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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

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

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

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

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

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 bigeee@trainvideos.com.

 800-832-1228 or 603-430-3055   Visa, MasterCard, AMEX or Discover Card Orders Accepted.

Frequency – irregular                                               Issue #176                                                        June, 2022

 

Our Big Summer Sale is now on – Buy 3, get 1 free.  Ends 8/31/22.

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 8/31/22.  Other discount offers cannot be used with this sale.  This is your best opportunity to replace your favorite VHS tapes with DVD’s or buy early Christmas presents!  We have 321 programs available in DVD.  This is the only newsletter that will announce this sale!

Again no new programs.  I will have surgery on my shoulder on June 2nd.  This was delayed by several months because I had to get my sugar level down first – I have had type II diabetes since 1998.  This will slow me down for at least 6 months.  Assuming that the recovery goes well and my wife is doing okay – she has Parkinson’s and knees that are bothering her, I still hope to do more videotaping but this is looking less likely.  We hope that all of you are safe and haven’t lost any family member or friends to the virus and don’t have any “long haulers” in the family.  Although most of our “kids”, grandkids, spouses and their significant others have had Covid, some more than once, we have not and no one has ended up in the hospital – yet.  Our next newsletter will likely be around December of 2022.

 

 

No other train video producer shows and explains railroading like we do and our catalogue includes programs on fallen flags ATSF, SP, BN, CNW,  IC, Wisconsin Central, and Conrail.  Our newest program is “PSR on CSX’s Chicago Line in Northern Indiana”, part of our look at PSR on eastern railroads.  This is our 49th program to be released in both Blu-ray and in regular DVD.  You need to specify what type of DVD you are ordering with programs available in both DVD and Blu-ray.  All of our DVD’s have chapters and menus and around half – everything videotaped from 2004 on plus a few programs from 2003 - have a choice of being watched with narration and without narration by using the menu or audio and language buttons on your DVD player controller.  321 programs are available in DVD (49 in Blu-ray) 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, BN, SP, CNW. IC, Wisconsin Central, and Conrail.  Our shipping and handling charge on orders remains $5.00 with no charge on orders over $100.  We offer year-round 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.  You can reach us by email at bigeee@trainvideos.com or on our webpage at www.trainvideos.com.

 

Our newest video is “PSR on CSX’s Chicago Line in Northern Indiana”.  In June of 1999 the face of railroading in the East changed overnight.  It has now been over twenty years since CSX and Norfolk Southern split up Conrail and began operating their respective shares.  And after Hunter Harrison’s arrival at CSX in early 2017 with his precision scheduled railroading or PSR, railroad operations on CSX have undergone the most significant change since the Conrail split.  Trains have grown much longer, distributed power is now common on all of CSX’s main lines, seven of CSX’s twelve hump classification yards have had their humps closed, and the track has been removed in some of these yards.  One can even see three mile long, two hundred and fifty car trains at many places throughout the CSX system.  And, as the viewer will see, the train count is down considerably since before Harrison’s arrival.  This program shows the changes in operations on CSX’s busiest main line - the Chicago Line – on their Garrett Subdivision in northern Indiana in October of 2019.  There have many changes since our last look at this busy line across northern Indiana in 2010.  And Canadian Pacific still runs a pair of Montreal or Toronto to Chicago intermodal trains across northern Indiana on CSX’s Garrett Sub.   “PSR on CSX’s Chicago Line in Northern Indiana is 1 hour and 34 minutes in length.  Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions sell for $34.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.

 

Another recent release is “PSR on NS’s Premier Corridor in Northern Indiana”.  Several years ago Norfolk Southern began referring to its line to Chicago from northern New Jersey, Philadelphia and Baltimore as the Premier Corridor – the busiest line for freight traffic in the eastern half of the United States and the most important freight corridor on the entire NS system.  And this includes their former New York Central Chicago Line from Cleveland to Chicago.  This video shows the trains and operations on NS’s Chicago Line in northern Indiana, east of Elkhart, for over thirty-six hours in October of 2019.  Norfolk Southern recently implemented their version of precision scheduled railroading called their Top-21 plan system-wide on their manifest trains.  And the changes on this line due to PSR are significant - the biggest operational changes since the breakup of Conrail.  PSR on NS’s Premier Corridor has resulted in fewer but longer trains and the first regular use of distributed power in over thirty-five years on this line.  In June of 1999 the face of railroading in the East changed overnight. It has now been over twenty years since CSX and Norfolk Southern split up Conrail and began operating their respective shares.  NS has greatly increased their share of intermodal traffic between the East Coast and Chicago versus CSX.  This program shows the changes on NS’s Premier Corridor since our last look at NS’s Chicago line east of Toledo in 2014.  And, in addition to Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited, Canadian Pacific’s trains between Chicago and Detroit also utilize this busy and at times congested line between Butler and Chicago.  “PSR on NS’s Premier Corridor in Northern Indiana” is a two DVD set and is 3 hours and 15 minutes in length.  Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions sell for $44.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.

 

Other releases that are part of our series on PSR in the East are “CSX Indianapolis Line Subdivision, a.k.a the Bee Line”, “Norfolk Southern’s former Wabash Lafayette District” and “Norfolk Southern at Bellevue, Ohio”.  The new CSX video shows over 24 hours of action on CSX’s former Conrail and New York Central line between Cleveland and Indianapolis around Union City on the Ohio – Indiana border in October of 2019.  This line carries all of CSX’s traffic from the East Coast and upper Midwest to Indianapolis and East St. Louis.  Recently, most automotive traffic from the East for Louisville was re-routed via Indianapolis and the Louisville and Indiana Railroad to Louisville, instead of taking the congested “Short Line” from Cincinnati to Louisville.  Beginning in early 2017 when Hunter Harrison arrived at CSX, there have been dramatic changes in operations as many hump classification yards were closed and trains combined or discontinued.  The result has been fewer but longer trains that will be on display in this video.  This line is known today as the Bee Line, as in honeybee, ostensibly because it runs in a relatively straight line between Cleveland and Indianapolis.  But the original nickname was only the letter B, referring to the Indianapolis and Bellefontaine and Bellefontaine and Indiana railroads who met at what would become Union City in 1853.  “CSX Indianapolis Line Subdivision, a.k.a the Bee Line” is one hour and 21 minutes in length.  Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions sell for $32.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.  Another recent program is “Norfolk Southern’s former Wabash Lafayette District”.  NS recently implemented precision scheduled railroading system-wide on their manifest trains.  This video shows the trains and operations on NS’s Lafayette District west of Lafayette, Indiana for over 24 hours in October of 2019.  PSR on this Detroit and Fort Wayne to Decatur, Illinois traffic lane has resulted in fewer but longer trains and the first use of distributed power in nearly fifty years on this line.  Where we videotaped, this superbly engineered, high-speed former Wabash line constructed over one 160 years ago follows the Wabash River mostly near the top of the valley and then crosses the Wabash at Attica, Indiana where we spent the night.  Trains from Detroit, Fort Wayne, Bellevue, southwest of Cleveland, the Southeast via Muncie and Frankfort, Indiana, and the East Coast take this line to Decatur and to the major rail centers and connections at St. Louis, and Kansas City.  This line hosts an eclectic mix of manifest, intermodal, auto and unit trains along with the last remaining RoadRailers.  Although there are fewer auto parts through here than there was before the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009, this line still sees nearly solid trains of auto parts cars and continues to deserve the moniker – automotive artery.  “Norfolk Southern’s former Wabash Lafayette District” is 1 hour and 27 minutes in length.  Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions sell for $34.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.  Railroad Town U. S. A. There used to be many small cities and towns spread throughout the Midwest with that nickname.  Today, with fewer manifest cars to be classified, fewer shops with modern diesels, and fewer crew change points with longer crew districts, many former railroad towns are now just pass through places, and some of these former railroad towns have even lost their railroad.  Not so with Bellevue in north central Ohio, southwest of Cleveland.  With the completion of the near doubling of size of their huge classification yard northeast of town in 2015, now known as Moorman Yard, Norfolk Southern in Bellevue is busier than ever.  Five NS lines run into Bellevue plus the Wheeling and Lake Erie and there still is a locomotive shop there in addition to the eighty track classification yard.  And there is even a railfan platform west of the yard near downtown Bellevue, thanks to the hard work of the nearby Mad River and NKP Museum and the Kemper family.  This program shows twenty-four hours of action at or near the Kemper Rail Park railfan platform on the lines to Fort Wayne, Columbus and Toledo in April of 2019.   “Norfolk Southern at Bellevue, Ohio” is a three disk set and is four hours and 32 minutes in length.  Both the Blu-ray and DVD versions sell for $50.95 plus $5.00 for S&H.

 

Other recent releases that can be watched with and without narration and are available in both Blu-ray and DVD include “CSX Nashville to Louisville and Evansville Mains”, “CN’s former Illinois Central Chicago Subdivision”, “Canadian Pacific’s Shuswap Subdivision”, “CN’s Edmonton to Jasper Main west of Edson, AB”, BNSF & UP Tacoma – Portland Joint Line”, “BNSF in the Columbia River Gorge”, “Union Pacific in the Blue Mountains” and “The Trains of Northern New England 2018”.  “CSX Nashville to Louisville and Evansville Mains” shows 24 hours of action in April of 2019 on CSX’s Nashville to Louisville and then twenty-four hours on their Nashville to Evansville main lines just south of the cities of Portland and Springfield, Tennessee, forty-two and thirty miles north of Nashville respectively.  “CN’s former Illinois Central Chicago Subdivision” shows over 24 hours of action in October of 2018 on the Canadian National’s historic, former Illinois Central main line south of Chicago.  “Canadian Pacific’s Shuswap Subdivision” shows over twenty-four hours of action between Revelstoke and Notch Hill, BC in May of 2018.  This includes the spectacular passage through Eagle Pass just west of Revelstoke and the long climb for heavy westbound unit trains up Notch Hill on the new, low grade line which includes a spectacular horseshoe curve.  “CN’s Edmonton to Jasper Main west of Edson, AB” shows the trains and operations on Canadian National’s transcontinental main line west of Edmonton, Alberta on their Edson Subdivision between Edson and Hinton.  The tonnage on this line has grown more than fifty percent in the last decade.  “BNSF & UP Tacoma – Portland Joint Line” shows over 24 hours of action on the BNSF and UP Tacoma to Portland Joint Line between Napavine and Kelso, WA in May of 2018.  The number of unit coal, grain, and crude oil trains on this line seems to increase each year.  “BNSF in the Columbia River Gorge” shows over 24 hours of BNSF and Amtrak action in the scenic heart of the Columbia River Gorge, both sides of Bingen, WA on BNSF’s Fallbridge Subdivision in May of 2018.  “Union Pacific in the Blue Mountains” shows over 24 hours of ear-splitting action on the two percent grades of UP’s La Grande subdivision in the Blue Mountains of northeast Oregon in May of 2018.  “The Trains of Northern New England 2018” covers the trains and operations on all of the regional railroads - New England Central, Central Maine and Quebec, the Saint Lawrence and Atlantic, Vermont Rail System and the largest, Pan Am Railways, in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine in the spring of 2018.

 

When we are able to videotape in 2022, the focus will be on changes on the western roads due to PSR.

                                              Dick and Barb Eisfeller