Sunday, October 30, 2016

Tie Rod Anchor Plates on Brick Buildings

20151212 7473
I found this building being remodeled on Goose Island. It is the first building I have seen in Chicago that has tie rod anchor plates. In fact, it has two different types.

It has big ones in vertical columns and little ones near the top along the roof line. The little ones help fasten little rods in the wood beams of the roof to the brick wall to hold up the roof. These are further described below.

I believe the vertical tie plates terminate tie rods that run completely through the brick walls inside the building. This helps hold in the outer walls and provide reinforcement for the interior walls.
Tsongas Industrial History Center posted
For those following our #MillYardMonday posts, sorry we missed one yesterday! Today is Tuesday, but it's the perfect time to learn about tie rods. You may have noticed the black metal knobs that dot the sides of mill buildings at evenly spaced intervals. These knobs are actually the protruding ends of objects called tie rods. The rods were used to secure floor support beams to the mill walls. Builders attached the rods to the beams and then pushed them through the wall, securing them to the outside in a way similar to using nuts and bolts. By attaching the tie rods this way, builders essentially anchored the floor beams to the walls. Eventually this building method was used less often as some believed that, in mill fires, tie rods actually caused more damage to the building. If the wooden floor beams sagged, snapped, or burned, it was likely they would pull down the walls with them since they were attached by the rods. The decision to stop using tie rods in construction made it more likely that the walls of a mill would remain standing after a fire, even if all the floor beams burned away.
In this image of the Boott Mill you can look to the left and see the ends of tie rods scattered across the building. This continues along the whole length of the structure as well as on the opposite side of the mill!
Note the tie plates in these mills run horizontally along the floor lines. The Chicago building must have been built after this lesson was learned and only the roof is tied into the outer walls. They switched to rods through the walls to help hold the outer walls from buckling outwards.

I first saw tie plates in a building in a small town in Illinois. (After a lot of searching in my picture folders, I discovered it was in Indiana.) Of course, I can't remember which town that was. I had gotten out to take pictures of railroad structures along a north/south railroad when I spotted it across the street. These are some of the buildings I came across while looking for the building I wanted to find.

In this building the tie rods with their plates seem to have been used for repairs. Note the cluster on the corner between the second and third floor. There is also a vertical set of tie plates in the lower-right corner.

(20141017 0061, Streetview)
The IC Depot in Mattoon, IL.

(20150730 3695)

One of the back shop buildings in IC's Paducah's shops has plates along the left side and along the bottom of the end wall. In this case, there is probably something heavy on the inside that has been mounted to the wall, and the mount needed the extra strength of a tie rod and plate.

(20150930 4965)

In North Baltimore, OH, I was taking a picture of the 1892 cut stone building, but I notice the building to the right has a couple of tie rod plates by the window.

But looking at a Streetview, they must be for a repair job rather than for the original construction.

(20151101 5239)

A block to the west is an old industrial building. (Unfortunately, it is currently vacant and for sale. I hope a developer can reuse it as an antique shop, wedding reception hall, or whatever building depending on the layout of the interior. People near Chicago have weddings in Streator, IL, even if some of the guests have to stay in Peru or Ottawa, IL because an industrial building was converted to a (relatively) reasonably priced "event center.") This view is looking to the northwest across the CSX/B&O mainline through town.

In this view of the east side, I see some tie plates that were used for repair ---- three horizontal ones on the right and at least two vertical ones on the left. (There may be more vertical ones behind the tree.)

(20151101 5230 and 5241)

A side building of the Tampa Bay depot has a few along the top. The foreground is one of the platforms and its shelter.

(20151225 7772) (I spent Christmas Day driving around Tamp Bay because traffic would be light and because I had been to Busch Gardens the previous year.)
These two buildings in Newburgh, IN, have two types of plates. The one on the left has a couple of the typical star plates. The one on the right has six, green "daisy flower" plates.

(20140811 0493)  Streetview

Bingo. This is the building I had in mind. This is the first one I noticed with tie rod plates on the side. And this appears to be the bad design described by the Tsongas Industrial Historical Center comment above where the floor and roof beams are tied into the walls.

(20141108 0183) Streetview
The middle of the hydro-electric plant in Marseilles, IL, has two rows of tie plates along the top. But in this case I think it is to mount something heavy on the inside of the building.

(20140627 0056) Streetview
Attribution: Oosoom, CC BY_SA 3.0
Tie rods and anchor plates in the ruins of Coventry Cathedral
Tie rods have good tensile strength and bad compression strength whereas masonry has good compression strength and bad tensile strength. Like reinforced concrete, they can be used together to produce a much stronger building.

I have a lot more pictures of brick buildings. But they were just a brick facade over a steel frame (effectively short skyscrapers). The brick in these older buildings with tie rods are probably load bearing walls built in the 1800s and early 1900s, and the rods are the only steel (wrought iron if old enough) in the structure. I assume that if tie rods were not used, more courses of brick would be needed in the walls to withstand lateral loads such as wind load. I wonder how well masonry buildings with tie rods survive earthquakes. (Masonry buildngs without tie rods don't survive.)

An 18-page .pdf sounded interesting, but when I clicked the "Download button," it asked for private information. A 201-page .pdf is more information than I'm willing to look at. I skimmed an 8-page .pdf and noticed that vertical ties are more effective at resisting earthquakes than horizontal ties.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Junction Tower: CFER/CSX/PRR vs Aban/CR/NYC/MC (Joliet Cutoff) in Liverpool, IN

Wayne Hudak posted three pictures concerning Liverpool, IN, with the comment:
A pair of former Reading RR units lead an eastbound freight at the small hamlet of Liverpool in Northwest Indiana. They have just crossed the former Michigan Central Joliet Cutoff. At one time there was a tower there.



CGW Hoffman Bridge over Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN

(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesJohn Weeks III, 3D Satellite)
John Weeks IIII
This photo is "from early summer of 2011 when the Mississippi River was at a high water level. The photo above shows the main swing span and the truss span on the east side of the river crossing.
John Weeks IIII
The photo above is a 2007 view from the regional trail overpass that crosses over Concord Street. The trees have been removed, but cap has not yet been placed on the landfill. The photo below is a view of the bridge from Mounds Park. This view looks across the downtown Saint Paul Holman Field airport. Notice the dense grove of trees on the right side of the river. Those are the trees that were cut as part of the landfill restoration project.

Jordan Palmer posted
Thanks much for the add! Here is a shot I captured last summer of the former CGW Swingbridge over the Mississippi in St. Paul, Minnesota, still used numerous times every day by the Union Pacific.David Kelzenberg This bridge is indeed at St. Paul. It is downstream from the former CGW lift bridge downtown, which is under the Robert St. (US 52) bridge. THIS bridge connects the former CGW line from the south to the UP yard by Pigs Eye lake (and the big CP former Milw. yard).
Kirk Brust commented on the above posting
Hope this helps...
[It sure did, I "liked" it.]
3D Satellite

Friday, October 28, 2016

Big4: Big Four Timetable including Map

Big Four is the nickname for the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis Railway

Big Four was controlled by NYC and eventually owned by NYC.

History by Classic Streamliners
Brian Carson posted

Bill Edrington posted four pictures with the comment:
Excerpts from an 1895 Big Four public timetable, including schedules of passenger trains between Indianapolis and St. Louis. The "Short Line" between Hillsboro and Lenox Tower (Mitchell) didn't open until 1904, so at this time all trains ran via Litchfield, Gillespie, Bunker Hill and East Alton on what later became known as the "Old Line". I grew up hearing stories about the "Knickerbocker" and the "Mattoon Accommodations" from my great uncle, who was born in Litchfield in 1888, and I have fond memories of trains on both the Old Line and the Short Line.
Bill Edrington The number of through trains on the Big Four was even more impressive from the 1920s through the early-to-mid-1950s, although the all-stops "accommodation trains" began to disappear fairly early because of competition from interurban lines and private automobiles.
Jacob Hortenstine Litchfield was once home to the Big Four car shops if memory serves me right was moved toMattoon after shortline nuilt
Bill Edrington The car shop was actually moved to Mattoon in 1871, after the Indianapolis & St. Louis had built its line from Indianapolis to Terre Haute, took over the St. Louis, Alton & Terre Haute, and established Mattoon as the crew change point roughly halfway between Indianapolis and St. Louis. David Settlemire bought the shop building in Litchfield and operated it as the Litchfield Car Works for a number of years, before shutting it down and moving the business to Mt. Vernon.

It always struck me that Big Four got the little railroads that NYC or PRR did not snarf up.

Note the Kankakee & Seneca route and their use of the IC tracks to access the Chicago market. This clearly shows the Egyptian Line from Cairo to Danville with continuation on NYC tracks to the Chicago market. And the little branch to Vincennes that has the Wabash Cannonball Bridge.
Bill Edrington posted
I've noticed that several members of this group have recently viewed some photos of the Big Four "Chicago East" line that I posted back in November 2017. Since that time, a group devoted specifically to the former Big Four lines has been formed and is very active. I'd encourage NYC fans who are interested in the Big Four to join: Fans of the New York Central's Big Four Lines.
[Unfortunately, the resolution of these maps is "almost readable." But you can see the routes.]

Thursday, October 27, 2016

PRR 1902 Bridge over Susquehanna River in Rockville, PA

(Bridge Hunter, Bridge Hunter (old)Streetview, InterestingPennsylvania BlogRich Mantz Google Photo, 3D Satellite)

Paul W. Faust posted
The Rockville Bridge just north of Harrisburg, Pa. is the longest stone arch railroad bridge in the world - and this is the original first RR bridge that was in that location. Most of the piers are still standing next to current one.
This is looking from the west side of the river (Susquehanna) towards Rockville.
Paul either doctored his copy or found a better copy.
Paul W. Faust posted
The first Rockville Bridge, Harrisburg, Pa.
year unknown

Jack Stoner posted his photo
September 19, 2015 at 8:11am, NS eastbound Roadrailer eases across the venerable Rockville Bridge. According to reports from Norfolk Southern, this train may be but just a memory by the end of the year.
Jack Stoner posted his photo
A Norfolk Southern manifest rolls across the 1902 vintage Rockville bridge from Enola yard September 19,2015. At 3820 feet it remains the longest railroad viaduct of stone arch construction in the world. Not the first structure on the site; the bases for the piers of the 1849 structure owned by PRR and used by the Northern Central (trackage rights) after abandoning their Marysville bridge, can be seen from above the locomotive consist following to the west shore of the river.
3D Satellite
The line of "green dots" is the piers for the previous steel truss bridge. Before that, there was a covered wooden bridge here!

An album of construction pictures for the current stone arch bridge, the worlds longest. The comments are also interesting. On the same day I researched the construction photos I came across a photo by Greg Morgan. Jenevieve Marie posted some pictures that give a perspective on how large the bridge is. Note that  the stones in the pier are about 2.5 feet thick.

Jen Marie posted
Some Dude wrote me yesterday...and Said what is Rail fanning?...I said this will take some time to Explain....
Jenevieve Marie posted
[Obviously the original colored version]

Jack Stoner posted his photo
A firey red sunrise illuminates a Norfolk Southern Intermodal train crossing the 3820 foot, 113 year old Rockville Bridge October 24, 2015. This dramatic lighting lasted only minutes and was gone. Lucky to get a train at just the right time!
Jenevieve Marie posted
Marysville, PA 2014
Jenevieve Marie posted
Marysville, PA
Jenevieve Marie posted
Rockville Bridge 2014
Jenevieve Marie posted
Rockville Bridge, Marysville, PA 1990
[In this case, the Santa Fe engines are as interesting as the bridge.]
Brian Kincaid posted
Closest thing to an Easter Egg like locomotive-Interstate RR Heritage Unit on the Rockville Bridge in Marysville, Pennsylvania on Holy Thursday 2014.
Jen Gamble posted
Rockville Bridge, Marysville Side 2016.51

Jack Stoner posted his photo
Keneth Badgett posted
As of this past thursday I caught these guys on the rockvillie bridge.
[Rock (Rock Island hoppers) on Rock]
Frank Clement posted
I took this in 2008 from atop the north bluff of the Blue Mountain looking over the Rockville bridge with Amtrak crossing to enter Harrisburg.
Jen Gamble posted
Rockville Bridge from the East Shore...1997
Jenevieve Marie posted
Carl Venzke posted
Amtrak train 40, the eastbound Broadway Limited behind E9A 424, E8A 447 and E9A 438, looms out of the fog at the east end of Rockville Bridge, minutes away from it's station stop at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA, 16 July 1978. Photo by Bill Wilcox.
Norfolk Southern Corp posted
Did you know that Norfolk Southern has 4,920 employees, 2,560 railroad retirees, and 2,400 miles of track operated in the Keystone State? #DYK#Pennsylvania
Pictured: Hopper train 595 crosses the massive Rockville Bridge across the Susquehanna River, departing Harrisburg, Pa., with the Illinois Terminal heritage unit leading.
Bill Mason Those rocks above the bridge is where I caught 32 small mouth bass in the 80's. Got to watch trains all day and caught a ton of fish... loved it!
Randolph Caruso Is that an Amtrak train heading east?
Brandon Lee posted
Opened in 1902 the Rockville Bridge is 3,820 ft long and has 48 arches making it the longest Masonry arch bridge in the world. It is located a few miles up the Susquehanna River from Harrisburg PA. It was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and is currently operated by Norfolk Southern.
Paul W. Faust posted
Two Norfolk Southern freights crossing the historic Rockville bridge. The Rockville is the longest stone arch RR bridge in the world. My dad used to cross it every day for decades.
© Paul W. Faust -
Prints Available -

Norfolk Southern Corp posted
Train 35Q crosses the Lurgan Branch Bridge and the Susquehanna River.
David Andrew Wieting Next to the Lurgan Branch bridge are the remains of the unfinished bridge begun in 1885 by the South Penn RR, and the PRR Cumberland Valley Bridge, which was once part of the route to Hagerstown. It was also electrified in the 1930s and used as a way to ferry light engine moves between Enola and Harrisburg as needed, and the way that passenger trains from Baltimore approached Harrisburg after coming north on the old Northern Central.
David Andrew Wieting Lurgan Branch is kind of like NS' own RF&P - links North and South, using both PRR and Reading tracks, linked at Shippensburg. CSX still has rights into Harrisburg from Hagerstown, of a sort, but that is all that remains of the old Alphabet Route. Brothers Wayne and Bill Reid, of Indiana, I believe, have immortalized the route with their N scale Cumberland Valley RR, depicted both the PRR and Reading lines. It has been featured in numerous articles and on video. The former PRR section from CP SHIP south has been modernized almost beyond recognition, with signals and sidings that Conrail never got around to installing, as part of the Crescent Corridor improvements. But many landmarks remain, including some stations, masonry, old handrails, and bridges.
[I assume the Lurgan Branch Bridge is also the Rockville Bridge. What are the odds that NS would have two really long stone arch bridges with a dam in front and abandoned piers behind?]
Norfolk Sothern Corp posted
Pictured: Train 13r crosses the Rockville Bridge and the Susquehanna River in Marysville, Pennsylvania.
Art Kemberling The photo shows NS train crossing the Susquehanna river on the Rockville Bridge which happens to be the longest stone arch bridge in the world.
Ronnie Cathcart Nice to see that SD40-2 behind the lead engine chipping in with some power...nice!!
Zack Boone That SD40 looks so small.
Dave Witos shared
We spent our weekend in the Harrisburg area at the Bridgeview Bed & Breakfast. What a fantastic place! It was great being able to see the action on the Rockville Bridge, the longest stone-arch railroad bridge in the world.
Rob Keith I live near Falls Creek, PA, where most of the stone to make that bridge was quarried!
Keith Latimer posted two photos from Bridgeview Bed & Breakfast with the comment: "Early Thusday [Jan 20, 2019' morning NS 8102 and a pal make the westbound trip across Rockville Bridge."

1, cropped

Glenn Geisheimer posted
Charles Crawford The interior of the Rockville Viaduct is cement!

Norfolk Southern Railroad posted
Jack Stoner
Robert Wanner posted
The set up of Pennsylvania Railroad facilities and bridges on the West Shore between Enola and Marysville, Pa. in the early years. Lots to see and observe. Unknown photographer or Historical Society.
[From the comments: the second bridge reused the piers of the 1849 wooden bridge.]

Marc Glucksman shared
Moving to the next assignment. Norfolk Southern 974 was the symbol for the OAR (Operation Awareness & Response) Train with 5642 (GP38-2, Training First Responders) and its eight cars moving from its last assignment in Rock Hill, SC to its next in Shire Oaks, PA. An aerial view shows the consist crossing the Susquehanna River into Marysville, PA on Saturday, May 25, 2019 over the historic Pennsylvania Railroad Rockville Bridge.

Two of the four photos posted by Raymond Storey.

Keith Pomroy Note the absence of the connection from the bridge to Enola. That wasn’t installed until 1939. Freight traffic for Williamsport left out of Harrisburg Yards.

(new window)  There is evidently a serious stone arch railroad bridge further downstream by Harrisburg. Another drone flyover of the river.

Trackchart from pc.smellycat