From the November 2005 Issue of Trains, written by Jason Gallinger.
On its surface, this CD serves as a fundraising tool for the Chicago & North Western Historical Society, and it provides an auditory record of the group's namesake road. Yes, there are lots of recordings of locomotives and air horns for sale.
But look deepe, rather, listen harder, and you'll realize this CD is an archive of diesel-locomotive history, that grows more precious each year.
Produced by Dennis Eggert, the CD includes 31 tracks of various first and second-generation C&NW locomotives at work across the railroad's system. Each track is powerful (sample them at www.yardoffice.com/RR/DieselSounds) and several are recorded in stereo; you'll want speakers with strong bass and forgiving neighbors. A black-and-white booklet provides snapshots of the units in each recording, or of the same class, and a bit of history.
Rare models make this CD important: Alco and Fairbanks-Morse to accompany EMD and GE. True, you can still hear Alcos working on the likes of the Arkansas & Missouri or the Minnesota Commercial, but Schenectady-built locomotives won't last forever. A day will come when the phlegmy chug of an Alco will reside only in the memories of those who heard it, or in quality recordings. And whens the last time you got out to hear an FM H10-44 drilling a yard?
As for those SDs and C44s, they're still in their prime. But wait a generation or so, and train-watchers may not know by heart the sound of a turbocharged EMD 645-series or GE FDL engine.Rating: [5 of 5 Stars!]