Saturday, April 28, 2018

1930 KCS and Old Vicksburg Bridge over Mississippi River at Vicksburg, MS

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, John A. Weeks IIISatellite)

The "Old Vicksburg" part of the title is that this bridge carried road traffic until the road bridge was built.

A video showing that there must be an incredible lateral current at this bridge. The tow aims for the west side span and then gets shoved over to the main span. Furthermore, it has to go through the main span on an angle to fight the lateral current. No wonder the main spans are so long.

John A. Weeks III

Thomas Johnston posted
Found this photo in some of my grandparents photos. I think it may have come from a deck of photos that he purchased when he was at Great Lakes training center in WW2 training in the navy.
Glen Olbermann Didn know the IC had a bridge crossing the Mississippi River there.
Dennis DeBruler I agree. My sources call it a KCS bridge. A 1928 RR Atlas labels the railroad as Yazoo.
Mike Bartels IC spun off the Meridian-Shreveport line to MidSouth Rail in 1986. KCS acquired MidSouth in 1994 and sold a 30 percent interest in this route to Norfolk Southern in 2006 to help finance improvements to what is now called the Meridian Speedway. The bridge was opened in 1930, replacing ferries. A new parallel highway bridge opened in 1973, although the rail bridge wasn't closed to motor vehicles until 1998.
Dennis DeBruler If NS helped improve it for the Meridian Speedway, I wonder how slow the trains went before the improvements. Or was it a matter of increasing the clearances for double-stack containers?

One of several photos posted by Quapaw Canoe Company - Vicksburg Outpost posted
MMZero2021 just came by Vicksburg. They only lack 437 miles to break the Guinness Book of Records (18 days 4 hours 51 minutes). They currently have paddled roughly 1,900 miles in 15 days. If they reach mile marker zero AHP before Monday 12:51pm CST…. They will have broken the record.
You can track them here:
Keep in mind… there is another 4 person canoe team called Mississippi Speed Record that started May 4th and will try to finish before May 22 to beat the record too!
Llayne Logue shared

Frank J Flörianz Jr.
The newer I-20 highway bridge (left), and the old narrow combination rail/highway bridge (old U.S. 80) across the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, MS. This line was the former 313-mile Illinois Central east-west line from Meridian, MS to Shreveport, Louisiana. The IC divested itself of this line in the early-80's to the newly formed Midsouth Rail Corporation. - 1993 - my photo
Tommy Nickolson: Still use it every day. Its a 10 mph bridge and gets hit pretty often by barges.

Randall Hampton posted
Everybody has seen the old combined RR / highway bridge over the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, but it's not so well known that the track goes directly into a tunnel on the Mississippi (east) side.

Randall Hampton commented on another one of his posts
[The old toll both.]
Danny Johnson posted
An Eastbound KCS General Merchandise Train exits the Mississippi River Bridge at Vicksburg, Mississippi on the morning of December 15, 2021. I wasn't able to get a Train Symbol, but I suspect it was M-SHNS (Manifest - Shreveport to Meridian - NS) or possibly M-SZJA (Manifest - Sanchez, Mexico to Jackson, Mississippi).
J.B. Rail Photog shared
Danny Johnson posted
On December 14, 2021, KCS Train I-ZLAAT (Expedited Intermodal - Los Angeles to Atlanta) behind BNSF 6395, BNSF 6386 and UP 2700 crosses the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, Mississippi with some nice drop under light courtesy of a thick cloud bank providing an ominous looking, but rain free canopy. This train started life as UP Train I-ZLCAI and will become NS Train 226 when it reaches Meridian, Mississippi, about 140 miles to the east.
J.B. Rail Photog shared

20181230 6997b

20181230 7005rcb

Jonas Lee Thompson posted

The ferry service before 1930.
1930's Vicksburg Ferry under the Misc. category

Bob Martin Photo "view from upstream from about mid-river" from Bridge Hunter, cropped
William Brown posted two photos from WaterView Casino and Hotel with the comment: "A pair of over and unders in Vicksburg, Mississippi this morning. UP Atlanta bound Priority Z Train on the KCS headed to a NS handoff at Meridian, Mississippi. The second a KCS Mixed Freight. Both Barges headed to New Orleans, Louisiana." (Why does proximity to water make gambling OK?)



Their Facebook page indicates that Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply, Inc. is located in Vicksburg. But these trusses are not the cantilever trusses that I associate with the railroad and road bridges at Vicksburg. Then I noticed that the west side of the bridges are plain truss spans. Even though they are plain, this photo shows those trusses can accommodate tows that are six barges wide. I count seven barges long so this tow has 42 barges, which is fairly typical for the lower Mississippi River.
Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply, Inc. posted
MV Marty Baskerville!

Here is a tow using the navigation channel.
Layne Logue posted
M/V Kay A. Eckstein

Ergon Marine & Industrial Supply, Inc. posted
MV Carol McManus!

Quapaw Canoe Company posted
[This is one of a few photos, each describes the company of the boat in the photo.]
Paddlewheel AMERICA
American Cruise Lines

Launched in 2016, America is one of the finest paddlewheeler ever built, introducing features never before seen on the Mississippi.
America embodies a casual ambiance and relaxed atmosphere while providing panoramic views of the passing scenery. With only 185 guests, fellow guests will quickly become new friends.

Inaugurated in 2016
Rooms 98
Guest Capacity 185
Common Areas 6

Their top of the line room is:
Owner Suite w/ Balcony (OSB)
Each Owner’s Suite on America offers the finest accommodations on the Mississippi River with unsurpassed views of the passing scenery. A spectacular up to 445 sq. ft. of space is your private sanctuary to spread out and make yourself at home. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors lead to an expansive private balcony offering private panoramic views throughout the room. Every modern amenity is at your fingertips, along with a spacious seating area, desk, and full-size bathroom

Quapaw Canoe Company posted
[This is one of a few photos, each describes the company of the boat in the photo.]

Enterprise Marine Services LLC ("EMS") is the marine subsidiary of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. located in Houston, Texas. At EMS we focus on the core responsibilities of Health and Safety, Environmental Protection and Quality. EMS operates a fleet of US Coast Guard compliant hazardous liquid and liquefied gas inland tank barges and towing vessels on the Intracoastal Waterway as well as the Mississippi River system and its tributaries.
Enterprise Marine

[A comment noted that the river is running low.]

3 drone photos and the comments have more photos of the bridge

This is an example of a picture is worth a lot of words. I have read a lot about the Mississippi River being low this Fall (2023), but this gives us a better feel for what is happening.
How Great Thou Art posted
The Mississippi River in Vicksburg, MS, on 22 October 2023.
Ron Bishop shared

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Aban/CTM/Milwaukee Z-6 Bridge over the North Branch

(Bridge Hunter, Historic Bridges, HAERPatrick McBriarty's page in ChicagoArchitecture, 3D Satellite image is below)

Chicago Terminal Railroad (reporting mark CTM) ran the last train across this bridge in February, 2018. There are some photos and a video near the end of this posting about that event.

20151212 7550, cropped+30+30

3D Satellite
[You can tell the satellite image is pretty old because some Finkl Steel buildings are still standing. I saved this image because the next image Google uses probably won't have the bridge.]
In this detail, we see at the end of the girder the four of the weights that provide 56.65 tons [Chicago Architecture] of counterweight. The space between the two steel girders would be full of these weights.
Photo from HAER ILL, 16-CHIG, 120--8 from il0842
Tommy Thompson posted
Here the CT comes across the bridge
after leaving North Avenue yard. April 2012,
taken from the bridge shanty.

J Robert Burfer posted
The Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul Railroad’s Z-6 Swing Bridge. This is looking east at the swing portion. Most of the rail lines north of Cortland on Kingsbury are now abandoned. It appears that the south line to Goose Island is also abandoned.
John Foster shared
Yes, this is a swing bridge still in Chicago. It exists over the North Branch roughly one block south of Cortland Street. Built in 1899 also by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, this bobtail swing bridge is still operable due to its very low river clearance. Usually left in the open position, it is still used to move train carloads of recycling from scrap metal dealers on the east side of the river.
Mike Alteria posted ten photos with the comment: "Swing bridge on Chicago river, at Courtland & abandoned."










Jacob Diorio posted two photos with the comment:
Thursday, February 15th marked the end of Chicago Terminal's Goose Island Branch. Here they are shown crossing the Chicago River to retrieve 5 stored reefer cars and bring them back to North Avenue Yard. Once they arrived the yard, red boards went up on the leads.
Thanks to Ben Dziechciowski for loaning me a few of his pictures. They were supposed to run Wednesday when I was up there but couldn't due to bridge problems.
Brett Rydzon No more cars on Cherry St.???
Jacob Diorio Nope, these reefers were the last on the entire line
Dennis DeBruler Now I think the scrap yard is the only other thing that Sterling Bay has to kick out of the area to complete their gentrification and make the gridlock even worse. (When I went down there to get pictures of the Z-2 bridge, the traffic lights on North Avenue were green as far as you could see, but no one was moving except for an Uber car illegally using a right turn lane and then jamming back into the through traffic at the intersection.),-87.../data=!3m1!1e3
Doug Kaniuk Sipi Metals has been sold to developers and is in the poecess of closing/moving out. The line is dead, CTM and the city are in negotiation for turning the rail into a trail. here is the filing:

[On the one year anniversary of this post, more photos and links have been added. Please click the link and scroll through the comments.]


Rod LaFleur posted two photos and a video of the bridge closing for the last time. I assume it closed a lot faster back when it all of its copper wires.
From last week [posted Feb 26. 2018] for the “Train-a-philes.” One of the last swing bridges in the world made what was probably its last movement for a locomotive to come retrieve some box cars and move them over the North Branch of the Chicago River. The locomotive was diesel powered and the bridge was powered by a gas generator, since someone stole all the copper wire that once fed the hydraulic motors. Video of the bridge closing also included.


John Gardner commented on a posting
They sure sidnt waste any time..
Went thru there today [April 23, 2018]

Saturday, April 21, 2018

IH: 1847 McCormick Harvester Plant

McCormick moved from Virginia to Chicago so that he could be closer to his market of large, flat farms. He built his first Chicago plant in 1847 at what is now the northeast corner of Michigan Avenue and the river. In 1915, Intinational Harvester moved this and Deering's works to the South Branch and more.


Erik Nordber posted
Today’s cover image shows the McCormick Reaper Works as it appeared in 1867. Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, McCormick derived his interest in invention from his father, a Virginia landowner who patented several improved farming implements and worked without success for many years to perfect a mechanical reaper. In July 1831, McCormick succeeded where his father had failed, producing a model reaper with all the essential components of later commercial machines. Patenting his invention in 1834 (after Obed Hussey had announced in 1833 the construction of a reaper of his own), McCormick started to manufacture the machine on the family estate in 1837. The factory shown here was built in 1847 by Cyrus McCormick and his partner Charles M. Gray on the north bank of the Chicago River, east of the Rush Street bridge. The factory was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of October 8-9, 1871.
The image isn't easily sourced. It appears in numerous online locations without attribution. This likely means it was either an advertising item, letterhead graphic, or possibly an illustration from an illustrated magazine such as Harper's Weekly. There is no intention to contravene copyright and this image will be removed upon request.
Erik provided the following links in the comments:

Paul Petraitis posted
This is how the ICRR transformed the lakefront...its an Alexander Hesler panorama from 1858.
Dennis DeBruler I wonder if the building on the other side of the river from the station is the McCormick Harvester plant. He built a factory in Chicago in 1847 to be closer to his market and transportation. From what I have been able to determine, the building was in the northeast corner of what is now Michigan Avenue and the river. This photo also shows how important the grain trade was to Chicago. Schooners took grain to Buffalo for shipment on the canal and brought back coal from the Pennsylvania mines.
Paul Petraitis And salt from Buffulo! And yes that's McCormick's plant.

Screenshot, fire damaged
The plant was destroyed by the 1871 fire. Since they had to rebuild anyhow, they rebuilt on the South Branch of the Chicago River were they could have more land and easily expand.

Friday, April 20, 2018

1947 Des Plaines River Flood in Lockport, IL

Bill Molony posted
In April of 1947, the Des Plaines River overflowed its banks and flooded the west side of the City of Lockport.
The Santa Fe parked freight cars on its tracks through Lockport in order to keep them from being washed out completely.
Bill Molony The flood covered more than 1,000 yards of the Santa Fe's main line tracks near the Illinois & Michigan Canal. The Santa Fe detoured its trains between McCook and Joliet over the tracks of The Alton.

If the Santa Fe was flooded by the Des Plaines River, that means the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal was completely submerged because it is between the river and the tracks.