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Earle Baldwin

The Long Island

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The Long Island Rail Road holds the distinction of being the busiest railroad on the North American continent. Its train frequency and traffic density is unmatched by any other carrier and a video which captures the LIRR's intense pace has been made available by Highball Productions.


"The Long Island" is a 60 minute program released in 1991. Filmed during that same time period, the video captures the essence of North America's busiest railroad. Featuring two and sometimes three trains in the same scene, the program presents LIRR passenger operations in a well photographed manner. Beginning at Mineola Station, a variety of perspectives within town are included. There are a number of run pasts at NASSAU Tower and another sequence of ground level views at a grade crossing on Mineola's west side. We are then treated to additional action at the following stations: Merillon Avenue, Floral Park, Bellerose, Queens Village and Forest Hills.


Subsequent to the production of this program, LIRR's equipment roster underwent a complete facelift so the locomotives and rolling stock shown are now considered vintage. Diesel operations were still in the capable hands of blue and white GP38-2's, MP15AC's and ALCo FA and EMD F-unit "power packs" hurtling along with older coaches and red striped parlor cars in tow while electric services were still trusted to M-1 multiple unit cars. Of course, all this has changed with the introduction of the new generation of DE and DM Class locomotives, multi-level rolling stock and M-7 multiple unit cars. We, as hobbyists, can be grateful to Highball Productions for having taken the time to preserve this action for us all to enjoy at a relatively nominal cost given the time and money required to finance production of this and similar video programs.


Highball Productions has reissued many of its programs on DVD; however, "The Long Island" has not reappeared in this format. Still, older VHS tapes frequently appear for sale at train shows and on internet sites. I purchased my VHS copy shortly after its release. If memory serves correctly, I believe it had a list price of $24.95. Any fan of the Long Island Rail Road would be well served to take the time to hunt down a copy of "The Long Island." Its acquisition would be time and money well spent.


Happy New Year,



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