Saturday, June 30, 2018

Burnside Crossing: BRC+CRL/Rock+NS/C&WI(Wabash) over IC


John DeWit Woodlock II posted
IC 9527,CC2007 @ 95th Street-Chicago,IL 24 NOV 96. Please forgive the soft focus. NS`s finest was actually nice enough to let me have a couple of shots before giving me assistance down to ground level from the ex-RI ROW where I had been camped out waiting for this train.
Dennis DeBruler Wow, there are three railroads still using that bridge. NS uses it because the Wabash branch across Indiana (4th District?) used the C&WI branch through here. CRL uses it because it got this Rock Island route. BRC still uses it. This crossing appears to be named Burnside. Connections in the northeast and southeast quadrants still exist. The connectors extend a ways to the east because they have to climb the grade separation.
John DeWit Woodlock II I have never heard the name used on the radio (not say that it hasn`t been, just that I have never heard it used), instead I have heard "the Belt connection", referring to the connecting track on the north side of the bridge, connecting the IC to the BRC, still used quite frequently by the CSS.

From some comments on a post, I learned that the northeast connector is called Fordham and the southeast connector is called 95th Street. Trains between CSS (South Shore) and UP/C&NW use the BRC and are shoved (backed) around the Fordham connector.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Ingot Train

Normally, an ingot train would run inside a mill between the teeming facility in the open hearth building, the mill's yard tracks to let the steel cool, and the stripper in a rolling mill. [PracticalMachinist] Now ingots are obsolete because of continuous casting. The special heavy duty flatcars that carried the ingot molds were called ingot buggies.

United States Steel Corporation posted
This ThrowbackThursday we're climbing aboard the USS Express! Check out this image of ingot molds in transit from our Gary Works in Gary, Indiana.
Seymour Long: Unique trucks on those cars there. What kind are they?
EJ Jaquay: Seymour Long Don't know for sure but I guess standard wheels with AP bearings on special bolsters. The heavy covers over them are likely there to protect the wheels from teeming splashes.
James Torgeson shared
Larry Candilas posted
Heading for South Works coming from Gary, passing Hammond Water Plant.
Julio Ponce: Ingot molds?
William O'Neal Stringer: Julio Ponce yes
Dale Groh: Looks like some BEU's! (bottom-end-up).
Clarence Rutherford: What year?
Perry VanRosendale: Clarence Rutherford late 1980’s. Making armor plate for the Gary 210” plate mill. My peeps made the heats for the molds.
Larry Candilas: Dumb question maybe - why did they have to bring steel from South Works to Gary when Gary had so many furnaces?
Scott Pugh: Larry Candilas South Works had an electric furnace that made different alloy of steel that blast furnaces could not. Used for armor plate. Gary did not have an electric furnace.

Graham Whitfield posted
Cast of Rimming ingots leaving the Teeming Bay on route to the Stripper Bay. Great bunch of guys on the Locos, the Drivers and Shunters serviced the Teeming landings, Mould Bay, Stripper Bay and Soaking Pits.
British Steel Llanwern 1978.
[The are some interesting comments about life in a steel mill.]

Rocky Black posted
Mold yard was a crazy place to work.
Rocky Black: We spent a couple days trying to keep the switches open before. The storm was bad and high winds really cold. They got upset because I had a guy get antifreeze barrels in a bucket loader and we made trenches around the switches and dumped antifreeze into them. Foreman was happy everything was working but thought for sure we would get in trouble for it. The guys were just getting so worn out I had to do something. The mills didn't say anything 😂 they love it when everything is going good.
Tom Scheidemantel: Worked in stripper/mold yard at Cleveland J&L . In the 80’s. If you could handle that you were promoted to teeming isle then BOF melter/ turn foreman . 42 years I did it all .
Thomas Leslie: Ran Mold Yard Crane Johnstown Pa. Beth Steel 1980 thru 1990's. So glad I wore a respirator most of the time back then.
Rocky Black: I worked in the mold yard at inland steel. We had a winter storm going and my crew worked a double trying to keep the switches open. [In a later comment he says he is not sure of the location.]
Art Wright: Phillip Claxon Could be Gary, layout and stripper buildings, exactly the same.
David Conkle: I used to scarf the top of the molds. With 4ft scarring torch. That job sucked!
Rocky Black: David Conkle I was putting the boards in the top for awhile. We had one guy fall into the mold. He was ok.
Rocky Black: Paul Grattan yep they have to be hot to head for the pouring stand. He fell in and was able to stand up not touching the sides, the lucky part was I noticed he wasn't standing there putting boards in kind of quick. If he had been wearing a safety belt it would have made him lay up against the side until we noticed him gone. [I believe that means a "safety" belt would have killed him.]
Peter M. DeStefano: I bought a lot of scrap broken molds over the years.
The integrated mills usually wouldn't melt them so we sold them to the big Electrics like Northwestern. And Valley and Vulcan couldn't put them in their cupolas.
Graham Whitfield commented on Rocky's post
Great photo, worked in the Stripper Bay, Soaking Pits and Slabbing Mill at British Steel Llanwern Works.
The Loco crews and Crane drivers were fantastic.
We had some spectacular derailments.
I wish I had taken photos of our Stripper cranes in action.
Talk about a ‘Red Hot mad house.’
Continuous casting wiped out the Mould Bay, Teeming Bay, Soaking Pits etc.
It’s a long time ago but it was a wonderful place to work.

Michael Riha posted two photos with the comment: "Been awhile since I posted, so William O'Neal Stringer's post about the ingot train inspires these shots from one of my first trips to Calumet Ave on the lakefront...long before CN or even the casino."
Steven Suhs I recall handling one of these had 2 300’s. Was interesting to hold the speed at 15 mph when loaded when the 300’s did not have speedometers.
Chuck Olen Olejniczak I worked at US Steel South Works where we filled those molds with molten steel from the #4 Electric Furnace shop. They were sent to Gary Works to be stripped and rolled at the plate mill as our plate mill was closed in the early 80's.
William O'Neal StringerWilliam and 2 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Friends of The EJ&E RR. Yes, but the steel had different qualities. They made plenty of regular steel at Gary Works.
[What we are looking at is really the molds holding the ingots. A machine called the stripper will lift a mold by the round lugs near the top and then a hydraulic plunger will shove the ingot out.]



[There are no lugs at the top. How do they strip the mold?]

Chuck Roth posted
In front of the caboose is a steel ingot load.
Joe Usselman 95th street

Jim Prrfan posted
[Comments identified as Gary Works instead of South Works.]
Jim PRRFan collection

Here we can see why they were called buggies. It looks like just two molds per car 2-axle car.
O Guage
[Another model. Since ingot trains normally stayed in a mill, there won't be too many railfan photos of them.]
[I can't tell how many axles this buggy had.]
[The ratio of one mold per two axles is rather common.]
The buggies were also used to carry trays holding scrap metal that were used to charge open hearth furnaces.
U.S. Steel Gary Works, April 19, 1912
One of the photos posted by Michael Mora about the lighthouses at the mouth of the Calumet River
[Note the cut of ingot cars in the middle of the photo. We are looking at the south side of U.S. Steel South Works.]
Ingot stripper in Homestead, PA  I could not find a date for this photo. The steel mill is not only gone, the brown land has been redeveloped.

John W. Coke shared his post of two photos with the comment: "Lehigh Heavy Forge Corporation, Hot ingot transport car. Photo by Barbara Ryan, Horseshoe Curve, October 2004."
Richard Middlekauff It is used to transport hot steel billets. We used to see them regularly thru Harrisburg from Steelton, hauling billets to Lehigh Heavy Forge. We had a Conrail engineer explain that there was a 16 hour window from when the billet hit the floor of the car to delivery at the forge. They would pull four or five of the cars up from Steelton to the Harrisburg yard. They hustled to connect them to the front of an eastbound stack train and take off.
Patrick Carroll I would assume that it was around 1600*-1800* Fahrenheit
Jason Kliewer
Noe Gutierrez LHFX 37000 is a former Bethlehem (BFIX) car. It's a "hot ingot car"     Four 3-axle Buckeye trucks enables the car to have a rated capacity of 744,500 pounds, or just over 372 tons.

Mikl Lussier commented on John's share
From their site :
<<Lehigh Heavy Forge has earned the elite status of Forgemaster.
Starting with ingots up to 285 tons, our 10,000 ton open die hydraulic press produces the largest forgings in the western hemisphere with ship weights exceeding 166 tons. In addition we also operate a 3,000 ton open die hydraulic press for work roll forgings, billets and smaller forgings of various configurations with ship weights starting at 10 tons.>>
[So the continuous caster has not made all ingots obsolete. Only those ingots that would be rolled. Since rolling mills are used to make beams, plates, rolled sheets, bars and wire, rails, etc., I imagine most steel is no longer initially cast as ingots.]

William O'Neal Stringer commented on his posting about a train order mixup between Kirk and South Works
William O'Neal Stringer commented on his posting about a train order mixup between Kirk and South Works
Al Wszolek One per car. Rocked side to side, think the soeed limit was 10 mph. Also a time limit on loaded ones to the stripper on Gary mill.The "J"had two divisions in Gary. Kirk Yard, and Gary Mill Yard. Mill yard switchmen were only allowed to perform service in that mill. KIRK yard was a where trains were assembled for going to the many connections that the J had. At one time it connected with every carrier that went into the Chicago swiching district .also out of KYD yard transfers handled cars into and out of Gary mill, plus local connections with many other carriers and other industries, and also transfer service to and from USS South Chicago. I hired in 1968,At that time we had about 50 regular assignments, plus extras put on as needed. Five men on a crew, foreman two helpers ,engineer and fireman, when I retired in 2003 ,a hogger and two ground was normal.

Bill Parkinson posted
Some ingot action at the No.1 open hearth back in the 1970's AIS works Port Kembla.
How do you define an ingot? For us in a remelt plant in Pgh, it was about the size of a household water heater, a little longer
In the Open Hearth days at U S Steel in Youngstown, Ohio our most common ingot size was 19" x 22". For us a heat would be about 42 ingots. We made a lot of bar stock that was rolled at the McDonald Mill, now McDonald Steel. We also poured ingots for blooms that would go to the 40" Hot Strip in McDonald. We had 2 Blooming Mills, one was a 40", the other was a 43". The biggest ingots that we poured were 26" × 43".
So, billet size is measured on the end of the bar. Under 36 square inches is a billet over 36" it is a bloom.
Our 43" mill would take a reheated ingot, roll it down to a bloom, then advance it without reheating to finish rolls where it was slit and rolled down to 4×4", 2×6", 2×8", and 2×2" size.
So, I have seen casters that cast bars, but you can make bars from larger ingots.
The smallest ingot moulds were probably for pipe rounds.
Just a note of clarification, the 19"×22" size was the actual ingot size at the top of the mould. The moulds were about 7 feet tall.
I remember stringing those ingot molds onto rail cars for the next heats! Then they’d go to stripper mill then to the soaking pits to be reheated for the old slab mill then on to the hot strip furnaces and turned into coils, and to the cold mill if finished.... Ford Rouge Plant Dearborn, MI🇺🇸 (from ‘74 to ‘16) a lot of changes and closures now.

Robert Ries posted three photos.
Vincent Daniel shared



Robert Ries posted two photos.
Vincent Daniel shared
Seen one splash over on auto’s look like a bomb.


Bob O'Neal posted sixteen photos with the comment:
A URR switcher brings an empty INGOT MOLD train into Open Hearth No.4. The overhead crane slowly swings the huge POURING LADLE of molten steel at 3500F to a position above the cars. The foreman in the pouring crane housing will supervise the pouring of ingots, directing the ladle's bottom stopper to open. After the train of ingots is filled, they will be taken out to cool, then, stripped of their molds in the STRIPPER SHED, the ingots are sent to the SOAKING PITS to be reheated to 2000F for the ROLLING MILL.

















Don Cassta posted
Every Open Hearth used lines of these.

Doug May provided two photos as comments on Don's post.
A few more "ingot buggies" as we called them at Granite City Steel.

Here's a few of them in operation. Granite City Steel, circa 1965.

1962+2019 Champlain Bridges over St. Lawrence River at Montreal, QC

(Historic Bridges3D Satellite)

(Update: more photos of the construction of the new bridge)

By Fxp42 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
3D Satellite, 1962 Bridge
To summarize some articles, they planed to spend $212 million to rehabilitate the bridge. But evidently as they dug deeper into what needed to be fixed, they decided to build a $5 billion replacement bridge. [2009, July 2011, Oct 2011] A more recent figure I saw about the cost of the new bridge is "only" $4,435 million. So another cantilever truss bridge is being replaced by a cable-stay bridge.

Bridges Now and Then posted
Montreal's Champlain Bridge in July, 1962, shortly after it opened. (Montreal Gazette)

While studying the St. Lambert Lock, I came across this 2012 photo of the old bridge.
Alain Quevillon, Jun 2012

And here is a view when the new bridge was nearly done.
Dominique Forcier, Apr 2019

This June 2021 view shows that the suspended span of the old bridge has not yet been lowered and taken awa.
Street View, Jun 2021, max resolution

I include the entire length of the bridges to show that the part over the Seaway is a small fraction of the total length.
Street View, Jun 2021

Presentation, cropped
New Champlain Day – Artist Rendition – Infrastructure Canada from mtltimes

Bridges Now and Then posted
A look at Montreal, Quebec's, original Champlain Bridge during construction, c. 1960. (The Beat)

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TurtleStrangulation, lots of interesting links in the comments
Construxction of Montreal's New Champlain Bridge
[the middle lanes of traffic are dedicated to public transport vehicles including a light metro line.]
I became aware of this project when Danny Fortier posted two photos with the comment: "M1200T ringer and ringer 900 T at Champlain Bridge." He must be working up on the cable stay pylon.
Andre MylocoposAndre and 111 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Clarification: the black boom one is a 900 US ton and the blue boom is a 1433 US ton unit, one of only 3 built.

Screenshot @ -0:12 from Danny Fortier posting
Andre MylocoposAndre and 111 others joined Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! 4 MLC650 VPC Max units on site in addition to the two M-1200 ringers

A challenging 42-month timeline has been established for construction of the new bridge....
To meet the challenging timeline, the decision was made to maximize the prefabrication of concrete and steel parts and assemble some on site and some off-site. For this purpose, a total of five jetties (three for the new Champlain Bridge and two for the new Île-des-Sœurs bridge) will be created during the preparatory phase of work (June to November 2015). They will also allow for dry construction of various parts of the bridge and serve as docks for mooring the many vessels to be used on the Saint Lawrence River. [Engineering]

The problem with prefabricating parts off-site is that they must be built with precision. Modern computer CAD-CAM design should make it easy for different crews to work from the same plans. Shipbuilders proved during World War II that this technique can be made to work because the Liberty ships were built as a set of modules that were lifted into place at a dock for final assembly. All big ships are not built using prefabbed modules. But prefabricating also introduces lots of possibilities that things won't fit when you try to assemble them. By Dec 4, 2017, the contractors had already encountered over 2000 problems that had to be repaired.
“That there are so many problems and that we spend so much time at the site repairing all this, no, it’s really not normal,” an engineer involved in the site, who requested anonymity, was quoted as saying.

The main problems detected were in six areas:
– HOLES BADLY MADE AND MISALIGNED: Some holes are not well positioned in parts that need to be bolted to each other, thus preventing their alignment. Other holes are poorly made and required new drilling.
– POROUS STEEL: Some steel plates from Tecade used in the ‘caissons’ (watertight retaining structures used to work on the foundations of the bridge pier) show signs of porosity. The metal contains bubbles that can compromise its strength. – CRACKED STEEL: They ‘discovered cracks that cross the entire plate in over a dozen locations next to the connection holes’, an engineer report from GHD said, who inspected the repairs made to the Tecade caissons.
– DEFECTIVE SCREWS AND BOLTS: Complete boxes of bolts and nuts arrived from Spain with important defects. Several did not have the dimensions required on the plans.
– INCOMPLETE WELDS: Teams of workers had to repair many defects in metal work especially incomplete welds.
– MISSING CONCRETE: The pillars of the bridge are composed of huge blocks. One of them was blown up because of a defect in the concrete used. The workers also had to add concrete in the spacer, a huge piece that must link the two pillars of the main pylon. The piece arrived with holes revealing the metal frame.
Another article [GlobalNews-defects] mentioned bad parts from Spain. I confirmed that Tecade is in Span at their headquarters and Seville.

What is it about Canadian bridge building that they can't get something as fundamental as bolt size correct? The Nipigon River Bridge used bolts that were too long.

There are articles (Feb 23, April 13, June 27) about meeting the December 21, 2018 deadline for opening the bridge. The date had already been moved from Dec 1 to Dec 21. And officials have reserved $10 million to keep the old bridge open until June 2019. The consortium was saying that they will meet the deadline. But after a 9-day strike by the crane operators, they are now saying they are striving to meet the deadline.The strike was by thousands of operators across Quebec, and it was considered illegal. [GlobalNews-strike]
"Officials heading the consortium, led by SNC-Lavalin, insist they’re still striving to meet the deadline, but admit they do need to reassess....The consortium will face a fine of $100,000/day for the first seven days the bridge is late, and $400,000/day after the first week." [June 27] Maybe they should charge the crane union for 9 days of delay.

Another major issue causing delays and cost overruns is that the size of the preassembled parts was based on the old bridge's load restrictions. But after construction started, the government reduced the load restrictions for the old bridge. The government agreed to add $235m to the $4.2b price tag and the 20 additional days to compensate for the increased delay and cost of transporting the parts for the bridge. "Upon completion of the project, the consortium will maintain and operate the new bridge for 30 years." [April 13] So at least the consortium will have to deal with any problems caused by them cutting corners to meet the deadline.

I lost track of how many workers have been added to the project to try to meet the deadline. And that was before the 9-day strike.

Alex Caron posted three photos with the comment: "Construction of new Champlain bridge in Montreal. Manitowocs as far as the eye can see!! Some 16000 , MLC650's, and Grove's visible in the picture."
Charles Klinger Great design on the peirs !
Donnavan Kelley They look cool! But there a pain to build!
Ben StalveyBen and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Manitowoc Crane Enthusiasts. Great shots several MLC 650 on this job.
Jim Browne And 2 of the only 4 2250 Ringer's ever built. I think a 900 ton and 1433 ton version?
[Crane rental alone would be a significant expense.]



Maxime Launier posted
M1200 ringer with boom 72. Champlain Bridge Project in Montreal.
Maxime Launier 9474-A 278’ of boom. 1,553,800lbs at 75ft but more impressive is 150,800lbs at 275’ radius. Keep in mind this is a barge chart and the crane is not max counterweight.Francis Letecia Reyna Pawelek Might need it in Corpus Christi harbor bridge soon 
Gonna be 178 feet hi I believe
[The block alone being twice as tall as the men puts in perspective how big this thing is.]
Keven Tremblay commented on a posting
Keven Tremblay commented on a posting
Ben Stalvey shared
Transport of a manitowoc crane for the champlain bridge. This is one of the 46 loads needed for this crane. Delivery is done just before the thaw period. // transport of a manitowoc crane for Champlain Bridge. This is one of 46 loads for this crane that is being delivered right now before thaw period.
Photo Credit: David Raymond
[It has a MLC650 label on it.]
If they did not make the Dec, 2018 deadline, they must have come close if they are selling and hauling away the MLC 650 cranes.

Anthony Lucibello posted two photos.
Maxime Launier This is from the Champlain Bridge Project in Montreal. This 650 has been sold to a company in the US which will pick it up shortly.
Anthony Lucibello Maxime Launier the other crane is a 650 as well right ?
Maxime Launier There are a couple of cranes left. There is another 650 with a luffer on the south shore.



[This link accesses a professional description of the project as an alternative to my babblings. They had to design for an ice load of 3 feet and do wind-tunnel studies of the cables that included ice in the wind. They used stainless steel for the rebar to meet the design goal of 125 years in a harsh climate. Of note is that the completion date is June 2019. I wonder when they gave up claiming Dec 2018. The cost is listed as $2.4b.]

[Note that with no load the counterweight tray has a small radius.]

Andre Mylocopos posted
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.3 w/luffer (there was a fourth as well)
MLC-300 on barge
16000 w/luffer behind 650

Dennis DeBruler It appears that they did not meet the Dec 2018 deadline that they were still promising last Summer to achieve.
Andre Mylocopos posted
M-1200 Ringer on barge
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.1
MLC-650 VPC MAX No.2
16000 top far left
14000 other side of the bridge
Jason NIkl What is the tower crane
Alex Benoit Jason NIkl comansa 21LC550,I m on it on the evening/night shift,it’s sitting at 620’ off the ground

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official photos and videos  I sure hope that link remains permanent

My collected crane photos and progress videos of the construction

Daniel Davies posted five photos with the comment: "Champlain bridge superstructure coming down today[Jan 7, 2022]…"
Annabelle Né: Other parts of the bridge were dismantle before, but that section is right above the Seaway. They had to wait for the navigation season to be over to do that part. [I had noticed that the Welland Canal had closed just a day or two ago.]
Daniel commented on his post