Sunday, October 29, 2017

Illinois River Peoria Lock and Dam

(John A. Weeks IIISatellite)

Tim Freitag posted
It's a core rig named Hercules.
[According to the comments Hercules is a  Manatowoc 4600 on a 60' ringer mounted on a barge. There is controversy as to weather or not the counterweights slide. Normally they stay at the end on a ringer. But since this is mounted on a barge, sliding coutnerweights would make sense.]
Dennis DeBruler Deron Manseau I looked through my notes and found an image with no load on the hook. The counterweights are still fully extended over the ring. http://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Media/Images.aspx...

Mike Weaver commented on Tim Freitag's posting
Mike Weaver commented on Tim Freitag's posting
Ben Stalvey Sure is neat how it folds down
Jon Hart Has to fit under those bridges!


David Jordan shared
Peoria Lock and Dam will close for 60 days in 2020 (the linked article has more photos)
This could create some interesting alternatives for rail-barge traffic in the area. If nothing else, ADM’s Cedar Rapids plants will temporarily cease routing distillers mash and/or gluten feed pellets to ADM Grain Co. docks on Wesley Road via the Iowa Interstate. I suppose they could send this traffic to alternate area locations such as CHS at Pekin or to the American Milling Co.-operated dock at Crystal Lake.

It was hard finding the visitor center for this dam. I wanted to see this dam because it is one of the few wicket gate dams left in America. It had a sign on the fence that was rather confusing about what was allowed inside. But the gate was partially open, so we parked at the visitor center. Cameras were a definite no-no. While I was walking around, a person soon walked over from the office building. He informed me that people are not allowed inside the fence. The gate was partially open because it was broke. So we left. Both sides of the downstream river are lined with forests so it is impossible to get views from the river side. John Weeks did what I thought about doing --- getting pictures as I go across the I-474 bridge.

Satellite
I made a copy of the Google image because it caught the Illinois River with a high flow so that the wicket gates are down. This allows the tows to use the river channel instead of the lock making passage by the dam much faster. Since the lock chamber is not used during high water, that is where they are parking the tender that raises and lowers the gates. The Tainter gate would be wide open.
Birds-Eye View
I made a copy of the birds-eye view because it not only caught the river at low flow with the wickets up, it caught a downstream tow going through the lock. The 15-barge tow indicates the lock is just 600' because the tow had to lock through as two parts. The Tainter gate was installed so that fine flow adjustments can be made to maintain a consistent pool height.



Of interest is that there were at least two more tows waiting upstream to use the lock. Note the "helper" towboat against the second barge on the starboard side to help guide the tow.
Birds-Eye View
About a half mile upstream is another tow waiting its turn. Note the coal train on the TZPR/PPU tracks.

Birds-Eye View
Given this traffic jam of downstream tows, I looked below the dam to see if there were any upstream tows waiting for the lock. I did not find any. Two 15-barge tows waiting to go through the lock when the lock can only handle half a tow illustrates how important it is to lower the wicket gates during high water so that the lock is not needed.


Steep CGW Industrial Spur in St. Charles, IL

I don't normally do postings about industrial spurs, but this one is interesting.

Dave Kuntz posted the comment: "I'm reading about a steep siding that ended up on St. Charles' Main Street and had several runaways in "The Chicago Great Western Railway" pictorial book."

Jerry Hund commented on Dave's posting
Here's the most famous runaway in St. Charles.
Dave Kuntz Trolley Tracks on street?
Jerry Hund Dave Kuntz yes, they belonged to the Aurora, Elgin and Fox River RR until 1935. Also, the CA&E Geneva Branch ended a short distance past this area.
Jerry Hund Notice the empty lot on the corner. The Arcada Theatre would be built here. Air Supply is playing there tonight.
I suspect the curve in the building marks the location of the industrial siding that served a, possibly water powered, industry in the 1800s. The tracks were probably gone before the building was built, but the property lines for the lot would have been defined by the railroad right-of-way.
Satellite plus Paint
A street view shows the tracks are elevated to remain level across the Fox River Valley.

Street View
I'm sure the siding made its descent to river level using just the embankment they had to build anyhow for the mainline approach to CGW's bridge across the river. And this 1939 view confirms that the curve in the building marked above is where the siding ran.

1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP
Or maybe it was more like this.

1939 Aerial Photo from ILHAP


Saturday, October 28, 2017

MWRD: South Side Interceptor Pumping Plants

(Update: more photos of construction of intercepting sewers are in North Side Interceptor.)
MWRD posted
Historical Photo of the Week: The intersection of 92nd Street and Mackinaw Avenue in Chicago on October 3, 1923, showing a westward view of work on the Calumet intercepting sewer system.
It was easy finding information about the pumping station that pumped sewage from the lake side intercepting sewers into the North Branch of the Chicago River. But it has been harder finding information on the pumping stations for interceptor sewers on the south side. Fortunately, I recorded the following notes when I researched the north pump station:
(For future reference, I have come across "Racine Pumping Plant" and "pumping station at 68th near South Shore Drive." While Googling for them, I found a map of Chicago's supply water pumping stations. This looks like the Racine Pumping Plant. I didn't find anything around 68th and South Shore.)
Google found a map of MWRD's CSO's outflows, but the contents is blank even thought the sidebar looks valid. "CSO Locations" in the sidebar is also blank. Backing off to their CSO level gives me a useful page. Clicking the "Stickney Area" link gives me list that includes the Racine Ave Pump Station as number 142. This list includes other pumping stations such as Nashville Avenue (#189). But I could not find anything that looks like a pump station there. Also on the list was Southwest Side 13A (#146) and Westchester (#150).

A reference that records "diversions" from the pump stations ("Summary of Activity at Major Pump Stations" link on the CSO Overview page) lists the following pump stations: North Branch, Racine Avenue, Westchester, 95th Street, 122nd Street and 125th Street. (Again, it is a real shame their map page is not working.)

MWRD posted
Workers pause for a portrait during construction of the Calumet Intercepting Sewer in ‪#‎Chicago‬ on February 26, 1924.

MWRD posted
Workers pause for a photo during construction of a portion of the Southwest Intercepting Sewer on November 21, 1935.
MWRD posted
Construction of a section of the Calumet Intercepting Sewer on September 28, 1922, looking north on Avenue N at 100th Street.


It is not worthy of its own post, but I wanted to record how the size of the interceptor sewers varied.
MWRD posted
Inside the Salt Creek 2 interceptor sewer on April 17, 1928.

EJ&E switched from a belt railroad to a private US Steel railroad in the mid 1970s

I found the comments to be more interesting than the photo.

Kevin Piper posted
906 leads a typical 1960's EJ&E freight past the CB&Q interchange in late afternoon at Eola on 8-25-68. When the Centercabs first got solid orange paint, they also had black frames pilots, and walkways. To simplify repainting, the black was later dropped in favor of more orange in those areas. By the mid-1970's, EJ&E freight trains took on a much different look after the railroad started to discourage bridge traffic. The bean counters determined that bridge traffic between different connecting railroads, using the J as a "middle man", was unprofitable. As a result, the "Chicago Outer Belt" slogan was dropped. LOUIS CERNY PHOTO/KEVIN PIPER COLLECTION
Dennis DeBruler I remember that EJ&E quit carrying bridge traffic and was to do what it was owned for --- connect US Steel plants. Thanks for reminding me that the change was done in the mid 1970s.
Kevin PiperGroup Admin USS wanted it to be a conveyor belt for them.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

BNSF/BN/NP Bridge over Missouri River at Bismarck, ND

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, John A. Weeks III, 3D Satellite)

Built in 1905 with the granite piers of an 1882 bridge. BNSF plans to replace this bridge.

John A. Weeks III
This photo shows the angle on the upstream side of the piers to help lift and break the ice flows to protect the piers.
Street View
From Bridge Hunter

Based on a paper written by Ed Murphy of the ND Geological Survey, the railroad (first Northern Pacific, and now BNSF), have had endless problems with the eastern pier of the High Bridge. Just after completion, the east pier began shifting towards the Missouri River at a rate of 3 to 3-1/2 inches per year. A number of repairs were attempted, but none seemed to work. In 1898, the pier was dug out and moved back onto a larger foundation. By 1902, the pier was already 4 inches off center. After further investigation, it was suspected that the city water reservoir located on a hill above the railroad track was leaking large amounts of water, causing the entire hillside to slide towards the river. The NP built a tunnel under the area to try to drain the water, but the pier continued to move. More projects were completed in 1918, 1923, and 1940 to try to slow down the landslide. In 1951, the NP undertook a major project to cut down the hill and regrade the area. This helped the situation by slowing down the movement to 1/3 of an inch per year, but did not stop the movement. [John Weeks]

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

UP/CGW Railroad and Robert Street Bridges over Mississippi in St. Paul, MN

(CGW Bridge Hunter, Robert Bridge Hunter, CGW Historic Bridges, Robert Historic Bridges, CGW John Weeks, Robert John Weeks3D Satellite, Street View)

Once again I do two bridges because they are so close to each other. In fact, at the north end the railroad bridge goes under the road bridge. I learned of these bridges from a lmyers83 Flickr photo.

UP/C&NW/GGW Bridge


Someday I'm going to have to study how the Chicago Great Western Railroad went from Chicago to the Twin Cities. I always thought of the CGW as another railroad that went between Chicago and Omaha. Today it is owned by the Union Pacific since it bought the C&NW in 1995, and the C&NW acquired the CGW in 1969. A predecessor of CGW in this area was the Chicago, St. Paul & Kansas City Railway. [Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, Volume 8, p 437]

John A. Weeks III, looking south from Kellogg Avenue in St. Paul.
This lift bridge was completed in 1912 [Historic Bridges] or in 1913 [Bridge Hunter, John Weeks] to replace a swing bridge (see below). The Waddell and Harrington lift span is 192' long and the girder spans are 70'. Because the bridge is on an angle, the navigation channel width is only 158'. In 1925, the north end was raised 16 feet to tie in with the rail lines that served the Saint Paul Union Depot. [Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, John Weeks] "In the first decade of the 21st century, this is one of three operating lift bridges on the Mississippi River. The other two are located at Hastings, Minnesota, and Hannibal, Missouri." [John Weeks]

This closeup to catch the engines on the lift span shows the special metal bents mentioned by Historic Bridges that were added to the concrete piers to obtain the 16' lift at the north end. It also shows that the closest pier has been severely eroded by the river.
John A. Weeks III
The first locomotive is "a General Motors EMD model SD40-2 locomotive. It is a diesel-electric locomotive that is able to generate 3,000 horsepower. This unit is an early SD40-2, which was built in late 1972. Nearly 4,000 SD40-2 were built between 1972 and 1986."
Published prior to 1923
Note that the road bridge back then used to be a truss bridge built in 1885.

Published prior to 1923



John Briese posted
Greg Smith added this to Minnesota Railroads page (no photographer info). Too cool not to be here...where it belongs.
Greg Smith posted a B&W version
Ken Zieska What a great lash up of power.
Kirk Brust 1-2-3-4-5-6... It's a CGW thing.
Dennis Kilbride posted
Downtown St Paul Minnesota May 2008 Robert Street Lift Bridge over Mississippi River. Owned and operated by Union Pacific RR.
Leo Walding posted
This post was taken from the website Minnesota Railroads. It is a UP freight traveling over the Mississippi River at downtown St Paul. I have viewed many photos of St Paul railroading but this is my all time favorite.
Dennis commented on his posting
Here's a side pic of it.

Dennis commented on his posting
July 2014 Mississippi was up quite a bit, you can see how high the logs jammed up against it.
Jordan Palmer commented on Dennis' posting
One of my favorite bridges in the Twin Cities, every once in awhile I time it right to catch a towboat passing underneath.
Leo Walding posted
CNW lift bridge. Downtown St. Paul Minnesota spanning Mississippi. Automobile bridge is Robert St. bridge.
John Boots It is the Robert Street Lift Bridge. Originally operated by the Chicago Great Western prior to being taken over by the CNW. Nice Pic.

Robert Street Bridge


John A. Weeks III, downstream (easteren) elevation from the south bank riverwalk

Both road and railroad truss bridges were built in 1885.
Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, Volume 8, p 438
The draw is operated by steam.
Historic Bridges
ca. 1895 Photo of Previous Bridge
Source: Minneapolis Photo Collection of Hennepin County Library
The railroad bridge was replaced in 1913 and the road bridge was replaced in 1926. The road bridge was rehabilitated in 1989 and added to the National Register of Historic Places. The concrete pony arch [Bridge Hunter] or rainbow arch [Historic Bridges, John Weeks] span (navigation channel span) is 264'. The two pony arches are not reinforced with rebar. Instead, a steel arch was built, which was then encased by concrete. [Historic Bridges, John Weeks, Bridge Hunter]
One feature of the bridge is that it appears to fit so well to its surroundings. Perhaps the reason for that is that the bridge was so difficult to fit around all the obstacles at that location. This includes having to be high enough for river boat traffic, low enough to meet the low grade south of the river without having too steep of grade (as required by street cars), it has to be high enough for trains to pass under, yet it had to match the height of Kellogg Blvd. The result is that the bridge design was dictated by each of these constraints. [John Weeks]
John A. Weeks III
The photo above shows a good view of the main span rainbow arch. Notice that there is steel work under the bridge deck to help support the roadway. Also notice the Great Western railroad lift bridge behind the Robert Street Bridge. The railroad bridge was built many years before the Robert Street Bridge.

Both


Kevin Piper posted
Two SOO GP30's cross the Mississippi River at St. Paul, MN, on 8-16-74. PHOTOGRAPHER UNKNOWN

BRC 100th Street Yard

(Satellite)
Arturo Gross Flickr photo is the first of five photos with the comment "BRC Alco C424 601 and mate 603 pull into 100th St. Yard on Chicago's southeast side with loads for KCBX rail to water terminal May 1996." The Alcos are belching smoke. Especially in this photo. When he posted this Flickr link in Facebook, William L. Brushaber commented that Arturo took the photos from the south end of the yard below 104th Street from Muskegon Avenue. Arturo commented:
Dennis DeBruler If you can get your hands on the book "The Pennsy in Chicago" by Ed DeRuin, it's a great resource for figuring out what is going on rail wise on the far south/southeast side as well as Northwest Indiana. Obviously not all the tracks are former PRR, but there are so many PRR lines that the coverage really explains alot. In this case a PRR line called the Cummings Branch [my link because I researched the pennsyrr link given below] also ran right next to the BRC yard. Many of the same track diagrams that are in the book are also available on this website, but it's a little harder to get the big picture than the book... http://broadway.pennsyrr.com/Rail/Prr/Maps/index.html

2015 Street View
2014 Street View
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 511,505 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 19 APR 97
[The cow and calf unit must be at the south end of the yard.]
John DeWit Woodlock II It was indeed located at the south end of the yard, not quite as far as 104th Street if I remember correctly.
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 604,600 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 18 APR 97. My apologies for the soft focus.
[We are more in the middle of the yard looking south at the Railto Elevator]
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 605;UP 8034;7013 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 22 APR 97.

John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 605,601;UP 8034;7013 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 22 APR 97.
[We are even further north because the Railto Elevator is in the distance on the left.]
John DeWit Woodlock II posted
BRC 605;KCBX 1872,1874 @ 100th Street Yard-Chicago,IL 22 MAY 97.
[Near the north end looking north because that is the approach to the Skyway in the background.]
Marty Gatton Screenshot
CRL operating OMLX 4200 and 1000 northbound through BRC’s 100th street yard
7am 6/27/19
Marty Gatton Someone in the know please advise...

Is the two track stretch these will run on called the Cummings branch? (Eventually through rock island junction and into the BRC South Chicago yard)Ean Kahn-Treras Marty Gatton No. That was the name given to the PRR branch that also followed the BRC down to Commercial Ave Yard.

The BRC timetable says this is the South Chicago District Industrial Lead. Rock Island Jct to 112th St.

Arturo Gross Flickr 1995 photo
Arturo Gross Flickr 1996 photo (sourceMark Bilecki Sr. They were brand new then

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

CREATE: B1 - Canadian Pacific Crossover Upgrades

Satellite
The Milwaukee Road had four tracks going past the Franklin Park station. When it went bankrupt, Metra bought the northern two tracks and we can see in this satellite image that they continue on to Chicago. Canadian Pacific bought the remaining tracks which includes Bensenville Yard and the southern two tracks past the station. As we can see from the satellite image, those two tracks turn south onto the Indiana Harbor Belt.

If you trace the two southern tracks westward, you have to go all the way through the yard to find a connection with the top two mainline tracks.

The B1 Project will add five crossovers and the associated signalling between Scott and Ruby so the 12 freight trains a day that go to the IHB can stay on the mainline (Metra) tracks until they are past the yard. "The schedule calls for completing construction of the project in 2019." [rtands]

The claimed benefits are:
This project will reduce the number of freight trains within the yard and reduce delays at nearby at-grade crossings. The potential for delay to Metra trains due to conflict with slow moving freight trains entering the yard will be reduced. [B1]
The first benefit (getting through trains out of the yard) means that CP, rather than federal tax payers, should be paying a significant share of the costs. The other two benefits do benefit the public. But they assume that a freight train can travel on that curve at the connector to IHB significantly faster than it can travel through the yard. I have yet to see a train go fast on the IHB. I should get videos now of trains travelling past Ruby Street to record their speeds so that I can compare it to their speeds after the project is done.

Oh by the way, this project also includes: "Install another crossover between the IHB and CN tracks" [B1] In this case [rtands] provides more information: "In addition, another crossover will be installed between the IHB and Canadian National tracks between Chestnut Avenue and Grand Avenue." That would allow CP trains to run on CN tracks through the residential area of River Forest. Since CN bought the EJ&E, CN hasn't used this former SOO/Wisconsin Central track in years. Supposedly CN is keeping that track intact for "emergency alternative routing." I notice that the Benefits Section of the project description avoids describing the benefit of this crossover. Is money being spent on that crossover for emergency routing or are the residents of River Forest going to have their property values reduced after 2019 because of train noise? (I just discovered that Google road map doesn't even show this route.) Looking at a street crossing, I don't think the crossing gates meet the requirements for a quite zone. So this area will be like Macomb, IL, where the horn is always blowing as a train goes through town. (A daughter used to live in Macomb.)


Monday, October 23, 2017

BRC: Belt Railway Company of Chicago

(Shortlines)  (source)
Dennis DeBruler I've noticed that their herald is still on their bridge over I-290, https://www.google.com/.../data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sEzO5O...
Paul Schlichting Because that is there main line that connect to the CPRS (former MILW)
20140906 0114 view from the west side of Cicero Ave. Bridge
The Belt Railway Company of Chicago is the largest intermediate switching terminal railroad in the United States. It interchanges with every railroad serving the Chicago rail hub and serves about 100 industries. It has 28 miles of mainline track and more than 300 miles of switching tracks. Their main yard, Clearing Yard, already has its own post. Their web site has a nice introduction and history and a timeline.

The charter railroads in 1882 have some names I have never heard of -- the Louisville, New Albany & Chicago Railway, Chicago & Atlantic Railway, Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railway, and Chicago & Grand Trunk Railway. So the todo list now includes determining into which railroads these evolved. The railroads that joined in 1910 are much more familiar -- the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway, Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad, Illinois Central Railroad, Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad, Pennsylvania Railroad, and Chesapeake & Ohio Railway. The Pere Marquette Railway joined in 1924. Due to mergers and the bankruptcy of the Rock Island, today's owners are BNSF, CN, CP, CSXT, NS, and UP.


ChicagoRailFan has more details including a list of mileposts, a track diagram, and links to interlocking towers and track elevation ordinances.


BBC Show Announcement (source)
BRC's photo gallery has steam locomotives and maps as well as pictures of their current locomotives.

BRC
The photo gallery also has a more detailed map with mile posts and street names on the sides. But that map is dated because it still shows Conrail tracks.

Brian Morgan comment in Ed's posting
[I wish the text was readable. I saved it because some of the trackage right lines were new to me.]

David Daruszka enhanced a map posted by Bill Molony
This map of The Belt Railway of Chicago is from their 2000 annual report.