Tower 55 Fort Worth Texas DVD 4.5 of 5 (4)
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Interlocking towers played an important role in the safe operation of our country's railroads. They acted as traffic coordination centers at busy railroad junctions, allowing the safe passage of trains. Perhaps the busiest tower in the western U.S., with an average of over 100 movements in a 24 hour period, was Tower 55 located in Ft. Worth, Texas. Also known as the "Mixmaster" by locals, the tower utilized state of the art railroading technology up until its closing on May 15, 1995.
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MP_37 (Southeastern US) on 2014-09-23 16:45:57.
People who found this review helpful: 2
Thorough look at a busy RR junction that is no longer accessible owing to urban development. This program's strengths are the video crews full access to the tower itself and area around it, and the time period in which it was shot. Photo angles are clear and unobstructed, and the railroads themselves pre-merger identities were still intact: Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Southern Pacific. Very colorful and interesting. Trains don't dramatically race through the junction, but move through at about 15 mph. Gradients do provide the need for the locomotives to be working hard though. The coverage is day and night, the latter being fairly well lit. I liked the addition of shots taken from the elevated position in the tower itself or the stair landings.
Kent Ersson (Uppsala, Sweden) on 2014-05-14 22:14:15.
People who found this review helpful: 2
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Great presentation of a very important railroad junction. Most of the material was filmed in the early 1990's so it brought back many nice memories from my own visit at the location in 1992. Lots of colorful locomotives pulling a variety of trains. There are also inside views explaining how Tower 55 controlled this very busy junction. The DVD is 48 minutes long and there is never a dull moment. As to be expected from Pentrex, the technical quality is great.
Charley Mann (Little Mountain, SC) on 2016-02-28 17:38:00.
People who found this review helpful: 1
An excellent program, though I wished it would have been longer in length, 90 minutes or so. It's one of few programs, that show Santa Fe and Union Pacific 4 Axle, Dash 7 locomotives in action, before they were all retired, a few years later. SP power is present as well as are ex. Mopac SD40-2's. Enjoyable to watch, even if it's only 48 minutes in lenghh.
Steamboy (Revere MA US) on 2018-11-30 08:24:41.
In this 1996 video, we start this program as a pair of blue and yellow Santa Fe units with 2 Burlington Northern units and an EMD demonstration unit rolls pass the tower. Next we see some MKT power having a meet with each other. One of the MKT freights has an unpatched Penn Central unit. Then 2 Union Pacific units pass the tower running light, followed by vintage still images of the fallen flags and an overhead shot of Ft. worth is shown. On the tower, it contains 3 floors. The first floor is the maintenance shop, the second floor is the offices, and the third floor is the control room. A map of the tower and the lines are included. Out the window, we see some spots on different yards. At sunrise we see a Santa Fe freight passing the tower. Then a Union Pacific freight goes through the construction zone. At the west wye, we see a westbound Santa Fe freight that had a red and silver warbonet unit up front. Note the Pepsi trailer on The consist. At the top floor, a Union Pacific freight is northbound making some unique turns. A close up look at the operator is included as well as a brief look at the tower�s special computers, and a map of the control booth. Out the window, this Union Pacific coal train passes the tower. Note the Chicago And Northwestern unit sandwiched between the All yellow units. Then comes the Burlington northern coal train which had the final paint scheme before it was merged with the Santa Fe. Afterwards, we witnessed another Burlington northern coal train, that has an EMD Demonstration unit. Next we see a southbound Union Pacific empty flat train passing the tower. At the same time, a pair of southern pacific units one being sw1500 number 2498 the other being GP38-2 number 159 going backwards. On the west wye, we witnessed another Union Pacific freight making some unique moves. For some reason, the 4313 has a letter B next to the number under the cab window. Next we see some southern pacific units numbers 7403 and 6828 running light passing the tower, and making some back and forth movements through the wyes and diamonds heading to their own yard. Next the action at the south wye begins as Amtrak�s Texas eagle led by F40 number 342 passes by. This one contains a private dome on the rear that was originally from the California Zephyr. Remember this footage was shot way before the worst Amtrak President took over. Then the train backs up through the other leg of the wye, and as the first light of the sunset begins, the eagle is on the move to San Antonio. As night falls, we see downtown ft worth showing it�s own lights and at the yard, a southbound Union Pacific coal train rolls by. Next we see an eastbound Santa Fe freight arriving at the yard led by a pair of red and silver warbonets. A 10 unit lashup of blue and yellow Santa Fe units heads for the maintenance facility crossing the diamond. Next a Burlington northern cascade green train with a pair of EMB demonstration units rolls through the crossings, followed by a Union Pacific autorack with a GM unit. The next day, a Union Pacific eastbound head to Dallas with a Conrail unit sandwiched between the units and the mixed manifest. Outside the tower, another Union Pacific freight rolls through. This time a Santa Fe unit is sandwiched between the yellow diesels and the freight. Back in the tower, a red and silver Santa Fe warbonet lash up leaves the yard. Afterwards 2 different freights rolled by the tower as a Union Pacific grain train lead by standard cab C40-8 number 9323, then a southern pacific and Santa Fe combo unit lash up rolls by in the background. Outside the tower we see a westbound blue and yellow Santa Fe trailer train. Then comes the Union Pacific grain train which it luckily didn�t kill the pigeons on the tracks. This freight had 2 helpers on the rear. Another Union Pacific grain train passes the tower. Listen to the RS3L horn on 9544. In the going away shot, Amtrak�s Texas eagle is waiting on the siding. This Grain train also has helpers on the rear. At Burnhart wye, we see a westbound Union Pacific mixed train. Next the Santa Fe local leaves its own tracks behind. At the same time a Burlington northern coal train is passing by, which surprise surprise the EMD demonstration units are powering up front. These 2 have a friendly horn salute to each other. Afterwards we see a northbound Union Pacific freight heading to the yard. Next we see another BN/GM combo lash up. Afterwards a 5 unit lash up of blue and yellow Santa Fe diesels on the wye hauling freight. Then a westbound Union Pacific freight from Dallas passes by the tower. This freight has a maintenance machine on a flatbed. Afterwards a Santa Fe warbonet powers the trailer train. At sunset, a Southern Pacific local goes backwards passing the tower. This local is being shoved by None other than 159 and 2498. Finally we close the program as a Union Pacific freight rolls through the wye, and a final salute to the tower itself is included. Today the tower is demolished due to the expansion of the highway.