The Hard Coal Roads – What Went Wrong

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This is a look back in time to the “Anthracite” roads that once made the eastern rail scene more interesting and colorful. These principal roads were the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Reading, D&H and the Erie Lackawanna Railroads.

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This is a look back in time to the “Anthracite” roads that once made the eastern rail scene more interesting and colorful. These principal roads were the Lehigh Valley, Jersey Central, Reading, D&H and the Erie Lackawanna Railroads. The common theme was their early success based on hauling anthracite coal from a unique area in Pennsylvania and the decline of that business. The last decade of these roads largely depended on a declining business in hauling “bridge traffic”. The corporate history of these five roads is woven into a wealth of wonderful, all-color, railroading scenes. Our animated maps, made especially for our videos, are used to keep the viewer more informed.

We explain all the mergers and some that almost came about. This railroading action has a grand look at five Class 1 rail lines that were independent until 1976. Our presentation is based on color movie film with its rich color rendering and digital enhancement to make it appear better than even the original. This is 1 hour and 40 minutes of five featured railroads that have disappeared along with highlights from three other regional railroads that faced the same fate.

The closing chapter brings the beginning of Penn Central and its rapid failure that swept up the other roads in their northeast. This is a large slice of US railroading history with many “moving parts” — from a lost but colorful era.

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1 review for The Hard Coal Roads – What Went Wrong

  1. Tuscaloosa

    I really like the Charles SMiley tapes. It is like getting a history less with the trains. He spends a lot of time explaining about the railroads and in this case the coal industry in the East. I like the maps on the tape too.

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