Friday, May 26, 2017

Cushman Dams #1 and #2

(Satallites: Dam and Powerhouse #1, Spillway #1Dam and Spillway #2, Powerhouse #2)
posted, Cushman Dam
Quite a few of the comments concerned the amount of cable that would be needed for this job.
[Note the special pads they built for the outriggers.]
Dam #1 is 235' tall, 1100' long, and the powerhouse has two 22Mw turbine-generators. Dam #2 is 175' tall, 575' long, and the powerhouse has three 27 Mw turbine-generators. The water flows 2.5 miles through a 17' diameter tunnel to powerhouse #2 so the head is more than 175'.

The following video shows the launching of the Net Transition Structure and Floating Surface Collector. The Goggle satellite image linked above was taken after it was installed. (The Bing satellite image does not yet show it.) This structure is used to help transport the salmon fry downstream after hatching. It is part of an agreement with the Skokomish Tribal Nation to settle a $5.8 billion damages claim and to allow the dam to get a long-term license until 2048. [tpu]

I didn't realize how significant the discussion between the Skokomish Tribal Nation and the power company was until I realized that the power company stopped all normal flow through the river downstream of Dam #2 by diverting the water to a tunnel and penstocks to the powerplant is on the shore of Hood Canal. This increases the head (the height the water falls) so that more electricity can be made from the same amount of water. Because of the steepness of the canyon walls at Dam #2, it also made construction of the powerhouse a lot easier. The only access to the powerhouse next to Dam #1 is an aerial tram.

But diverting the river flow stopped all fishing by the natives. It was not a matter of the salmon being blocked by the dams, they could not even get to the dams. To obtain another long-term lease, the power company agreed to allow water to always flow in the river, not just during emergency releases. And they agreed to transport salmon around the dams. So at the base of Dam #2 (the downstream dam) they added a small powerhouse (two 1.8 Mw units) and an adult fish collection facility. Below is a before (left side with just the valve house) and after pictures of Dam #2.

Slide Presentation, p 23
Slide Presentation, p 25
The fish trap and transport is built in front of the powerhouse so that the discharge from the turbines create a flow that attracts the fish to the "fish friendly entrance and trap." On the right side of the trap is a hopper rides the tram up to a fish sorting facility at the top of the dam. The adults are sorted into tanks and hauled by trucks to either Lake Cushman above Dam #1, a 2,000,000 Sockeye fry per year hatchery or a 400,000 Chinook, Steelhead and Coho Smolts hatchery.

Discharging the draft tubes under the fish collection pool was an issue because it had never been done before. "The design was so sensitive that a 1:5 scale physical model was built in a Northwest Hydraulic Consultants laboratory and used to validate the arrangement. The final design protects the Andritz-manufactured turbines from the hydraulic resonance that may be created by the pool." [HydroWorld]

The fish hopper on the tram is also used to lower fry caught by the Net Transition Structure and Floating Surface Collector at Dam #1 to release them downstream of Dam #2.

Now that we see how they get salmon around the two dams, we will look at the flow issues. Component 1 is the base flow. There is a 160,000 acre-feet water budget. The current agreement is 120-cfs in summer and up to 300-cfs in winter. This variance reflects a more natural variation of the flow and helps restore wet lands along the river's channel. And it provides enough flow during the spawning season so that the salmon can make it to the fish trap after they modified the "Little Falls" rapids a couple of miles downstream from Dam #2 to accommodate a 170 cfs flow. Component 2 consits of flows in the range of 500-1000-cfs to simulate floods. The timing and size of the "flood flows" will be based on measured rain and snow melt flows into the upper basin. Component 3 seems to be an experiment as to how to flush sediment out of the main channel of the Skokomish River using water from the North Fork Skokomish River. Specifically, after a major storm event, they should allow 2,2000 cfs to flow for 48 hours. [Slide Presentation, p 21] There are also requirements as to how fast they can ramp the flows up and down.

The power company will maintain a minimum impoundment elevation in Lake Cushman (Dam #1 pool) of between 735' and 738' from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. During November 1 through March 31, a minimum impoundment of 690' will be maintained. I believe the summer restriction means that even if power is needed to run air conditioners, the hydro-plant needs to be turned off if the water level would become too low for piers, favorite fishing spots, boat launches, etc. to be used. I assume the winter restriction is to maintain reserves in case of a drought. Lake Kokanee (Dam #2 pool) shall be maintained between 474' and 480' except for maintenance requirements of the intake or spillway. [Article 405 of the agreement] I'm surprised they don't specify maximums to leave reserve capacity for flood control. Or maybe it rains so much in the Northwest that every year has floods and the rivers can handle it.

There are other provisions in the agreement such as 1,000 acres of land was transferred and the tribe gets "7.25% of the value of power from Cushman #2." [Slide Presentation, p 18] Some federal money was used for the construction because it was "renewable energy with environmental benefits." [Slide Presentation, p 22]

A collection of 1920s construction information has photos such as the spiral penstock around the turbine. The river valve we see today was installed in one of two gateways used to pass water during construction. These are the only two photos I looked at because, as with most collections, I can't copy the photos. And it frustrates me to see historical photos that I can't use.

Many HAER photos have not been scanned. That is the first time I have seen so many HAER photos that have not been scanned. I did find pictures of the spillway which caused me to take another look at the satellite image.
VIEW OF DISCHARGE THROUGH SPILLWAY CHUTE FROM WEST RETAINING WALL, FACING SOUTH. STANDING WAVES ARE VISIBLE. WATER ELEVATION MEASURED 4.8 FEET ABOVE CREST. December 1933 - Cushman No. 1 Hydroelectric Power Plant, Spillway, North Fork of Skokomish River, 5 miles West of Hood Canal, Hoodsport, Mason County, WA

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Electro-Mechanical Cash Register

Computers have not only made typewriters obsolete and dramatically changed how phones work, they have changed how items are checked out from a store.

Albert J Reinschmidt posted
Not often you see one of these NCR beasts for sale. Ran one of these at the grocery store I worked at when in High School. $100 will get it for you!
Maureen Grisolia And in those days, we could also count back change!! LOL
Larry J. Pearlman NCR stands for National Cash Register. IBM's founder, Thomas Watson was fired from NCR and wanted to one up his former employer. National became International. And a Cash Register became a Business Machine. IBM.
NCR also developed the Automated Teller Machine, better known as the ATM.

NCR and AT&T eventually combined their computer divisions. I don't remember the details because by that time I had transferred from Bell Labs' computer division to a Forward Looking Work division.

Harvey Locks in Harvey, LA

Jeff Williams added two photos with the comment: "Lila said she was up for some levee sitting. River's still rising." at Harvey Locks (Facebook).
Jeff Williams There's usually a couple of fishermen sitting on rocks under those trees, and kids playing on the lawn now under water, watched over by young parents.


I found a parking lot near some steps with a handrail in the middle and a lawn at the end, but no trees.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

NS/Pennsy Bridge over Ohio River in Pittsburgh, PA

(1915 Bridge Hunter, 1890 Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges)

This is known as the Ohio Connecting Railroad Bridge or the Brunot Island Railroad Bridge.

I learned that this bridge is 70' above the water because somehow a woman drove her SUV onto the bridge and then fell to her death when the vehicle landed upside down in 20 feet of water. But her dog and cat survived. [post-gazette] I studied the satellite images and could not find a grade crossing of the rails in the vicinity. No wonder the police were "mystified."

3D Satellite

Street View, 416' back channel span
Please follow the above Historic Bridges link to read how they used the material in the 416' foot span to cantilever the 525' main channel span during its construction to keep the shipping channel open. The piers were built wide enough for a double track because it was expected that the single-track through trusses would eventually be replaced by double-track trusses.

The Bridge Hunter page for the 1915 bridge shows the main span being floated into place. This contradicts the cantilevered construction technique described in Historic Bridges. So I paged through the eBook trying to find the picture. It turns out the picture on the 1915 Bridge Hunter webpage is wrong, but the picture being on the 1890 webpage is correct. This is how the initial single-track span was built along the shore and then floated in place.
eBook, p 634
Left Half of p634

Right Half of p634


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Wean United/United Engineering & Foundry/William Tod

Rick Rowlands commented on The Rust Jungle posting
[Again, notice the artist is making sure that plenty of black smoke is coming out of every smokestack. Unfortunately, that is probably rather accurate because I saw a comment while researching the Youngstown Car Co. that you could not see across the Mahoning River Valley because of the smoke in the air.]
In addition to Mesta, William Tod also made steel mill equipment. I knew that steel mill equipment included rolling mill stands and ladles. What I learned by studying William Tod is that it also included stationary steam engines to power those rolling mill stands as well as the blowers for blast furnaces and generators for electricity. "Engines weighing upwards of 700 to 800 tons capable of producing up to 30,000 horsepower were built by several manufacturers in the time period of the 1890s through 1920." Allis Chalmers was the other of the "big three" steam engine manufactures. The Tod history page describes two engines. The low pressure cylinders are 68" and 76". So the 250hp Vilter engine with a 24" LP cylinder that I saw was rather little. [TodEngine, History tab]

Rick Rowlands commented on The Rust Jungle posting
Municipal water pumping engine being erected in the old machine shop

Rick Rowlands commented on The Rust Jungle posting
 60 ton bedplate being machined on Tod's planer

Rick Rowlands commented on The Rust Jungle posting
twin tandem compound reversing engine
Birds-Eye View
The Google Satellite image shows that the plant has been torn down, but both Bing's Aerial and Birds-Eye Views show the buildings. "At its peak in the early 1970s, the plant employed 1,300, but it closed in 1982....It was last occupied in 2011 by Youngstown Pipe and Supply" [Vindy] AbandonedOnline has a history of Wean United and several photos of the abandoned buildings. I particularly like this photo.

IC IMX Intermodal Yard

When the Chicago Produce Terminal became obsolete, IC sold the eastern part and converted the remaining part to an intermodal yard.
Andrew Urbanski posted
DAMEN AVE, Chicago Intermodal
Dan Tracy Wow, IMX later used by the SP.Keith Peeples Looks like IC was ahead of their time. Some railroads were still loading circus style thru the seventies.
[I-55 is on the right, so we are looking East.]
David Wilson's Photoset has two 1988 photos when the land was the ICG IMX intermodal yard: looking east and looking west. The second photo also shows both smokestacks on the Crawford Generating Plant. It also shows the lift towers for the Western Avenue Bridge.

Google Earth set to 3/26/1999
It looks like it was still being used when this 1999 image was taken.

It is no longer being used, but not because the land was needed for something else. Some of the tracks still exist.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Youngstown Car Company

The reason for studying this company was not so much for the product but for this photo and the fact that the main building is still standing. Their product were little carts that were used in plants to move material from one stage of processing to the next stage. Please access the link in the caption for more information on the product.

TheRustJungle, "Republic Steel's number 2, 3, and 4 blast furnaces in the background. This was part of the William Pollock Co. collection on Ohio Memory, so I assume they built the furnaces."
Satellite, Industrial Mill Maintenance
Street View

Note that the land between that plant and the Mahoning River used to be one of several steel mills that lined both sides of the river.

Retail Coal Bunkers

When studying old maps of railroad branches in Chicago that are now abandoned, many were surrounded by industry. (That is why the branch existed.) And it was common to find companies that sold various grades of coal because homes were heated and factories were powered by coal. (Gas in the 1800s was manufactured from coal and was used for lighting, not heating.)

These were retail companies that delivered coal with horse and wagon. Later coal was delivered by truck and the density of retail coal companies dwindled. The development of natural gas pipelines that could deliver gas to each household killed the retail coal company business.

People took pictures of trains, but not of coal bunkers. Fortunately, one is in the background of this picture.

Carl Venzke posted
Also note the ice company that helped supply ice for the icebox that once was in many households.

Facebook Resolution

CSX/B&O Bridge over Scioto River near Chillicothe, OH

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, Satellite)

Mike Dlabay updated
Renick Sub., former Wellston Sub./CH&D at Chillicothe, Ohio Bridge 128 over the Scioto River after the portion of line from the side of the bridge I'm on east to VA Jct., Vauces, was taken out of service and then abandoned. Bridge collapsed in later years.

Street View
According to the satellite view, there are trusses hidden by the trees on both sidess so this was a five truss bridge.
A Flickr photo shows it was in operation in 2008.

Friday, May 19, 2017

IHB Osborn Yard and Kankakee Line.

Nate Carpenter posted
A seldom-seen locomotive and little known location; one of IHB's leased SW1500s switches back into the Osborn Yard off of the Kankakee Line. Taken on the 169th Street viaduct in Hammond, IN.
Unlike many yards in the Chicago area, this yard is still intact.

IHB operates the northern part of the NS/NYC Kankakee Belt, which is the northern part of the NYC/Big Four Egyptian Line.

The train would stay just south of Osborn Junction.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The "Santa Fe Wye" between Santa Fe+GM&O and Rock Island

Gary Sturm posted
Rock Island #4905 is on the interchange track at Joliet Union Station in 1974.
Bob Kalal NW2 4905 switcher ex-P&LE 8741, built 3/49. off of Pete Hedgpeth That track was known as the "Santa Fe Wye
You seldom see pictures of this elevated connection let alone something using it. And this is the second connection for which I have seen a name. (The first one was the Jefferson Connection between BNSF/CB&Q and Metra/Pennsy.)

When I read the the high-speed rail plan between Chicago and St. Louis specifies the use of the former-Rock Island route between Joliet and Chicago, I asked what the speed limit of this connector is. (Currently the Amtrak trains use the Alton route between St. Louis and Joliet and continue on that route to Union Station.) The answer was that the speed limit is 10mph but the plan includes replacing this connector with a connector that would allow 25mph.

This gives me an excuse to revisit my Joliet folders to find pictures of this connector.

20150418 0267
Here we have the Rock Island over pass, Union Depot Tower and Union Depot framed by the connector. As you can see, the connector has not had a lot of maintenance lately. If it is supposed to be replaced according to the high-speed rail plan, that would explain why Metra has been doing minimal maintenance on it.

This view is taken from the pedestrian underpass under the UP/MoPac/GM&O/Alton tracks looking east. It appears Rock Island built the part over Washington Street and GM&O built the part over York Avenue. I had never noticed that Metra sign before. Obviously the RI engineers preferred to build with steel whereas the GM&O engineers preferred concrete.
The view is south of the connector looking north and focuses on the GM&O part but also shows how the connector changes materials. The walkway is obviously a rather recent addition.
When I heard these engines, I ran back north of the connector to grab pictures of them. Of the four photos I took, I use this first one because it captures the curve of the connector. The engines were BNSF #4436 (C44-9W built 1-12/99) and #4960 (C44-9W built 2-12/98). Both of them have the H2 livery.
I am now down close to where the connector joins the UP/GM&O embankment looking north at the tower and the Rock Island overpass. I captured the curvature of the connector on the right.
20150701 2224
Most railfan photos from Union Depot will be looking south along the UP+BNSF route or east along the Metra+CSX+IAIS route and won't catch the connector in the southeast quadrant. But I was taking a picture of the new and old signals and did catch the west end of the connector. It must still be used because there is a signal for it near the middle of the background.
In this wide angle looking east, I catch the rest of the connector. Below I zoom in on the photo. You can see the new walkway and part of the steel girder on the right.

If you compare the photo with the satellite image, you can also see that the connection with the Metra track has changed. Since they have moved the Metra-RI platform east of the diamond, they had to extend the connector to clear a commuter train setting at the platform. Since there used to be four tracks through here, there was plenty of room for the new track.

20150523 1714
In this photo of the new diamond that had been recently installed, you can catch a glimpse of a concrete girder of the connector.
In this closeup of the construction activity down by the old signal bridge, you can see the connector track join the eastern UP/GM&O track.

Later, I got about the same view when I took a photo of a northbound (timecard eastbound) train to get a time stamp.
As I got closeups of the two Fallen Flags, you can see parts...
...of the connector in the background. BNSF #2814 and #2887.
They are both GP39M/GP39-2R.
2814-281628274, 77 & 615,5,4/63Ex-BN GP39M 2814-2816 < BN 2213, 2216 & 2200 < nee GN 3013, 3016 & 3000

2887-288830170, 297307/65, 12/64Ex-BN GP39M 2887-2888 < SSW 6681 & SP 6504 < nee SSW 781 & 764

Another similar view when I got the time stamp of the intermodal that rolled through while the above mixed freight rolled through. The intermodal skunked most of the more interesting freight cars, including a caboose. The intermodal was pulled by BNSF #7157, #8027, #7247, and #4502.
The engine of a Texas Eagle framed by the connector.
20170219 7971
Metra does know how to do overpass maintenance. This photo was taken under their mainline overpass. The new overpass on the right is the one that holds the remaining Rock Island mainline track. The one on the left is the one that no longer holds any tracks except for the connector.