Tuesday, August 14, 2018

NS+CSX/Southern Bridge over the Tombigbee River at Jackson, AL

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges)
Street View
Zane Royal posted
Tombigbee River Bridge, Jackson, AL on the Norfolk Southern MB Line 2011
Zane Royal posted
Tombigbee River Bridge, Jackson, AL on the Norfolk Southern MB Line 2011. I had just designed a Bridge Spray device and was testing it. 
Looking down off the side of the truck into the Tombigbee River.
Robbie Osborne What were you spraying? Something to protect the timber?
Zane RoyalZane and 868 others joined RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Nothing here, weed on the approach. We were cruising here. I was in the back of the truck observing the apparatus. It was the first time out and I was fine tuning and training the driver to use it.
Robbie Osborne No worries matey. Looks like your timber is well creosoted.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thousand Islands Bridges over the St. Lawrence River

(Bridge Hunter, American Historic Bridges, Canadian Historic Bridges, American Satellite, Canadian Satellite)

In the following photo, both the boat and bridge are historic.
One of five photos posted by Doug Tulloch
Rare. Pilot house in the bow.
Patrick Simpson JOHN D Leicth built 1967

Dennis DeBruler Both the bridge and boat are historic. Too bad the bridge might soon be torn down: http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/...

Dennis DeBruler Bridge Hunter has the comment: "A report produced for the owner recommends South Channel bridge replacement in 2016-2018 and historic bridge demolition in 2019." Since I see no sign of construction in your photos, it seems the plans have been delayed. https://bridgehunter.com/ny/jefferson/5523240/
The St. Lawrence Seaway channel goes below the American Bridge. The bridge was built in 1938. It was rehabilitated in 1986 and 2000, but the current plans are to replace it. The future of the Canadian Bridge remains uncertain.

Doug Kerr, July 2004 from Bridge Hunter comment
Please read Historic Bridges for why this bridge has cable stays and metal bars in addition to the normal suspension cables.

Cyril Waugh posted three photos.


The Canadian Bridge has arch and truss spans as well as a suspension span. I didn't notice the arch span in Avocado's photo until I came across Marge's photo.

Photo by Avocado Hammer, Oct 2016
Photo by Marge Simpson, July 2018
The American Bridge has long approaches to achieve the needed Seaway clearance.

Photo by J Ye, July 2005

U.S./CANADA International BridgeFeasibility Study. Figure 9

U.S./CANADA International BridgeFeasibility Study. Figure 10
Four contruction photos from the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority Photo Gallery. The first three are of the American Bridge and the fourth one is of the Canadian Bridge.


[Note the cable anchorage at the base of the first pier and the steel falsework for the girder erection.]



Sunday, August 12, 2018

Will long distance Amtrak trains become history?

The recently appointed head honcho at Amtrak is a former airline executive. He has been doing a good job of methodically wrecking Amtrak service. So a railfan style video of the California Zephyr may soon be Industrial History (see below).

I attended a social function in Fraser, CO. Since there was no traffic, as I went East over the tracks on Eisenhower Drive, I drove slowly so that I could look down the tracks in both directions for headlights. When I looked to my left, I saw the rear of a parked Amtrak train! So I turned left on Railroad Avenue and stopped to take a photo.

20180803 3286
Fraser is on the D&RG Moffet Tunnel Cutoff route that UP now owns. It used to have heavy coal traffic. A couple of years ago, I read an article that indicated the coal traffic has dried up on this route. The article further stated that there is not enough freight traffic on this route to justify UP maintaining it to Amtrak's 79mph standard. (UP's main freight route is on its original transcontinental route up in Wyoming.)

I drove down Railroad Avenue so that I could get a better view of the head end.

The horn sounded indicating that people should get back on board.

There was very little visible exhaust as the engines pulled the train out of the station.

The tracks in this area parallel US-40, and I was headed west on US-40 anyhow. I was going too fast to pull in at the first crossover I saw. Unlike the midwest where there tends to be a country road every mile, there were no more crossovers. So when I got to where US-40 was going to leave the tracks, I stopped on the shoulder. It took a while to cross US-40 to the tracks side because the traffic was heavy. But it turns out I had plenty of time because the train was going slow.

1217, the headlight is down by the sixth power pole.
1218, the headlight is down by the fourth power pole. I have no idea why an Amtrak train would be going so slow. I can't believe the track is so bad that it has to go this slow all the way across Colorado. I was irritated by the slow speed because it was sprinkling rain and because I needed to be someplace east on CO-83. But I hung in there and got a video with my 18-55mm lens, complete with a raindrop on the lens.
(new window)

On the way back, I wasn't driving so when my wife spotted a westbound freight parked on the tracks, I grabbed some shots. This is an overview shot. I knew the photos would not be "railfan quality." But I wanted to record that there was freight on this route.

Zooming in on the right side of the photo verifies that this was a manifest freight rather than an oil train.

A different photo allows me to read the locomotive numbers:
BNSF #4581, CSX #4743, BNSF #7526

While standing on the steps of the east entrance of Fraser Historical Church, we saw the tops of some westbound locomotives. We counted seven of them. And it appeared that the tops of the freight cars were open hopper cars. I walked over to Eisenhower Drive so that I could look down to the crossing and confirm it was a unit coal train. So maybe freight traffic has returned to this route.

Since I wasn't driving, I grabbed photos as we crossed the tracks when we were back to Eisenhower Drive.

Looking timecard west, the Amtrak station is on the right.

Looking timecard east
In Tamernash, CO, I spotted a railyard from the road, so we turned of US-40 to check it out. Obviously, most of the tracks have been removed. I'm looking east so the topmost ridge is the Continental Divide. During the three days we spent in Fraser Valley, this is the clearest view we got of the mountains. There were wildfires burning in west Colorado, and later the smoke made this valley hazy. During some evenings, the smoke did make the sun look red long before it actually set.

We drove down the road along the north side of the yard so that I could confirm those yellow things were MoW equipment. I took a couple of overview shots, and then closeups of the equipment.

Ballast regulator

Tamper with the laser site folded up.

I believe the white thing in the middle is another model of a ballast regulator. The trailer on the right is a high pressure washer with waste water recovery and recycling built for UP by HE Hydro Engineering. The white tank is half full of some yellowish liquid. I scanned through the training video on the above linked page to try to find a screenshot of the referenced rail mats, but I was not successful.

So the Amtrak train should not have been going slow because of a lack of track maintenance. But I was surprised when I looked closely at the above crossing photo of the Amtrak station because no spike head was tight against the rail or tie plate. Every spike seems to be about an inch loose.

Lost/UP Bridges over Dale Creek in Albany County, WY

(1868 Wood Bridge Hunter, 1878 Iron Bridge Hunter, Satellite)

You can still see the cuts through the granite hills on each side. Each cut is about a mile long. The piers also remain.

Francis Otterbein posted
A train passes over the Dale Creek Bridge on the Union Pacific Railway in Sherman, Wyoming, 1885 by William Henry Jackson (American, 1843-1942) (silver print)
[Higher resolution images are available here.]

Jeffrey Stoveken The stay cables on either side are what scares me.
[They show up in front of the bushes in the lower left.]

Billy Pine Trains were restricted to 5mph if I recall properly
Tyler DreisowTyler and 827 others joined RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! After three attempts of putting a bridge in that same place they relocated the tracks to where MT1&2 are today. That location is still known by UP as Dale. The wind is very bad up on top of Sherman Hill with gusts up to 80 mph. I know from personal experience that the weather can be wild up there. Being on the continental divide it stirs up a whole new weather system. It's pretty crazy, downhill west in Laramie will be nice, sunshine not a lick of bad times. Get up there and it'll be foggy, raining, snowing, blowing... you name it. Winter is the worst time to be up there.
Daniel Herkes That crossing was unnecessary. It was only built because of the scheming consulting engineer Silas Seymour who added complexity to the original route for political gain. Dip into Maury Klein's "Union Pacific" for the details. Seymour was added to the team of civil engineers due to his political connection, but meddled continuously with a more direct and cheaper route. His route was full of strategic incubus like Dale Creek. Grenville Dodge hated him.
[Some of the comments discuss the second locomotive, a camel back. Camel backs were designed for tight quarters like yards. Why one would be out on the UP mainline is a real puzzle for me.]
At 650 feet, it was the longest bridge on the UP and stood 150 feet above Dale Creek. It had a speed limit of 4 mph. It "was dismantled in 1901, when the Union Pacific completed construction of a new alignment over Sherman Hill as part of a massive reconstruction/improvement project which shortened the Overland Route by 30.47 miles (49 km)." [Wikipedia]

I can't believe the UP mainline was using something that spindly into the 20th century. Steam locomotives started getting big by then.

This colorization was...
...based on this photo.

As frail as the iron bridge looks, the wood trestle that was built during 1864-1869 is what caused them to add guy wires to the trestle.

By Andrew J. Russell - Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library [1], Public Domain, Link

By Williams, Henry T. or unknown artist [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
[This strikes me as bizarre looking because there is no diagonal bracing between the bents. The diagonal lines we see are the guy wires.]
William Henry Jackson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
WyomingTailes has more photos.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Transporting Windmilll Parts by Ship

This is an extraction of the ship transport information from Transporting Windmill Parts. It was getting too big, and I wanted to isolate the info of interest to boat nerds. A disproportionate number of the ships are on the St. Lawrence Seaway because of a Facebook group I belong to. The other photos I found in Facebook crane groups.

Ports of Indiana
[I wonder if these are being imported or exported. I read about a forklift handling the big blades like "toothpicks." Judging from the men standing by the blade, the tires on this forklift are about waist high. Given that the ship has three cranes, it is interesting that a dock side crane is also being used.]

This video taught me why they needed a ground based crane even though the ship had its own cranes. It appears that the ship normally docks with its cranes on the dock side and passes the load between the cranes. But in this case the load was too long to pass between the cranes. So they docked the ship with the ship's cranes out of the way and brought in a land based crane to handle the blades.

Screenshot from a video posted by Jane Herrick
Marshract entering Duluth with wind turbines.
[It says "Amsterdam" on the stern so this would be a "salty." (It is small enough to go through the St. Lawrence Seaway.)]
Paul R Murray posted three photos, one of which is going under the Bluewater Bridges. His comment: "MUNTGRACHT - Upbound Port Huron, Michigan 5-14-2017."



Lynda Crothers posted three photos with the comment: "Palabora downbound passing Cape Vincent, Monday morning 9 am with wind mill blades."

Downbound is a big deal because it implies USA or Canada is exporting blades.


Barbara Hutt Phillips posted
Interesting! Went by Chippewa Point about ten minutes ago heading downward. Quickly grabbed my camera!

Geoff Miller posted
Carrying wind turbine parts
[I find it very depressing that American can't even build new things anymore. Instead of trying to save underground coal mining, the Feds should have subsidized windmill (and solar panel) plants in West Virginia to create jobs for coal miners.]
David Kaye posted a couple of photos of windmill blades going through the Soo Lock with the comment: "HHL Amur up bound at the West Pier of the Soo Locks. 6-17-17" Ken Janeczko posted HHL Rhine upbound near Detroit, MI carrying tower segments. I gather from the name "Rhine" that these HHL ships are importing windmill pieces from Germany.

Screenshot (source)
One of three photos posted by Bill Payne
More windmill pieces coming into the the Port of Ogdensburg on 7-7-18.
Bill Payne http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/.../wind-turbine-parts...
[At first I missed all of the blades already unloaded on the land. Tower segments must be a bulky (light) load because the bow bulb is partially out of the water even the ship is loaded.]
Four of the photos posted by John Handley:




Betsy Cook-Kelly posted two photos with the comment: "How often do you see two ships coming at you side by side at the same time?"
Blackburn Jim Never!!!
Betsy Cook-Kelly That's what I thought! I've never seen that. The funny thing was that the heavier ship with the turbine blades was going much faster than the other ship and giving off HUGE waves!
Christian Burns Was great watching it happen, the one in front pretty much pulled over and let it by!
Helen Cooper I heard the captains taking on the radio. The Amstelborg asked permission to pass around Sister Island (just East of Alex. Bay and the G3 Marquis offered to pull up a bit to let her get by.
Charles T. Low Puzzling. I imagine at least that the location near Singer Castle is a good passing zone. In front of Alexandria Bay might not be! I witnessed a freighter similarly pass a much small, slower Caribbean cruise ship once, but why one would be slower here when the speed limits are generally slower than a modern vessel's capability (aren't they?), I can't guess. On that previous occasion, the request was to "pass on two whistles" which is standard for those familiar with sound signals. The cruise ship captain took a while to figure out what was being asked of him, i.e. he needed to slow if the maneuver were to succeed - the freighter officer was very polite and patient.
Bob Gates The Amstelborg was moving I was running 22 mph took me from Clayton to Cedar point to over take here we we talking at the time how fast she was going.
Thomas LeFaivre I thought the big ships had a 6kt speed limit on the St. Lawrence.
Mark Leet Nope
Charles T. Low Mark Leet But there are speed limits, varying for different zones, clearly marked on nautical charts, sometimes varying for upbound vs. downbound vessels. I had assumed that most modern ships could achieve those speeds (up to 13 knots in some areas?) - there was a day when some of the older lakers could not - in which case why the occasion to overtake?
Mark Leet Speeds are controlled by the seaway based on several variables, some vessels don't have very much fine control, so to not go over they may have to keep 3knts below, so following such a ship for 10-12hrs can add time and $ to the journey.
Betsy Cook-Kelly That makes sense...maybe the Amstelborg wasn't actually going faster but the G3 Marquis was slowing down to let them by.
Pam Rider Rose This year it has been quite often
Brian Cameron windmill parts from Germany...


Howard Maxson commented on Betsy's posting, cropped
Passing Ogdensburg about 11: 15 am

Howard Maxson commented on Betsy's posting, cropped
Passing Ogdensburg about 11am, they must have been racing.
Four of the photos posted by John Handley:




Two of the photos posted by BigLift Shipping with the comment: "With the discharge of nacelles for the Merkur offshore wind farm in Eemshaven, The Netherlands, our grand old lady Happy Buccaneer completed her 250th voyage since she was taken into service."



CarlzBoats has photos of tower segments and windmill blades going upbound on the St. Lawrence Seaway. Also a multipurpose cargo ship that includes windmill parts.

Jean Hemond Flickr of a cargo ship hauling blades. (source) Blades must be light and they could not find any cargo to haul in the hull because it is running high out of the water. Normally the bow bulb would be underwater.