Wednesday, June 10, 2015

CN/EJ&E #198 Bridge - Des Plaines River (Actually, CS&SC)

(Flickr, Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, Birds Eye, Satellite)

Canadian National now owns the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern Railroad. It crosses the Des Plaines River north of Joliet, IL where the Sanitary and Ship Canal joins the Des Plaines River. The bridge is surrounded by industry, so the best I could do were some telephoto pictures from North Bluff Road.

This is a closeup of the boat in the above photo. This boat was unusual because it was a tugboat instead of a towboat. That is, it had a round front instead of a "square" front. I don't remember seeing a tugboat on the river before. It had to wait for the train to clear the bridge before it could proceed upstream
I chased a large tow from Jackson Street Bridge to this lift bridge. This is the first time I have seen a "helper" towboat lashed to the front as part of the tow.

By the time I finished taking video of the Cass Street Bridge and got back to this bridge, it was already in the "up" position. You can see the prop wash for both props, so you know the towboat is pushing hard. But, of course, it is still moving rather slowly.
I was set up with a telephoto lens and a tripod to take a video of the bridge going back down when an eastbound BNSF/Santa Fe container train went by. I was not going to risk missing the bridge by changing back to a wide-angle lens so I took a picture of each of the four engines. I include only one here because the main reason for taking four pictures is to get the numbers: 8388, 8383, 8386, and 8368. They are GE ES44C4s. When I saw the tight grouping of the numbers, I wondered if they were fresh from the factory. A Facebook posting did confirm that they were "brand new."

It turns out I had plenty of time to take those pictures, I still had to wait for the bridge to go down. While I was waiting, I caught the lead engine of a westbound BNSF/Santa Fe vehicle train. I had to stare at the bridge for a while before I decided that it was finally going down. It moved very slowly. That is why I videoed just some of its downward movement. This video has quadruple action. In addition to the bridge going down, it shows the tow continuing upstream and the tops of the eastbound containers behind the westbound vehicle train.

I took another picture after I was done with the video to verify that it was still going down.
Then I grabbed the engines of the vehicle train as it crossed the I&M Canal Bridge. It was pulled by BNSF 6992: ES44C4 built in 2012 and 4462: C44-9W built in 1998.
Then another picture of the bridge to confirm it was finally in the "down" position. In the following "overview" picture from North Bluff Road, you can barely see the lift bridge in the far background.

Sam Carlson posted in Facebook
Stuart Pearson posted
Stuart's comment:
EJ&E Ry crossing the Bridge that spans the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal just below Lockport (IL) Lock. This Train was returning from Morris, IL where the "J" served a Chemical Plant, and was heading for the North end of the Joliet (IL) Yard. Late Afternoon in the Autumn. I used Fuji Velvia a 50 Speed Highly Saturated Film.

Greg Schmuldt posted
650 going across bridge 198 in trail aug 2001
When I saw this, I was left with the question of Des Plaines or Illinois River bridge? Fortunately, I soon came across the following posting in my timeline which answered the question ---- Des Plaines.]
Greg Schmuldt posted
Delivering cars to the santa fe in joliet as you can see bridge 198 to the left and the bridge over the santa fe main lines towards lemont.This was the job called the nite flyer. Went out of joliet with cars for kirk yard about midnight and returned to joliet usually by 9am with cars for joliet road switchers usually the head 30 or so were for the santa fe mostly coil cars. We would pull into north 29 or 31, cut away then deliver the SF cut then put engines on pit and tie up. It was a sweet job as a brakeman.
Bill Molony posted
The EJ&E's control tower at the Des Plaines River bridge in Joliet - December 2, 1990.
Stuart Pearson Bill Molony from my having worked in the office of a Barge company in the past let me say at this point it is still the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. It becomes the DesPlaines a short distance above the Ruby St. Bridge.
Given Sturart's information, I augmented the title and added the wwSS label. I left the wwDPR label because the stretch along the Santa Fe Yard looks like it is the Des Plaines River. I guess it is the CS&SC because they had to do a lot of dredging of the river to obtain the required 9-foot depth for barges and tugs. (An interesting tidbit is that the channel between the Lockport Lock and Lake Michigan is 12 feet deep. [Mississippi River-Illinois Waterway 12 Foot Channel Study])

Robby Gragg posted
Eastbound manifest with three SD38-2s arrives into Joliet yard off the Western Sub in 2006.
Robby Gragg Bridge 198, just west of Joliet yard. This was taken from the now gone Woodruff Rd crossing.
Dennis DeBruler Got it. I underestimated how long your telephoto lens was.,-88.../data=!3m1!1e3 Once you get away from the bridge, it becomes double track again.
Fortunately, I recently saw a map that labeled this bridge as #198 so I recognized the subject of Dillon Harrison's posted comment:
In a discussion today, The subject of Bridge 198 came up. With 198 being an obvious bottleneck on the railroad for the CN, Was there ever talk of double tracking the bridge post-buyout? Any reasons why it never was double tracked even though it was built as a 2 track bridge?
Frank DeVries The weight is not a problem. The "Second Approach span" is (was) currently sitting on the non existent track side of the lift span. At least it was when I left. Bridge 198 worked very well when I was there. Of course the C&S department employees did a great job keeping up with the electrical and the J B&B department did a great job maintaining it. Bridge 552 (old one) was my PITA bridge of the 5 movable bridges.
Randy Brouwer Never been the same since Langley hammered it lol
George Ewing You mean when he seated it manually.
Michael Bachmann Seated it manually? When I got the call that cold November night that the engineer felt a bump while entering the lift span of the bridge. Bump hell, it had to be a big bang. Broke a carryover casting, skewed the bridge north and south as well as upstream and downstream. Wheels flange was riding on top of rail for about 20 feet, lucky they fell back into gauge. Bent the snowplow severely on engine. My crew spent that whole night and most of next day making repairs. What happened to "permission by the red signal checking route as you go".
Harold J. Krewer The Army Corps of Engineers paid for Bridge 198 as part of the Illinois Waterway project. Naturally the "J" specified it be built to accommodate a second main track, just as most, if not all the highway overpasses were constructed (e.g., I-88 and Butterfield Road).
For many years the track material (rail, ties) for the second main was left lying on the bridge deck in order to keep the lift span properly balanced.

Michael Bachmann commented on Dillon's posting
From the top of 198 looking towards Joliet Yard. 1959 picture.

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