Wednesday, December 13, 2017

IAIS/Rock Island 1924 Bridge over Sylvan Slough near Rock Island

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, John Weeks III3D Satellite)

Today's geography lesson, boys and girls, is that the narrow channel between Arsenal Island and Rock Island is called the Sylvan Slough.
Dustin Oliver Flickr 2007 Photo, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)
Railroad bridge connecting the Rock Island Arsenal (Arsenal Island) with the city of Rock Island, Illinois across Sylvan Slough of the Mississippi River.
The Rock Island bridges (predecessors and current) across the main channel are famous because Rock Island built the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River. What looks like just yet another pony plate girder bridge over the slough is historic because, at the time, the 90' girders were the largest (longest and heaviest) bridge girders in the world.

Bridge Hunter
David Sebben shared
Sylvan Slough Bridge Construction- August 25, 1923
On the afternoon of Saturday, August 25, 1923, the longest and heaviest steel bridge girder ever laid across a stream in America was lowered into position over Sylvan slough between the city of Moline and the Rock Island Arsenal.
Miles W. Rich that bridge is a long way from Moline, about 18 or 19 blocks. It spans the Sylvan Slough between Arsenal Island and the City of Rock Island.
[Another reminder that hard hats were not worn in the 1920s. Now days, even managers on a work site must wear them.]

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Johnston Street Bridges over Upper Harbor in Victoria, BC

(see below for satellite)

An old Strauss trunion bridge is being replaced by a new design.

Herb Neufeld, License: cc-by-2.0

More than 50 per cent of the new bridge will accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. In addition to maintaining three lanes for vehicles, the new bridge will include on-road bike lanes, a multi-use trail for pedestrians and cyclists, and a dedicated pedestrian pathway.
The new bridge will be the largest single-leaf bascule bridge in Canada – and one of the largest in the world (just less than 46m).

Shane Caravan posted, cropped
Ben StalveyGroup Admin M1200R RingerDennis DeBruler!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...
Blake Bix Smith commented on Shane's posting

Blake Bix Smith commented on Shane's posting
Dynamic Installations Inc.
[They closed the current bridge for extended periods Dec 8-10 while this crane installed the counterweight and rings that are part of the lifting mechanism.]

The bridge is already behind, and the Mayor, Lisa Helps, has no confidence in the contractor's (PCL) new estimate of March, 2018. An estimated cost of $63m is now up to $105m. Note the following is from an article that was written last June.
“Just putting this structure together has taken PCL a lot longer than they anticipated, and that’s been the delay.”
Huggett [the city’s project director] said none of the steel will be accepted for delivery by the city unless it is deemed to be exactly as ordered. There are concerns with some of the steel pieces that have been completed showing signs of corrosion, he said. “We’re not going to accept substandard work.”
Helps said there are critical dates coming up for transport of the bridge’s steel components.
She said the shipping will be done in two portions, with the first set to begin the trip to Canada on July 20.
[TimesColonist, 2017 Jun 15]

A swing bridge was built in 1888, but it could only handle trains and pedestrians. And the pedestrians had to walk in the track area. In 1924 the swing bridge was replaced by two Strauss trunnion bridges --- one dedicated to the railroad and the other for public use.

Johnson Street Bridge under construction (1921-1923), (City of Victoria Archives M00343)
It was painted blue in 1979.

Johnson Street Bridge 2011
The railroad, and its bridge, is gone. The new bridge will provide much more space for pedestrians and bikes.
"set to open in 2017"
A page of several "then and now" construction photos.

AZ-188 1992 Bridge over Salt River and Theodore Roosevelt Dam

(Bridge Hunter of Bridge, Bridge Hunter of DamSatellite or constructed approach, Satellite of dam (165+ photos)))
Butch Gray posted
4100 series 2 late 80s
John Saban Water was high back then.Butch Gray this was also when they were raising the dam.Dennis DeBruler I assume this was the west approach of the AZ-188 bridge over Salt River:,-111.../data=!3m1!1e3
Jim Bergstrom, 2009 Oct
Adam Sharp, 2017 Mar
Bridge Hunter enlarged
Doru H, 2010 Sep
LA Miller, 2017 Mar
Bridge Hunter enlarged
LA Miller, 2017 Mar
Adam Sharp, 2017 Mar
Jiri Leipert, 2016 Aug

A photo of the finished west approach

An overview photo of the bridge

One of the ski-jump spillways in use

Tainter gates ready to be installed

Overview of dam

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Bernice Junction: Aban/PRR(Panhandle) vs. Aban/PRR(Bernice Cutoff)

(Satellite, Track Diagram)
Both routes are now abandoned. The reason for the cutoff was so that Panhandle passenger trains could avoid the original circuitous Chicago & Great Eastern route to the north side of Union Station by using the PRR's Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne & Chicago route to the south side of Union Station. The PFW&C route was not only much more direct, it had far fewer junctions with other railroads. Since Conrail tore up the Panhandle route, there is no need for this stretch of the cutoff.
PRR Track Diagram

Porter Junction: Aban/EJ&E Porter Branch with NS/NYC/LS&MS

Southwest of the junction it is easy to follow the RoW because it is now the Prairie Duneland Trail.
I ended with a "dotted line" because there were multiple tracks between Broadway and the NYC tracks. In the satellite image, it appears 3 of the 4 mainline tracks and one siding track is left.

Skip Burch posted
EJ&E road & rail blue print. Porter Indiana
Matt Lasayko This is my pictureSkip Burch Thank you for the picture Matt. I live in Porter, and I worked for the J. My great grandfather, and grandfather worked for the J, starting in 1904.Matt Lasayko Summer of 85 it was torn up.
It is not clear if there was ever a tower here or if  it was just hand-thrown switches into a NYC interchange yard. We are looking across the NYC tracks to the curved EJ&E track.

Bill Molony posted
EJ&E 2-8-2 Mikado-type #773 at Porter, Indiana on May 12, 1946.
Bob Lalich Wow! Any shot of the J at Porter is rare, let alone steam!
If you look at a Porter track diagram, you can see that the curved western spur tied into the west end of a NYC interchange yard. There was no need for the EJ&E and interchange with the Michigan Central because the MC's Joliet Cutoff paralleled the EJ&E all the way to Joliet.

Willow Creek Junction: Wabash vs. CSX/NYC/Michigan Central vs. CSX/B&O

(Track Diagram and photos)
NorthAmericanInterlockings:  (WC) photo photo photo photo
Chicago and Northern Indiana Railroad Interlocking Towers (click the marker for more information)

I added a blue line to show where the Wabash route was. Further to the east, the Wabash RoW is the Iron Horse Heritage Trail.
The model board:
Kevin A Heggi commented on Matt's posting

Friday, December 8, 2017

MoW: Side Dump Cars

Screenshot @ -0:40
Mark Gillins posted
Building up the river banks.
Sam L'Huillier worked rip rap job with Jordan spreader a lot
Frank Irvine Six Man Gang ? .... Doing the work of a Two Man Gang .... Gotta Love The Railroad .
Mark Gillins yea trainman there in green, mtm pulled this car so i could film it, couple men dumped the rest.
Joe Kveton It's ok when you are dumping only a few cars but when you have 30 cars or more it takes forever to build up the air.
Sam L'Huillier need more Air , always,30 dumps and a air operated Spreader ,, takes a while.

I wonder if a dump train can handle rock that is this big.

CP/ICE/Milw 1903 Bridge over Wisconsin River at Wisconsin Dells

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, John MarvigSatelliteStreet View)
John calls it the Cary Rail Bridge.
ICE = Iowa, Chicago & Eastern

Robby Gragg posted
The 2009 CP Holiday Train departs Wisconsin Dells with a nice reflection.
Robby Gragg posted
In December of 2010 a pair of IC&E SD40-2s lead CP 277 west through Wisconsin Dells. It was bone chilling cold but worth it to see this!
Clarissa Peterson, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
[Evidently this lower deck used to carry a road. But the road has been removed and additional bracing has been added. The vertical columns in the middle are on just one side because one of the initial two tracks on the bridge has been removed. And diagonal bracing has been added at the two ends.]
The bridge still has its tie bars and pin connections. [Bridge Hunter]

UP+Metra/C&NW 1927 Bridge over Fox River in Fox River Grove

(Bridge Hunter, John MarvigSatellite)
Street View

Robby Gragg posted
A UP SD40N leads Chemung empties west over the Fox River in Fox River Grove

Thursday, December 7, 2017

MWRD: Reversing the flow of the Chicago River

Reversing the flow of the Chicago River to keep Chicago's filth away from its drinking water intakes is one of those topics that has so much information that I have been reluctant to explain it. Fortunately, our local PBS station, WTTW, has addressed it with an animated video. MWRD posted a link to WTTW's Facebook video. But I don't trust the permanence of Facebook video links. The Chicago Tribune posted a WTTW web site of information. It includes the river-reversal topic, which includes a copy of the animation video.

Scroll down for the  video: How Chicago Reversed Its River: An Animated History
The WTTW page has several more photos concerning the digging of the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. It also describes what happened after the canal was dug such as the water treatment plants that were built after 1929 including the world's largest.
New, unforeseen challenges – the migration of invasive species such as the Asian Carp into the Chicago River foremost among them – have recently reopened conversations about how the river might continue to be engineered and whether it ought to be restored to its natural course. [WTTW]

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Aban/Northwestern & Pacific (NWP) Bridge over Corte Madera Creek near GreenBrae, CA

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, 3D Satellite)
I found this bridge because UP provided the wrong city for a bridge in their article about using drones to inspect bridges. I can't decide if it is a trunnion bridge with an unusual rack design or a rolling bridge with a rolling member that is not a circle arc so the rack is not straight. Either way, it is the first time I have seen a bridge like this. Too bad it is unused and we won't see any pictures of it in the down position. Seeing a "down" picture would give us a better clue as to how it works.

Arl Lacenskl Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)

3D Satellite

Arl Lacenskl Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC), Digitally Zoomed

Street View

BNSF+Amtrak/Santa Fe ABT Trunion over Old River at Orwood, CA

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, 3D Satellite)

I found this bridge while looking for the Benicia-Marinez Bridge. Since ABT Trunion bridges are rare, any I find are worth noting. It is also rare because the movable span is built with steel girders instead of a truss. Bridge Hunter does not indicate the BNSF predecessor railroad, but my 1928 RR Atlas does show that Santa Fe came north through the center of California and then west through here to Oakland, CA.


UP+Amrak/SP Benicia-Martinez 1930 Bridge over Carquinez Strait (Suisun Bay)

(Bridge Hunter, Historic BridgesSatellite)

California Highways and Public Works Magazine, page 15
[The 1962 (rehabilitated 1991) road bridge itself is notable because it is a long continuous truss bridge.]
While trying to get a Street View, I learned the old road bridge carries just south bound traffic and the new one carries northbound traffic for I-680
Street View

The caption cost me some time because this bridge is not In San Rafael, CA! It is between its namesake towns in a different county.
"Originally built for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1929-1930, this is the last simple truss railroad bridge built in the United States at a new location (i.e. where none had existed before)."
Posted October 23, 2013, by jayhawk
Maybe the writer meant pin connected - 1930 would be getting a bit late for a pin connected bridge.
[Bridge Hunter]
Some big boats must use this straight to have a lift span with an elevation of 82 feet. I could not find the elevation for the old road bridge and I count not find a web page fore the new road bridge.

(new window)

Monday, December 4, 2017

NS/N&W 1892,1913 Bridge over Ohio River at Kenova, WV

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges3D Satellite)

This bridge is part of Norfolk Southern's Heartland Corridor --- their main intermodal route from the East Coast to the Midwest.

Norfolk Southern Corp posted three photos with the comment:
125 years ago today, the first Ohio River Bridge was completed, connecting South Point, Ohio, and Kenova, West Virginia. The bridge was designed with a single track by Norfolk and Western’s chief engineer, W. W. Coe, but was constructed with piers wide enough to accommodate future double-track.
The bridge had four 300 foot spans and one 521 foot span. The Railroad Gazette praised the structure as “excellent in both design and construction.” Edgemoor Bridge Works designed and built the superstructure. The first two photographs from July 1891 show workers on top of the massive piers, and the bridge under construction. The third photo was taken in October of this year.
The bridge was rebuilt in 1913 with double track to accommodate increased traffic. Today, it carries essential freight rail traffic, supports economic development, and serves as a vital link in the nation’s freight rail #transportation infrastructure.
To learn more about Norfolk Southern’s bridges, check out the fact sheet on our website: & Western Historical Society




1892 Bridge    ASCE, page 6 of .pdf
1913 Bridge    ASCE, page 6 of .pdf
The new trusses were built around the old trusses so that train traffic was not interupted.

New portal around the old portal    ASCE, page 60 of .pdf
The end spans used falsework. The second spans were cantilivered from the end span. The center span was cantilivered from the second spans and closed in the middle.    ASCE, page 64 of .pdf
Kenova during flood    ASCE, page 72 of .pdf

Flat Freight Cars

Flat cars are interesting because of the loads they carry. Special flatcars are built for extra high, long, and/or heavy loads. If the load is really high, long, and/or heavy Schnabel cars are used.

Tom has a more extensive collection of flat car pictures.

John W. Coke posted three photos.


Steven W Panek posted two photos with the comment:
Just thru Griffith, Indiana a few minutes ago. CSX ran Y110-22, a dimensional load from Barr Yard to Kirk Yard. The lone unit is the CSX 4589, the "Spirit of Nashville"

Cars needed to carry calcined petroleum coke which is used in the production of the anodes. Larry Platt posted some photos showing the cars with special brackets to carry the copper anodes. They must be really heavy because they are stacked just near the axles. This page explains how the copper anodes are made.



Doug Stark posted
RMGX 308 ex? 61'-0" IL bulkhead flatcar for calcium carbide container loading. Car may be ex-CCKX and/or IFRX. Containers marked for C/G Group Inc. This shot raises a question for me... AFAIK it isn't legal to placard an empty railcar/trailer/container except in specific cases where there may be residue or vapor, as that may cause confusion responding to a hazmat incident, yet the containers here appear to be permanently placarded whether loaded or empty. On BNSF at Galesburg, IL June 22, 2003.
Doug StarkGroup Admin I see at least two container variations with at least three hatch sizes. Someone recently offered these calcium carbide containers on Shapeways, however due to the poor search functionality I couldn't readily find them.Burl Rice According to wikipedia, calcium carbide reacts with water to form acetylene and calcium hydroxide. Seems like that would fit the "residue" hazmat concern.Ian Clasper there is probably enough residue in an empty container to prove a hazard as wet calcium carbonate produces Acetylene which in an emergency would be an additional hazard.Doug StarkGroup Admin Those are the ones, I think he's eyeballed the size and made them square whereas to me they appear to have a slight rectangular aspect. Apparently the containers are called 'Flo-bins'

Pictures of a booster stage being loaded and shipped.
John W. Coke posted
Solid Rocket Booster loading
John W. Coke posted

Patrick Harris - > Freight Car Enthusiast
Patrick's comments:
UP #58263 F-70-12 flat car with empty container for moving Morton-Thiokol solid rocket boosters for the space shuttle at the east end of CSX Gentilly Yard in New Orleans La 01-12-1996
But Doug Stark's comments explained this car has just an empty hood to check clearances. The segments are heavy enough that the 8-axle car behind it is needed to carry a segment. After the shuttle program, they became short HD flat cars. He caught a picture while one still had its guides for the hood (the flat car is on the track that is this side of the track holding the engine) and then a picture after the guides had been removed.

John W. Coke posted
Edward Duke Wow! I didn't know TTX had any this big...
Dave Kinkade I had one of these last week. 312 tons right behind the power.
John W. Coke posted
The KRL204002 depressed axle flat car is almost 160 feet long, and can carry a load of up to 894 thousand pounds. This car has the built in capability to raise the load 14 inches and to shift it around 12 inches to either side to maneuver around obstructions on the side of the tracks. There are two other cars like this one.
Note the car is accompanied by a caboose to carry the crew that sit in the control booths to move the load around obstructions.

John W. Coke posted
Dennis DeBruler This car is running empty. Note that when empty the car and the support caboose are part of a mixed freight. The two halves would be separated to carry long, heavy "tubes" on turrets that can be offset to go around curves and perhaps lowered to go under bridges. The tubes are skinny enough that they do not need the extra vertical clearance provided by the Schnabel cars. I could not find an example of a loaded rail car.
Dennis DeBruler Maybe it carries long steel and/or concrete girders.
Charles R. Lange posted
SPMW #4759 - special car for transporting locomotive diesel engines. In this case a GE and an EMD locomotive diesels. Photo taken at Woodford on SPs Tehachapi grade on May 26th, 1974.
[Note the extra beams added to the top of the flatcar to help spread the weight of the engines to the ends where the trucks support the car.]
John W. Coke posted
150 ton new center shaft for a 600MW generator.

John W. Coke posted
Rotor from a nuclear power plant weighing 420,000 pounds on a HD flatcar.
[I tried finding a link to Bryan's photo, but his flatcars page did not have UTTX. Nor did some searches from the home page find anything. I did learn that this site has poor response times.
I'm wondering how the middle two trucks are attached. There does not seem to be enough height to share a bolster with the outside trucks. Specifically, I'm wondering if the middle trucks are in slots under the car that allows them to move side-to-side as the car goes around turns.]
Two more cars with four 3-axle trucks.

John W. Coke posted
Generator transport
John W. Coke posted
John W. Coke posted
12 Axle heavyweight flatcar SB in Shreveport, 11/22/2015 (KCS along I 49)
John W. Coke posted
John W. Coke posted

John W. Coke posted

John W. Coke posted
counter-weight for a crane.
Greg Price Hmm. Emmert owns cranes? That looks more like a load spreader between the cars for something extremely heavy.
[The comment makes sense because that hunk of steel doesn't look that heavy. So this is actually an "empty" car that can carry a load with 16 axles.]
Dennis Weber posted
CP Eastbound La Crosse,Wi. 6-27-2016
Mike Bauers It's a P&H mining shovel..... I work there. Its one of 'our' RR cars as well. look in Google for 'PHMX' I think this is the last one to be made and shipped from Milwaukee. The plant is being closed and production has been switched to Peru and Mexico for the product line in the last couple of years. Most likely its one of the P&H 4100's. Its our most popular shovel. The biggest that came from Milwaukee. What you see there is the central section for the machinery house of the shovel; perhaps about half of that structures base... Here's one assembled
Mike Bauers posted four pictures with the comment: "I started to sort through my digital camera folder...."




John W. Coke posted
[I don't think that skid loader is going to lift the transformer off the 16-axle depressed center flat. I wonder what it is going to be used for.]
The military had some special purpose flat cars. Note how deep the steel side girders are.
Tod Riebow shared
Okay all you long-range shooters this is anzio Annie used to sit at the US Army Ordnance Museum Aberdeen Proving Ground Maryland now is fully restored and resides at Fort Lee Virginia
Special DODX flatcars to carry casks designed to carry nuclear fuel rods. These also had deep side girders.
Tod Riebow posting

More cask cars:   Profile view of DODX 38870   Nuclear casks train    A closeup of the casks   When the casks are empty, they can ride as regular cars in mixed freight trains.

I saw a picture on Facebook that after I made a copy in the blog I could see a copyright mark at the bottom. I removed that copy from the blog. I tried to search for it with various keywords like "flatcar," "TTX," and "pressure vessel" to no avail. But with the keyword "load", I found the photo. I believe the remarks are wrong. It is not two cracking towers, it is one tower on two 8-axle flatcars. The long tower is narrow enough that its offset around curves will still be within clearance limits. Note at the bottom of the photo page, there are links to Dimensional Loads and OCS and High, Wide, Expansive albums. I found another photo of a tower using two flatcars. But in this case the tower is wide as well as long. I can't tell of the mounts are able to move the tower side-to-side to help get around curves.

A video of a 16-axle flat car delivering a rebuilt transformer to a weedy spur of a power station with and Alco C425. At 6:40 with just the two buffer covered hoppers, I was surprised how fast and far the train went backwards with a crewman hanging on a ladder as the spotter. It makes you appreciate why they now use old cabooses as spotting platforms. Hanging on a ladder could get tiring rather quickly. Especially if you have to keep one arm free to hold a radio.

Some of my shares of freight cars include flat cars. Note that I used the term ying-yang for Northern Pacifics's herald. I should have called it a monad.