by Karl M. Bernard
Review of the video:
Big "E" Productions has done it again with an excellent KCS video, "Kansas City Southern in the Ozarks." This 62-minute DVD covers a day and a half of trains on the segment of the Heavener Subdivision between Neosho, Missouri, and Decatur, Arkansas, in April 2012.
The video begins with a very informative introduction to the route segment, its grades, its history, traffic, and its operational patterns--all illustrated with an orientation map and a track profile. What follows is a parade of 21 trains, shot at Neosho, Goodman, Anderson, Noel, Sulphur Springs, Gravette, and Decatur. As is standard with Big "E" videos, complete trains are shown (in all but one case). The narration identifies each train by its symbol, and the current KCS train symbol system is very clearly explained. The origins, destinations, and typical cargoes are detailed for each train. The locations themselves are also explained, including percentages and lengths of grades. Day shots are nicely scenic, and the night trains are shot broadside with excellent illumination. Most KCS power is in the Southern Belle livery, and both UP and BNSF power is included on run-through trains. Of course, distributed power is the norm, often with locomotives at three points in a train. Altogether, this is a very educational documentary on the section of railroad concerned. The only substantive error is a statement that KCS gained access to Omaha traffic as a condition of the UP+SP merger (rather than the UP+Katy merger eight year earlier).
The DVD is divided into single-train chapters with menus for selective viewing, and it can be viewed with or without the narration. The quality videography and editing were all-digital. The screen aspect ratio is 4:3. This video was produced, directed, written, and narrated by Dick Eisfeller of Big "E" Productions. The price is $30.95.
Big "E" Productions
Review by Lowell G. McManus
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION DISCLOSURE: The producer of the reviewed product provided a complimentary copy of the product to the reviewer for the purpose of the review.