Friday, May 10, 2019

Flood of 2019: CP Looses CP/ICE/Milw Bridge over Turkey River in IA

On March 13, a bomb cyclone with a low air pressure equivalent to a Cat 2 hurricane dumped a lot of rain on Nebraska and Iowa. And after a hard winter, there was over a foot of ice on the rivers. The heavy rains not only raised the river levels, it broke the ice into huge chunks that then became battering rams. Late on March 14, an ice jam on the Turkey River lifted and shoved five of the ten spans off their piers The removal of five spans left a 400' gap in CP's Marquette Subdivision main line.





One of twelve photos posted showing construction progress.
[By "pillars," they mean piers. Note that what they call "dike" was in some cases the existing embankment and in other cases the new 300' causeway that they built into the river so that cranes could drive H-piles and lift replacement spans into place. Also note that the rails to the washed-out spans remained intact and swung them over to the river bank. Maybe the remaining spans are there also, but under water.]

[Neither the video audio nor the posting mention where this was or the name of the railroad so watching just a few seconds is enough. It is worth watching a little to see how fast the river is flowing. The movement of the ice slabs dramatically demonstrates the speed of the river's flow.]
CP detouring trains from the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan and then back to the Mississippi provided opportunities for railfans to catch some rare action. It was the comments on this posting that taught me about the detour route.
Nick Hart posted
A detouring CP 474 heads east through Rondout, along the CP C&M Subdivision. Due to flooding around the Mississippi River that closed a bridge along the train's usual route, 474 was given a different change of pace. CSX SD40-2 8812 leads the way, followed by a CP GP38-2 and a CSX GEVO. From here, the train would continue to the Elgin Sub connection at Tower A6 in Chicago and officially enter Elgin Sub territory at Tower B6. It would be about an 11 mile westbound trip to Tower B17 for a recrew from there. At Bensenville Yard, the crew was given instructions from the yard to pick up an NS unit. Along with that NS pick-up also came the removal of the CSX SD40-2, in favor of a CP AC4400CW. Glad I made the trip north to Rondout.
Saint Patrick's Day 2019
Dennis DeBruler commented on Nick's post
I added a yellow line between River Junction and Sabula to locate the Turkey River bridge outage. So the trains between the Twin Cities and Kansas City that normally use the River Jct to Sabula route now have to go east to Milwaukee, south to Chicago, and back west to Sabula.
Dennis DeBruler Metra is used to having the tracks they bought from Milwaukee pretty much to themselves. Is this freight traffic causing track capacity issues? BNSF,(former CB&Q) has three tracks, but it still follows the "Chicago protocol" of not running freight during the morning and evening commuter rushes.
Mark Simmons The curfew has always been there. In the Soo Line days there were 8 trains a day plus the Spaulding Patrol. These was never an issue for the Soo. They would time their trains around the rush. CP is doing the same on the Elgin.
Eastward trains are held at Randell Road Control Point and follow the the 1st Metra east at 9am. same goes in evening after 2245 clears Tower B-35 the eastbound gets the OK at 7:19pm.
I also learned more about CP's Chicago area operations from the comments.
Dennis DeBruler commented on Nick's post
Charles Heraver Milwaukee Road towers on the C&M began with an A while those on the D&I began with a B. The number was the approx MP from CUS. That said I think A6 and B6 are new control points at A5. Thought Metra added some cross overs or something there.
Dennis DeBruler I assume C&M is Chicago & Milwaukee. What is D&I?
Mark Simmons Dubuque & Illinois The D&I is now called the Chicago Sub.
Mark Simmons They cut A-5 up into 3 control points when they closed the tower. B6 is on the Elgin, A6 on the C&M and A5 is the junction between the two.
Dennis DeBruler What is the difference between the Elgin and Chicago subs? I assume they both have something to do with the east/west route.
Mark Simmons The Elgin Sub runs from Tower B6 to Randell Road MP 40.3 (Elgin). The Chicago Sub runs from Randel Road to Sabula Jct MP 141.5 in Iowa. The Elgin is Dispatched under the authority of the CP Elgin Dispatcher and the Chicago under the authority of the CP Iowa Dispatcher.
Dennis DeBruler So, unlike the BNSF, the Chicago Sub is not in Chicago. Thanks for adding the dispatcher details because that helps explain why the Chicago Sub is in Illinois, but not in Chicago.
Timothy Clement How about some detouring on the WSOR. Looks like it would cut off a few miles.
Mark Simmons That line is too slow and not direct. The Tomah, Watertown and C&M Subs can move a train faster than any route on The WSOR. Plus the cost is less because they don't have to detour on another railroad. Metra doesn't count as another railroad. CP can run as many trains as they want because they share in the cost of maintaining the Elgin, C&M and Fox Lake Subs.
Another railfan photo catching a detoured train.
Andrew Sonkin posted
“Detouring through”
Melting snow has caused the Mississippi River to rise and floodwaters took out one of the Davenport sub’s main bridges.
St Paul to Kansas City freight No. 474 is one of those trains affected. So, the only way to run them is to detour them from Lacrosse to Milwaukee to Chicago to Davenport.
A very decent lashup led by CSX 8812 blasts through with train 474 under the B12 signals in Franklin Park this afternoon.
Daniel Rappoport Any idea why the power desk chose to lead with the standard cab SD40 rather than one of the comfort cabs in the consist?
Robby Gragg Daniel Rappoport. The SD40-2 was cut in Bensenville and replaced with a CP AC44.
Michael Van Hise Comfort cab is facing backwards and thus would need to be WYEd and since they don't care which engine we use it's all about quickness.

12 and a half days later, CP rolled its first train across the rebuilt bridge on March 27.
The first challenge required the team to identify bridge spans that could be ready for installation quickly. Decades ago, the route CP owns across Northern Illinois had operated as a double-track route, but it has since been reduced to single track. This left vacant bridges in place where the second track used to run. Six of the nine replacement spans came from there, while contractors fabricated the other three from secondhand material. Once the spans were identified, workers executed a plan to lift the spans from their trackside locations in Illinois and route them to the worksite. [I wonder if this is two of the spans they moved to IA. I'm surprised how the embankments have narrowed since the second track was removed. But the bridge piers are still double-wide.]

[The second crane is driving an H-pile.]
Since the new spans were shorter than the old ones, new piers built on steel H-piles were needed to support them. Paradise said operators drove these piles 130 feet into the river's bottom, a depth necessary due to soft soil conditions. Meanwhile, the bridge spans were staged nearby and retrofitted to accommodate the new installation.
Since the new spans were shorter than the old ones, new piers built on steel H-piles were needed to support them. Paradise said operators drove these piles 130 feet into the river's bottom, a depth necessary due to soft soil conditions. Meanwhile, the bridge spans were staged nearby and retrofitted to accommodate the new installation.
With all this happening, the engineering team had to take on one more challenge: elevating the entire bridge more than two feet to protect it from current and future flooding.
Four days before reopening, workers identified one final challenge that needed to be resolved: a 30-foot scour hole near a bridge pier underwater, which was the result of the causeway redirecting water flow. The arduous task of repairing the hole progressed quickly and did not delay reopening.
Rittmeyer's team will perform permanent repairs this summer, replacing the short spans installed this spring with longer, better-fitting spans. The piles holding up the temporary spans will come down to allow for better river flow and the piers will be outfitted with new steel nose angles to deflect ice and debris. However, for the CP leaders who worked relentlessly and tirelessly to replace the Turkey River bridge, those 12 and a half days will be a source of pride for the rest of their careers.  [I'll bet the quick bridge replacement is also a source of pride for the employees that actually did the work. I hope the CP leaders didn't strain themselves too much attending meetings, working their phone, standing around at the work site watching others do the work, and learning their quotes from the PR department.]

Brad Merrell posted five photos with the comment: "Turkey river washout."





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