If you've ordered traction videos before, you've probably been disappointed more times than not. No matter how big a die hard railfan you are, you probably found yourself bored after the first 10 minutes of watching choppy "action", the driver's head and no narration.
Paul Samuels' Chicago: An 'L of a Railroad is not one of those. Paul does a fine job of his own narration, and the video is one of the more professional that I've seen. Paul told me in a recent email that he started filming documentaries at a young age. While most people detested sitting through relative's home movies and boring vacation videos, his friends and family kept coming back for more, asking to see them again and again. After watching this tape, I believe it.
While still "home done", this actually adds to the video's quality rather than detracts from it. Paul's ingrained New York accent provides a subtle one-on-one feel as he shows us he's no stranger to the ins and outs of the Chicago system's history and features. The tape is intelligently divided up by the original five L companies. Not a feature of the L is bypassed. Even the O'Hare airport train is covered at the very start of the tape, as well as a ride from the airport and through the Dearborn subway, where we see the world's longest railway platform. Other features of the tape included converted PCC cars on various lines, all rolling stock, an in depth tour and history of the Loop and outer lines, the route of the old Electroliners, the Skokie Swift and several yards.
All in all, Chicago: An 'L of a Railroad gives a subway enthusiast his (or her!) money's worth. I highly recommend it.
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