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(erielack) Review: "Our Memories of the Erie Lackawanna" by RonRail Pictures


I've finally gotten a chance to review this DVD, and it's great! Here's a
summary of what's on here (fairly details - Dave Rutan, scroll down for what
"Sussex Branch" stuff there is):

The DVD primarily covers the films of two railfans, Bob Underwood and Frank
Mentone. Both of these gentleman narrate their segments, and the
"connection" with the photographer is nicely done. The videos cover the very
beginning of the EL - 1961-1963, chronologically arranged - and many diesels
are wearing their original colors with EL diamonds. Most of the segments are
done in NJ with some in PA and NY.

First up are various scenes from Frank Mentone, and mostly passenger: trains
at Scranton station, flying over the DL&W cut-off (nifty! and great speed!),
and a nice pace of the Phoebe Snow at what appears to be West Dewey Avenue
in Wharton, NJ. Another scene of the train at Denville follows. Then we ride
Train 1 west out of Hoboken, a nice tour of the line. Interspersed are
off-train shots of other long-haul passenger trains in the same local around
Jersey City/Kearny. A few glimpses are seen of PRR facilities at South
Kearny, with GG1s and E44 electrics, as well as H&M trains in Harrison. The
train continues west through Newark, the "Roseville Cut," Brick Church,
Orange, South Orange, Maplewood, Millburn, Short Hills, and Summit. All
throughout, lineside shots are interspersed in. The train continues on,
passing all the stations to Dover. A large freight and a local are both
passed at Dover. We keep heading west, and there's a moody lineside scene at
what appears to be Chester Jct, where a pair of RS3's cross over. We then
enter Lake Hopatcong, pass Port Morris, and head out onto the single track
Cut-Off, entering Pennsylvania at Slateford Jct. We continue on to East
Stroudsburg and up the Poconos and down into Scranton, where our trip ends.

We return to Dover to see the last run of the Phoebe Snow (with someone who
looks a lot like Bob Pennisi taking photos as the camera pans away with the

Next up is some material from Bob Underwood, taken at Millburn, showing the
"New Yorker" (with several NKP sleepers!) and a series of runbys of Mus. A
DL&W GP7 sneaks by with a pair of Boonton coaches, and another "New Yorker"
(with more NKP sleepers). More MU's follow, then the Phoebe Snow. A pair of
passing MU's (as seen from overhead) is next, with another Phoebe and then
more MU's. An eastbound Phoebe with a UP runthrough car passes next.

The camera moves now to Mountain View, NJ, with an active diamond still
showing trains on both lines here (DL&W Boonton Line, Erie NY&GL Branch)
with a variety of F-units and former Erie GP7s on various passenger trains.
Jumping to Dover, we see a DL&W RS3 leading the "Dover Roustabout," which
Bob comments that it "always seemed to carry a Boonton coach in the consist"
(anyone know why?)   Now we jump to the Newark Branch at Belleville with an
Erie RS3 leading two Stillwells, then again at Hawthorne. Returning to the
DL&W side at Millburn, more thru-line passenger trains are seen.

Now we're at Hoboken, watching the evening rush leave (including two Erie
RS3s racing to leave the station). We jump to Spring Valley, NY on the NJ&NY
branch to see more former Erie RS3s and Stillwells. Next is an unnarrated
but very interesting scene s howing a DL&W RS3 shoving a boxcar and caboose
while pulling an MU at Gladstone - the MU was involved in a wreck,
apparently. Back at Millburn, more through-line trains. An MU at Denville,
then back to Hoboken to see an interesting move: A baggage car attached to
the end of an outbound MU train! More at Denville with an eastbound Phoebe
Snow, and then the wyeing of a Boonton Line turn. A westbound Phoebe blows
through Maplewood with a business car at the rear, then we see a
Washington-bound train through Boonton (YAY! :), with Drew Chemical in the
background. Next, Train 1203 is seen at Nyack on the Northern Branch.

Back to Hoboken to see more action. The 4 PM Sunday train is seen leaving
with a GP7 and three RS3s to Suffern (possibly Port Jervis). Next, tugboats
and ferries!

Now we start our ride on the SUSSEX BRANCH in 1962! We pass Port Morris Yard
(still pretty busy) then enter the branch. Very bucolic scenery! One diamond
is passed (NYS&W?), then we see the engine running around the train at
Branchville to push the train back into the station. At the station, former
Erie RS3 904 is seen picking up a Borden's milk car from the creamery there.
The train leaves, passes the TINY Lafayette station, then passes Andover
Junction. More farms and fields along the right-of-way follow (I can see why
this branch has so many fans!), then we're back at Netcong. Once again, we
pass the Port Morris yard with several units at the engine facility. The
tower goes by, now the train heads east under catenary east of Dover. The
train then ends up on the Boonton Line, and we end up passing Croxton, where
we see the fleet of former NYO&W cabooses line up.

More MU's are seen at Millburn, as well as long-distance trains. A scene of
westbound Train 43 at Denville, led by an A-B-A set of F3s, then another
long-distance train passes Estling Lake, also at Denville. Now we're being
chased by an Erie RS3 as we leave West End on a Boonton Line train. We pass
the DL&W Paterson station, then enter the Sussex Branch again at Netcong. Up
the branch we go again, passing Andover Jct again. We see a roadside shot of
a GP7 with two Boonton coaches on the Branch, coming and returning with milk
cars on the rear. Back to Andover Junction again, and back onto the Boonton
Line we go, crossing over the "high trestle" at West Paterson (neat!).

MU's again are seen at Convent Station, then we see a pair of MU's passing a
freight at Murray Hill on the Gladstone Branch. Many more scenes follow on
the Gladstone Branch, including a ride on a train.

After a few more scenes at Millburn once again, we jump to Scranton, where
we see several DL&W H24-66s sitting around (some with EL "patch jobs", as
well as EL-patched FT's. Now we ride Train 2 east out of Scranton, over the
Delaware River. Then we see the grade crossing elimination project at South
Paterson, NJ. Jumping to the DL&W Paterson station, we see a neat elevated
view of it that I've never seen before, with a GP7 leaving with a short
train. Another view in the Roseville Ave. cut in Newark, showing Train 1.
Train 40 is seen arriving at Blairstown, then more Hoboken activity. Back to
the Sussex Branch, where we see an "in your face" view of GP7 1405 coupling
back up to our train during its run-around at Branchville, and then backing
into the station. We see more trains at Millburn, including the eastbound
"Lake Cities" with two NKP sleepers (and an IC-painted car that was most
likely the DL&W "Kittatinny") Another ride on the Gladstone Branch (this one
in winter) follows.

Next is a  neat sequence showing passenger trains in the center of Passaic
in 1963, shortly before these tracks were removed. A neat shot of the Erie
track-inspection car zipping through here is also included! More action at
Hoboken - PA's and GP7s, then to South Paterson to see the new changes
there. Jumping to Passaic Park, we see the old swing span over the Passaic
River with several commuter trains passing over it. In rapid sequence: PA at
Paterson, ferries on the Hudson with a PRR sleeper at Hoboken, then an EL
tug. A scene of four RS3s (!!!) and two Stillwells in Lake View, NJ (just
south of Paterson) follows, and more trains through Passaic. Back to Hoboken
with more thru-line trains, and then back to South Paterson with more
commuter runs. MU's and thru-line trains on the M&E are next, then another
ride down the Gladstone Branch, where we see some classic freight equipment
at Gladstone. 

We go to Dover now where we see a Roustabout with an H16-44 passing the
tower, then another H16-44 shoving a Boonton coach past the tower. Then we
go back to Hoboken, with lots more activity (amazing how many simultaneously
moving trains you see here)  More shots at Millburn (and yes, more NKP
sleepers as well!)  Denville with more thru trains (and more NKP sleepers,
oh my!)   We also see an excursion (with PRR coaches???)

More activity at the Mountain View station, with many commuter runs as well
as a local freight. Another short jump back to another Sussex Branch train,
then some trains at Orange, Millburn and Dover. A westbound is seen leaving
Lake Hopatcong. More Sussex Branch stuff, with a train stopping the Andover
station, and then heading back with a pair of milk cars (lineside views),
then a from-train view of the Wharton station. 

All in all, a worthwhile purchase (can't beat the bang-for-the-buck factor
here), and all videos purchased directly help the ELDCPS and its 741
restoration project! It can be purchased from the ELDCPS store at

	- Paul

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