Sunday, September 30, 2018

UP/Alton Global 4 Intermodal Yard

I label this both rrAlton and rrUP because it is built along the route that the 1928 Alton owned, but the yard has been built by UP after they bought the route. Even though it is relatively new as far as railroad facilities go, Dan indicates that it is being expanded.

Dan Tracy posted two photos with the comment: "Couple of shots showing the expansion project at Global 4 on 9-23-18. Shots taken from Millsdale Road."
Tom Meyer Good stuff! Thanks so much for sharing! This expansion is in part to accommodate the additional traffic secured with the new O.N.E, (Ocean Network Express) contract. This too may also include the final transition of the last North/South O/D Train pairs currently handled in the small/antiquated Yard Center Facility, as promised for quite some time..........

Global 4 had already made Canalport obsolete. It is now just used for storage to support Global 1.



Nick Hart posted
After a wait at Pine Junction, westbound CSXT Q191-20 is on the move as it makes its way towards the destination of Global 4 in Joliet. UP 6706 leads the way, which is the last patched AC4400CW in CNW paint.
CSXT Barr Sub
Gary, IN
Dennis DeBruler It is nice to learn that containers are now crossing Indiana on steel wheels instead of rubber wheels.

Johnny Hansen posted
BNSF 1605 and 1717, former Santa Fe SD40-2’s, now H4 scheme SD40-2’s work the autorack pulldown at BNSF Logistics Park Chicago on a cloudy thanksgiving morning.
[Street View]

In Sept 2020, I got hit with a Double Doomsday. Both Facebook and Google changed their software. I said "changed" instead of "updated" because the new software is not better. In fact, Google's Blogger software is far worse except for a search function that works. Specifically, it has three bugs concerning photos and their captions. So I'm no longer copying photos and interesting comments from Facebook. I'm just saving the link. I hope you can see posts in Private Groups.

Five photos of a train northeast of Normal that was delivering parts for new cranes   It was a short train transporting just these parts.

NYC/LS&MS Ashtabula River Bridge Disaster

Roy Kessmann posted four photos with the comment:
Ashtabula, Ohio Bridge disaster 1876
The Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway designed a bridge to cross the Ashtabula Creek in 1865.The Chief Engineer reviewed the design and declared it unsafe. The CEO of the railroad said to build it anyway. The bridge design was based upon wooden structures in use at the time but wrought iron was used for the structural members instead. No one really knew the strength of wrought iron at the time for a given thickness. The bridge was a two track affair having a height of 70 feet over the creek. In a freezing, howling blizzard on Friday, December 28, 1876 train #5, the Pacific Express approached the bridge Westbound being pulled by two engines: The Socrates and the Columbia. Four helper engines were used in getting the 11 car train through the snow drifts on its way from Buffalo. In the process of crossing the bridge it failed due to metal fatigue. The first engine made it across but the rest of the train fell into the gorge. The wreck caught on fire from the non compliant stoves that were used in the coaches. The railroad had a policy that wrecks that caught on fire would be left to burn themselves out in complete disregard for the passengers. The town of Ashtabula brought a steam pumper as well as a paddle pumper to the sight. However, the Chief, an alcoholic, never gave the order to pump water. So a volunteer organization went to help save the passengers. A few were pulled out of the wreck safely. However, most succumbed to fire or injuries suffered from wreckage trapping them. It is not known exactly how many souls were lost. But estimates range up to 200. What is disgusting is that thieves combed the wreck sight to take valuables from the dead and the living. It was thought that the Chief Engineer of the railroad committed suicide. But the coroners report was not opened until 1890 and disclosed that the individual was murdered. The bridge designer committed suicide 7 years after the wreck.
[Some bridges were tested by stringing a bunch of locomotives across the entire length. Maybe they knew this one would not handle that.]

Wreckage in Ashtabula creek. One engine, bridge structure, railcars, and humans.

Fire breaks out from non compliant stoves in railcars.

Bridge abutments after fire burns out.
Bridge Hunter has several more photos including the wood replacement that burned in 1895 and a replacement "fishbelly" deck truss.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

BNSF/CB&Q 1906 Trestle Replacement in Barnhart, MO

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)

Street View
Mark T Pillow posted photos and videos with the comment:
This is a photo story of the replacement of a 112 year old trestle in Barnhart, MO
It's sad to see it go but it's been on fire a few times and was beginning to lilt.
Harvey HenkelmannHarvey and 219 others joined RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! Looks like they're replacing it with a UCEB. [Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridge]
At least they replaced it instead of abandoning the line.

Mark T PillowMark and 219 others joined RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! it takes coal to rush island, "river run" from stl

Mark T PillowMark and 219 others joined RAILROAD BRIDGES, TRESTLES, TUNNELS AND CUTS within the last two weeks. Give them a warm welcome into your community! I've heard a few trains tonight, i guess rail traffic back... sometime in the next month i expect the road under it to be open again

The videos are in reverse order.

Photo, this is probably from the video that shows them discovering that the beam is too long and they put it back on the pile.
Screenshot, Grove 7550

Friday, September 28, 2018

WE Energies Dam on Pine River and Hydro Dams

(Satellite)  Note the long inlet channel to the powerhouse penstocks. It must have been rainy because the dam is spilling a lot more water than is going through the powerhouse.

Doug Kearney posted three photos with the comment:
Grove RT875E working on the Pine river dam for WE Energies in Florence, WI. A lot goes into setting it up. They had to haul the barge sections down the hill, launch them, then roll the crane on board. You can see the ramps on far shore. Driving the crane down the hill was probably a bit of an adventure.


"Near Florence" is relative. It struck me as being rather far away until I saw how few towns were in the area. I noticed that there are some bigger, closer powerhouses. And they also are spilling a lot of water.

I almost missed the powerhouse for this one because it is downstream, and I do not see an intake structure for the penstocks.

This reservoir needed some "helper" side dams.
So the Pine River Dam is one of WE Energies smaller reservoirs.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

BNSF/GN 1899 Gassman Coulee Trestle near Minot, ND

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, Satellite)

Street View
There is no problem with treelines blocking the view in this area.

Screenshot @ -0:33 from video posted by Justin Nelson
Amtrak’s westbound Empire Builder crossing the Gassman Coulee trestle, just west of Minot, ND this morning. [Aug 18, 2018]

Mark Mcgowan posted
The Great Northern's 1,609 foot Gassman Coulee trestle near Minot, N.D. circa 1890.
[Comments say it collapsed in 1896 because of high winds.]
Greg Bahn: Two men are standing on top of the rail cars. Are these the brakeman?
Mark Mcgowan: Greg Bahn probably.

Screenshot @ -5:16
Jeremy Siembida posted
Gassman Coulee Trestle, west of Minot, ND on the old GN.
[The posting also has a video of an Amtrak train crossing the trestle.]

Bruce Schweirske posted two photos with the comment: "A westbound BNSF grain train, with three locomotives up front and three more mid-train, crosses the Gassman Coulee Bridge west of Minot, North Dakota on August 13, 2020."
Jeremy Siembida Nice catch. That was the first double load I have seen. I bagged it 10 miles west of here.

Jeremy Siembida posted
The golden color out right now is a consolation prize for the brutal winters here; change my mind...
Portland, OR bound automobiles head west over Gassman Coulee Trestle, just a few miles west of Minot. Photo from private property, with permission.

Jeremy Siembida posted
A hot westbound stack, heavy with UPS, FedEx and other priority traffic storms west over Gassman Coulee.
Jeremy Siembida So I had great light for eastbounds and the only eastbound (which I could see sitting at CP Gassman) zwas waiting on a /fleet/ of westbounds. Oh well..
Bruce Schwierske posted
A little stormy around Minot this morning as this BNSF westbound stack train crosses the Gassman Coulee bridge. 8/13/2020
Jeremy Siembida Made the best out of the day with that one. Nice pop of color.

Jeremy Siembida Flickr 2019 Photo (source) "Just another boring, overcast view of Gassman Coulee Trestle, from private property with permission. I was breaking in my new superwide 14mm lens."

In Sept 2020, I got hit with a Double Doomsday. Both Facebook and Google changed their software. I said "changed" instead of "updated" because the new software is not better. In fact, Google's Blogger software is far worse except for a search function that works. For example, it has three bugs concerning photos and their captions. So I'm no longer copying photos and interesting comments from Facebook. I'm just saving the link. Unfortunately, some of the links are to private groups.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

DT&I: Detroit, Toledo & Ironton

Unknown Author, Public Domain
This is a map of the Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad
as of 1918, with trackage rights in purple
 and then-proposed lines dotted.
(Update: an album of DT&I photos by John F. Bjorklund)

The Detroit, Toledo & Ironton route started as various narrow gauge railroads. With a series of bankruptcies and corporate maneuvers, it became a contiguous standard gauge railroad between Detroit and Ironton with a branch to Toledo. When Henry Ford was building his huge River Rouge Complex, he bought the DT&I on July 9, 1920 and added the Dearborn branch shown on the map below. The DT&I route connected his plant to all of the major east/west railroads and allowed him to choose which railroads handled which shipments. But his vision was much more than a glorified industrial spur. He planed to build an extension to Deepwater, WV where it would connect with the lucrative Virginian Railway. He then planned to buy that railway to give him a connection to an Atlantic port. He also planned to electrify the DT&I. The Dearborn Branch was built with 25-cycle, 22kv catenary. And his company built two electric locomotives to use on that branch. But the bully and horse&wagon attitudes of the Interstate Commerce Commission took all the fun out of playing with railroads. So on June 27, 1929 he sold the DT&I to Pennsy. The route ended up as part of Grand Trunk Western in 1978 instead of becoming part of Conrail. [american-rails] Remnants of the route are now part of the G&W's Indiana & Ohio Railway.

Peter Dudley shared, cropped
A c. 1976 map shows the north end(s) of the Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (DT&I).
The Dearborn Branch (extending north from D&I Junction) still features about 100 reinforced-concrete electric catenary arches (overhead electrification was unplugged in 1930).
In the background of the photo below you can see some of the 7.5 ton concrete catenaries that were built over the double-track Dearborn Branch. I read that they are gong to be torn down.
Assembling a Manitowoc 999

Mark Hinsdale posted
"We'll Meet Under the Arches"
Northbound (R) and Southbound (L) Detroit, Toledo & Ironton trains meet on the railroad's Dearborn Branch near Penford in suburban Downriver Detroit. The iconic concrete arches over this section of the DT&I date back to Henry Ford's ambitious, but ultimately aborted electrification project he initiated after purchasing the railroad in 1920. The short-lived electric operation between the Rouge Complex in Dearborn and Flat Rock Yard lasted less than ten years, being discontinued in 1930. March, 1979 photo by Mark Hinsdale
Sean Trofin commented on Mark's share

Peter Dudley updated
The one-of-a-kind, experimental Pullman Rail Plane was photographed on October 26, 1933, during a test run along the ruler-straight Dearborn Branch of Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad (DT&I, aka "the railroad with the concrete arches").
The overhead electric catenary along the branch line (which was built to serve Ford Motor Company's Rouge River Complex in Dearborn) had been unplugged in 1930, after Henry Ford sold DT&I to Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1929.
A map I've seen of a proposed rapid transit route connecting Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) with downtown Detroit (via Ford Motor Company's Michigan Central Station) included this segment of the Dearborn Branch, currently-owned by Canadian National Railway (CN).
The Rail Plane was designed by William Bushnell Stout, who also designed the Ford Tri-Motor airliner. To me, the Rail Plane looks faster than the Douglas DC-3 airliner, which made its first flight on the thirtieth anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight (December 17, 1933).
The Rail Plane's top speed was 90 mph, faster than a speeding Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC), which debuted in 1949.
The Pullman Rail Plane project was dropped after sales failed to materialize (Virtual Motor City Collection photo, retrieved online from Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs, Wayne State University).

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CSX/RF&P Bridge over Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA

(no Bridge Hunter?; no Historic Bridges; Street ViewSatellite, 9 photos)

Bridge Hunter has several little bridges for Spotsylvania County, but I could not find this one. Fredericksburg did not have it either. Nor Stafford County.

Bill Rogerson posted
Southbound Auto - Train crossing the Rappahannock River with two GE U-Boats providing power at Fredericksburg, VA - July 8, 1978
Gerard Geisler This is the pre Amtrak Auto Train. The train was privately run from December 6, 1971 until the company went out of business about 10 years later in 1981. Amtrak bought the rights to the concept as well as some of the equipment and restarted the operation in 1983.

Kenneth James White posted a Google Photo that has a link to Brenda Holloway's blog
Brenda seems to have several blogs and lifeonabridged is just about bridges. I copied the above photo from her blog as "fair use" to call attention to some of her blog photos as art. (My photos are just information.)

Randall Hampton posted
I have plenty of pics of bridges that are higher and longer, but few that are more important or have more history. The RF&P bridge over the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg VA has been replaced a couple of times. The original was destroyed in the Civil War. This bridge has always been a primary rail link between North and South on the east coast. It's the only bridge of this size where I regularly see strings of Amtrak coaches that stretch out of sight in both directions.

Tim Smith posted
CSX Railroad Bridge over the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg, VA.
Built in 1925 and still in use, it has five main arches and several smaller arches at each end of the approach and carries CSX's main eastern seaboard line from Massachusetts to Florida. It also carries Amtrak and VRE Commuter Rail trains dozens of times a day.
It replaced a wooden bridge which had replaced an earlier wooden bridge destroyed during the Civil War.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Westinghouse Gas Turbine, Switchtenders and Commuter Operations

The notes for the C&NW 40th Street Yard are getting long, so I'm going to treat this locomotive parked there as a separate topic. I also learned that there is still a staffed switchtender position controlling the throat to the 40th Street Yard.

David Daruszka updated
John Carson Westinghouse's gas turbine experiment. Did not work out. Pre dates GE's Gas Turbines on the UP.
David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Westinghouse-Baldwin No. 4000 was an experimental 4,000-hp B-B-B-B demonstrator locomotive built in 1950. The unit was powered by two relatively small 2,000-hp gas turbines mounted side-by-side within a 77 ft 10 in carbody. Each turbine drove two generators, which in turn supplied power to four axles.

The odd-looking nose of the unit was very similar to earlier Raymond Loewy designs used on the Baldwin “Sharknose” locomotives, and incorporated a prow that slanted in a forward direction. The unit was painted powder blue and gray with orange stripes on the nose, and the nickname “Blue Goose” was soon adopted.

The four two-axle road trucks were similar to those used on Baldwin road switchers. Unlike trucks used on other large units, there were no bolsters between pairs of trucks. Instead, the carbody slid transversely over the trucks, contained by a spring system. The end result of this design was an extremely smooth ride.

Its demonstration tours included passenger service on the Pennsylvania, Missouri-Kansas-Texas, and Chicago & North Western, and freight service on the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie and Union Railroads. The unit had favorable results when compared to two EMD E7 Diesel-Electric locomotives, but the radical differences in design were too much for the unit to catch on. After two years of extensive demonstration, there were (sadly) no buyers, and the unit was sent back to the Westinghouse Combustion Turbine Systems Division in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was eventually scrapped. It was around this time as well that Westinghouse made the decision to exit the locomotive business.

Photo taken at the C&NW's 40th Street diesel ramp by Wallace W. Abbey.

David Brann The trouble with gas turbines in locomotives is that their performance characteristics don't match the locomotive duty cycle. A gas turbine, particularly one with a regenerative cycle, can be quite efficient at its design point, but off-design performance is terrible. I once sat chewing the fat with an old GE hand, who told me that the GE gas turbines burned 15 gallons per minute of Bunker C at full load, but 10 gallons per minute at idle. The reason is that even at idle, with no output power, the gas generator is still going. By contrast, a diesel might burn 200 gallons per hour at full load, but only two or three at idle. And locomotives idle a LOT. Most real duty cycles have about ten per cent of the time at full load, but fifty or so per cent at idle. Even with cheap fuel like Bunker C, it's difficult for a gas turbine to be cost competitive on duty cycle fuel consumption with a diesel.
Robert De Anyone remember the switchman’s shanty about 1-2 blocks east of the 40th St. yard alongside the west line? You had to drive into the neighborhood and walk up the embankment to get to it.
The rest of these comments where in the reply section to Robert's question. I was kinda shocked to learn that a switchtender shack still exists and is staffed. The comments are out of order so that comments for the same thread are grouped together.

Bob Lalich There were two switchtenders at the east end of 40th St, even into the 1980s. Here is a shot I took in 1982 in which both shanties can be seen.
[It is the far shanty with a car next to it that still exists. ]
David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Believe it or not, there was actually a station located there. I'm not sure when it was demolished. Circled in red.
Patrick McNamara Harding Avenue Switchtender still on duty - first shift only.
Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Patrick McNamara I need a "teaching moment." A switchtender is a worker that walks across tracks to an appropriate turnout to manually throw the switch? I know the ladder to commuter coach yards and some other yards are still manual. But I would have thought that the throat to such a busy engine facility would have had automatic turnouts a long time ago. Since most of the commuter engines start their day before first shift and end it after first shift, do the engines normally park overnight in the California Yard with their coaches? Specifically, the only traffic seen here are locomotives taken off their train for maintenance?

Your photo is looking east and the shanty is to the left (north) of the loco. (And I need to find what still has that big smokestack on the south side.)!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sQsjDlsGC-j...

Patrick McNamara The Harding Avenue Switchtender is in radio contact with the Diesel Ramp Foreman that tells him where he wants certain engines as they come in for fueling, servicing, etc., during the time between morning and evening rush. The engines and their consists sleep over (on the West Line) at Elburn, staged for their departures from there weekday mornings beginning around 4:45AM. David Daruszka can expound upon the routine on the Wisconsin side, on the North and North-West Lines.

Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Patrick McNamara I had a brain burp. The trains would be downtown (California Yard) during the day. And that is when the engines would be serviced. I've studied the CB&Q operation because you can see their yards from bridges. Since the UP/C&NW yards are elevated, there is not much for John Q Public to see.

David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. When I worked there in the 70's and 80's the outlying terminals were Harvard, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Barrington and DesPlaines on the Northwest line and Kenosha and Waukegan on the North line. Some jobs started out of the CPT and M19A.

Robert De I think they ran a certain amount of skoots out to the west/north ends of the mains to sit overnight for the next morning's inbound commute.
Use to park passenger cars at the California yard during the day hours.

David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. The majority of the evening rush hour trains would tie up at the outlying points over night on all the lines. The last trains out of downtown would layover for 3-4 hours and then run in on a morning train. We'd make beds with the seats and sleep. I went to college part time while working a night job. California Avenue is a servicing yard for the commuter coaches. I think initially it was strictly for the Galena Division commuter service, but when they closed the Erie Street coach yard Cal. Ave. was expanded to accommodate the Wisconsin Division equipment. Intercity trains were serviced at 40th Street.

David DaruszkaDavid and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. Dennis DeBruler, the smoke stack was part of the Garfield Park Conservatory complex. Its still there but much reduced in size.

Dennis DeBrulerYou and 1 other manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Chicago Railroad Historians. David Daruszka I presume it is for steam heat for all of those greenhouses.!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4...