Pentrex videos

Pentrex videos DEFAULT

Pentrex as the Railfan Video Standard

With a history dating to 1984, Pentrex began at the very dawn of the railfan home video revolution. They grew through the years to become the top producer of railfan home video. During the heyday of railfan home video, in the 1980s and 1990s, they were producing a new show nearly every month. New shows were coming out so fast that it was difficult for even the most dedicated railfan home video viewer to keep up.

The Pentrex Advantage

While there were other producers creating railfan videos for the home market, Pentrex brought something new to the game: technical quality and broadcast standards. It was able to do so because founder (and steam fan) Mike Clayton had experience in the broadcast industry. He knew what equipment was needed to create good quality video. He knew people in the industry and could get a project professionally edited and voiced. Pentrex combined this technical quality with good marketing to become the leader in railfan video.

Quality and professionalism became the hallmarks of a Pentrex show. While several narrators were used over the years, many railfans recognize the voice of Dave Drui as the voice of railfan home video. Dave Drui voiced some 200 shows for Pentrex. While he is still in broadcasting, at a Seattle radio station, he is no longer voicing railfan home video.

In the same way, Pentrex, based in Pasadena, in Los Angeles and near Hollywood, could find and avail itself of local editing talent. People with extensive experience editing video tape, which was not an easy task in the early analog/linear days, could be persuaded to work on railfan programs. These professional editors turned out programs that were tight and fast-paced.

The Early Days

The topic for the first program issued by Pentrex was on a 1984 trip with Southern Pacific 4449. You can still get that video here. From that single video, Pentrex went on to produce some 300 different shows.

Almost all of those shows were initially available on VHS video tape. While Pentrex was on top of the quality issue, the rapid consumer switch from VHS to DVDs in the mid 2000s caught them unawares. To this day, roughly 100 of their shows have not been transferred to DVD. (More on that later in this article.)

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s and into the new century Pentrex was the 800-pound gorilla in the railfan video market. They typically had the inside front cover, or the inside back cover of Trains Magazine nearly every month during this period. They were a new program and advertising juggernaut. During this time they expanded through not only new programs but also by buying up competitors. The largest competitor to be purchased by Pentrex during this time was the producer Video Rails. Video Rails was well-regarded for its steam-related shows and historical footage.

From VHS to DVD to YouTube

With the advent of DVD technology (allowing longer programs still at good video quality) Pentrex combined several of the Video Rails shows into “combo programs”. These remain some of the  most-purchased Pentrex programs. Two that are favorites are Southern Pacific Classic Collectors’ Series combo and Union Pacific Classic Collectors’ Series combo.

As they pushed into distribution of their shows via DVD, Pentrex did not put out as many new programs but concentrated their time, effort and money into converting some of the better shows that railfans clamored for in this new format. Pentrex did continue the produce new shows, such as the Southern California Rail Journal series and the program on Heritage Units.

Pentrex, like every other producer, was hit hard by the success of YouTube. While YouTube cannot hold a candle to the quality, historic details, and length of the traditional Pentrex program… It does satiate the desire for a quick train video fix. That caused sales to fall and with that the production of new shows slowed.

New owners at Pentrex

Pentrex has now entered into a new phase of its corporate life with the acquisition of all company video assets by Highball Productions. Started by videographer Peter Crook, Highball Productions also began railfan video production in the mid-80s. Peter helmed the company until selling to new owners in 2014. Three years later, those new owners in turn acquired the Pentrex railfan video business. Both Highball Productions and Pentrex were moved to Indianapolis, Indiana. In fact, they are neighbors to us here at RailfanDepot!

Bringing Older Programs Back

The new owners of Pentrex are making an effort to round up the older shows that were not ported over to DVD. Once those older show masters are obtained, they are put through a rigorous process: They are re-edited, color corrected, and generally whipped into better technical shape so that they can then be put onto DVD. The first example of this is the older show on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

While these programs will look better on your television then they did when brought you on VHS, the original video was still taken with equipment that is no longer considered to be of professional quality and so you should not expect the quality that we’ve come to expect from new programs. It’s just great to see some of these older programs seeing the light of day again!

The process of porting over older technology masters and then digitizing them and then putting them through the above process is a lengthy one. Pentrex says they’re only going to be able to do 5 to 10 of these a year. Here at RailfanDepot we will carry those new shows, really newly-available shows, as soon as they are released.

Pentrex King? Who is the Heir-Apparent?

So if Pentrex, with rave reviews, can be called the once and future king of the railroad and railfan video market – what is next? With the merger of Highball Productions and Pentrex, the combined companies have purchased other smaller producers. That makes more shows available to dealers like RailfanDepot, and keeps older shows from disappearing entirely. We are happy at RailfanDepot to carry the entire range of  over 700 railfan shows now owned and produced by Pentrex.

So if Pentrex is king… who is the prince of railfan videos producers? Who is the heir-apparent? At RailfanDepot we think the answer is 7idea Productions.

Fan Favorite Pentrex Products

When fans think of the Pentrex brand, they think of variety and quality, but these are the fan favorites that have stood the test of time. For instance, the all-time best seller for Pentrex is the “Big Boy Collection“. This DVD features all 25 if the Big Boys made! What about those funny lookin’ Cab Forwards? There is no doubt that the “Southern Pacific Cab Forward Collection” is the final word on this subject! And, when you think steam, many from the West Coast think of the Southern Pacific Daylight trains. See all about them in the “Daylight Collection“. The ultimate look at Tehachapi on DVD, is, the appropriately named “Ultimate Tehachapi“. Same with Cajon: “Ultimate Cajon” features four discs!

For cab ride aficionados, the “At the Throttle” series is a must see. Six great, multi-camera cab rides through California. These shows were made with the permission and help of BNSF. Steam fans seem to really love “Huntington Steam Combo“. Is it the excellent camera work and narration…or the excellent subjects: N&W 1218, NKP 765 and PM 1225? If big steam in your thing, fans have loved “N&W 1218“. For a quirkier vintage railroad, look at “California Western” with its steam locomotive and “Skunk” train.

If  Big Blue is your thing, Pentrex has two excellent Conrail Hot Spots shows, “Conrail Hot Spots East” and “Conrail Hot Spots West“. They also cover Pittsburgh and Conrail with “Pittsburgh Line Blues, Farewell to Conrail“.

And, if you are north of the border, “Canadian Trio” and “BC Rail Collection” have been long-time favorites.  Both are excellent, and varied, shows. Pentrex has really covered railroading well!!

 

Sours: https://railfandepot.com/railfan-video-industry-leader-pentrex/

Railfan Technology > Is Video Rails Still in Business?


Date: 03/11/19 19:43
Is Video Rails Still in Business?
Author: SD80MACfan

I was wondering if the railroad video company Video Rails was still in business. I recently received my grandfather's collection of train videos and have found several of their titles. Included are two BETA tapes, "Take A Ride With Video Rails: Norfolk & Western Class J #611" and "Streamliners of Yesteryear". I want to contact them to find out if there is any way I can get digital copies of these titles or give them these titles for reproduction if not. If anyone can provide me with information it would be greatly appreciated.


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Date: 03/11/19 19:52
Re: Is Video Rails Still in Business?
Author: sixaxlecentury

Pentrex has most (all?) of Video Rails catalog.  

You can always just get them converted to DVD as well.  Most towns have a guy that does that sort of work.  



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/19 19:53 by sixaxlecentury.


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Date: 03/12/19 19:08
Re: Is Video Rails Still in Business?
Author: BNSF6400

sixaxlecentury Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Pentrex has most (all?) of Video Rails
> catalog.

Yes, Pentrex purchased Video Rails, something in the mid-1990's, I think 1993.  Since then, a LOT as changed in the railroad video market.  Highball Productions was purchased by another video producer who first took the Highball name, then purchased Pentrex and took there name.  I don't believe Pentrex produces any new videos, simply selling copies of there large catalog.


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Date: 03/20/19 04:06
Re: Is Video Rails Still in Business?
Author: cozephyr

Per Wikipedia-Pentrex Media Group, LLC, is an American producer and seller of railfan-related videos and DVDs. It was founded in 1984 and was originally headquartered in Pasadena, California.

The company discontinued the sale of VHS video tapes on July 31, 2009.  Until 1999, Pentrex also published books and magazines, and its magazine editorial offices were located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It continues to sell books and back issues of its defunct magazines, but no longer publishes any. In 1993, the company acquired Glendale-based Interurban Press, a publisher of books primarily about streetcars, interurbans and trolley buses, in business since the 1940s.

Initially, Pentrex continued publication of books and all of the magazines it had acquired from Interurban Press, but these were gradually phased out, as the company concentrated on production and sales of videos and, later, DVDs.The last magazines published by Pentrex were RailNews (ISSN 1091-2436) (formerly Pacific RailNews, ISSN8750-8486) and Vintage Rails, the final issues of which were those dated August 1999 and September/October 1999, respectively. Pentrex also published Passenger Train Journal (ISSN 0160-6913) until 1996 and Locomotive & Railway Preservation magazine (ISSN 0891-7647) until 1997.  Passenger Train Journal resumed publication in late 2006, with a new publisher, White River Productions.

On April 7, 2017, the company merged with Highball Productions and moved from Pasadena to Indianapolis, Indiana. (Info courtesy Wikipedia)  Bill Farmer was involved with Pentrex Media videos.





Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/20/19 04:09 by cozephyr.


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Train Videos and DVD's from Pentrex (320)


Mules of the Panama Canal & The Panama Canal Railway DVD
Pentrex


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Mules of the Panama Canal & The Panama Canal Railway DVD Pentrex

The realization of the Panama Canal dream, a shortcut between two of the Earth’s mighty oceans, took several decades and cost many thousands of lives. Today, and for more than 100 years, huge ships take advantage of this 53 mile route between the Atlantic ...more info

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Journey to Yesterday Making Hollywoods 1952 Denver & Rio Grande DVD
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Journey to Yesterday Making Hollywoods 1952 Denver & Rio Grande DVD Pentrex

See Hollywood make a railroad movie. Titled “Journey to Yesterday” this film is rare in several ways, it is a rare behind the scenes of a movie made in the early 1950s, it is a rare look at how Hollywood makes railroad movies and it is a rare find! Being ...more info

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Cajon Pass - Gateway to Los Angeles DVD
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Cajon Pass - Gateway to Los Angeles DVD Pentrex

Cajon Pass in 1987 is a very different place than it is now. In many ways more exciting for railfans. Many trains have a caboose at the end�and every railroad uses helpers. There is no new BNSF triple track and the railroads are all pre-merger and ...more info

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Southern Pacific Double Feature with Bonus Cab Ride DVD
Pentrex


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Southern Pacific Double Feature with Bonus Cab Ride DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Three features, two main films, on the ICTF and West Colton Yard, and the bonus cab ride, give us an insider�s view of the Southern Pacific. See what the brand new Los Angeles ICTF is all about, and what it means for the SP. In its opening year the ICTF ...more info

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California Electric Trilogy DVD
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California Electric Trilogy DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Three great California electric system, in the 1950s and �60s. Plus a new bonus to this DVD, �Ride the Pacific Electric to San Bernardino in 1939�. Featuring the Key System; the Sacramento Northern, and the Pacific Electric The Golden State has ...more info

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Rare Steam Combo 2 Steam to Squamish and 614 Chessie Safety Express DVD
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Rare Steam Combo 2 Steam to Squamish and 614 Chessie Safety Express DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

These shows have not been available for decades, now Pentrex has brought them back by restoring and digitally enhancing these rare videos. Steam to Squamish Experience the sights and sounds of steam railroading as we visit BC Rail�s magnificent ...more info

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Burlington Northerns Crawford Hill DVD
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Burlington Northerns Crawford Hill DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

One of the best kept railroad secrets is Crawford Hill. Let’s go back to the days when Burlington Northern used their latest power to get over this obstacle. Spectacular scenery, intense action and sheer locomotive power! This 13-mile section of ...more info

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UP 3985 Over Cajon DVD
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UP 3985 Over Cajon DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Union Pacific Challenger 3985 looks fantastic pulling its sleek passenger train over the formidable slopes of southern California’s Cajon Pass. The sight of the nation’s largest steam locomotive (at the time) thrilled thousands of trackside viewers, and ...more info

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MARC Railroading Summer 1994 DVD
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MARC Railroading Summer 1994 DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Get ready to visit MARC, one of the most unique commuter railroads in America. The summer of 1994 was a great time to visit MARC territory between Baltimore, Maryland; Washington, D.C.; and Hagerstown, Maryland. The railroad’s locomotive roster still ...more info

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125 Years of New Zealand Steam - Steam on Parade DVD
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125 Years of New Zealand Steam - Steam on Parade DVD Pentrex

125 years after the first train ran in New Zealand, steam returned to the rails in a big way with the Ferrymead 125 Celebration. The New Zealand National Film Unit was on hand to catch the action, and with rare footage from the national archives, put ...more info

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Flying the Norfolk Southern Over the Allegheny Mountains DVD
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Flying the Norfolk Southern Over the Allegheny Mountains DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Best seat in the house, above the action! Never see a telephone pole in your way again. This all drone show couples action from the air with sounds from the ground, so it's the best of both worlds. There's no narration, but on-screen graphics provide train ...more info

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Saluda North Carolina Combo DVD
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Saluda North Carolina Combo DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Saluda, the Legendary Grade. Here's one of the most famous mountain climbs in railroad history. The average grade on Saluda is 4.7% with a 5.1% maximum. Yet, for 120 years, trains conquered the "Mountain of Challenge". In the days of the Southern ...more info

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Workin on the Coast Starlight DVD
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Workin on the Coast Starlight DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Pentrex joins the crew of the Coast Starlight at Los Angeles Union Station and travels through to Seattle, interviewing engineers, conductors and service personnel along the way. Go behind the scenes to see the support the train and crew receive. The ...more info

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Rare Steam Combo C&O 614T and Hassayampa Special DVD
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Rare Steam Combo C&O 614T and Hassayampa Special DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

These shows have not been available for decades, Pentrex has brought them back by restoring and enhancing these rare videos C&O 614T, The March to Hinton You are taken to the coal fields of West Virginia to witness the story of the last commercially ...more info

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Daylight 4449s Oregon Journey DVD
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Daylight 4449s Oregon Journey DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Southern Pacific's Daylight 4449 has been called the most beautiful steam locomotive in operation, drawing crowds of admirers whenever the colorful, magnificent 4-8-4 runs in excursion service. In October 1995, after a three year hiatus, SP 4449 once ...more info

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Santa Fe Salute - Super Chief - Cab Ride DVD
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Santa Fe Salute - Super Chief - Cab Ride DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

A real SALUTE! to the ATSF, with a history of the road, a detailed look at the Super Chief, a cab ride and a caboose on nearly every freight! Originally released in 1989 and by Pentrex in 1994, this is the first time it has appeared on DVD. Take a trip on ...more info

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Baldwin Diesels on Four California Railroads DVD
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Baldwin Diesels on Four California Railroads DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

"Baldwin Diesels" is a 2 show combo: "Early Baldwin Diesels on the Southern Pacific" and "California's Baldwin Diesels". See action on the SP, Trona, Amador Central and the Sierra Railroad. We begin with the Early Diesels: The Early 1950's were good ...more info

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Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD
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Union Pacific Steam 81 and 3985 Cab Ride DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Union Pacific 844, the only steam locomotive never to be retired, led newly restored Cahllenger 3985 to Railfair 1981 and the opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento. See highlights from this 2,000-mile doubleheader! As a bonus, ...more info

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14 Miles Cajon Pass The Busiest Crossing in the US DVD
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14 Miles Cajon Pass The Busiest Crossing in the US DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Four railroad lines funnel traffic in and out of the Los Angeles basin via Cajon Pass. It is the busiest railroad mountain crossing in the United States. The 14 miles of the West Grade host legendary train watching spots: Blue Cut, Sullivan's Curve, Mormon ...more info

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Steam Rotary Snow Plow OY on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic DVD
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Steam Rotary Snow Plow OY on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

There is not much quite as awesome as the spectacle of a rotary snow plow and the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad still operates a steam powered rotary. Join us for an amazing two day visit to the famed 64 mile narrow gauge line as steam-powered rotary OY ...more info

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Big Boy - Greetings From Kansas City DVD
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Big Boy - Greetings From Kansas City DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

A Union Pacific Big Boy at Kansas City Union Station. Who would have guessed?! Follow 4014 as she leaves Texas and heads for Kansas City. See her in KC and then follow her on the way back home to Cheyenne. This is truly some amazing footage, including drone ...more info

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Southwest Big Boy DVD
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Southwest Big Boy DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

It's nothing short of amazing, 5 years ago Big Boy 4014 was a static display in Pomona, California. Less than 1 year ago, she was in pieces in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Now we see 4014 under her own power in California and along the former Southern Pacific Sunset ...more info

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Englewood Railway - North Americas Last Logging Railroad DVD
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Englewood Railway - North Americas Last Logging Railroad DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

At one time there were scores of logging railroads on Canada�s Vancouver Island. One had to be the last� and it was the Englewood Railway. Pentrex takes you back to 1990 for an up-close visit to the Englewood Railway (owned by CANFOR in 1990). See logs move ...more info

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Michigan Ore Lines 30 Years on the Marquette Iron Range 1989-2019 DVD
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Michigan Ore Lines 30 Years on the Marquette Iron Range 1989-2019 DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Hover over an ore dock as a laker is filled with taconite. Be in the cab with an ore train stretched out behind you. Chase ore jennies through the northwoods in 2019. All that and more awaits you in "Michigan Ore Lines, 30 Years on the Marquette Range". The ...more info

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Big Boy 4014 Returns to Steam DVD
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Big Boy 4014 Returns to Steam DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 2 reviews

Union Pacific 4014 has returned to steam and the mainline... after 60 years without being able to turn wheel on rail under its own power! UP brought her back to life to help celebrate the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike This DVD ...more info

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Five from the Fifties Vintage Films DVD
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Five from the Fifties Vintage Films DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

In the 1950s, American railroads were riding high and making changes, and yet crack passenger service was still available. Join Pentrex as we take a trip back to the Fifties with five films from the railroads themselves! Restored, digitally remastered ...more info

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Fraser Canyon Route DVD
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Fraser Canyon Route DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

The busiest Canadian transcontinental railway link between British Columbia and the eastern provinces follows the ruggedly beautiful banks of the Thompson and Fraser Rivers. There, Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways operate over 60 trains each ...more info

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44 Years of Union Pacifics 8444 - Updated DVD
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44 Years of Union Pacifics 8444 - Updated DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

Experience the complete story of 844/8444, the longtime pride of the Union Pacific Railroad. Relive 44 years of action with the only steam locomotive never to be retired. Witness the famous FEF-3 class Northern, a high-steppin' 4-8-4, in passenger and ...more info

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Vintage Rio Grande Triple Feature DVD
Pentrex


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Vintage Rio Grande Triple Feature DVD PentrexThis item has reviews! 1 review

"The Royal Gorge" is a publicity film made in the late 1940s by Missouri Pacific, the Rio Grande and Western Pacific to promote travel on their jointly operated heavyweight train between St. Louis and Oakland. It presents footage of steam engines from ...more info

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Central Mexico Rails - Mexico Vol II - Pentrex Videotape

Pentrex

Pentrex Media Group, LLC, is an American producer and seller of railfan-related videos and DVDs. It was founded in 1984 and was originally headquartered in Pasadena, California.[1]

The company discontinued the sale of VHS video tapes on July 31, 2009.[2] Until 1999, Pentrex also published books and magazines, and its magazine editorial offices were located in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It continues to sell books and back issues of its defunct magazines, but no longer publishes any. In August 1993, the company acquired Glendale-based Interurban Press,[3][4] a publisher of books primarily about streetcars, interurbans and trolley buses, in business since the 1940s. Initially, Pentrex continued publication of books and all of the magazines it had acquired from Interurban Press, but these were gradually phased out, as the company concentrated on production and sales of videos and, later, DVDs.

The last magazines published by Pentrex were RailNews (ISSN 1091-2436) (formerly Pacific RailNews, ISSN 8750-8486) and Vintage Rails, the final issues of which were those dated August 1999 and September/October 1999, respectively.[5] Pentrex also published Passenger Train Journal (ISSN 0160-6913) until 1996 and Locomotive & Railway Preservation magazine (ISSN 0891-7647) until 1997. Passenger Train Journal resumed publication in late 2006, with a new publisher, White River Productions.[6]

In 2007, the Midwest Book Review's "Wisconsin Bookwatch" recommended Pentrex as "the premier producer of railroading documentaries showcasing and highlight the trains and rail systems, the routes and histories, their engines, equipment, bridges, and more".[7]

On April 7, 2017, the company merged with Highball Productions and moved from Pasadena to Indianapolis, Indiana.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^Policies and Contact Information. Pentrex. Retrieved 2010-03-21.
  2. ^Videos. Pentrex. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
  3. ^Ryll, Thomas (November 29, 1994). "Felida man tracks light rail" (profile of former Interurban Press owner Mac Sebree). The Columbian, p. A3.
  4. ^Swanson, Carl (October 1993). "Pentrex Buys Interurban Press". Passenger Train Journal. Interurban Press. p. 8. ISSN 0160-6913.
  5. ^"Magazine Subscriber Information". Pentrex. 2000. Archived from the original on 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
  6. ^McKinney, Kevin. "On the Point", p. 2. Passenger Train Journal, issue 229 (4th Quarter, 2006). White River Productions.
  7. ^"The Railroading Shelf" Wisconsin Bookwatch, Volume 2, Number 6, June 2007

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentrex

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