Friday, July 3, 2020

Concrete Interurban Bridge over Spy Run Creek in Fort Wayne, IN

(Satellite, a little concrete is peeking out from under the tree growth)

While researching the Traction Terminal in Fort Wayne, I learned about this early concrete bridge. It is another monument to the strength of properly constructed reinforced concrete. It carried the route of the Indiana Railroad System, which was an electric interurban, that went north from Fort Wayne to Garrett. At Garrett, it split and went to Avilla-Kendallville and Auburn-Waterloo. [2005 SPV Map]
Daniel Baker via TheTolleyDodger
"Daniel Baker is a photographer based in Northeast Indiana specializing in documentary, urban and landscape photography."
The interurban line started service in May, 1906 as the Toledo and Chicago Interurban Railway. So the bridge was built before then.Passenger service stopped in 1937. Freight service that hauled coal continued over this bridge until 1945. This was the last interurban activity in Fort Wayne because all interurban passenger service in or out of Fort Wayne was abandoned in 1941. [CassHistory, pp35-37]  Since it was built by 1906, it was an early application of concrete construction. Also, it is interesting that an interurban line would build such a substantial structure.

This steel girder bridge is a little northeast of the interurban bridge. It was a New York Central route connecting Fort Wayne to its mainline at Waterloo, IN. This route is now a trail.
3D Satellite

Various Global Earth images allowed me to determine where I should look on a contemporary satellite image for the bridge. This one has the least amount of tree cover. The bridge in the upper-right corner is the Trail/PC/NYC bridge.
Global Earth, Mar 2005

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

More Shoving Platforms

I've already discussed cabooses being repurposed as shoving platforms. Since then I have come across cabooses being refurbished in current Class I liveries as shoving platforms and cars explicitly designed as a shoving platform.

Twice this past winter while driving down I-57, my wife and I saw a CN caboose setting in their yard south of Kankakee, IL. But we didn't have the camera ready for it. The third time down I-57, my wife had the camera ready, but no caboose. The first sighting was at the north end of the yard, and the second one was at the south side. So it does get used.

One use is as the shoving platform for grain trains on the Fisher Farmers Grain and Coal Railroad. They had been using this:

Mike Sypult posted
Today in Rantoul, Illinois on the old Havana, Rantoul & Eastern - later owned by Wabash, then IC "Pumpkin Vine", - now host to the Dewey, Illinois elevator grain trains.
Fortunately, others have caught photos of it, and it looks like they finally repainted it.
Jim Hester posted, cropped
On a spur in Rantoul IL.

Kenneth Gannaway posted two photos with the comment: "IC caboose (shoving platform) in Rantoul Illinois 01/23/17."



The alternative to the platform is that the conductor has to hang on to a ladder. I caught this southbound in Kankakee just north of the IC depot.
20160603 3398
At camera resolution

You can tell when a concept is rather new because different terms are in use for the same thing. 
Mark Olson commented on a post
The BN uses old cabooses for what they call "Riding Platforms"
Because of "slack action" being very dangerous - the employee cannot ride IN the caboose when it is being used for reverse moves, they ride on the platform where they can apply train-line brakes and radio the engineer on the head end if they need to stop - the also have a warning whistle for traffic and pedestrians.
[Why is the slack action more dangerous now than when conductors and brakemen used to ride in them?]
Larry Grzywinski It's either that or ride the side of a car and get off and protect every crossing. Done a lot that in my time.
Mark Olson commented on his comment
Riding the side is not always an option and not as safe as riding on a platform - yes most of the time for short moves riding the side (I have done it too) but for longer reverse moves a riding platform is safer. Some railroads build them like this -
[I can't figure out where the conductor is supposed to stand on this one.]
Others in BNSF call them a "Shove Platform." Note the stenciling in the upper-right corner in these three photos posted by Richard Olson with the comment:
It’s a caboose;
no, it’s a shoving platform;
NO, it’s an EOT with a FRED!
BN 10792 tacked onto the rear of an EB manifest in the Pasco, WA west yard.



Rich Westerman posted four photos with the comment: "I found this stripped down shoving platform parked in Kankakee with a couple of GP38's. I'm guessing that its used mostly for switching the nearby Lehigh quarry. I hope that this thing spends its winters down south because Illinois Winter."
Todd Stevens Started as a pulpwood flat.
[I would think they would at least put a roof over middle. Railroading is done in the rain, snow and sun.]



I've seen a Santa Fe caboose a few times on the BNSF local that goes through Joliet, IL. But I was driving and had no chance to get photos. The one time the local rolls through while I'm railfanning at Romeo Road, it has a custom shoving platform starting at 0:58.
(new window)

Monday, June 29, 2020

1927+1966 Cicero Avenue Bridge over the CS&SC

(Bridge Hunter; Historic BridgesSatellite)

CS&SC = Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal

Historic Bridges indicates this bridge was designed by Strauss Engineering instead of the City of Chicago.

If you can find a place to park, it is easy to take photos of railroad bridges from road bridges. But the converse is not true. So I'll use a satellite image.
3D Satellite

MWRD posted
The Cicero Avenue Bridge construction site on July 2, 1925, viewed looking north from the south side of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal.
Dennis DeBruler According to Historic Bridges, the bridge was opened in 1927 with just two pony trusses. The third one was added in 1966 when the width was doubled. That is why the bridge looks so narrow in this photo.
That expansion must mean that the trusses were overdesigned by at least a factor of two because the center truss now holds the weight of a whole leaf rather than just half a leaf.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Steel is stronger in tension than compression

I've talked before about members in a truss bridge that are in tension are cheaper to build than members that are in compression. When I saw this photo I was reminded that steel is weaker in compression.
John Snyder posted
And when I saw this photo a week later, I decided that was close enough for my "2 in 2" rule to write about steel in compression.
William HBaird posted
Covered Hopper MOCX 426425 appears to be the victim of a very hard shove or a collision. Andy Cassidy took this shot in the CP yard in Coquitlam BC in June 2020.
Cameron Blanchard Looks like hump damage.
Tom Srb Looks like a Trinity Industry built car, they never did hold up even in normal usage situations.
Dave Drake Took more than a hard shove . Iol
John White Hit pretty hard to bend the sills like that.
Jerry Maddax I’m thinkin,a smidge over 4 mph

Rick Carpenter commented on William's post
And the demonstrations just kept on coming.
Walter A. Keil A fully loaded reefer like I assume that one is need to spread a bar across the top so it picks up straight up not towards the center.
Jim Snowy With the slings angled like that, there is compressive force created in the container. Normally they are lifted with a spreader so the force is purely lifting.
David Carnes commented on the above video
Containers are designed to be lifted from bottom 4 corners when loaded. Top will overstress and buckle them.
Brett Patrick David Carnes They're always top lifted at container terminals, but the jigs they lift with eliminate the included angle component which caused this failure.
Paul Marcati Directions on the side lol
Never pick loaded container from top pick points
Always use lower pick points
Any old truss bridge shows that members in tension are much cheaper (less metal and less fabrication) than members in compression. This is an example of v-lacing compression members.
Old Renwick Road
HAER explains that the truss members were fabricated in their shop and then shipped to the site and assembled using a local work crew under the supervision of a field agent who worked for the bridge company.

Morris Terminal RR Bridge over I&M Canal
This Big Four Bridge over the Ohio River is so big that even the "simple" members are rather substantial.
20151009 1090
Another bridge that has been converted to pedestrian use and allowed me to get up close and personal with the truss members was the 135th Street Bridge in Romeoville, IL.
20200313 1689

20170121 7700, Abandoned C&NW in Carpentersville, IL
This bridge is basically a Warren Truss. They evidently don't have pure tension members. But the vertical members are thinner than the diagonal members.
HV/C&O over Hocking River

The swing span is a Warren Truss, but the approach spans are Pratt trusses and the diagonals have just tension so they are simple bars.
Wabash Cannon Ball over Wabash River

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Three Swing Bridges over Saginaw River in Bay City, MI

Going downstream:
1890-1976 Lost/Third Street: (Bridge HunterSatellite)
1905 CM/MC + CN/GTW: (Bridge HunterHistoric BridgesSatellite) CM = Central Michigan
1892 LSRC/Detroit & Mackinac: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; Satellite) LSRC= Lake State Railway

You can tell that shipping is active on the Saginaw River because the railroad bridges are normally open.

Lost Third Street Bridge

JA Garfield posted two images with the comment: "Third Street Bridge 1889-1976, Bay City, Michigan. It opened in the middle of the night for a ship, and collapsed. Drawing by Scott Shaver."

JA Garfield posted seven photos with the comment:
More pictures of the Third Street Bridge, over the Saginaw River, that connected the east and west side of Bay City, Michigan. It was built in 1872, and collapsed June 18, 1976 as it opened for a ship at 3:10am. It had been struck by another ship passing trough the day before, which probably did structural damage.
Dan Mathers What is happening to the bridge today?
JA Garfield Dan Mathers Unfortunately they pulled it down, and built a typical DOT type drawbridge downstream to replace this, and another two lane swing bridge in town. Both new bridges have been nothing but trouble, and are down for repairs, more than they are open to traffic.
[I could not find a two lane swing bridge.]
JA Garfield When I was a kid, when we would hear a ship blowing for the bridge downstream, we would ride our bikes to this bridge, and ride the span when it swung open. We'd get a great close up view of the ships as they passed through a couple feet away.
[Bridge Hunter has newspaper clipping concerning the collapse.]






JA Garfield posted three photos.
1, cropped



Central Michigan/Michigan Central and Canadian National/Grand Trunk Western

Also known as the Bay City Bridge.

Street View

C Hanchey Flickr, Jun 2012, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) via Bridge Hunter
Central Michigan Railway Saginaw River Bridge (Bay City, Michigan)
Through truss swing bridge on the Central Michigan Railway over the Saginaw River in Bay City, Michigan.

Fred Sibert, Aug 2019
[This is obviously the MC Swing Bridge. It was mislabeled the Liberty Bridge. The Liberty Bridge is on the right in this photo.]

Lake State Railway/Detroit & Mackinaw

Street View

JA Garfield commented on a post
It was abandoned for many years and has recently been rehabilitated for use by the Lake State Railway, which runs on some of the old Michigan Central, and New York Central tracks in mid Michigan. A picture from September [2018]:

Friday, June 26, 2020

BNSF/NP Bridge over Missouri River at Bismark, ND

(Bridge Hunter; no Historic Bridges; John Weeks III3D Satellite)

"Built 1905, reusing the piers from an 1882 bridge." [Bridge Hunter]

BNSF is going to build a new bridge. It wants to replace this one. Some citizens want the new bridge to be on a new alignment so that this bridge can become a trail.

I was surprised the Missouri is so wide this far north.
John Weeks III

USGS-keelboat, (Credit: Brent R. Hanson, USGS. Public domain.)
The Missouri River flooding Keelboat Park and Keelboat Boat Ramp in Bismarck, ND. In the background is the Burlington Northern SantaFe Railway Bridge.

USGS-tie-gang, (Credit: Brent R. Hanson, USGS. Public domain.)
A tie gang traveling to the site to change ties or traveling away to pack up for the night. Tie gangs are part of the maintenance crew.
[Note that during this June 9, 2011, flooding the ice breakers on the piers are almost covered.]


Brian Ambrose updated
Rich Wallace There is a theory that when you leave a location, the train will come. Seems to have been my experience when I have seen others shots who were also at that location. Now I try to get them to leave. Ha!
Dennis DeBruler I was at Union Depot in Joliet to meet my uncle and his railfan friends. BNSF was dead. I kidded them that I'd go check out Brandon Lock so that the trains would start coming. Sure enough, they did come after I left.

Brian Ambrose posted
Well I got my shot at the Missouri River bridge this morning. But the clear blue skies were gone replaced by bright overcast. Instead of going straight to the bridge I went down into Mandan to see if anything was there ready to go east. I should have done that yesterday! But while driving there I heard the dispatcher on my scanner talking to a westbound already west of Mandan saying they'd be meeting two eastbounds at Lyons. Ah, there were two coming at least. But checking Mandan I found there was already an eastbound autorack train here and figuring it would have to leave before the other two eastbounds arrived I had better get up to the bridge now. Arrived at the bluff and back to my spot from yesterday, set up the camcorder, and horns blowing from the west. It was almost here! Single SD70ACe up front of the long autorack and no DPU on the rear. Not sunny but at least I got something. It was 80 and rather humid too.
Paul Birkholz Perhaps empties going to storage with just one unit?
Richard Olson Nice, and the autoracks help keep your eye following the train beyond the bridge.
Brian Ambrose Good point. Coal hoppers or grain cars would not have had the same effect.
These 1882 piers are made with granite. The spans were built in 1905. [John Weeks III]
Brian Ambrose updated
Brian Ambrose And this is the second train of the morning approaching the bridge from down below along a walking trail. Now it is raining, and 78 humid degrees.
Jim Weisenbach Icky weather... sounds like 'home' (NJ)
Dennis DeBruler A nice view of the ice breaker on the pier.
Maybe BNSF would be better off moving the new bridge to a new alignment.
Based on a paper written by Ed Murphy of the ND Geological Survey, the railroad (first Northern Pacific, and now BNSF), have had endless problems with the eastern pier of the High Bridge. Just after completion, the east pier began shifting towards the Missouri River at a rate of 3 to 3-1/2 inches per year. A number of repairs were attempted, but none seemed to work. In 1898, the pier was dug out and moved back onto a larger foundation. By 1902, the pier was already 4 inches off center. After further investigation, it was suspected that the city water reservoir located on a hill above the railroad track was leaking large amounts of water, causing the entire hillside to slide towards the river. The NP built a tunnel under the area to try to drain the water, but the pier continued to move. More projects were completed in 1918, 1923, and 1940 to try to slow down the landslide. In 1951, the NP undertook a major project to cut down the hill and regrade the area. This helped the situation by slowing down the movement to 1/3 of an inch per year, but did not stop the movement. [John Weeks III]
According to John Weeks, BNSF runs most of their trains over the former GN route. This NP route became busy hauling Powder River Basin Coal. But that traffic is drying up as coal-fired power plants are being converted to gas or shuttered. So the cost of stopping traffic on this route while they replace the bridge might not be high enough to help save the old bridge with a new alignment.