Tuesday, February 28, 2017

UP Steam and Circus Train

Screenshot at -1:20, skip to about -1:33
Looks like our final UP hauled contract days for the once worldwide loved Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus. The famed circus is closing the curtains for good this May 2017. Here is video from train in Colorado.
The Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus removed elephants from their act a year or so ago. Now the circus itself is closing its curtains for good in May 2017. The UP got out their Challenger to make its last ride a memorable one. Note in the video that the train had two auxiliary water tankers because not every town has a water tower like they did in the age of steam. The diesel is probably for "protection." (It can move the train in case the steam locomotive breaks down. UP does not like its tracks tied up.) It might also provide the Head End Power (HEP) for the UP passenger cars. It looks like the steam team itself has four cars including a dome car. So some UP executives and/or PR people were probably along for this ride. It looks like this was the "Red" circus train. The circus ran two trains each year --- red and blue. They both are long, even without the elephants. The railcars are not compatible with Amtrak cars. The circus converted and maintained the cars themselves to their own standards. The size of a persons living quarters depended on his or her status. The manager had a suite for his family. It was essentially a house on wheels. The stars had more "real estate" than crew members. What will become of all of these specialized railroad cars is an open question among railfans.

I wonder if the PETA people, or whoever was responsible for effectively destroying the big circus, ever spent some time with the elephants. My experience is that some animals like working with people and like doing what they understand to be useful work. One of my daughter's horses liked going to horse shows so much that he could tell when he had been taken to a show and would get excited about it. (He could also tell when he had been taken to the university's vet clinic, and he would have a very different reaction.) Her horse would also escape from stalls, not because he wanted his freedom, but because he wanted to show how clever he was. He never took off very far. And, after spending a few minutes demonstrating that you couldn't catch him if he didn't want to be caught, he would walk back into to the stall.

So which industry lost more jobs in 2017 --- circus or coal?

Ken Jamin posted
Circus folk were at home wherever they went. Note the TV satellite dishes clamped to the coaches where they lived.
Marvin Curry The cars with the elephants would rock.
Tadeus Seremeth When I worked at the Providence and Worcester had the red and blue train come in back to back
One went to Providence the other stayed in Worcester.

Eddy Worsham RBB&B employ their own circus Trainmaster..?he supervises the spotting on first day and the loading on the last day ?
Vernon Clark Eddy Worsham 
And he was better than a Cs&x trainmaster.

Richard Woodruff the one I met knew the cars and the airbrake system on them (relay system), train carried its own parts, cold early morning changing valves on the car that carried the elephants, ......if I understood the train had its own zip code.
Ken Jamin And while we're on the subject of circus trains, an opr at CN (former EJ&E) West Chicago tower once told me about an incident that happened there many years earlier, shortly after a circus train had passed. It seems that elephant droppings fell into the switch points, causing it to jam and delaying a commuter train. When the operator reported the cause of the delay to the dispatcher, the DS initially refused to accept the explanation, saying, “I can’t show ‘elephant s**t’ as the cause of delay to a passenger train!”
Ken Jamin There was a story which appeared in the Milwaukee Road employees magazine about an elephant that grabbed the condrs copy of the orders out of the order crane at Davis Jct. IL while the circus train was slowly going around one leg of the wye. The quick-thinking opr ran back into the depot, got the ofc. copy and hung it in the crane in time for the condr to grab it.
Arnold R Thompson When they came to OKC the women performers had little wading pools they brought out and filled with water and laid in for the summer heat and for a tan too I guess.
Steve Maday They used to park the circus train at Galewood in Chicago when it was at the United Center.
Ken Jamin I think this was at Schiller Park.
Steve Maday Saw the people walking up and down the right of way going to the store or going to do laundry. I worked out of a trailer at Galewood.
Mike Heiligstedt Saw them at Galewood a few times.
Gregor Hartung Sr In Chicago when parked in Galewood yard you could see bikes and chairs about the side of the train. 
I had been called to put it together then move it across the Chicago area to hand off to another crew that was moving it south for the winter 2005/6 era.

Phillip Peterson Saw it in the early 1970’s in Raleigh, NC. Evidently, the elephants had rolled a car at some point. [As in turned it over onto its side?]

Brian Myers yes we all were looking . Ray and they were there Once while working the train coming for Glidden we stopped and while walking the Circus train and Elephant slapped me in the back of the head with his trunk, was not expecting this wow and now these train are gone. 
Joe Meyer I was walking the train at night checking handbrakes + a Loins stuck him paw out !! Scared the stuff out of Me !!
Ken Jamin Joe Meyer my boss said he had a panther almost claw him in the dark while he was yarding a circus train.
Rudy A Garcia i ran one from Austin to Hearne. elephant set off wide load detector with it’s trunk.
Ken Jamin Somebody (engr, condr) once told me that the elephants would "tease" the signal masts with their trunks, as though they were going to grab it, only to pull away at the last second.
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Canyon Diablo RR Bridges

(no Bridge Hunter, Satellite, you can see the arch in the shadow)
Public Domain from wpclipart

Jeerry Jackson posted two photos with the comment: "Canyon Diablo, yesterday 2.23.17."

Arthur Robinson commented on a posting
Photo of 1882 bridge from U.S. Geological Survey
Steven J. Brown posted
BNSF SD70MAC 9650 (built 1995) provides relief from the parade of orange at Canyon Diablo, Arizona - January 18, 2019.
Steven J. Brown posted
BNSF ES44C4 8111 leads across the bridge at Canyon Diablo, Arizona - January 18, 2019.
Steven J. Brown posted
BNSF GP60 198 (built 1990 as Texas-Mexican to Vermont Railway 381) at Canyon Diablo, Arizona - January 18, 2019.
Used to see that unit or one like it working the hill to the Port of Vancouver, Washington.
Richard Olson: Vance Pomerening same unit
Jerry Jackson: The drive from I-40 to the main line is 4 miles with a high clearance vehicle and 24 if you have to drive around obstacles, lol...
Douglas J. Fear: Tried driving in in a rental. Gave up about 2 miles in.

In the 1880s, engineer Lewis Kingman faced the challenge of building a bridge east of Flagstaff, Ariz., where the conditions are harsh and dry and the location desolate. His railroad, predecessor Atlantic and Pacific (A&P), needed to connect to the West Coast, and in the way of that plan was a chasm – Canyon Diablo, or Devil’s Canyon – more than 225 feet deep with steep sides and 500 feet across at the top.
Bridge builders were sent to the site months before the rails arrived, with crews hauling supplies as the railroad approached the site from Winslow, Ariz. The bridge iron – 20 carloads worth – was prefabricated in New York and designed to hold 30 times the weight of the trains it would carry. Limestone pillars for the bases were excavated from nearby deposits and chiseled by stonemasons.
Once assembled, the trestle bridge stood 220 feet above the canyon floor and stretched for 544 feet from one side to the other. The first trains passed over the canyon on July 1, 1882.
A sturdier bridge replaced the original in 1900 at the same spot, and then in 1947 the double-track, steel-arch bridge seen today was completed. Its length is 544 feet and its arch measures 300 feet. While remote, this is a popular site for railfans to photograph BNSF trains.

Francis Otterbein posted three photos with the comment:
Canyon Diablo Bridge (Now and Then)
Canyon Diablo, also known as the “Devil’s Canyon”, is located on a Navajo Reservation in north central Arizona. The town of Diablo Canyon used to exist where the BNSF Railway now spans the deep canyon west of Winslow, Arizona
The town of Canyon Diablo was very short lived with a very dark and seedy history. The town sprang up as a railroad work camp on the west side of the canyon in 1882.




Steven J. Brown posted
Canyon Diablo, Arizona - April 25, 2003. I looked up the history of the consist so here goes: 7314 SD40-2 (built 1968 as CN SD40 5058 now Farmers Coop 6974), 8005 SD40-2 (built 1977 as BN 8005 last seen stored in Barstow), 6302 SD40u (built 1966 as ATSF SD40 1702 last seen in pieces at NRE - Mt Vernon, IL), 6468 SD45-2 (built 1973 as ATSF 5682 now BNSF SD40-2R 1572), 1062 C44-9W built 1996.
Ginger Dawgg Is there still that horribly rough access road into that place? I visited there in 1978.
Steven J. Brown Yup

Chris Cruz posted
Another company publicity photo identified as the Super Chief spanning the Canyon Diablo bridge. Photo is most likely from the early 1950's.
John Pasquariello Sr Has to be post 1951 as I believe there's a Pleasure Dome car back in the consist.

American-Rails.com posted
Santa Fe F7A #331-L leads the eastbound "El Capitan," sporting its new Hi-Level cars, across the 225-foot deep Canyon Diablo in Arizona during 1954. R. Collins Bradley photo. Author's collection.
Dennis Tharp: This picture of this train with High-level cars must be taken in 1960's. Not 1954. This Hi-level re-equipped in 1956.
Ed Cooper: The first two prototype Budd Hi-Level cars were built in 1954. Santa Fe started taking delivery of more Hi-Level cars in mid 1956. Your photo was not taken in 1954 or 1956. The telling clue is the lack of fuel tank skirts on the F units. That started happening in the later 1950s. Your photo could be the combined Super Chief/El Capitan No. 18 which started in January 1958.
Eric Faris: Am I seeing this correctly, A-A-B-B-A? Wow.

A video of a train crossing the bridge The comments include another video.

1909 CSX/B&O Bridge over Susquehanna River at Perryville, MD

(Bridge HunterHistoric BridgesHAERSatellite)

"Built 1907-09 by Baltimore & Ohio RR as double-track bridge and opened January 6, 1910, later single-tracked." [BridgeHunter-history]

"This bridge crosses the Susquehanna River between Havre De Grace and Perryville, MD. Although it crosses Garrett Island in the middle, it is a continuous bridge consisting of 38 spans.
The west side of the river has a 500+ foot through Pennsylvania truss and 8 230 foot deck truss spans. The east side has a 500+ foot deck Pennsylvania truss, a 400 foot through Pennsylvania truss, and 2 230 foot deck truss spans. The spans over the island were originally girder spans, much shorter than the others." [BridgeHunter-description]

I used the "wwPA" label even though this bridge is in Maryland because the Susquehanna River is primarily in Pennsylvania.

Jack Stoner posted
MW [Maintenance of Way] season approaches as CSX moves rail east over the Susquehanna River Bridge at Perryville, MD February 18, 2017. Hot move also, (apparently), because the DS had an Intermodal "In the Hole" at Aiken waiting for this action and a CSX manifest to go east before cutting the westbound "Hotshot" loose. Hmmmmmm?
[It is interesting that a rail train would have priority over an intermodal train. The more I see of CSX, the lower my opinion of them becomes. Rail is something they should have been able to plan well in advance. If there was an emergency like a washout, they would probably be shipping "snaptrack" instead of continuous ribbon rail.]

HAER MD,13-HAV,4--3
[The west channel is in the foreground, then Garret Island and then the east channel is in the background.]

Street View, west channel looking upstream

Is the bedrock a lot deeper in the middle of this channel? That is the only reason I can think of to have a non-navigation span that is longer than the navigation span. The deck truss seems tall enough that it could have been a through truss and provided a really wide navigation channel.
Street View, east channel looking upstream

Even stranger, much of the space under the navigation span is unusable because there is land just downstream!
3D Satellite

The Historical Society of Harford County Inc posted
  Pictured this week is of the B & O Susquehanna Bridge 1900's
If you would like to submit a feature for an upcoming Photo Friday, email us at photos@harfordhistory.org. To learn more about membership or ways you can support the Historical Society of Harford County, click here: https://www.harfordhistory.org/support-us/
Jim Kelling shared
B&O bridge over the Susquehanna River in Maryland.

Perryville Railroad Museum posted
A Chessie System Geep takes a local freight eastward over the Susquehanna Bridge at West Aikin, Maryland in October 1977. A.S. Walton photo.
Perryville Railroad Museum shared

Jack Stoner posted
Sometimes the train is far from the subject of the image; or, well it's just there. Not a Professional Engineer by trade, still I have always been awed by the massive loading and long spans of railway bridges. Star of the show here is the B&O Susquehanna River Bridge, Perryville, MD, (completed 1910); in my opinion, a huge work of art in steel & stone. Coming east off of Garrett Island in the transition from Deck Girder to Pratt Deck Truss, CSX 6157/6236 ply the now single track 107 year old structure. Minutes later I photographed two GEVO's at the same location, sorry GE fans, seeing as engineering works of art are on display here; the Geeps win out.

Jack Stoner posted
I always liked this unglamorous, gritty, workaday, waterfront image at the east end of the B&O Susquehanna River Bridge at Perryville, MD; so I did it again today - sorry to bore everyone......

Jack Stoner posted
A heavy eastbound CSX manifest treads the 107 year old B&O Susquehanna River Bridge Perryville, MD 2/18/17.
Jack seems to be inconsistent about the use of Havre de Grace vs. Perryville for this bridge that goes between the two towns.

Jack Stoner posted
CSX train Q219 rumbles east across the 6109 foot, (longest on the B&O system), Susquehanna River Bridge at Havre de Grace, MD. and is about to cross over Garrett Island named for B&O President John W. Garrett who was instrumental in the B&O crossing of the Susquehanna River. After previously using trackage rights on the parallel PW&B bridge, (Philadelphia, Wilmington and Baltimore), a (PRR) affiliate; the B&O originally bridged the river on this same site in 1886, the present structure opened in 1910, is double tracked and capable of a much heavier loading. Photo 3/5/17

Jack Stoner posted
CSX train Q219 rumbles east across the B&O Susquehanna River Bridge at Havre de Grace, MD on a cold and blustery March 5, 2017. At 6109 feet, this structure was the longest continuous bridge span on the B&O system. Opened in 1910, this bridge replaced the original (1886) viaduct at the same site.
Jack Stoner posted
At 6109 feet, the Susquehanna River Bridge was the longest on the B&O system; completed in 1910 on the same alignment as the original 1886 structure, it originally carried 2 tracks. With the B&O's single tracking of the Philadelphia Sub Division after discontinuance of passenger service here; the viaduct now bares 1 track. Eastbound CSX Intermodal rumbles across a frigid Susquehanna River at Perryville, MD January 31, 2015.

Don Smith posted
Date: March 10, 1967
Location: Susquehanna River Bridge, Aiken MD
Photographer: John P Stroup
Film: Ektachrome Med Format
Bringing up the markers this week is B&O I12 2426 crossing the Susquehanna River Bridge in March of 67’. As you can see the bridge has been single tracked by this time though it does not detract from its immensity. This train is WB according to John’s notes. I am not surprised the brakeman has walked out to the porch to enjoy the fresh air and beauty of the river. 
The Susquehanna river bridge is the longest continuous bridge on the B&O system and was completed in 1910. If you would like to read more about its history, click here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSX_Susquehanna_River_Bridge
B&O I12 2426 was built in Keyser WV shops in 1941. It was repainted and refurbished in 1965. Yellow ends denote pool service.
Matthew Brandley: In csx ten year plan I read it is on the books to be replaced.
Ronald George: Been on that bridge many many times. Over the years. When it was 40 mph . I understand now it’s 25 mph. The good old CSX.
Butch Garrison: Walked that thing many times looking for circuit problems.......always the pucker factor working on bond repairs.....was better at night.....you couldn't see how far down the water was......
Bryan Russell shared
Dennis DeBruler shared

1 of 4 photos posted by Dereck Pentz
Captured these CSX freight trains traversing the Susquehanna River in Havre De Grace, MD on CSX’s Philadelphia subdivision over the weekend!!

It looks like the height is near the limit of a fireboat.
RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS posted, Photo by Susquehanna Hose Co.
What happens when there's a fire on a railroad bridge crossing a river? The good news here is that it was put out and rail traffic has resumed. Hats off to all fire responders.
This was on the CSX bridge that crosses the Susquehanna River.
Walter Haner Good on the FD. Not everyone coulda put that out. That would have been a MAJOR loss for the NEC
Flickr photo of four bridges (Bill Neill shared)
Dennis DeBruler This is looking downstream along the west channel because I see the swing span of the other railroad in the left background.

River Rail Photo posted the last circus train crossing this bridge. It must be a drone shot because there are no skyscrapers on Garret Island.

River Rail Photo shared a couple of photos of a train with seven locomotives on the bridge.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Chickamauga Dam in Tennessee River in Chattanooga, TN

(3D Satellite)
While studying "Tenbridge," I discovered this dam.
The 60-by-360-foot lock at Chickamauga lifts and lowers river craft about 50 feet between Nickajack and Chickamauga reservoirs. [TVAdam]

GeoCaching, construction started in 1936 and it began operations in 1940

Barry Thornberry posted
"Construction on Chickamauga Dam"

TVA posted four photos with the comment: "Chickamauga Dam is 1 of 9 Tennessee River dams located just north of Chattanooga. Chickamauga continues its 82 years of service this month by providing clean, low-cost energy, along with flood control, navigation, recreation, and water quality. All things that make this region a great place to live, work, and play!"




Matt Dillon commented on TVA's post, cropped

Deep Zoom has some more construction pictures.

Dennis Sayles posted
August 1942. "Tennessee Valley Authority. Generator hall of the powerhouse at Chickamauga Dam. Located near Chattanooga, 471 miles above the mouth of the Tennessee River, the dam has an authorized power installation of 81,000 kilowatts, which can be increased to a possible ultimate of 108,000 kw. The reservoir at the dam adds 377,000 acre-feet of water to controlled storage on the Tennessee River system. The power that goes out over its 154,000 volt transmission line serves many useful domestic, agricultural and industrial uses." Acetate negative by Jack Delano for the U.S. Foreign Information Service. 
Ralph Young: 138000 volt transmission if it’s tva. Been by Chickamauga many times. Tva has a nice park below the dam.
Kai Schwarz: I'm curious about what those two big cylinders are to the left of the panel. They look like really big capacitors, but that can't be right?
Justin Yochum: Kai Schwarz those are hydraulic accumulators. The cabinet he's sitting in front of is the governor that houses all of the mechanical and hydraulic components for controlling the unit.

The dam was designed in a way that allowed a larger 110 feet (34 m) x 600 feet (180 m) lock to be installed if increases in river traffic ever required it. [GeoCaching] I noticed when I looked at the satellite image that the lock seemed rather small. I confirmed that it can pass only one barge at a time instead of the 9 that a 600x110 lock can pass or the 15-barge tow that a 1200x110 lock can handle. I also noticed the cofferdam big enough for a new lock, but no other signs of construction. In fact, construction stopped in 2012 and the batch concrete plant was removed because of a lack of funding. [TimesFreePress2016] But in this case a new lock is also needed because the old one is falling apart faster than normal. It suffers from "concrete growth:"
Chickamauga Lock has growing concrete in it's structure, which is a reaction between the alkali in the cement and the minerals in the stone. This growing concrete has brought many problems – in some places large chunks of concrete have broken loose from the lock walls – and because the massive blocks that make up the lock have expanded at different rates, the top of the structure is uneven. Lengthwise, the lock has actually grown five inches inside the lock chamber. The approach walls have grown even more. Corps of Engineers and TVA working together continues making temporary repairs to the project spending large maintenance dollars. Corps and TVA have determined that Chickamauga Lock does have a finite life. [usace]
This has caused problems that have shutdown the lock completely such as "a crack in a steel support beam on the upper gate" in 2014. The government is having to waste a lot of money doing serious maintenance work on this like every year the new lock is delayed. [TimesFreePress2014] Fortunately for the eastern Tennessee economy, congress has chosen to fund the Olmsted Dam cost overruns out of the general fund so that money from the Waterways Trust Fund can be used to replace other locks in the nation such as this one and the Kentucky Dam Lock. This PDF file describes both the Kentucky and Chickamauga Lock projects. Of note is the "cofferdam stabilization." Does it need to be stabilized because it has set for four years or because that would have been the next phase of construction anyhow? The USACE also has a page concerning the new lock construction.

Note above that GeoCaching indicated the dam was designed to allow a bigger lock to be built. I have to wonder if the current design was the one that was envisioned in 1936. It seems dangerous to remove about a third of the spillway capacity. Or maybe they don't need as big a spillway now that more dams with flood control reservoirs have been built upstream.

I'm reminded that this is a TVA dam because, like the Kentucky Dam, I'm having a hard time figuring out how the spillway gates work. This is my current best guess.

Looking at Phil Thach's photo and the ones below, it appears there are two sluice gates in each bay, one on top of the other. They normally raise the upper gate and let water squirt out between the two gates.

Note that there are no gates in the side rail. This must be a construction photo taken before they installed the gates, and we are looking at the normal river flow passing through the spillway structure.
Nate Morello posted three photos. The one in the foreground is a MLC300 and the one in the background is a 999. The site also has an 888.


Keldon Corbin Davis posted
Ben Stalvey Neat MLC 300 hard at it
Keldon Corbin Davis Ben StalveyAECOMS getting started on the lock project at Chickamaga lock and dam TN
Jim Paris This irritates me to no end! I am a firm believer in NOT overlifting. There is no reason ( from this picture) for that tug to be that high in the air!
Jim Browne Its a cool pic but that was my first reaction. "Why is it so high up?"
Gordon Veitch Every time i have seen these boom’s erected i feel they are going to snap such a sag but up to now none
Keldon Corbin Davis Gordon Veitch carry a little belly don’t they lol

Nashville District posted three photos with the comment: "#Construction work continues on the Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project on a beautiful day on the #Tennessee River! 📸 Lee Roberts #NashvilleCorps #USACE"
Ben Stalvey shared
Nice Manitowoc MLC 300 hard at it...
Ron Jewell III: Dont forget the 999 in the back



Josh Hendon posted

Josh Hendon
Ben Stalvey: Sweet MLC 300 where is this? Cool shot.
Josh Hendon: chicamauga dam Chattanooga TN

Worldwide Railfan Productions posted
NS 170 departing Chattanooga, TN across the Tennessee River and the TVA hydroelectric dam. ~drawbar
[Since a couple of the gates evidently don't work, we can see how far open the other gates are.]

Note the dam in the background.
NS Locomotives , Equipment and its Predecessors posted
Train 952 on Tenbridge.

In this view we can actually see the lock wall being constructed.
NS Locomotives, Equipment and its Predecessors posted
Three yeas ago , the PC heritage unit lead a short office car train into Chattanooga Tn.
[That is the Tenbridge in the left background.]

A nice view of the gates:
E.m. Bell posted
A couple of fisherman try thier luck as NS 282 leaves town Northbound. 3rd district of the CNOTP
Nashville District posted
Here's an amazing view from a tower crane sitting high above the new Chickamauga Lock Replacement Project as well as the existing 360-foot by 60-foot Chickamauga Lock currently in operation.  Construction of the new lock is occurring inside a large coffer dam adjacent to the lower approach area of the existing lock. The new lock will be much larger at  600-foot by 110-foot, which is the predominant nationwide dimension for most (not all) locks around the nation. 📸 Jeremy Breese
Pickwick Lock shared
Bird's Eye view of Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga with the ongoing construction of the new 600 ft. x 110 ft. lock chamber.
Chickamauga Lock posted
Great view from the top of the yellow tower crane! Thank you Jeremy Breese.
Fort Loudoun Lock shared [Has the same comment as the Nashville District.]

Thomas Gurley commented on Chickamauga Lock's post
Here’s one of you Jeremy Breese!

October rainfall in the Tennessee River Valley was nearly 180% of normal with 5.26 inches. Normal for the month is 2.95 inches.
For the year, the Valley has received 55.34 inches of rainfall, that's about 13 inches of surplus and just over 4 inches more than we would typically see in a year - and it's just the beginning of November.

Alamy has 102 pictures of the dam including several with the gates at flood stage and completely shut