Monday, July 31, 2017

NS/NKP and Aban/Erie+C&O Bridge over Grand Calumet River

(no Bridge Hunter?, Satellite)

Pete Fileca posted
Late 70s
Dennis DeBruler Looking at a 1967 aerial, which has decent resolution, you are looking North. But what were you standing on? They did not have drones back then.
Bob Lalich The photographer was likely on the EB home signal for Hohman Ave.
It is hard to believe that at one time, a long time ago, this river was navigable.
Street View

Josh Lemier posted
Here in this epic photo Tom Golden got this shot on top of the Grand Calumet River Bridge with an Erie Lackawanna Westbound passing underneath in 1976.
Collection Of Sam Beck.
Mark Bilecki Sr. The Erie, Nickel Plate bridge was replaced with a culvert bridge by NW around 1983.
Mark Bilecki Sr. There was a control shack up there that was considered a tower.
Bob Lalich The operator on the bridge controlled the interlocking that allowed the railroads to jointly use the bridge and swap positions. West of the bridge, the EL was north of the NKP. East of the bridge, the NKP was north of the EL. Going way back, the operator also controlled the opening of the bridge. This portion of the Grand Calumet was navigable in the late 1800s/early 1900s.
Joseph Tuch Santucci This bridge continues to be used regularly as NS schedules numerous trains on the former NKP daily.

Ira Silverman posted
Can anyone identify this location? "I believe" it is in Hammond IN and that's the Amtrak Floridian coming at you.
William Vandervoort Couldn't have been the Floridian, at the time the only semaphore on the Monon in Hammond was the northbound home signal at State Line. Maybe this is the James Whitcomb Riley or Cardinal, which used the Erie through Hammond connecting with the C&O.
William Vandervoort Erie/EL called it CA Tower. The bridge was shared with Nickel Plate, those railroads traded places there. On April Fools Day 1976, Conrail was formed and they basically abandoned the EL line. C&O didn't want responsibility, having had trackage rights, and started rerouting the freight trains via B&O to Wellsboro, then the former Pere Marquette La Crosse Subdivision to join the C&O at La Crosse. For about a month the James Whitcomb Riley was bussed between Chicago and Peru IN, until arrangements were made to use the former Erie. In 1977, the train began using the Wellsboro routing and was also renamed the Cardinal.
William Vandervoort Wellsboro to La Crosse was not signaled. Though as I recall it had welded rail in decent shape. Here is a train order from one of my trips on the Cardinal, authorizing Amtrak to run "extra". What seemed strange was the angle at which we crossed the PRR main line at Hanna, and the fact that the crossing over paralleling US 30 had no gates, just flashers and bells. The westbound Cardinal was actually traveling slightly northeast at that point. Theoretically a straight line north from La Crosse to the B&O to would have been the Monon Michigan City Branch, which crossed the B&O at Alida. Wellsboro is 7 miles east of Alida, a 7 mile displacement which needed to be compensated over the La Crosse Subdivision.
Jon Roma I've read that, in the rush of getting Conrail underway, someone had forgotten about the joint Erie-C&O trackage, and the shutdown of that route had to be corrected after the fact.
Jon Roma commented on Ira's posting
Since many people are having a hard time visualizing the location of Ira Silverman's picture, I've taken a scanned page from the 1915 Sanborn fire insurance atlas and overlaid it with blue bullets that show the three pertinent interlocking towers. (Erie's "HY" Tower is out of frame and hence is not shown.)

The approximate angle the photographer was facing is depicted with a red arrow.

Josh Lemier posted
Here in this new cover photo we see two Erie Lackawanna Manifest Freights passing at Hammond, Indiana crossing the Calumet River Bridge. Date Unknown.
Photo Credit To Mike Raia.
Michael Mireles HD tower sits above....
Bob Lalich The EB likely originated at either 51st St Yard or Clearing on the BRC.
[A swing bridge that hadn't swung for years.]
Michael Dye posted
NKP 763, at 'ED' drawbridge. Hammond, FEB57.
[Monon's bridge is on the left.]
Michael Dye posted
RR East view of 'ED' drawbridge, Grand Calumet River. Hammond, FEB57.
[Monon's bridge is in the background.]

Michael Dye posted
A photo, looking North, taken from a floodlight tower in the Erie's Hammond yard, in JUN 1957. The single Monon track to the left with the Erie's main and yard leads to the right. I believe that is Douglas Street in the foreground. [Actually, it is Clinton Street back when it still went across the tracks.]
Nice view of the layout of the Monon and Erie/NKP Calumet bridges, in the far background.
Photo taken by my late Grandfather, C.L. Coates, Signal Gang foreman, Erie Signal Gang 33.

C&E: Milwaukee's Chicago and Evanston

The beginnings of the Chicago & Evanston as a route built by the Milwaukee Road to compete with the C&NW in the north suburban commuter market is described by David Daruszka's ChicagoRails blog. John Evans, one of the founders of Northwestern University, help charter the C&E in 1861 and service began May 1, 1885. The line reached Wilmette in 1889. [TrainWeb] At the beginning of the 20th Century, C&E allowed, even helped, the "L" take over the passenger service and, later, freight service north of Wilson. Richard Mead's posting describes the passenger service, and David provided photos of several of the depots as comments. Probably the main claim to fame of Milwaukee's C&E route is that it was the railroad that went past Wrigley Field.

I begin with an overview of how it fit into the Milwaukee Road. Note the Chicago & Pacific came from Tower A-5. crossed the C&NW northern branches at CY Tower (Clyborn Junction) and joined the C&E to go south to Union Station. This was the freight access to the C&E because Milwaukee's Galewood and Bensenville yards are west of Tower A-5. Passenger access to the C&E was from Union Station using a bridge that no longer exists to cross the Chicago River just north of Kinzie Street.
I'm dividing the discussion of the C&E into segments. From north to south:
This is what was left of the C&E when the Chicago Terminal Railroad assumed operations on 2/2/2007. The crossing at CY Tower had already been removed in 2000. Canadian Pacific must have been interchanging freight cars in C&NW's North Avenue Yard.
Chicago Area Shortline Railroad
The northern segment had Peerless' business for less than a year. I have yet to determine what business was on the southern branch and when they abandoned it.
When I started rail (track) fanning in 2014, the lumber yard on Cherry Avenue on Goose Island was still receiving cars. In fact, they were left parked on Cherry Ave. So this was the status of CTR in 2014.
Chicago Area Shortline Railroad
David Daruszka commented on a share
There was still a lot of industry along the line in 1973.

Resources for the C&E: Chicago Reader (the article is interesting, but read it and close it because the advertisements can hang your browser) ("Inconvenience to the sweat set occurs, at most, one or two days a week, whenever the Peerless Candy Company receives a shipment of sugar syrup. Peerless, on Lakewood between Schubert and Diversey"), Chicago Switching overview.

(Update: the lumber yard closed and the scrap yard is being kicked out as part of the gentrification of the industrial area north of Goose Island. Since the Chicago Terminal Railroad has no customers, the City of Chicago is taking control of the right-of-way in anticipation of a new public transit route. One problem is that the Cherry Avenue Bridge is not big enough for both pedestrians and busses or rail cars. The C&E trains ran so infrequently that sharing the bridge with pedestrians was not an issue. Hopefully, rapid transit would cross the bridge frequently.)

David H. Nelson posted
If anyone is interested in Rail simulators, I;m still working on my Milwaukee Road in Chicago project (Goose Island, ca. 1947).
I was in my editor earlier and I thought this image might be worth posting. Everything shown except the track is created by myself.
The "camera" is positioned at 450 W Chicago Ave, looking south. The faint yellow lines are a visual aid above the track.
The scope of the project is centered at C&E Junction, W Cortland at Kingsbury, and runs NW to W. Belmont and SE past Union Station to the big PRR warehouse near Roosevelt Rd. IIRC this is about 4.25 miles.
Rail simulator projects do not need to compress distance and that's the case here... everything is indeed 12 inches to the foot.
David commented on his post
Dennis DeBruler commented on David's comment
I knew that Milwaukee had a yard on Goose Island, but this image makes it more real than just a 1938 aerial photo. And it reminds me that there was a gasometer near the south side of Goose Island in addition to some that were north of the island.

I checked, the Ogden Viaduct over Goose Island and Milwaukee's mainline was not removed until 1993. So it should be in this model as well.

David H. Nelson posted
One more screenshot from the simulator project I'm working on (The Milwaukee Road's Division Street Yard on Goose Island). This is an aerial panorama.
FB has done a huge reduction in size. If you want to see it a bit larger you need to click on the image and then right mouse view image, and then click on the image once more to enlarge.
David H. Nelson Here is a link to half size image:
Eric Quick OpenRails?
David H. Nelson Of course.
OR is the only sim that does reasonably realistic physics. Easier to do both freeware and open source projects too.
I'll be uploaded Goose Island as a very incomplete freeware "alpha" soon (elvastower).
I own; I'll be posting a link for a freeware download of this route within the month. It's very incomplete but it can still be fun if you are into industrial switching.

B&LE 1918 Silicon Steel Bridge over Allegheny River at Acmetonia, PA

HAER PA,2-OAK.V,1--10 from pa3714

Oblique view of cantilever truss over main channel, looking NNE from south abutment. - Bessemer & Lake Erie Railroad, Allegheny River Bridge, Spanning Allegheny River, East of Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76), Oakmont, Allegheny County, PA

The bridge was designed by two U.S. Steel subsidiaries - the railroad and the American Bridge Company - as a showpiece for their parent company. This structure not only introduced new silicon steel to American bridge construction, but also helped revive continuous truss design. [pa3714]
 I included the label "metalIron" because this was evidently the first bridge built with silicon steel, which was stronger than existing steel. It is also a pioneering bridge because it used continuous spans rather than simple spans that were cantilevered and generated an upward force on some of the piers, especially during construction. This double track bridge replaced a single track bridge. The old bridge had a steel trestle for the north approach. That trestle was buried in an embankment when this bridge was built. Furthermore a "felling trestle" was built parallel to the existing trestle so that dump trains would not interfere with the normal ore trains. "Engineering News remarked, 'It is not often in any part ofthe country that a perfectly serviceable steel viaduct is treated in this way;... [Here] two such viaducts, side by side, are being buried.' The embankment, however, allowed U.S. Steel to dispose of 1.2 million cubic yards of slag from its mills, which may have outweighed the scrap value of the steel trestles." "With the trusses continuous across two piers, train loads are distributed among the three spans, requiring less material than an equivalent series of simple spans....The bridge was clearly intended as a showpiece for U.S. Steel" [pa3714data]

Note that the piers of the old bridge were extended using cut-stone even though reinforced concrete was becoming a more common construction material by 1918.

3D Satellite
Both a Flickr photo and a Facebook photo show iron ore trains on the bridge in the 21st Century. It is nice to know that there is at least one blast furnace still working somewhere in the Pittsburgh area. It looks like the old Homestead Works may be gone, but there are two blast furnaces still standing near Braddock, PA

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Crossing of EJ&E Industrial Spur and CNS&M


The Chicago, North Shore & Milwauky is an interurban that was abandoned along time ago. Its right-of-way appears to now be Commonwealth Avenue. Part of the industrial spur appears to now be Morrow Avenue. The main crossing of the EJ&E and CNS&M is a block north and was grade separated.

Kevin Piper posted two photos with the comment:
The EJ&E crossed the North Shore's Milwaukee line at North Chicago. Here SW1200 306 is running across the diamonds in December 1961. Note the gates protecting the junction. The second photo shows the exact location in recent years. Top, LOUIS CERNY PHOTO Bottom, JOE STUPAR PHOTO

[You can see the EJ&E overpass in the background.]

Luminant Liberty Mine

(Satellite)  A church was willing to be bought and move.

If you Google this mine, you learn about a neighbor who thinks he was not offered enough for his property. I'm going to ignore that issue and concentrate on the fact that this mine has two active dragline cranes.

Screenshot from a video from a Bill Drotar Jr. posting
Have to enjoy D33 while it's so close to the road.
William Oldani Now that's a Different style Bucket! I'm not familiar with that one I'm assuming it's some type of Easy Loading or High Efficiency!
Jay Wilson Almost looks like someone tried to gain a few extra yards by changing the back wall.
Bob Haare No spreader bar on the hoist chains!
Luminant PR video of moving D32 8 miles to their new lignite coal mine 

UP/WP Bridge over North Fork Feather River near Pulga, CA

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)

Western Pacific built this route up the Feather River Canyon.

Greg Mross posted
UP 3392 brings a train thru Pulga, CA in the Feather River Canyon in May of 1994.
This is one of the "seven wonders of the Feather River" shown in this video.

A Flickr photo capturing a high river flow.

I traced the river. This is part of the watershed for the Oroville Dam.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

EIR/NRG/N&W/NKP(Cloverleaf) Bridge over Embarras River near Oakland, IL

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)

Dave Honan
\The Eastern Illinois Railroad crosses the Embarras River southwest of Oakland on this impressive bridge, viewed here from the south side of the east abutment. The bridge is located at MP 307.0 of the old Clover Leaf (later Nickel Plate) line between Toledo and St. Louis. Two more spans are hidden beyond the tall tree at left. (July 11, 2004)

Aban/Pennsy/Vandalia/Terre Haute & Peoria Bridge over Embarras River near Oakland, IL

(Bridge Hunter, no Bridge Hunter, Satellite, Street View)

Dave Honan posted two photos with the comment:
These two photos depict the main spans of the old Pennsy bridge spanning the Embarras River just west of Oakland. The Pennsy line [Terre Haute & Peoria] connected Paris and Decatur with the "Vandalia" mainline at Farrington. Today, the bridge is rusting away alongside IL-133. (July 11, 2004)



Parking Cranes in Weather Vane Mode

One of the local construction sites set up this self erecting tower when they had easy access to the center of the building.

10170640(0623) 9537
It is electrically powered and controlled by remote control. So you are renting just a trailer, not a truck, diesel engines, and a cab.
The above photo after it was cropped
Each day the boom would be facing a different direction, so that allows me to get several different angles of the base from the one area where they have not yet built a wall so that construction equipment can drive into the building area.
20170640(0628) 9550

20170708-10 0005
This video records the rotation speed. It was getting close to quitting time and they just rotated it over 360 degrees with no load.
(full window)

20170708-10 9978
The next day was the first time I saw them actually use the crane. Here they are adding posts to the edge of the east wall. Earlier, when they were working on the north wall and I first took pictures of them, they came over and talked to me because I had a camera. I find this common and to my benefit because it gives me a chance to ask questions. The crane was installed mainly to lift the wood panel walls when they get that far into construction. It can lift four tons by the tower and one ton at the tip of the boom. Those posts were certainly less than a ton! I'm glad you can't recognize the faces because inside the fence is supposed to be a hard-hat zone. When I mentioned that every time my wife or I go to the library, we noticed the boom was pointed in a different direction. We thought that was because they had done some work that day and we missed it. He explained it could be because they park it in "weather vane" mode. That is, the boom turns rather than create a lateral force on the tower if there is a crosswind. He said the wires going up the tower will tolerate three revolutions. I confirmed that the reason the turned it at the end of the previous day with no load was to remove the twist from the wires so that it could do a full three revolutions in either direction while it was unattended.

The photos that were here of a Bucyrus-Erie 1360W have been moved to the coal mine in which it is parked. That dragline was parked with its boom facing West. Then a strong storm turned the boom towards the North. The boom has been rotated back to facing West.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA)

The Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) owned the St. Louis Union Station and the two bridges that could carry railroad traffic across the Mississippi River. Like Chicago, many of the eastern and western railroads terminated at this city. Unlike Chicago, the only terminal railroad connecting the trunk railroads was TRRA. (Chicago had the Indiana Harbor Belt, B&OCT, EJ&E and other terminal railroads. It also had six train stations instead of just the one Union Station in St. Louis.) The TRRA History emphases the ownership of the bridges whereas American-Rails emphases the ownership of the Union Station.

Madison Yard is their main yard.

Mark Hinsdale posted four photos with the comment:
TRRA... By Rail!
It is a rare treat to be able to traverse and observe the trackage of the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis (TRRA) on a special passenger train. However, this opportunity presented itself this past Sunday, when a trip was sponsored by several of St Louis' serving railroads on behalf of the American Association of Railroad Superintendents for its annual meeting, held in the Gateway to the West. Although Amtrak trains to and from Chicago or Kansas City do utilize TRRA routes to access the new St. Louis Amtrak Station, much of the Terminal Railroad is rarely visited by passenger trains. I took many photographs, but here are some representative views of the always fascinating bridgework around St. Louis, as well as its iconic Arch.

[MacArthur (Municipal) Bridge]

Dave Hopson I've seen movies of trains on the lower level of the second bridge in front of you.Mark Hinsdale Yes, PRR used the lower level of the Eads Bridge to get across the Mississippi. Today those two tracks carry Metrorail (light rail) trains between Belleville & St. Louis.



Splinter Free Toilet Paper Became Available in 1935

It is amazing what we take for granted now days. Electricity and indoor plumbing are rather obvious advances in civilization. I never gave much thought to toilet paper. I do remember people talking about using corn cobs to "clean themselves." And I had a teacher in middle school that went to South America to teach one year. One of the few things he said about that trip was that the TP was noticeably rougher. That was one of the products that he had sent to him from America.
Northern Issue, in 1935, began to advertise toilet paper that was ‘splinter free’. Up until this point, it was common to have splinters in toilet roll, due to the production techniques used. St. Andrew’s Paper Mill, in the UK, launched 2-ply paper in 1942. [VintageNews]
When I first went to work at Bell Labs in 1973, we did not have rolls of toilet paper. We had skinny versions of folded paper towel dispensers. Fortunately, the paper was not as rough as paper towels, but it was not as soft as the paper on rolls. It was a common complaint concerning the building's facilities. After a few years, they did replace the folded sheets of toilet paper with rolls of toilet paper. Now I see some fast food restaurants have dispensers that hold rolls that are about a foot in diameter. That reduces the number of "almost empty" rolls that the janitorial staff has to deal with.

EI&TH: Evansville, Indianapolis & Terre Haute Railroad

I learned about this railroad while researching which railroad a coal mine near Somerville, IN, is connected to (currently Indiana Southern Railroad, ISRR). The EI&TH is the original name indicated on the 2005 SPV Map. My original goal for this blog was to find the original railroad name that built a route. I've learned that is not realistic because the same route would go through many corporate names in the 1800s. And the name that got the charter was many times not the name that actually graded the route. And there may be a third name for the railroad that completed the grade and laid the track. So now I'm using the SPV Map's original name. If you want to know the history before the EI&TH, you can buy a book by Kenneth Reed or you can study an Evansville & Indianapolis summary.

Of note, is that much of the right-of-way reused the Wabash and Erie Canal. The extension of the canal from LaFayette to Evansville was finished in 1853, but the stretch from Terre Haute was abandoned less than 10 years later --- 1861. The Evansville & Indianpolis was formed on Novemeber 7, 1885 by C&EI from three railroads that created a route that paralleled their Terre Haute to Evansville mainline. This was the era of rail barons where railroads would buy competing routes to eleminate the competition. The NYC buying the Nickle Plate is the classic example. The C&EI sold the route to the Big Four in 1920 as the EI&TH. This was the era of anti-trust. So my 1928 RR Atlas labels this route as Big Four.

As with many railroad names, the name reflects the desire of the owners instead of the reality. The route actually goes between Evansville and Terre Haute. You had to use another railroad to get to Indianapolis. By 2005, the part south of Elnora, IN was part of the Indiana Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of RailAmerica. Genesee & Wyoming acquired it in 2012. The towns and/or junctions listed for the route on the 1928 RR Atlas are Evansville, Oakland City (Southern), Washington (B&O), Elmora (Milwaukee), Ellison (IC), Worthington (Pennsy), Clay City, Spring Hill, Terre Haute.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Grove GMK3055 Crane, My Pictures

20170624,25 0448
This is what I found at one of our neighborhood construction sites on July 24. The operator was obviously waiting for something to arrive.
I got a side view of the boom when I walked around the site to the above entrance off Gilbert Avenue. (The bank building in the satellite view has been torn down.) Since nothing but waiting was happening at this site, I went to the other site in town where they were doing form work. That is rather boring work, so I took a couple of "status" shots and came back to this site.
When I arrived, it was obvious that he was waiting for this truck.
I was able to catch them unpinning the outrigger pads so...
....that they could shove them in and repin them so that the pads do not stick out beyond the side of the truck.
Then as the operator uses the control levers to pull in the outrigger, the driver puts one of the mats away. (I don't think they had mats on the other side because they were swinging the loads only to my right.)

The operator also does some of the heavy lifting. After this, they came over to ask me if I was taking pictures of them. I said "No. I'm taking pictures of the crane." (I have verified that, even at high resolution, you can't identify the faces very well because of the angles and/or shadows.) I confirmed that what I had missed earlier in the day were trucks arriving with precast concrete slabs that the crane swung into position between the steel girders. I believe he called the slabs "spancrete."

What he had on the hook when he was waiting for the truck was his counterweight ready to load onto the truck when it arrived. I had noticed that Nichols did not paint over the GROVE trademark, but they did paint over the model number. So I asked him what model it was. The reply was a 3055. I noticed that being able to repin the outrigger pads for road transport is important enough that it is one of the six bullet items of features listed for this model: "Outrigger pads stow within width of crane."

So the truck with the counterweight leaves. The three skinny ones are 1t and the one thicker one is 2t.

This is a big contrast with the 6 trailers of 9t and 9.5t counterweights used by the GMK6300L at Downers North.

They store the mats for the outrigger pads on the back of the crane.
Note that when he is doing tight maneuvers around the construction site, he has the steering in a mode where the middle wheels stay straight and the rear wheels turn the opposite direction of the front wheels.

He then spent some time with the wheels straight working with a control panel to his side. I think he lowered and raised the chassis during this time, but it was hard to be sure.
When he left, it soon became obvious that he changed the steering mode so that it worked more like a regular truck. It is hard to see in this still photo, but I believe I saw the middle axle wheels turn a little as the front wheels turned considerably more.
This turn at the end of the block more clearly shows that the middle wheels are also turning.
He went back to "tight steering mode" when he had to recover from turning down a one-way street in the wrong direction.

So I was able to get a nice (except for the sun being on the wrong side) profile shot of the other side as he left town (below). Unlike the GMK6300L, this model is not "oversize." Yet it does have a 6-section boom.