Friday, January 24, 2020

CN Second Narrows Bridges over Fraser River in Vancouver

(Satellite)     I never did figure out what/where the First Narrows was.

Eric Brighton posted (source) two photos with the comment:
The original Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver, BC was built for cars and trains in 1925. It was originally a Bascule drawbridge. But after several ships crashed into the bridge the center span was converted to a lift bridge. This made it the only combined lift and draw bridge in the world!

Even before the bridge was built, the shipping interests complained that the movable span was too close to the river bank. After it was built, those concerns proved to be correct. There were several booboos. The following photo of an allision shows the span that got knocked down is on the pivot side of the movable span.
By James Skitt Matthews -, Public Domain, Link
SS Losmar after knocking down a span of the Second Narrows Bridge

This would be a different allision because the span in the water is the one on the open side of the movable span.
By Leonard Juda Frank -, Public Domain, Link
In Chicago, the more modern Strauss trunnion bridges use "elephant ears" for the counterweights so that they go down outside of the bridge deck. As an example, the B&OCT Bridge is raised on the left and the St. Charles Air Line Bridge is down on the right. The two white "ears" are the counterweights.
20170421 8720, cropped

In 1960, a 6-lane cantilever bridge was built for the road traffic, which was moved from the 1925 bridge.
3D Satellite
In 1968, CN Rail built a lift bridge that has larger clearances than the adjacent road bridge and removed the old bridge in 1970.
3D Satellite
Even with the wider span, the new rail bridge suffered an allision in 1978.
Canadian Rail, p2

sandeep singh, Jul 2018, cropped

sandeep singh, Jul 2018, cropped

Francesca Fiure, May 2018

Mariko Ishikawa, Mar 2018, cropped

Mariko Ishikawa, Aug 2016, cropped
[Note that three ships are docked here.]
When you do a Google search, the results are dominated by "collapse."
The collapse of the Second Narrows Bridge on June 17 1958.
The Rail and car bridge can be seen behind the fallen span.

© 1958, Vancouver Public Library.

Begun in November 1957, and built alongside the older bridge, the current Second Narrows Bridge, was intended to replace the narrow roadway of the rail and car bridge. The bridge would carry six lanes of traffic. Construction was marred by four separate incidents costing the lives of twenty-five men. The worst occurred on June 17th, 1958, when a large section of the bridge span collapsed into the inlet. Eighteen workers died. Some of them drowned because of the belts that had attached them to the bridge in case they fell.
The opening of the new bridge finally took place on August 25, 1960. Plaques were put up at both end of the bridge to commemorate the workers who lost their lives during the construction.
The June 17, 1958 collapse, City of Vancouver Archives via CanadianEncyclopedia
I've seen both 18 and 19 specified as the number of deaths. The following explains the confusion.
"The collapse occurred near quitting time on June 17, 1958. At about 3:40 pm ironworkers toiling 40 metres above the inlet heard a horrific noise as Span 5 began to crash into the inlet in a mass of tangled steel. The momentum dislocated the columns of Pier 14, causing Span 4 to lose its grip and tumble into the sea. Seventy-nine workers fell. Among the 19 dead were 14 ironworkers, 3 engineers, a painter and a commercial diver who died a few days later when he drowned trying to recover a body. Twenty others were seriously injured." The main fault was faulty engineering calculations for the falsework by the engineer for Span 5, John McKibbin, that were not caught by the engineer in charge, Murray McDonald. McKibbin was killed in the collapse. [CanadianEncyclopedia]

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Information concerning the 1978 allision with the new RR bridge

Thursday, January 23, 2020

BNSF/CB&Q Big and Little Shoal Cutoffs

Big Shoal Cutoff: (Bridge Hunter; Satellite)
Little Shoal Cutoff: (no Bridge Hunter; Satellite) I'm guessing the embankment is now covered by Governor Bond Lake.

These are four of the images posted by Dave Durham with the comment:
"Among the various jobs of grade reduction work which were done on the Burlington System during the season of 1906, there were 2 on the Beardstown-to-Centralia Division, known as the Big Shoal (between Sorento and Reno, Ill) and Little Shoal (Ayers-to-Durley) Cut-offs, respectively."...American Railway Engineering Association no.81, 1906-7,from a report by CB&Q Engineer of Construction John C. Sesser entitled "Cost of Steam Shovel Work".
Most of the images in the post are pages from an eBook describing the steam shovel costs. The bridge in the satellite imae is short because they created long fills on either side of Shoal Creek. The fills were created by first building temporary trestles from which the dump trains built the embankments.

1, cropped

2, cropped

3, cropped

4, cropped

The fill was created in 1906 so I have not been able to find a map or aerial showing the original alignment. And aerial photos and satellite images don't show the embankments because everything is covered with mature trees. But embankments are a topic where topo maps shine.

Big Shoal Cutoff
1974 Sorento South Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

The topo for the Little Shoal Cutoff doesn't show much more than a satellite image shows since the embankment is under water.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

UP/C&NW Rockwell Junction (Wye)


John Morris posted
[There is much more info on this posting below. To summarize that information, this is looking south at a compass northbound (timecard westbound) train that has taken the west leg of the Rockwell Junction Wye.]
On a contemporary satellite image it is easy to see the two legs of the wye because all of the other tracks have been removed.
For decades Pennsy's Panhandle had tracks next to the east leg. Multiple sources think the tracks that used to be inside the wye were a yard for the Panhandle. Other sources think the tracks were C&NW's South Yard. The tracks that still exist above the mainline were the North Yard. My conclusion is that the west track on the east leg was owned by C&NW and that the land now used by Sims Metal Management was C&NW's South Yard. In fact, Bob Lalich identifies the yard as a C&NW freight yard.

I include the CTA's Green Line at the bottom because that is the truss bridge in John's photo.
1929 Chicago Loop Quadrangle @ 1:24,000
This photo copied from the C&NW Passenger Yards notes
WW2 Radio post, #28
Timothy Pitzen David Daruszka, if I remember correctly, the yard to the right, or south, of the C&NW main was the Pennsy coach yard. Also, the haze may be exaggerated by the old style film which was more sensitive to blue wavelengths which tends to accentuate haze.
Dennis DeBruler I always wondered where the Panhandle yards were.
David Daruszka The Sanborn maps show Panhandle freight yards as being in the area between the Rockwell Jct. wye. There were also yards closer to downtown adjacent to the Milwaukee Road tracks. The Panhandle had a freight house at Sangamon Street.
Bob Lalich The yard south of the CNW main tracks was a CNW freight yard.
Another aerial photo that includes the junction.
David Daruszka C&NW California Ave. Coach Yard. Milwaukee Road tracks and yard to the left. C&NW's Rockwell Branch is above the Coach Yard.
Harvey Kahler Both Rockwell and Panhandle (PCCC&StL) head off top right (south).
David Daruszka This was also the route, for a brief time, for the B&O passenger trains when they left Grand Central and moved to the C&NW's Madison Street Terminal.

I include the information on the post in a raw form because it is an example of a positive use of social media. As someone said, the bee hive is smarter than any bee. Note that not only was the location of the photo determined, but the train itself and the now removed Pennsy Panhandle tracks were discussed. Below the Facebook screenshots are higher resolution copies of the images.
















Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Grand Calumet River Changes and Hegewisch

It always struck me as strange that Grand Calumet River is a lot smaller than Calumet River. It is even smaller than Little Calumet River. But it did use to be navigable. And some lakes were filled in to make more land to develop. These maps help study the changes. Where the Little Calumet River ran through swamps, it got straightened and widened. I wonder how much of this was done as part of the MWRD effort to reverse the flow of the Calumet River and how much was done as part of a 9-foot channel waterway project. Given the path of the river in the 1929 topo had the old configuration, I would say the river was "moved" by the waterway project. By the 1953 topo, the river had today's configuration.

I'm also reminded that many Chicago neighborhoods such as Bridgeport and Hegewisch were independent towns back in the days of stage coaches.

David Mireles posted
Bob Lalich Very interesting map. It shows how isolated Hegewisch was at the time. The only road in and out was Chittenden. The railroads had Hegewisch stations.
Sonny Kortvely Is there a map of the proposed housing on Torrance about 122nd north of calumet river. I hear people talk about it every now an then but never seen any maps or pictures.
Bob Lalich Sonny Kortvely, a good portion of the land north of the river and west of Torrence Ave was subdivided but I don't think there was any serious plan for a housing development.
Robert Leffingwell I wonder how many voters live at those addresses?
Paul Petraitis I was surprised to read that the calumet River ran straight north about 1/4 west of the present route in the early 1830's...a big spring freshet moved it to its present location at that time!
Steve Malachinski I would say that station was right about where the outlet from Wolf Lake is that goes towards the old mill property on Avenue O
Marty Gatton Bob Lalich... many of the city issued maps I receive at work still show the streets platted out in the swamp.

David Mireles commented on his post
David Mireles Circa 1881.

David Mireles commented on his post
Circa 1904

David Mireles commented on his post
Circa 1904

1929 Calumet Lake Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

1953 Calumet Lake Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

Monday, January 20, 2020

Chicago Bridge and Iron Co.

(Satellite, between 105th and 107th, it has been completely redeveloped)

Dave Durham posted

CRI&P, Geneseo around 1905. CB&I constructed lots of steel railway water tanks and towers, replacing many wooden structures. In this advertisement, the base appears to be about 8' of concrete, I wonder if time has been able to obliterate THAT railroad artifact.
Greg Burnet Yup. East side of Vincennes, at about 105th St. It was a very large complex.Dick James Greg Burnet -- CB&I also had rail service on its east side from the Pennsy Panhandle line. The 50s era water tanks that looked like a golf ball atop a giant tee were called Horton Waterspheres. One summer while in college I worked at the CB&I construction warehouse at 95th & Cottage Grove. Spent lots of time cleaning , putting new connections on, then coiling welding cable into 55 gallon drums. The offered me a higher paying job climbing out the top of the spheres, lowering myself on a bosuns chair to scrape and paint. I declined. I think Arthur Baer president of the near-by Beverly Bank on 103rd St. and Baer's Dept. Store on Vincennes was a big share holder in CB&I.

Frank Smitty Schmidt CB&I built a lot of LST's during WWII.
Dennis DeBruler This caused me to check my notes. I see that they are the company that built and ran the LST shipyard in Seneca, IL.

Denis Johnston I was an overhead crane operator at the plant after CB&I moved. Magi-Metal Supply. Back in the days when you operated the crane up in the crane.

David Daruszka commented on Dave's post

David Daruszka commented on Dave's post 
Dave commented on his post

Dave commented on his post

Dave commented on his post
Load'em up, ship'em out.

Dave commented on his post
This was one of the reasons for CB&Is success in selling steel watertowers.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Dave's post
1929 Blue Island Quadrangle @ 1:24,000

Dennis DeBruler commented on Dave's post
Corresponding 1938 aerial photo.