Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

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Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:20 pm

Hey everyone,

Pentrex is having a sale on a good chunk of their DVDs for $10/each. I'm interested in a few of their Amtrak ones and was curious if anyone owns them? They usually go for $30/each, so essentially getting three DVDs for the price of one seems like a good deal. The YouTube clips look decent, but are pretty short.

The ones I'm looking at are...
Along the Hudson Division Combo
Amtrak's Northeast Corridor Cab Ride
Amtrak the Surfline Combo

Could anyone share their thoughts on those three?

Thank you! :-D
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby shadyjay » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:14 pm

Along the Hudson and the NEC videos were both filmed/put out in 1992. Along the Hudson is a part-cab-ride and part-on-ground footage. The NEC cab ride is an engineer's perspective, in (just about) real time from Washington DC to 30th St. There is no non-cab-ride footage shown. I own both videos and they're really good. I always thought the narrator was really good on the Pentrex productions.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby TheOneKEA » Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:31 pm

I also have the Amtrak Northeast Corridor DVD and it is quite good. Since it was filmed in 1992 the number of jump cuts due to the camera switching can be a bit jarring. I asked Pentrex once if they would ever re-film this trip and they replied that it was highly unlikely, which is a shame IMO since it would benefit from being updated.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby GWoodle » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:51 pm

Pentrex videos are good quality ans well worth owning. These days you may not have a model hobby shop or a swap meet to buy them. You will never find them at a big box store. I seldom see them at a used DVD or VHS store. For $10 they are a deal. Most seem to be set for a normal type TV.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby jonnhrr » Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:15 pm

I have the "Along the Hudson Division" in its original Videotape format as it is quite good especially from a historical perspective (still hard to believe 1992 is a quarter century ago). FL-9's, the older MU stock, Conrail, etc. I don't recall if the Turbos are shown. The cab ride portion is in an FL-9.

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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby shadyjay » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:40 pm

Turbos are definitely shown. And another Pentrex production has a Turboliner cab ride from ALB to NYP. It was not long (a year or so) after the switch from NYG to NYP. The turbo cab ride is not continuous, like the NEC cab ride one, as it condenses the 2 1/2 hour trip into 30 minutes.

I wish Pentrex did a video of the NEC for the New Haven to Boston section. During the early 1990s, it would've been interesting to see.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby JamesRR » Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:12 pm

The Hudson Combo DVD has the Turboliner ride VHS film included.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby dgvrengineer » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:40 pm

Railroad Videos of Willow Dell, PA did cab ride video of the entire NE Corridor including the line to Springfield in a CF 7 back in the early 80's. The NH to Boston
portion includes the engine change at NH. I can't remember if it still goes into the old Providence station but I think it does. Very interesting to go back to that
time period and ride the "new" F40's at 100mph.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby shadyjay » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:40 pm

I used to have a couple of those... the "Yankee Clipper" from New York to New Haven and the Springfield Line - CF7. They were strictly cab ride videos, without the detailed narration, history, location visits, etc of the Pentrex productions. IIRC, the engineer did point out some points of interest. "And again, passing underneath I-95".
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby OrangeGrove » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:57 pm

Railroad Video Productions was quite a prolific producer of cab ride videos. I own a number of them, all on aging Betamax video tape. There was a GG-1 cab ride on NJ Transit, including portions of the Northeast Corridor. Off the corridor, the California Zephyr cab ride west of Denver is certainly the most scenic.

What is so hard to believe is all this was recorded over 30 years ago.
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby NaugyRR » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:28 am

Thanks everyone for all of the replies. I ended up ordering the three DVD's I originally posted, figuring for the price I couldn't go wrong. I'm especially looking forward to the Hudson Combo as that line's my usual route out of Rhinecliff to/from the City and Lake George when I travel.

Regarding the Railroad Videos out of PA, I've got their Hudson River Lines DVD that was filmed in the 90's and it's pretty good. It's pretty interesting seeing the mix of power that was present at the time, between the FL9's working for both roads, Turbo's, SPV's, early MU's etc. Huge difference compared to the dominance of P32's and M7's we get today. I wouldn't mind getting some more of their DVD's, but the cost is prohibitive to me personally.

Honestly I wish more places offered downloads like Video125 out of the UK offers. Their production values are pretty good, and offer some informative rides in real-time. Plus the downloads make it easy for me to stream them through Plex to my Xbox and Roku so long as my computer's on.

I mentioned this on the Chicago forum, but I'll bring it up here too... Amazon Prime members can stream a fair amount of train videos for free from their service, including an Amtrak cab ride through Vegas and a Metra cab ride from Fox Lake.
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"
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Re: Amtrak Pentrex DVDs

Postby NaugyRR » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:36 am

Well I watched all three over the past couple nights. I played them on my Xbox so I could wear my Cloud Revolver headset to get the most out of the audio. There were a few times I jumped from the horn audio, haha. Hearing the FL9's notch up from the head end was awesome and brought back memories to when I got a cab ride on the Naugy.

I'm pretty happy with the purchase, and will certainly consider buying from Pentrex again. My favorite DVD out of the three was the Hudson Division; the narration was awesome, the mix of cab and ground shots was well done, and the quality was excellent.

Here's some of what I took away from them...

Hudson Division
- Very cool departing and arriving Penn from the cab, gives a great perspective of the complexity of the track layout and operations there
- E60 in Penn; they may be big bricks, but I think they're pretty cool bricks
- Beat-to-hell Croton shop power; the B23 and RS3m shown were not pretty
- The SPV set north of Croton was cool to see
- ACMU set in action
- Lake Shore Limited with heritage equipment
- A bunch of Turboliner action. I regret not seeing these in person; I've only seen the cab mock-up at Syracuse.
- Rhinecliff hasn't changed much, has it?
- Low platforms at Albany
- F40's and ex-GO Geep
- Never realized that the Tarrytown GM plant was that big or extensive with that much rail traffic
- Kinda wished they filmed at the shop in Albany for a bit
- Turboliner cab ride was really cool
- Pretty neat seeing day-time freights
- The remains of the wye at Spuyten Duyvil
- What was the point of storing multiple Turboliners in Penn instead of bringing them to Sunnyside?

NEC Cab Ride
- Very cool seeing as-delivered AEM7's in action
- Explanation of controls and gauges within the cab
- Narrator never brought up Ivy City or Wilmington facilities
- Lots of MofW work taking place
- A bunch of F40's sitting at Ivy City
- MARC Geeps
- DC Metro trains
- It'd be nice if the segment to NYC was filmed

Surfliner
- Didn't enjoy the narration as much
- Lots and lots of Dash-8's and F40's
- It's depressing to learn I'm as old as the Dash-8's, haha
- Interesting cab car placement with cabs tucked in mid-set on several trains
- Odd seeing Metroliner cab cars leading Bay Area bilevel cars
- A bunch of Warbonnet units, and FP45's in action
- Original-liveried Metrolink F59PH's; I always liked that paint scheme
- Original Superliners
- Amtrak CF7's switching
- Goofy looking airline pilot headsets in the Dash-8
- Radio and cab chatter during cab ride was cool
- Love the way the Dash-8's sound, plenty of GE compressor 'whoop'
"That sapling that once grew just south of Wassaic may be long gone, and the Harlem Line’s appearance may have changed over the years, but for decades to come, I can count on it continuing to provide me with funny recollections"
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