When I was there, I noticed the first tow in the background and something interesting past that tow. What is an equivalent term for railfan? Towfan? Seeing an incoming tow is the towfan equivalent of a railfan seeing a headlight. Zooming in, you can see the first two of four tows that will go downstream while I was in Newburgh.
The tow on the right is going upstream with vigor judging from the propwash. Judging from the gate heights of the Newburgh Dam, the river flow was low.
One advantage of digital photography is that pictures are cheap. I have plenty of memory and battery power so I killed time by taking some more pictures as the tow approached.
I thought the tow was small because it had only four barges. And then I took a sequence of photos as it went along the guidewall so that later I could try to determine the speed. It was slow. I could easily walk as fast as it was moving. It seemed to be floating with the river flow. I did not see or hear any evidence that the engines were working. Nor, with one exception described below, did I see any propwash.
When it got to the guide wall, I could see that it was half-empty and half-full. This is not unusual for a mixed-product tow, but this was obviously a single-product tow. (The equivalent of a unit train if you speak railfan.) Normally a single-product tow is either full or empty. During the approach, I heard only one short scraping sound. I didn't hear any scraping sounds after the bow reached the lock.
A closeup of the middle shows that each barge has its own engine and pump. Probably for off-loading. I assume the terminal or refinery equipment provides the pump pressure to load a barge.
The towboat is also owned by Marathon. The white sign at the bow of the towboat indicates 1100.
The Marathon owned towboat explains why the barges can be bigger than the standard size---they are used only in Marathon tows. And maybe the tow is half full because they ship some product downstream but more product (or crude?) upstream.
Finally, the tow enters the lock.
And then I started running back to the parking lot because a serious wind started blowing all of a sudden and the sky was dark to the West. Fortunately, I grabbed a shot on my way back...
Marseilles Lock, don't even allow pictures! It just occurred to me, I think Marseilles is one of the centers that has the vertical steel bars. Our government at work---let's spend more money to allow better pictures, and then outlaw taking pictures.) Note the bluish stripe behind the second barb wire. That is the radar antennae.
And now the radar antenna is below the top of the control tower. It rotates, so catching the blue side was luck in these pictures.
And finally, a shot of the towboat moving.
As I left, I saw what looked like a pilot house, so I took a picture. But it was still spitting rain, so I was in no mood to investigate further.
When I saw how small the tow was, I ran back to the car to switch to the telephoto lens.
When the tow got down by me, I tried walking with it. I could not keep up with it walking since I was not willing to try speed walking. Even then, it would have been a stress. The one closeup that I'll include is of the propwash.