Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hick Tower for Indiana Canal Bridges

(Jon Roma Flickr Album3D Satellite)
NorthAmericanInterlockings:  photo photo 
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

It is now officially called CP 503. [Ted Gregory commented on a posting.]

Scott Griffith -> Railroad Interlocking and Signal Towers
This picture is from the 1915 Smoke Abatement Report. This tower controlled the bridges of the lake corridor. Since the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern was the first of the four railroads that used this corridor (NYC, Penn, EJ&E, and B&O/B&OCT), they were responsible for building and maintaining the tower. The LS&MS became part of the New York Central.

The following map confirms the Hick tower was next to those bridges. Near the end of the bridges posting, I conclude that this tower is still standing.


Mark Hinsdale posted
Mark Bilecki Sr. Nice catch near Hick tower
[Note the pipes on the left and a couple of bridges in the up position at the Indiana Harbor Canal.]
John Ryan provided four pictures in and around this tower with the comment:
This is where and when I started.  Notice the B&O (CSX) tracks are in and the B&O Bridge is down.
The first picture is a chart for Rings For So. Chicago Line.  This was use for communication with the EJ&E.  I don't recall ever having to use this.




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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

EVWR: Evansville Western Railway

System Map with Coal Facilities and Grain Elevators selected
CSX sold the Evansville to (almost) St. Louis route of the old Louisville and Nashville to Evansville Western Railway (EVWR). From their map we can see that it serves three sources of coal and the Mt. Vernon Transfer Terminal, a consumer of coal. Their business is growing well enough that they are not keeping the map up to date. I see from a satellite image that they serve another transloading facility, a coal power plant, and an ethanol plant with a new spur they built south towards the Ohio River west of Evansville.

They allow the grain elevators along their route to pay a premium price to the farmers by consolidating cuts as small as 15-cars into 65-car trains for delivery to CSX in Evansville, which then hauls them to large chicken feeding operations in the Southeast. There are also other ethanol plants built or planned along the line. (csx-sucks, you may have to search for "Evansville Western on Right Track")

Update: 9 photos by Bart Hileman. I include a couple from Mt. Vernon, IN in case there is an issue accessing a closed group.

A Bart Hileman photo
A Bart Hileman photo
Tom Barrows posted two photos with the comment:
A couple of shots from back in 2010 when the EVWR would load at Alliance in Princeton. The sound of those SD's growling up the hill out of Evansville towards Belknap with a full load and some helpers was amazing!!!



Richard Roberts posted photos of two trains working in Mt. Vernon.

Dalton Flowers posted the question: "How does the EVWR operate?"
James Coleman Hope this helps, or isn't rhetorical, but I believe EVWR operates the line/owns the line west between Evansville, IN and Mt. Vernon, IL , and they service various industries inbetween. I know they unload coal at the Port of Indiana in Mt. Vernon, IN, service Abegoa in West Franklin, IN with tank cars of ethanol and hoppers, Sabic in Mt. Vernon, IN, and various mines (that aren't closed) in Illinois. They also have a MVL that runs daily that interchanges with CSX at Howell Yard in Evansville and takes cars back west. I'm unsure where the local originates and goes after leaving Howell Yard. That's all I know. Hope it helps/answers your question and or isn't rhetorical in what you already know.

Monday, December 28, 2015

MoW: Railroad "Big Hooks"

(Update: a big hook in action)

"Big Hook" was the term railroaders used for their big crane that they would use to clean up wrecks and do construction work. Over the years, it got bigger. The irony is that they have scrapped their "big hooks" because side-booms are now used to clean up wrecks but have kept their "little hooks."

Screenshot at 0:11 in video
I'm surprised that railroads still keep their old cranes given that mobile cranes can be converted to Hy-Railers and that they can deploy sidewinders to lift loads to their sides. I saw a few months ago a picture of a rail crane that had turned over while lifting a fairly small segment of track to repair the track lock for a lift bridge. But, of course, now I can't find that picture.

CSX had a unit parked on a siding in North Baltimore, OH, near a public street. (Update: a raw photo dump of this crane and other "little hooks" are in American Crane with boom Car and Others.)

20151101 5225c

Note that the crane is a "double fallen flag." The reporting marks are still C&O, but the logo on the side is Chessie System complete with the "C" making a cat outline.

Note the pulley near the left about halfway up the boom. That was probably for use with a dragline bucket. Now a standard excavator would be used for any dirt moving applications.

I took a closeup of the auxiliary flat car because I could not figure out how the boom extension it carries fastened to the base boom. Or does it replace the other boom? I assume it is resting on a tool case. Note I was able to catch the C&O reporting mark to the left of the tie-plate scrap pile and the Chessie System logo to the right of the pile. (Update: when I posted this on Facebook and mentioned I did not know what the second boom was for, Mike Snow suggested it is for the pile driver.")

Even though it was backlit, I took a three-quarters view of the other side because I had legal access from a road crossing.

Brian Allen posted
CNW 6363 crane (Bucyrus) at IRM
Jeff Lilja The old Proviso hook, 150 ton crane and I remember when it was painted black in 1967 and than they started to paint them in ZITO see how that worked out
Jeff Lilja comment on above posting
This is a CNW 250 ton crane
Richard Jahn posted

Richard Jahn posted
Richard's comment:
In July 1977 I went on a solo trip to Northern Maine to photograph some BAR antiques - the BL2's and F3's. I wound up stumbling into a "service interruption". In the early morning hours of June 30 the main northbound freight #57 derailed a couple cars a short ways south of Oakfield, Me. Normally the southbound train (#28)would have departed Oakfield before sunrise but not this day. They walked #28 thru the derailment site then the wreck trains came back out to finish the cleanup. F3 #44 was the power for the Oakfield wreck train. Little did I know I would get to spend a lot of time with #44 in the future as this is the F3 which TriState later purchased and is now DLW 663.

Tom Castro comment
That's the modern one the UP runs.
Scott Griffith posted
Hohman Ave North Hammond
[Used for dirt movement as well as fixing wrecks.]
Harold J. Krewer posted
C&NW X-200, which looks to be one of the former CGW 250-ton "hooks" is paired with boom car CGW W52 at an undocumented location in Summer 1985. I had photos from Dixon and Sterling in the same box, so perhaps this is Nelson?
The W52 survives today at Illinois Railway Museum, now paired with CNW 6363, a similar but smaller 150-ton crane with four-wheel trucks.
Photo by Harold Krewer.
[The comments indicate that it is in Nelson.]
Marty Bernard shared his posting
Look at This AT&SF Monster
Crane 199793 in Newton, KS in August 1983 captured by Roger Puta
I assume the orange planks are footers for the out riggers. Take a close look at the "shed" on the far end of the boom car. Those were the days when railroads wasted little.
Rick Smith ..I agree with Marty here. Our derricks also had those hung below the deck, just for the outriggers, as we always needed to stack 'em them to stabilize on uneven ground.
Bill Molony posted
EJ&E crane car #6 and idler flat car #8758 in May of 2005. 
Not sure of the location.Tony Kovac Kirk yard rip track, picture taken from north yard looking North northwest toward USS. Cars in background are spotted on the rip trackTony Kovac Moved shortly after its pic to Joliet & possible sold . Never made to 2009 
The tool car (not in pic but to the right of boom tender is at Griffith rail museum. ( 1 crane was sold other was cut up)
Mike Yurgec posted three photos with the comment: "Big Hook at the Peabody wye at Freeburg, Illinois. 1980."
Add caption


Jdoc Jdoc shared Jason Jordan's photo.
Fred Bain It could be a little white knuckle going up or down that ramp. Burro model 40, 15 Ton
Paul Giske commented on his posting
Fred Bain We call that an Auxilary crane. Specially designed to work derailments. It would lay track panels and then pick up units or equipment to be loaded on flats and taken to the carmen's shops to be repaired. The change came when companies stopped repairing the cars and cut up the equipment at the derailment site. Far less carmen and no more auxilary needed.Paul Giske Thank you, Fred. It must be cheaper & economical from a managerial perspective to scrap than repair. Change brake shoes & wheelsets or throw it away.
[I contributed the first two pictures of the North Baltimore crane to this posting.]
Dave Stroebe posted four photos with the comment:
I posted these photos on the GTW Tracker which happens to be about rolling stock. The derailment occurred just east of Coopersville where the road bed rises above Randal Road. The GTW borrowed a wrecker from the PRR.

This is East of Coopersville and above Randal Road on what is now the Coopersville & Marne.
[C&M is a tourist railroad.]

No liability concerns here as a woman with baby stroller watches a PRR wrecker lift a C&NW wooden outside braced box car.

GTW Wrecker posses with PRR wrecker in down town Coopersville. The ex Lemon Car Lot is now there, The City Hall and Police are there now, The C&M parks their cars there. The view looks about the same today.

In this view is the GTW Coopersville Depot. The elevator which stands today is in the background. The Steamer has pulled the wrecking train into town. It is likely that the PRR will pick up their wrecker at Fuller Jct in Grand Rapids.
IF YOU WORK(ED) ON THE RAILROAD (railfans welcome) posted two photos.
Don Leonhardt Just south of FW Texas 2010
Don Leonhardt Down hill slack run in
Mark Kucera Actually that car wasn’t supposed to be on that train. It was big empty auto parts box car. Behind it were 10k tons of train. Dropped down a 10% grade with dynamics and air at 20mph and boom there it was. Crew not charged but DTO and MTO got in hot water over it.
Alexey Dorokhov What [nonsense], where did you see a 10% grade?
[Your not going to fix this with sidewinders, or even a big hook. Someone mentioned they would cut the car out.]

Marty's Flickr photo of EJ&E's #6 derrick and boom car 8758.

Big Container Ship

Port of Los Angeles posting
This is where a lot of the containers we see on the transcon in Illinois originate.

PR comment:
Aerial view of CMA CGM Benjamin Franklin, the largest cargo vessel to visit North America, docked at Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles.''

Ricardo Canales: At 1,300 feet long, 177 feet wide, and 197 feet tall, with a crew of 27, the Benjamin Franklin can transport 18,000 TEUs of shipping containers, but its massive size precludes it from passing through the Panama Canal. The ship’s engine is as powerful as 900 Ford Focus cars, and its 21 knots thrust equals 11 Boeing 747-400 engines, according to the Hellenic Shipping News. Its mammoth size dwarfs other ships, as it is capable of transporting one-third more cargo than average container ships arriving in Los Angeles.

(TEU is Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit.)

Ricardo Canales: The ship is:

1,300 feet long — longer than the Empire State Building if it were laid on its side;

177 feet wide — wider than a football field or an Olympic-sized swimming pool; and

197 feet tall — equivalent to a 20-story building.The crew of this self-run enterprise comprises 26 members who operate the various facets of the vessel inclusing its own waste recycle system, chef, and swimming pool,

Thursday, December 24, 2015

C&NW's 40th Street Ramp Coaling Towers (M19A)

Jerry Krug posted
On April 19, 2004, I grabbed this shot of the two coaling towers at the ex-Chicago & North Western's Keeler Ave. facilities in Chicago. Both of these towers have been demolished since. The photo was taken from a city street to the south. The track in the foreground hosts Union Pacific and Metra trains.
Jerry Krug commented on his posting above
Left Tower

Jerry Krug commented on his posting above
Right Tower

Kevin Piper posted
Melrose Park, IL, [wrong] 3-21-80. Check out those pimp lights!
Jim Wilson M19-A it looks like to me....
[Most of the comments concerning this photo of 1643 were about "pimp the lights" until I commented "I was too distracted by the coaling tower to notice any lights." Patrick McNamara said there were no coaling towers at Proviso in 1980. Jeff Lilja said they had 2 coaling towers "at the 40th Street ramp." Patrick provided the photo with the two towers as a comment.]

Patrick McNamara comment on the above posting
This is the South Tower.
Patrick McNamara comment
Patrick's comment:
The Coal Towers are marked on this map of the East End of the facility as M35 (North Tower) and M38 (South Tower).
But this map must have been earlier in the 20th century because it doesn't match the 1938 aerial photo. I included another aerial photo where I put green rectangles around where I believe the two towers were. The shadows of the towers help locate the towers.

Note the northern coal tower and two roundhouses are for the Wisconsin Division whereas the southern coal tower and roundhouse is for the Illinois (Galena) Division.

1938 Aerial from IHLAP at full resolution plus Paint

Jerry Cramer posted
Before and after pictures. C&NW shops at 40th St. in Chicago. The building is still used and serviced by the UP. It's called industrial Storage
Jerry Cramer commented on his posting above
Different view with top picture taken about where the front and above of where the UPrr engine sits.

Lou Gerard posted
C&NW F7 423 in NJ Transit colors after it returned from lease duty, with retired E and F units at M19A in Chicago. 1989. 423 now operates on the Wisconsin Great Northern at Spooner WI.

David M Laz posted
At a coaling station at the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad yards (This is where Santa got his coal)
[I doubt this tower was in Chicago, but it does show how standardized the towers were.]
David M Laz posted
Steam replenishing a the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad yards , Chicago ,
David Daruszka 40th Street.
[Jack Delano   LoC: LC-DIG-fsac-1a34645]
Nina Oliphant posted
David Daruszka updated the group photo
Dennis DeBruler An improved version of a Jack Delano photo, Library of Congress:
Dennis DeBruler So this would be the 40th Street Ramp. But we are left with the question of which one: Wisconsin or Illinois (Galena) Division.
David Daruszka commented on the above posting
Patrick McNamara commented on a sharing: " I added the M19A photo to the C&NW Fan page a few years ago - it is from the C&NWHS Archive and I purchased the 8x10 from them, scanned it and posted it. Go to their Archive page and find was a bigger rez photo than this."
Dyadya Abdul shared
CNW's 40th Street engine terminal. I believe it was often refereed to as "Smokey Hollow". More info at -…/c-40th-street-ramp-…

David Daruszka commented on the above posting
Given the location of the switch stands in the foreground I'm going to say the Wisconsin Division.
Steven J. Brown posted
Chicago and North Western E8 (Built 1953, to RTA 1977, retired in 1983; scrapped 1986) at 40th Street in Chicago - February 26, 1978.
[Note one of the coaling towewrs in the background and a sand tower on the right.]
Steven J. Brown posted
The first evil invading RTA F40PH's wearing their hideous "what the hell were they thinking?" paint scheme are at the Chicago and North Western engine house at 40th Street Yard in Chicago - October 10, 1977. These would soon replace all the E's and F's on the Rock Island. In the next few years, all the Chicago areas once colorful commuter trains would become homogenous. Forty years later, the F40PH's are still in service - far exceeding the lifespan of the locomotives they replaced!
Michael Riha shared the Grève des trains - USA - 1946. album. Here are the photos that pertain to the 40th Street Ramp. You can tell that steam was dying by 1946 because it appears the two Wisconsin Division roundhouses have been torn down.

David Daruszka The coaling towers lasted well into the UP era.
[This is the Illinois Division roundhouse. The "white" coaling tower is over the service lead of the Wisconsin Division.]

Dennis DeBruler On the right is the yard for the long distance passenger trains.

David Daruszka That was a little further west than this photo. Closer to the BRC tracks.

Dennis DeBruler Now that I know where to look, I see that there were two yards along the mainline.

Bob Lalich The CNW packed a lot into this relatively small space! Three turntables and roundhouses, two wyes, transfer tables, shops, several sub yards within the freight yard portion - fascinating operation!

David Daruszka Packed in best sums the place up best. The yard tracks were pretty close together and it was a dangerous place to work when I was there. No lights at night and packs of roaming feral dogs.
Dennis DeBruler You can tell that steam was dying. It looks like they have already torn down the Wisconsin 360-degree roundhouse.

David Daruszka commented on the 23rd photo of  the Grève des trains - USA - 1946. album
All gone by this photo.
[And the diesel shop has been built. I see one of the diesel fuel storage tanks just to the right of the Wisconsin coaling tower. Judging from a satellite image, it looks like they had to tear that tower down to make room for the second tank.]

David Daruszka C&NW's 40th Street. The coaling towers stood for decades after the end of steam service.
Doug Smith They've been gone about seven or eight years now. [2017]
Dennis DeBruler In this view we can easily see the water tower near the entrance of the roundhouse. I wonder how many standpipes it served. It struck me as rather small. They must have a water treatment facility somewhere so that they can practically contentiously refill it. That is, unlike water towers in small towns, this is not a storage tower, it is a surge tower.
David Daruszka I would assume it was one of many on the property, perhaps for each roundhouse.
Dennis DeBruler Even if there is one per roundhouse, that is still a lot of "thirsty" engines to service. But looking closer, that tower may be quite large. It looks like it is on concrete pillars, and it is about twice as high as that diesel switcher
David Daruszka posted seven images with the comment:
The Chicago & North Western's primary locomotive maintenance facilities were located at their 40th Street yards on the city's West Side. With the advent of the diesel locomotive the use of the roundhouse as a service facility was no longer viable. The railroad built a diesel shop, called M-19A, to perform those tasks. The odd title for the building stems from the railroad's designation for all the structures, major and minor, with an "M" designation. The yards are gone, the majority of the structures of the shop complex are gone but M-19A soldiers on. Now owned by Union Pacific it services locomotives for the former C&NW commuter services now operated under contract with Metra.
1949 article in Railway Age covering the completion of C&NW's new 40th Street Diesel Shop.

Aerial view of the M17 roundhouse with the M-19A diesel shop above right.

Chicago Diesel Shop Building M19-A
Three E6s and two E7s are idling or being serviced on the east side of the diesel repair shop. C&NW Public Relations Department photo. C&NW Historical Society Archives collection.

Chicago Diesel Shop Building M19-A
One of the two V-12 engines is being installed into E7 5008A after repairs were made. C&NW Public Relations Department photo. C&NW Historical Society Archives collection.

M19-A in 1983. Chuck Zeiler photograph.

The RTA era has arrived at M-19A with the delivery of new F40 locomotives. Steven J. Brown photograph.

Same building, same function, new owner. Edward Kwiatkowski photograph.

John Smith posted twelve photos of the Galena Division turntable.