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Pennsylvania Train Stations: Restored and Revitalized - documentary DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 3 1/2 stars
Narration: Rob Burnham
Director: Jerry Sawyer   Studio: Inecom Entertainment
DVD release: 13 November 2007   Runtime: 56 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC
DVD Features: Audio Tracks (English)

If you're a railfan, Pennsylvania Train Stations: Restored and Revitalized is right up your alley... er, down your line. Inecom's latest title shows us a wealth of Pennsylvania train stations repurposed for a world that no longer needs them. When rail travel was in vogue, these stations were doorways to the wide world, and they still hold that mystique. Many remember them for the sad "farewells" and joyous "welcome-homes" experienced there, the great and terrible milestones of life. These are the same people who are likely to take these classic beauties and renovate them to work in, to live in, to extend the legacy of these once busy hubs of activity.

Pennsylvania Train Stations gives us private tours of sixteen different train stations scattered across the state. We are shown intricate and interesting architecture, brief histories, and current uses of these structures, many of them once owned and operated by Pennsylvania Railroad. We start off with DiSalvo's Station Restaurant in Latrobe, a charming restaurant made from a beautiful station. We dash here and there across the state to enjoy the wonders of the smaller stations being used as a restaurant, a research station, a museum and a library, among other things. The film ends on a high-note with the The Pennsylvanian Apartments, a huge building that once was a train station and the Western offices of the Pennsylvania Railroad -a fantastic building from the golden age of rail travel in the U.S. and not to be missed; this building could hold my attention for the duration of the DVD. I'm sure its history is as rich as the detail in its grand rotunda.

My single complaint is in the transitional narration between the segments. "I've never had breakfast at Tiffany's, but we did spend an afternoon in a glass-making wonderland", "The Phoenix rose from the ashes. So, where do you suppose old cabooses come from?", and "We've all heard of Washington crossing, but In Washington, it's a railroad crossing." These are the worst of the bunch, and they are really awful. If that can be overlooked, then you'll have a great time with this title. If you enjoy trains, history, or triumphant restoration stories, Pennsylvania Train Stations: Restored and Revitalized is for you.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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