by Karl M. Bernard
Review of the video:
This is a two-disc set totaling 159 minutes that thoroughly covers UP's two lines between Beaumont and Houston, Texas, which also host BNSF, KCS, and Amtrak trains.
The first line covered is the UP Beaumont Sub (ex-MP), on April 30 and May 1, 2017, with most shooting near Amelia. It features eleven UP trains, five KCS trains, and one each from BNSF and Amtrak. Second, the UP Houston Sub (ex-SP) is covered, on May 10 and 11, 2017, shot largely near Dayton and Crosby. Sixteen UP trains are shown, nine from BNSF, five from KCS, and one from Amtrak. One UP train had all-KCS power. Besides UP, BNSF, KCS, and KCSM power, other liveries seen are those of NS, CSX, Santa Fe, GE, and Citirail.
As is standard in Big "E" videos, this set shows each train's complete consist. The narration identifies each train by its symbol, and each railways' train symbol system is clearly explained. The origins, destinations, and cargoes are detailed for each train. The narrator also expertly explains the history of each of the two lines and of each of the three railways operating over them. This reviewer detected no narrational errors beyond mispronunciations of French- and Spanish-language place names in Louisiana, Texas, and Mexico. Maps are included to show shooting locations. Night trains are shot broadside with excellent illumination.
Each of the two discs is divided into single-train chapters with menus for selective viewing, and there are separate audio channels with the narration and with train sounds only. Video was shot in 1080i, and the set is available in either DVD or Blue-Ray formats. The price is $40.95.
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.