Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Rolling Dams (Drowning Machines), Revisited

I first learned of the danger posed by the typical dam design found in many Midwest rivers when I researched the Yorkville, IL dam. Here are two videos that better describe that danger.

A four minute video that demonstrates the danger.

A 24 minutes video that explains the "hydraulic jump" that causes the rolling current that causes the drownings. It is the backwards rolling current generated near the face of the dam that causes these dams to be called "rolling dams." Another thing I learned is that all of the air trapped in the recirculating current makes it foamy and even harder to swim in.

The Kankakee, IL and Wilmington, IL Dams each have Class C hydraulic jump (submerged and rolling).

Carpentersville, IL Dam seems to be designed to create a Case A (stretched out and safe) hydraulic jump. But I still would not want try going over that dam!

Hofmann Dam in Riverside, IL, is an example where an obsolete mill dam has been removed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

US-1 Bypass+B&M over Piscataqua River between NH and ME

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite, Aug 2013 Photo, Webcams (if you click a view, then you can play back a time-lapse video of the view))

The official name is the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge. The original bridge was built in 1940 between Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and Kittery, Maine. It was built as part of a bypass to relieve the traffic on US-1 and the 1923 Memorial Bridge. The bridge also supported a Boston & Maine branch to South Berwick, ME. The Guilford Rail System/Pan Am/B&M branch has been cut back and now supports only the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (95 photos). It also carried the traffic of I-95 across the river between 1960 and 1972 when the Piscataqua River Bridge and turnpike extensions were finally opened to carry road traffic high above the river with three lanes in each direction. The I-95 bridge is the steel arch bridge you see in the background of the following street view.

A replacement bridge was scheduled to be opened in Sept. 2017, but the old bridge was scheduled to be closed in Nov. 1, 2016. The old bridge must have been in really bad shape to plan forcing road traffic to use the interstate after the last the last train crossed it on Dec. 9, 2015. It was "carrying two loaded spent nuclear fuel flasks from Kittery Ship Yard en route to Idaho." [Bridge Hunter] But the lift span broke in August, 2016. Rather than spend the estimated $1 million to repair it, they just closed it a couple of months earlier than originally planed. Design of the new bridge started in 2013 and construction started in January, 2015. [MDOT]


Street View of the building of the piers for the replacement bridge.
In addition to a lift span, the old bridge had a retractable steel girder span for the railroad deck that could let recreational boats pass without stopping road traffic. Because the railroad is used once in a blue moon to transport nuclear material to the ship yard, the retractable span that we see on the left side of the street photo below is normally open. That girder span was designed to raise up and then roll back into the truss. I included the "bridgeRare" label because of this span.

Street View of the retractable girder span as well as the lift span.
Now we turn our attention to the replacement bridge. The new bridge appears to use box girder concrete sections. Note the railroad deck has more piers than the road deck needs. But the extra piers are simple column piers.
An artists' view from I-95.
The second bullet point below explains why the lift span does not have two decks. The lift span is effectively designed for "street running" and is shared between the two decks. It is, of course, normally at the road deck level.

Key Bridge Attributes
  • New bridge alignment improves marine navigation by straightening the navigational channel, allowing larger ships to access the port and shipyard.
  • With a larger 56’ vertical clearance in its “resting” position, there will be 68% fewer bridge openings.  In the normal operating, “resting” position, the bridge’s lift span is at its middle level, allowing motor vehicles to cross the river. The new bridge’s movable “hybrid” span lifts up to allow passage of tall vessels and lowers to railroad track level for trains to cross.
  • 200’ tall precast concrete towers will support the 300’ long streamlined structural steel box girder lift span.
  • New bridge layout uses eleven (11) fewer piers than the existing bridge, also improving the gateway span leading into downtown Portsmouth by eliminating an existing median pier. 

The use of one lift span that can carry both road and rail traffic and that can be positioned at three levels --- open, road traffic, and railroad traffic --- also justifies the "bridgeRare" label.

This is the Facebook posting that provided the name so that I could learn about this bridge.

Jim Browne posted
Dinner with a view. [In the case of Jim, the view is the many cranes.]
Justin Classen Sarah Mildred Long bridge I worked there for a year and a half.
Below zooms into the towers and the part of the railroad deck that is not completely obscured by crane barges. I'm sure the lift span is being built offsite and will be floated into place when the towers are ready for it. It looks like the towers are done except for the mechanical enclosure and equipment at the top. It appears from the concept art that the counterweights will be hidden in the towers.
At Facebook resolution

Aban/NS/Southern over Kentucky River west of Versailles, KY

(Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges, Satellite)

"Built 1889 [by Louisville Southern Railway], closed to traffic in November 1985." [BridgeHunter]

Tony Hall posted four pictures with the comment: "Youngs's high bridge near Versailles Kentucky."



Tony Hall   Bluegrass Scenic Railroad ends at the bridge. A company out of Louisville bought it and does bungee jumping from it.

I wonder what they charge to skip the jumping and just walk across the bridge. Whoops, they don't even sell tickets; they run it as a private club. [Kentucky]

Street View from US-62
Studying a Norfolk Southern Map, RJCC (R. J. Corman/Central Kentucky Lines) connects Versailles to NS at Lexington, KY. (The map is 75 million bytes, and it will test the performance of your .pdf reader and computer.)

US-50+I-255 Bridges over Mississippi River near St. Louis, IL

(1944 Bridge Hunter1984+1990 Bridge Hunter, John A. Weeks III, 3D Satellite)

The official name is Jefferson Barracks Bridge. The original truss bridge "was completed in 1944 as a war-time measure to allow the Illinois side better access to the western part of the St. Louis area." [Bridge Hunter comment]

This allowed easier access to the Jefferson Barracks. A 1702 acre parcel of land was established in 1826 as the first permanent military base west of the Mississippi River to protect pioneers of the Louisiana Purchase from the threats of Indians. It was the major training base for the Army Of The West from 1826 through the Civil War. A national cemetery was also created. On June 30, 1946, the army base was decommissioned.Today it is used by the National Guard and Army Reserve,  an expansion of the national cemetery, evidently a VA hospital, and a park and museum. [History, cem, John A. Weeks III]

William A. Shaffer posted
Jefferson Barracks Bridge - St. Louis, MO (5.11.13)
(Photo by William A. Shaffer)
May 1995 flood, Public Domain from Flickr
A new bridge was built next to the old one and then the old one was replaced by a second bridge.

Jefferson Barracks Bridge
AB, search for "jefferson barracks"
Completion Date: 9/30/1983
This was a superstructure fabrication and erection contract for a 4,000' Mississippi River crossing, including a 910' box chord tied arch main span and steel plate girder approaches. This tied arch is one of the largest of its type in the USA.
The old bridge was a toll bridge until the bonds were retired in 1959.

1945 photo from Department of Transportation Collection at the Mo State Archives

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Detroit Avenue over Cuyahoga River in Cleaveland, OH

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite, 3D Satellite)

By LeeG7144 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The 6 streetcar tracks on the lower deck were abandoned in 1955.

OBLIQUE VIEW - Detroit Superior High Level Bridge, Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH
Library of Congress: HAER OHIO,18-CLEV,22--28 (CT)

Eric Mortensen posted
The Buffalo heading up river on the Cuyahoga this afternoon.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Making Big Propellers

John Abbott posted
Chuck Larkin They're cast bronze, then machined to size. There are some videos of the steps required to make them..
Michael Murray I ran large 5 Axis to machine a prop. at RRNM it was the most boring job I ever had...we could get one blade at a time under the machine bridge....I ran the CVN Carrier prop.
Chance O'Neil You should see submarine props. Way bigger and way less fun to work on. Cool to look at.
Steve Walker Went to Groton, Conn. to meet a mate. Had security clearance, but NO photos of sub props.
[I saw a Science Channel program on make the big subs. They showed an animation with the prop turning. I noticed it had many thin bladse and an exaggerated curve so that it can turn slow and avoid cavitation.]

David O'Neill One of the screws for the Queen Mary is on display in front of a museum in L.A.. according to the sign they were originally balanced to such a high degree they could be rotated with 2 fingers!
[That also speaks well of the construction of the bearing.]
Chuck Larkin commented on the above posting
Chance O'Neil Now imagine some 5"diameter threaded holes in the top of that propeller hub that are about 5and a half inches deep. The problem is that they should have had about 6" deep threads. Now picture a tap in that hole with a 100:1 torque multiplier on it with a cheater pipe long enough to reach a few feet past the edge of the blades. Now picture me and the other poor guy holding that pipe and pushing it around and around all night to tap the threads to the bottom of the hole. Ya. Propeller work is not glamorous.
In the new modern propellers that are milled, or even ground, you can still see each pass of the tool. I guess the key is that they machine along the flow of water across the blade.

I recognize Wartsila as the company that makes the worlds largest diesel engines for big ships.

Whoops, this thumbnail invalidates my conclusion that the machine ripples are OK because they are with the flow of water rather than across it.

6-Mast Sailing Bulk Carrier and B&O Coaling Doc

Steam Engines, Tractors, Trains, & More shared George Lane's post. The post had three pictures and the comment:
Here are some interesting pictures of the Curtis Bay Coal Terminal in Baltimore MD operated by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The pier was erected in 1900.



The wood dock is long gone, but it appears that this dock is one B&O asset that CSX has not torn up. They maintain a stockpile of coal. (A birds-eye view shows that the southern part is sometimes also full.)

They are actively loading a vessel. Is this a boat or a see-going barge? By the later, I mean will a towboat connect to the stern to push it? It doesn't look big enough to be a boat.


BNSF/CB&Q Bridge over Illinois River at Beardstown, IL

(Bridge Hunter, John A. Weeks IIISatellite, Google Photo)

Street View

Fred Monger posted a photo of a couple of BNSF pumpkins on the lift span. His comment was:
June 30, 2015 Illinois river at Beardstown 29.5.
Is "29.5" the river level? It does look rather high in the photo. But he didn't include any piers so it is hard to judge the river level. Looking at some Bridge Hunter photos, it appears the river is normally pretty close to the bottom of this bridge. John Weeks indicates the clearance is 20 feet.

The design of the lift towers look rather new. Neither Bridge Hunter nor John indicate when this bridge was built. Fortunately a comment in Bridge Hunter puts it at 1972. The comment also indicates that the previous swing bridge forced the tows to be broken up to pass just a few barges at a time through the narrow channel. The lift span is 300' wide.

That is a long ways for me for a field trip, but I noticed the road bridge is still a truss bridge.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Pennsy Bridge over Little Embarras River west of Oakland, IL:

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite, Street View)
Jeff Heinie posted
Here is a picture that I have been wanting to share here. This was taken in Jan. 2005 on the way home from Terre Haute, IN. This is the former Pennsylvania RR bridge crossing the Little Embarras River west of Oakland, IL.
Kam Miller I got to see a Penn Central train on it, once. No camera, either. (sigh)
From Bridge Hunter I learned that the route using this bridge was the Terre Haute & Peoria Railroad, which was eventually acquired by the Pennsy. It is now abandoned.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Pennsy's Terre Haute & Peoria Railroad

"Illinois Midland" is another one of those railroad corporate names that has been used in different places during different times. Its current usage is for a Genesee & Wyoming subsidiary that operates the route built by the Chicago & Illinois Midland Railroad. But the usage of interest here is that the Illinois Midland Railway evidently built a railroad from Terre Haute to Peoria via Farrington, Paris, and Decatur in the early 1870s because in the late 1880s the Terre Haute & Peoria bought all of the segments of the Illinois Midland that were sold under foreclosure proceedings. The TH&P purchase included the joint use of the IC between Decatur and Maroa. And it had joint use of the Toledo, Peoria & Western from Farmdale to Peoria. On October 1, 1892, the Terre Haute & Indianapolis leased the TH&P for 99 years. Then TH&I became part of the Vandalia Railroad, which became part of the Pennsy. [CorpHist] The TH&P used the mainline of the Vandalia between Farrington and Terre Haute to avoid the expense of another bridge over the Wabash.

My 1928 RR Atlas marks the route as Pennsy.  My 2005 SPV Map shows Pennsy as the original operator of the Vandalia, including the TH&P. I learned of the TH&P corporate ancestry from Bridge Hunter.

Note the line on this Pennsy map going between Terre Haute and Peoria.

Map 9 from Mark D. Bej's CentHistCopyleft

The following undoes the modification that Blogspot does when I upload a file and makes the map readable.

An excerpt from the above map at downloaded file resolution.

The segment between Decatur and Peoria was the first to go because it was abandoned by Pennsy. Penn Central abandoned the eastern end between Farrington and Paris. Prairie Central Railroad (PACY) was formed by Craig Burroughs and acquired the route between Decatur and Paris. PACY also acquired the former Big Four Egyptian Line between Paris and Lawrenceville where it could connect with the CSX/B&O. But the PACY was abandoned by 2005. So none of the TH&P route remains today.

Pennsy's Vandalia Railroad

There currently exists a Vandalia Railroad. but it is a 3-mile remnant of the IC in Vandalia, IL. If you have read about Vandalia Railroad in some publication, it probably refers to the railroad between St. Louis and Indianapolis that Pennsy absorbed. Fortunately, I found a map (below) because this is one of those railroads that was built from a tangle of incorporations.

In 1847 the Terre Haute & Richmond Railroad was chartered to build across the middle of Indiana. The western part was opened in February 1852. [PastTracker] The TH&R probably carried all the freight to Indianapolis that came up the Wabash River by steamboat. This was probably quite a money maker because we learn from PastTracker that the management lost interest in the eastern part, and it was recharted in 1851 as the Indiana Central. The president, Chauncey Rose, turned his attention to reaching St. Louis. The TH&R worked with various Illinois corporations to get connectivity to the Mississippi River. (In crossing wars, I learned that in the early 1850s laws had yet to be written that allowed railroads to get interstate charters.) While the board of the TH&R fought with the Illinois based railroada, the workers continued to deliver goods between the Mississippi River and Indianapolis. This was especially important when the Civil War broke out because commercial trade on the river stopped. In February 1865, the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute Railroad was incorporated. There are more details on this new railroad below the first map. In March 1865 the Indiana legislature changed the name of TH&R to reflect the reality of Terre Haute & Indianapolis (TH&I). "On 1 January 1905 it consolidated with the St. Louis, Vandalia & Terre Haute, Terre Haute & Logansport, Logansport & Toledo, and the Indianapolis & Vincennes to form the Vandalia Railroad Company." [PastTracker]

As early as 1868, the Pennsy was interested in the TH&I. They finally acquired it in 1893, just in time to have it add to its woes in the depression of 1893. By 1904 the laws for interstate incorporation were well established and the Vandalia Railroad was incorporated with all of the properties listed in the map below. [PastTracker] Search the Panhandle page for "Vandalia" and read the rest of that posting to see how the Vandalia Railroad was completely absorbed by the Pennsy by 1956.

See Tom's page for a description of the South Bend end of the Vandalia. There used to be a lot of industry in South Bend --- Singer Sewing Machines, Oliver Chilled Plow Works (which later made tractors), and Studebaker. Even Notre Dame was a source of railroad traffic because of the "Football Specials."

Map 14 from Mark D. Bej's CentHist, Copyleft
I wondered if the TH&I management was so mad at the management of the Illinois railroads that they built a new (i.e. expensive) railroad between Terre Haute and St. Louis. The following map indicates that they did build a new railroad. And while they were building a new route, it was a more direct route. Furthermore, it was well built judging by the concrete arch bridge they used over the Little Wabash River.
Map 9 from Mark D. Bej's CentHistCopyleft
The following undoes the modification that Blogspot does when I upload a file and makes the map readable.

An excerpt from the above map at downloaded file resolution.
This map clearly shows that they built a new "air line" route south of the original route. By 1928 the northern route was evidently owned by the Nickle Plate (Cloverleaf) on the west side and middle and the Big Four on the east side.

CSX/B&O Parkersburg Bridge over Ohio River

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges3D Satellite)
Carl Venzke posted
The Parkersburg Bridge crosses the Ohio River between Parkersburg, West Virginia, and Belpre, Ohio. The bridge was a part of the B&O's Baltimore – St. Louis mainline and offered the railroad easy access to Ohio in transporting coal and other materials to the east coast. Currently the bridge handles traffic on CSX Transportation's Marietta Subdivision. This photo was taken during the flood of 1913.
I wonder if there was a road bridge someplace else or if the horse&buggies had to use a ferry to cross the river.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

NS/Penn Bridge over Juniata River near Ryde, PA

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)
Jack Stoner posted
On the Famed Middle Division - The once graceful stone arch bridge at Ryde, PA hosts yet another NS Intermodal train, (this one eastbound) April 1, 2017. As the rain swollen Juniata River gushes between the abutments; an angry sky looms overhead. Penn Central reinforced many, but not all, (thank heavens), of the stone arch bridges on the Middle Division during their stormy tenure here with this aesthetically offensive concrete annexation. Of the few bridges that were spared, I comment in jest that PC just didn't know where they, (the bridges) were.
It took a little work to figure out which county this bridge was in. It is the first bridge I have come across for which Bridge Hunter has no photos. The satellite image indicates the deck used to hold four tracks but it now has just two.

MoW: Snow Plow

I've discussed rotaries and other snow removal techniques, but the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is the first time I've seen a big plow up close and personal. Note the hand brake wheel on top is in the middle of the unit.

As I went up the stairs, I noticed that it was built in April, 1946. This unit was NYC X625.

The part in the middle is a "wing" that can be folded out to push the snow further away from the track.
The wings are attached at the front with four hinges.

I had a hard time getting this picture of the inside because of the sun's glare off of the window. I was finally able to hide most of the glare with my left hand while I took the picture with my right hand. There were two of these "ram" units. I concentrated on getting the one on the right side since they were identical. I assume it is the ram that pushes the right wing out. Since it has a large diameter, I'm guessing it used compress air instead of hydraulics.

The stuff at the bottom of the picture is paint supplies and an adjustable wrench. It is nice to see that they are actively maintaining this unit. One problem with some museums is that they get equipment, but then they don't have enough volunteers to maintain the equipment and it ends up rotting away anyhow.

Since I was not willing to chop down that power pole, I'm afraid the background of this shot has a lot of clutter.

Hocking Value Railroad

The original segment of the Hocking Valley Railroad was built between Columbus and Athens, OH. Construction started on April 14, 1864 as the Mineral Rail Road to transport coal. Brick, salt and iron were also important commodities that it hauled out of the hills of southern Ohio.. Subsequent corporate entities built routes from Columbus to Toledo and from Logan to Gallipolis. By 1899 it was the Hocking Valley Railway, and it connected Lake Erie with the Ohio River with various branches into the hills of Southern Ohio. In May 1930, it was merged into the C&O. The C&O merged with the B&O in 1972 to form the Chessie System. The line through Nelsonville was abandoned by Chessie in the early 1980s. [HVSRY-aboutEd's Corner]

The following information is from the 2005 SPV Map. The segment from Logan to the river is abandoned. The segment from Logan to Nelsonville is now owned by the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad, and the segment between Nelsonville and Athens is abandoned. The segment north of Logan to Columbus is operated by the Indiana & Ohio Central Railroad, a RailAmerica subsidary. The segment from Columbus through Marion and Fostoria to Toledo is still owned by CSX.

But Genesee & Wyoming bought RailAmerica in 2012 and evidently consolodated the Indiana & Ohio and Indiana & Ohio Central as IORY.

Much more history is available in Ed's Corner.

Map from ColumbusRailroad,  cropped

Monday, April 17, 2017

HVSR/C&O/HV Bridge over Hocking River in Nelsonville, OH

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)
We have already seen one trail+rail bridge. This is another bridge that shows that a trail (Hockhocking Adena Bikeway)  and a railroad (Hocking Valley Scenic Railway) can coexist on a route. The HVSR uses an abandoned segment of the C&O/Hocking Valley Railroad. I use the label rrMisc instead of rrCaO because it was still Hocking Valley in my 1928 Railroad Atlas. I need to figure out a railroad label for museum and tourist railroads. In the meantime, I'm going to label it rrNew. I was surprised to see a train on this bridge because, when I studied their web site, I found trains that went just northwest of the depot. This bridge is southeast of the depot.
Kārlis Dambrāns from Flickr from Bridge Hunter, CC BY
20170416 8503
I first noticed it while I was checking out the shops area of the HVSR. I could see a curved chain-link fence indicating that the second track had been replaced with a trail. So when I was done taking pictures of the HVSR equipment and buildings, I drove around to the other side to find legal access to the trail.
As I walked up the trail from a parking spot, I got an overview of the bridge peaking through the trees because the spring foliage had just started growing a day or so earlier.
Fortunately, the chain-link fence becomes a nice plank fence in the bridge with a concrete base. You can see in the picture above with the train that there was more than one span. Here we see there are just two. Also, the spans are skewed.
Since I was standing next to the fence, when I turned around 180 degrees to get a shot in the other direction, you can see over the fence. You can see a cut of the passenger cars, some of their "antique" boxcars, and the red engine maintenance building on the right.
I stood on the bottom rail of the fence to get a good view of the truss members. I tried using GIMP to rotate the picture, but I lost too much of the top cord members. Also it is interesting to note that the member on the right is perfectly vertical. That is probably what my eye was keying off of. So why is the rest of the bridge so crooked? Obviously, this bridge is riveted. Note the heavy gussets to attach the vertical members to the cross girders.
When I got on the otherside of the bridge, I had a nice view of the Hocking River as well as the bridge.
When I got back on the "northish" side, I followed a "path" down under the bridge. This view shows that the first span is basically over land. Most of the river is under the second span.
Since it is a rather rare oportunity to get a view under a bridge, I took a closeup of the cut-stone pier, cross girders, stringers, and diagonal bracing.
Then I walked downstream along the bank trying to find a big enough break in the treeline to get an elevation shot. This is most of the span that goes over the water. The stone on the right is the pier between the spans and the stone on the left is an abutment on the river bank.
A different angle through the gap in the trees allows me to get the rest of the span and most of the abutment.
I took this picture to capture the tenacity of nature. A seed must have fallen on the side of the bank. It did not sprout roots into the air, only to the one side that would go into the bank. Then erosion removed part of the bank.
Zoomed on to the roots
If I'm willing to have more clutter in the foreground, I can frame the entire span.

I like getting multiple angles of a truss bridge because some views allow spotting details that other views don't have. I've noticed that some members use V-lattice while other use X-lattice. And the end members use a solid plate on the outside face.

I went on the upstream side, which would have been the sunny side if the sun was out. (Actually, I was lucky I didn't get caught in a heavy thunderstorm. Also, I don't particularly like a strong sun when taking pictures of truss bridges because the shadows can introduce some confusing lines.) This closeup was to capture the detail of a gussets joining the various members at a joint and the myriad of rivets used to build the bridge.

While I was walking on the river bank, I had noticed tree limb debris indicated that flood waters do flow across where I was walking. I took this view to show how the one span is over land (floodplane) and you can see a log caught by tree trunks on the other side of the bridge.

I finished with a couple more detail shots.