Mines Mills and Metro The Belgian Vicinal 4.5 of 5 (2)
Mines, Mills, and Metro: The Belgian Vicinal shows highlights of the extensive network of country trolley and light metro routes once operated by the Belgian Vicinal in the vicinity of Charleroi. This system was popular among American trolley fans because of its incredible variety in operations and right-of-way, and a strong resemblance to some of the longest-lived interurbans of Pennsylvania, the West Penn and the Lehigh Valley Transit.
Our ride on the 66-mile network of 6 routes in September, 1984, is like a trip back in time to Western Pennsylvania in the 1950s. Since then, two-thirds of the trackage shown in this DVD has been closed. Although you can still ride the new articulated light rail cars through the tunnels, over the viaducts, and along the private reservation of the new light metro, this video is the only way to see the pre-war cars rumble along single track through the narrow streets of old coal and steel towns, past abandoned mines and closed mills on roadside reservation, or across fields and along the canals on private right of way.
The new DVD version has a scrollable track map.
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|Runtime:||1 Hour, 30 Mins|
|Producer:||Transit Gloria Mundi|
|Aspect Ratio:||Full Screen|
|Region Code:||0 Worldwide NTSC|
streetcarguy97 (Massachusetts) on 2015-04-26 05:57:43.
very interesting system. I have seen a lot of traction cab rides and this one is unique. I don't know if it's like the old Pennsylvania trolley systems but it's an amazing system!
Additional remarks by streetcarguy97:
Narration: Could have used more.
Would kids enjoy this? Maybe.
Image quality: Good.
DVD Value:: Fair.
Recommend to others? Yes.
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wvd007 on 2010-04-08 17:03:45.
Having been in the region of Charleroi in Belgium many times, this was a ride down memory lane. Image quality is what you might expect from the early days of video. Colours a bit iffy, sharpness so-so, but the point is: these images at least exist! If the makers had waited until video had come of age (with the advent of the digital HD video cameras I'd finally be inclined to admit that that has happened) then we would have had only the modern stretch that survived. Ideally, it would have been shot on film, but film was a really major expense compared to video. Again: we would have ended up with much less - or even nothing.
The balance between cab-shots and line-side shots leans rather heavily towards cab-shots. But there is plenty to enjoy all the same. Ah - should explain: I'm no major fan of the school of railway filming that puts a camera next to the driver, lets loose and dumps it on to DVD. A bit too easy. This DVD was much more valuable in that quite a number of line-side shots augmented the driver's view.
The line segments were neatly edited in track order, and the many maps shown (and especially the big one separately put on the DVD as a large image) were invaluable.
All in all: a very good effort, and very worthwhile.
Additional remarks by wvd007:
Narration: Just enough.
Would kids enjoy this? I doubt it.
Image quality: A little rough around the edges.
DVD Value: Good Value
Recommend to others? Not unless they REALLY were interested in the subject matter.
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