Below is an example of several barges parked on the east side of the river. It looks like 11 barges are parked there. The bridges in the right background are for I-80. The blue handrail in the foreground is part of the US-6 Bridge.
In addition to a local pushboat that has a retractable pilothouse, we see a big pushboat.
Zooming in on the first photo, I could read the name of the pushboat --- Leo G. Lutgring. It is 160'x35' and built in 1978. It is a reminder that Alco, formerly a steam locomotive manufacturer, still makes diesels because it is a twin screw with 12-251F engines with 4370 hp. [TowBoatGallery] (Actually, I think Fairbanks-Morse bought that brand and makes the diesels. But since Google's blog search function broke April 3, 2018, I can't find my posting about Fairbanks-Morse making Alcos.)
These videos confirm that the Leo G. Lutgring can handle a full 15-barge tow on the Mississippi River.
This video makes it look like a triple-screw towboat. But it does have just two exhaust stacks. I wonder if the engines drive alternators and electric motors are used on the prop shafts. That would allow two engines to easily power three propellers.
I've learned that disassembling and assembling large tows is called fleeting. Each of the local marine services such as Ozinga's Middle River Marine and Illinois Marine Towing have fleeting areas, including this Joliet area south of the US-6 Bridge. These fleeting areas are similar to local freight switch yards for railroads such as Eola and GM Yard. Specifically, they are big enough that they can hold a long tow/train and have enough area that the towboat/locomotive can store barges/cars while it sorts out what goes where along the river/track.
The analogy continues with big pushboats/road locomotives being used for long distance travel, and smaller pushboats/switching locomotives being used for the local movements. In the case of the Chicago area, local pushboats must have retractable pilothouses because, except for the South Branch Bridge, none of the movable bridges are operated for barge traffic. The barge traffic is expected to fit under the 16.5' clearance of the bridges. Since the level of the Chicago River, the Cal Sag Channel, and the CS&SC are controlled by locks, a powerhouse, and a gate structure; rain storms should not reduce the 16.5' clearance.
Continuing the analogy, fleeting/railyard capacity is used to store empty barges/cars until another customer needs one. And there may provide additional services such as cleaning and/or repairing barges/cars.
|A retired professional brown water mariner from tugster|
Looking back through my Joliet visits, I found that I had seen the Leo G. Lutgring before. It was pushing this 11-barge tow that included a bow-steering pushboat upbound through Joliet.
|20150603 1961, Flickr: 6016 x 4000|
At the time I saw this tow, I wondered where this 3x3+2 tow was going because the canal is the width of four barges, but many places have two adjacent barges docked along the canal.
- Bulk, non-bulk, and break-bulk warehousing and stevedoring services- 70,000 square feet of indoor warehouse space- Temperature-controlled warehousing- 7 acres of outside storage- Electronic inventory system- Transloading from truck to barge and from barge to truckI learned that ACL owned Leo G. Lutgring because I saw the following in their moving banner on their home page.
|Flickr: 6016 x 4000|
I say bye-bye to the 11-barge tow and turn my attention back to fleeting.
Note in the closeup that there is a shuttle pushboat next to the barge. I don't have enough resolution to read the name.
Middle River Marine. So Ozinga and Illinois Marine Towing share this fleeting area. It looks like this pushboat always leans to port.
In the closeup above, I can see there is a deckhand at the base of the port knee. In this photo, I see that the captain is leaving the pilothouse...
In the meantime, the deckhand has tied the pushboat to the barge and untied the barge from the other barges in the fleeting area because the barge is moving.
Alivia Faith is just 650hp.
Cass Street Bridge.
Brandon Lock at the same time. (We will see shortly that they are not going to the lock.)
...that it is delivering its two barges to the fleeting area:
Lemont Trader is obviously a line-haul pushboat. It is 90'x30' and 3200hp and has Cummins generators as well as QSK50 engines. I was not aware that Cummins made generators as well as diesel engines. That shows how big the market is for backup electricity and electric transmissions. I wonder whose motors are used on the propeller shafts. Since this was built in 1974, I also wonder if it uses DC instead of AC. [IMT-boat-position]
Southbound "Lemont Trader" Joliet Harbor with 15 barge tow
(new window) You may want to mute this video. The captain that is making the video makes quite a few worried sounds. The first words spoken are at 4:35: "There she goes." And you don't want to hear the next words he says. (It doesn't go under.) I have no idea how they managed to tie the ropes to the hitching posts that were under water. The other towboat must have delivered the guy we see running into the second story door at 8:10.
Note that the doors on the first floor are under water because the current has pushed the towboat so far under the barges. That is why they are watertight and why the crew should keep them shut. I've seen videos of twoboats sinking because the crew had not shut the doors.