25.1.07

A LITTLE RAILROAD VIEWING. Book reviews will resume in the near future. For now, some quick observations on National Geographic Channel's Inside Grand Central, a recent DVD purchase. Some of the business history is wrong, and the use of stock footage from the London and North Eastern and the Boston and Maine at North Station distracts, as does the use of steam action shots and an Acela bound for Penn Station in the discussion of the electrification. On the other hand, the reporting on the complete rehabilitation of the world's greatest passenger terminal, complete with time-lapse photography of the cleaning is instructive, and I wasn't aware that some of President Roosevelt's secret train is still stabled at the Waldorf-Astoria platform. I was also pleased to see that Metro-North's Dan Brucker, who showed a group of O Scalers through some of the high-security areas before September 11, is still showing guests behind the scenes. There really is a power house that looks like it might have been the Penguin's lair underneath the headhouse, and the power desk and dispatchers' offices are impressive. And it now looks like some Long Island Rail Road trains will be terminating at new platforms east of the existing lower level loop tracks. There are also plenty of vintage shots of the terminal during the glamour years of the Twentieth Century Limited, as well as footage of the ETTS era. The terminal serves well as omnium-gatherum for commuters, and check out the shots of those trains arriving and the invading hordes charging up the ramps!

No comments: