missouri Pacific Falls City Subdivision along the Missouri River between Omaha and Kansas City in a modified directional running operation. Most of the heavier southbounds use the Trenton Sub while most northbounds use the Falls City Sub. This program shows the trains and operations including a couple of DM&E trains on UP’s Spine Line between Allerton, south of Des Moines and the UP – Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern joint track north of Kansas City for three days and one night in June of 2011. “UP Spine Line south of Des Moines” is 59 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5 for S&H.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

UP Spine Line south of Des Moines DVD

Thrown adrift after the Rock Island went out of business in March of 1980, the Rock Island’s 429 mile long Twin Cities to Kansas City line known as the Spine Line was first leased and then acquired by the Chicago & North Western in 1983. Today this line is owned and operated by Union Pacific. UP calls the track between Des Moines and Sheffield, just outside of Kansas City where trains get onto the Kansas City Terminal, their Trenton Subdivision. UP uses this line in conjunction with the former Missouri Pacific Falls City Subdivision along the Missouri River between Omaha and Kansas City in a modified directional running operation. Most of the heavier southbounds use the Trenton Sub while most northbounds use the Falls City Sub. This program shows the trains and operations including a couple of DM&E trains on UP’s Spine Line between Allerton, south of Des Moines and the UP – Dakota, Minnesota, and Eastern joint track north of Kansas City for three days and one night in June of 2011. “UP Spine Line south of Des Moines” is 59 minutes in length and sells for $30.95 plus $5 for S&H.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA DVD

In June of 1988 Conrail began shifting its interchange with Norfolk Southern in the Northeast from Potomac Yard in Washington, D. C. to Hagerstown, Maryland. South of Hagerstown, NS trains then traversed the northern end of the former Norfolk and Western Hagerstown District or Valley Line to Front Royal, where they could head east on the former Southern Railway Harrisonburg branch or “B” Line to the ex-Southern Washington to Atlanta main line at Manassas. In 1999 NS acquired rights on the former Conrail Lurgan branch north of Hagerstown that connected NS to their new Conrail trackage at Harrisburg. All of this has transformed the north end of the Valley Line from a secondary main line to the NS main line between the Northeast and the Southeast that can host up to twenty trains in twenty-four hours. “NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA” shows a day and a half of continuous action between the junction of the “B” Line and Valley Line at Riverton Junction in Front Royal and the Potomac River at Shepherdstown in April of 2011. “NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA” is 67 minutes in length.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA

In June of 1988 Conrail began shifting its interchange with Norfolk Southern in the Northeast from Potomac Yard in Washington, D. C. to Hagerstown, Maryland. South of Hagerstown, NS trains then traversed the northern end of the former Norfolk and Western Hagerstown District or Valley Line to Front Royal, where they could head east on the former Southern Railway Harrisonburg branch or “B” Line to the ex-Southern Washington to Atlanta main line at Manassas. In 1999 NS acquired rights on the former Conrail Lurgan branch north of Hagerstown that connected NS to their new Conrail trackage at Harrisburg. All of this has transformed the north end of the Valley Line from a secondary main line to the NS main line between the Northeast and the Southeast that can host up to twenty trains in twenty-four hours. “NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA” shows a day and a half of continuous action between the junction of the “B” Line and Valley Line at Riverton Junction in Front Royal and the Potomac River at Shepherdstown in April of 2011. “NS Valley Line north of Front Royal, VA” is 67 minutes in length.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration.

Price: $30.95

The Tadpole - NS Kenova District DVD

Norfolk Southern’s Kenova District between Williamson, West Virginia and Portsmouth, Ohio has long been known as the Tadpole.   The district’s name comes from Kenova, West Virginia, where this former Norfolk and Western track crosses the Ohio River on a massive double tracked, 4000-foot long, 100-foot high trestle. Described by Trains Magazine as a “conveyor belt for westbound coal’ in the 1960s, today, this busy line handles a mix of loaded coal trains running in both directions, grain trains, mixed carload manifests, and thanks to the recently completed Heartland Corridor clearance project, double stack container trains. Except for the crossing of the Ohio River at Kenova, the track from Williamson to Portsmouth is level or downgrade all the way and passes through six tunnels. The superbly engineered Kenova District along the Tug Fork, Big Sandy, and Ohio Rivers sees some of the heaviest trains in the U. S. This program shows thirty hours of action between Williamson and Kenova on Norfolk Southern’s Kenova District or Tadpole in April of 2011. “The Tadpole – NS Kenova District” is 80 minutes in length.  This DVD can be watched with or without narration. 

Price: $32.95

Attributes

  • Video Format: DVD

The producer, Dick Eisfeller, and his better half, his wife Barbara at the Big Train Show in West Springfield, MA in January of 2017

Our newest release is a program that dramatically shows how precision scheduled railroading has changed the operating environment on two north-south lines of CSX.