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

Big Four Timetable including Map

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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

PRR Bridge over Susquehanna River in Rockville, PA

(Bridge Hunter, Bridge Hunter (old)StreetviewRich Mantz Google Photo)
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....
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 photoA 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.
Jack Stoner posted his photo
Jack Stoner posted his photoA 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.

Aban/BN/CB&Q Bridge over I-57 in West Frankfort, IL

(no Bridge Hunter, Satellite)
20160329 1962
I've noticed this BN logo several times on my trips to and from Kentucky. I had always assumed it was BNSF's route through southern Illinois. But, thanks to a posting by Aaron Qualls, I learned that it is near West Frankfort and that it is an abandoned branch. The width of this bridge for a rural area has always amazed me. It is even more amazing given that it was just a branch.

Looking at an old aerial photo explains the width of the bridge --- I-57 is on the west side of town and CB&Q had a railroad yard on the southwest side of town.

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
The wye in the upper right-hand corner of the following satellite image is the same wye that is on the left of the above aerial photo. The wye in the lower-left corner is where this branch connected to the CB&Q mainline through southern Illinois. The upper branch of the first wye was the MoPac.

IC had a branch coming into town on the east side that they built jointly with CB&Q. This branch was expensive because it was elevated. (The branch at the top of the aerial excerpt below. About a fourth of the way from the left you can see it also crossed the C&EI tracks.)

1938 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Why did CB&Q, IC, MoPac, and C&EI have so many branches around West Frankfort? Because in the vicinity were the following coal mines: Orient Mines 1 & 2, Producers Mines 18 & 19, and Old Ben Mines 9 & 15. Studying the railroad map that includes these coal mines, it appears that each mine wanted at least two railroads servicing it. And I'm sure the railroads wanted to serve the mines.

Looking at a satellite image, all of these mines must have been underground mines. Between the operational expense of shaft mining and the high sulfur content of the coal, I assume all of these mines closed soon after the Wyoming Powder River Basin was developed. And when the mines closed, the railroad branches disappeared. So now only the north/south route of UP/C&EI remains in this area.

CSX/Big Four Bridge over Great Miami River in Sidney, OH

(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesSatellite)
Greg Schultz posted
Concrete viaduct in Sidney, OH. Not sure if it was NYC or PRR. From a slide I took in 1998. The viaduct is still active.
I thought all of the big concrete arch viaducts were in east coast states. I did not realize that there was one this close to the Chicago area. This bridge ups my priority to make a trip to Columbus, OH, although Sidney would be a bit of a detour.

My 1928 RR Atlas shows the north/south route through Sidney was B&O and the east/west route was Big Four (Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis). Big Four was controlled and then bought by the New York Central. When Conrail was split between NS and CSX, CSX got this route so it now has a monopoly on traffic in Sidney, OH since it always owned the B&O route.

Both railroads had viaducts, but this bridge is on the east/west route. Looking at satellite images, the southern viaduct has only one arch that does not have trees in it. The eastern viaduct has multiple clear arches and their is little truss bridge close by that is in the lower-left corner of this photo.

Historic Bridges mentioned the piers of a Big Four bridge that got destroyed by a flood in 1913. A couple of hours after reading that I came across this posting.

Mark Slater posted
Bridge supports from the former CCC&StL (Big Four) over the Miami River in Sidney Ohio. Line was moved south of town in 1920s.

CN/WC+DSS&A Bridges over St. Mary's River between Sault Ste. Maries

(Update: A video of the Roger Blough passing the West Pier under this bridge. I'm learning it is an older boat because it has the bridge and crew quarters on the bow instead of the stern and because it does not have a self-unloader. There is also quite a bit of ice in the canal.)

From Michigan to Ontario, the International Bridge consists of a lift bridge for Locks 1 and 2, a dual-leaf Strauss Bascule for Locks 3 and 4, and a swing bridge over the Canadian lock.

Joe Granger posted 23 pictures of the Canadian side with the comment:
A few more high quality photos of some of the spans at the International Bridge between Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The swing span and trusses are from 1888, built jointly by the Soo Line, DSS&A and Canadian Pacific. The Bascule Bridge, the largest ever built, is from 1919, and the lift bridge was built in 1954 to replace another swing span. The red swing bridge is the last surviving emergency swing dam and still is swung twice a year. The bridge is now owned by CN. The bascule span is not opened anymore as the 3 and 4th lock are currently closed until a new lock is built.....whenever congress approves the funding. The project was approved decades ago, but they haven't released the funding. 
Twice a day the bridges are closed for a train
It appears the emergency swing dam swings a plate out over the canal and then the plate is turned from a horizontal to a vertical position to plug the canal.

More postings by Joe: an Oopsie Doodles with the lift span, after an accident with the bascule bridge, one leaf of the bascule being raised., all three movable spans, a video of the lift closing for a train then going back up for a boat, includes some detailed shots of the swing bridges gearing and lock pin, and a set that includes some downstream views of the dam,

Update: Joe Granger posted 6 closeups of the two US RR bridges with the comment: "Some photos of the 1945 Art Deco-ish machinery house and the worlds largest draw bridge (1913) at Sault Ste. Marie"

Canal Dimensions has details concerning the five locks.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Aban/BN/CB&Q Bridge over Mississippi River in Alton, IL

(Bridge Hunter)
Madison County ILGenWeb posted
NOTE:The Alton "Burlington" railroad bridge opened with great fanfare on May 1, 1894. The auto bridge in Alton was constructed in 1928. Shown in the 1912 photo is the railroad bridge, with one of its spans swung open to allow the steamer Alton to travel through. The railroad bridge no longer exists.
Source: Alton Evening Telegraph, October 23, 1916
100 years ago
W. S. MacDonald, the resident engineer who constructed the Alton [railroad] bridge which was thrown open to use in 1894, was a visitor in Alton Sunday as the guest of James Duncan and R. H. Levis. Mr. MacDonald has made very few trips back to Alton since he left here after the bridge was finished. He was a young man when he came here to start work on the bridge and it was the biggest job he had tackled up to that time. He was a highly competent man, and afterward he became a well-known bridge builder.
While here, Mr. MacDonald inspected the bridge which he completed 22 years ago last May. He recalled that he drove the first stake for the bridge, and that he had full charge of its construction. He was in charge of it for a while after it was completed. Mr. MacDonald made a trip over Alton and was astonished at how the city had grown. He recalled how the Alton bridge was a part of a big project to belt around East St. Louis, this fact being indicated by its original name, the St. Clair, Madison and St. Louis Belt Railroad Company. The dream has not yet been realized. The panic of 1893 under Cleveland's administration knocked out all hopes of a realization of the project then. The bridge had no feeders to make it prosper, it was soon in financial troubles and later was sold to a syndicate of railroads, and they have no interest in the belting of the city of East St. Louis. The Illinois Terminal now has a similar project on foot, planning to make the Alton bridge a link in the belt system that was long ago planned.
Mr. MacDonald could see that Alton, with her great manufacturing industries, could make a much better financial proposition out of a belt line than could have been done years ago when the bridge was conceived. Mr. MacDonald has been in St. Louis attending the Episcopal convention as a representative of his church in New York City. He is now a retired, wealthy man. He had kindly memories of Alton, and wished to see the city and the bridge that was his first important piece of work. [Comment from above posting]

1941 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
The CB&Q came down the west bank of the Mississippi from Quincy and Burlington, so it used this bridge to access the industry on the east side of the river. There was a lot of heavy industry in Granite City. In fact, by today's standards, there still is a lot of heavy industry. An example is US Steel Granite City Works.

Mike O'Neal posted
Park downtown Alton the train bridge is gone and a new Alton bridge is in place today the train bridge would open and close on the lock and Dan 26 to let the boats go through. The dam 26 is move down the river about a haft mile.
On the west side of the river, you can still see the abandoned CB&Q embankment and the tree line from the old junction with the west bank branch.