Maintenance-of-Way Yesterday & Today: From Gandy Dancers to Concrete Ties

"For many railfans and modellers, the mysteriously complex modern track maintenance machines of today are about as comprehensible as alien space ships. It's seldom we see them in action, and when we do, we can rarely study them long or closely enough to fully understand their individual functions. Welcome to the video and the fascinating world of ditchers, slurry machines, tie dressers, rail grinders, ballast regulators, spike pullers, spike drivers, pavement breakers and so on. Watching this video is like watching the circus come to town and set up.

"This production is an interesting comparison of past and present techniques and equipment. From a mid-fifties, Southern railroad film showing bolted rail and wood ties, we move to the nineties, CSX System with its concrete ties and continuous welded rail (CWR). The forty year span thus covers the two most widely modelled eras. Although it's filmed in the U.S., the same type of equipment is used here in Canada.

"Much of the action centres on the present, and a long line of fascinatingly complex and noisy machines working in tandem...a rolling assembly line that moves along the product instead of the other way round. The highlight of this film is watching an old right-of-way being replaced with new concrete ties and CWR in one continuous, mechanical motion.

"The review panel was unanimous in its praise of this production. Virtually everything about this video is excellent. Clear, steady, well-composed camera work; descriptive, well-delivered narration; dynamic stereo sound; and good, tight, fast-paced editing. We were pressed to find any flaws. One of us felt some passing freight train sequences went a little too long, another thought more archival film would have been nice, and perhaps a spec sheet pamphlet to go with the video. But we're really nitpicking.

"We rated this a full value of 5 (5). Excellent value. A video many hobbyists will want for its modelling value, and a must for any club library. With this video, Green Frog set a benchmark for other producers. It's a hard act to follow!" Canadian Railway Modeller

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