Thursday, April 30, 2020

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company

(Satellite, it used to occupy the north and east parts of Turning Basin #1)

I recognize Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company as the one that built the foundations for some of the bridges in Chicago. I assume the satellite location was their original location. Their web site claims they now have five locations in the USA, but I can't find where they are. I did find that their headquarters is now in Oakbrook, IL. But it is safe to assume that they don't park any of their over 200 "specialized vessels" there. And they obviously no longer use the location shown below that was between 92nd and 94th on the east side of the Calumet River.
Rod Sellers posted
U-505 submarine being readied for transport via Calumet River and Lake Michigan to Museum of Science and Industry. The submarine is at the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock facility at 92nd and the Calumet River and is in a floating dry dock. 92nd Street Bridge is visible in background. Photograph was one of several donated to the SECHS by Jim Rossi. Additional preparation work was also done at the Shipyards at 101st and the Calumet River as shown in the attached photograph.

William Bork It was installed at the Museum and dedicated in Sept. 1954.
Wayne Garritano By 92nd Street . Just made it through the St.Lawrence Seaway on its way to Lake Michigan and around 58th Street to the Museum Of Science and Industry.
Dennis DeBruler If it was installed at the museum in 1954, then the U-505 had to come up the Illinois Waterway from the Gulf of Mexico because the St. Lawrence Seaway did not open until 1959. During WWII submarines were shipped down the Illinois Waterway using floating dry docks so transporting submarines on the waterway had precedent.
This photo is the attached photo referred to by Rod's comment above.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Rod's post
[GLDD donated the use of their dry dock.]

1938 Aerial Photo from IHLAP

They learned a lot about dredging while helping to build the landfills along Chicago's shore such as Grant Park, Lincoln Park, Northerly Island. etc. Now they specialize in dredging and do projects around the world as well as the nation.


[I had expected them to do the substructure (foundation) work. But I'm surprised they also did the superstructure (steel) work.]


This one caught my eye because Bay Shipbuilding is on the Great Lakes.
It can use the St. Lawrence Seaway to get to the oceans because it would be running light between jobs so its draft would be shallow.

St. Lawrence Seaway dimensions: 740' x 78' x 26.5'  with a limit above the water of 116.5'. [Seaway Facts]
The Liberty Island is their second largest dredge. The Ellis Island would be too wide to go through the seaway. I didn't realize that seaway ships are so long and skinny until I saw the dimentions of this dredge.

MWRD posted
Two photos combined to show a panoramic view of Wilmette Harbor on Lake Michigan on September 12, 1920, taken while the MWRD was dredging the harbor and building a breakwater.
[I don't know if GLDD is doing this work, but historical photos that I saw on the GLDD web site were similar to this.]

You can see their name on one of the barges helping to build the Chicago River Controlling Works.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

CSX/L&N Trestle over Upper Howard Creek in Clark Country, KY

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

The south end of this trestle is curved.

Three of the sixteen photos posted by Redeker Rail Video & Photography of the Kentucky Steam Heartage's C&O 2716 Heritage Highball move from Lexington to near Ravenna, KY.



Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Royal Gorge Express/D&RGW 1879 Hanging Bridge over Arkansas River in Royal Gorge

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite)

I put "?" for the current owner because it is owned by UP, but, because it is part of the Tennessee Pass route, I believe it is out of service. I have read that another company wants to buy it, but UP won't sell. Some sources show the owner as Rio Grande Southern Railway. I believe they were a subsididary of D&RGW.
Ken Swiderski PMed me the comment:
Ownership of the Tennessee Pass line at the Hanging Bridge (MP 166.23) is convoluted. On July 1 1998, UP sold the portion of the line between MP 160.15 and MP 171.9 to three entities, each having fingers in each others' pies:- Rock & Rail Railroad (reporting marks RRRR, owner of record per FRA and responsible for freight operations and possibly maintenance);- Cañon City and Royal Gorge Railroad (CCRG, responsible for dispatching the line)- Royal Gorge Express (RGX, the tourist passenger operation).The last I heard (during 2011) RRRR ran one job per day from Cañon City to Pueblo and back to interchange freight with UP and BNSF. There is still a quarry in Parkdale but I'm not sure how much business they generate these days.
UP still owns the rest of the line, but most is not in service. I believe no rail has been removed even after over twenty years. The line has been in the news lately, though: . STB has declined. (I believe the "Towner line" mentioned in the article is an abandoned MP line east of Pueblo.)
Main track authority, edited from UP Denver Area Timetable No. 5 in effect 0900C September 28, 2015: Tennessee Pass Subdivision RG118 (MP 118.2, Pueblo Junction) to RG122 (MP 121.5): Rule 6.28 (Movement on Other than Main Track) RG122 (MP 121.5) to MP 159.2: CTC MP 159.2 to MP 171.9: Movement governed by joint timetable of CCRG and Rock and Rail RR. MP 171.9 to MP 335: Rule 6.28 (Movement on Other than Main Track); Main track not in service. Glenwood Springs Subdivision Eagle Valley Industrial Lead Extends 6.9 miles from Dotsero, MP 341.9 to MP 335.0.
safe_image for Trains could return to Colorado’s Tennessee Pass, rumble through Leadville under pair of proposals[This article indicates that Royal Gorge Express, the passenger operation, is the owner. And that neither the Utah oil interests (Colorado Pacific) or the southeastern Colorado wheat interests (KCVN) have talked to them. It would cost $278 million to rehabilitate the 208 miles of track that has not been used since 1997. The locals around Leadville would rather have a trail. Another proposed use for the route is a commuter service so that the workers in the expensive ski resorts in the Eagle River Valley could live in the more affordable Upper Arkansas River Valley. Colorado State owns the Moffat Tunnel and UP's lease to use it expires 2025.]


Santa Fe built the railroad through the gorge while Santa Fe and D&RGW fought for the rights to the gorge. When D&RGW won, they pad Santa Fe $1.4m for what they had built. [CanonCityDailyRecord]

Photo via Bridge Hunter
Taken 1881-1890
William Henry Jackson & Co./Library and Archives Canada/C-002288

Photo from LC-DIG-det-4a09172 via Bridge Hunter

Kevin Robbins posted three photos with the comment:
“Bridge Over Troubled Waters”
White Sox History has shown these photos before but never really went in to detail before today.
It was on February 27, 1910 while the Sox team train was crossing the country from Chicago to their spring home in San Francisco when they decided it was time to stretch their legs, and would ask that the train pause for some photo opportunities on the Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge that spanned the Arkansas River in Colorado. The bridge, which had been completed in 1897 was, for the time, considered a “feat of structural engineering”.
Among those posing for photos of the team were future Hall of Fame pitcher Ed Walsh and Sox owner, Charles Comiskey, who were accompanied by many family members. The hanging bridge was no stranger to photo ops, as many Americans wanted to be a part of history. The bridge was built through a very narrow thirty foot gap over the canyon that could not be made wider because of the precarious way the rock formations were positioned, preventing any blasting to widen it without the risk of landslides.
In what would become an all out fight for the rights to that parcel of land, the Denver Rio Grande Western Railroad and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Companies would engage in sabotaging one another as they raced to get their tracks set down to this very spot.
Both rail companies had to fight through the Federal Court System wile putting “hired guns” in place to shoot anyone invading their territories. It was a two year war that finally came to an end with a treaty that would allow both rail companies to travel the route that they would both finally come together to complete.
The White Sox were one of the most famously documented visitors to the site with many pictures taken in 1910, but were overshadowed by the most famous of all visitors in 1905, the President of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt.
Although it may have been a long downward plunge in to the ice cold Arkansas River, the White Sox players bravely posed precariously close to the drop. When the train came to the stop, the entire team and family members disembarked over the river and slowly made their way to the front of the train so they could have their picture taken with the majesty of the coal and wood burning locomotive as their backdrop.
They would all then make their way back to board the train over the treacherous tracks, knowing well that at any time, one false move and they could take their last step ever, falling in to the river below.
The train would then proceed to move over the 175 foot span once everyone was safely back on board, only to stop once again so that the team could once again risk their lives to disembark at the back of the train to get the caboose as their background.
The view of the canyon was awe inspiring with its long drop in to the ravine and the wall of rock rising 2,600 feet above the tracks. Again, many tourists took advantage of this historic site for photographs, but when it came to baseball teams, the White Sox were the first and the only to document their visit.
⚾️ Photo #1 Royal Gorge Hanging Bridge over the Arkansas River in Colorado was completed in 1897, and was called a feat of structural engineering.
⚾️ Photo #2 White Sox team and family members pose at the rear of the train
⚾️ Photo #3 Posing in front of the train while enroute to spring training in 1910. Photos credit of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
Greg Burnet shared


The White Sox are one of three significant users mentioned in RoyalGorge.

Rick Burnett posted
956 feet down to the tracks on the Arkansas River at the Royal Gorge.
Steve Drassler DRGW back in the day. Two railroads competed for rights through the canyon. There are accounts of shots being fired to stop construction. Back in the day.
Al Snyder I read about similar issues when the WM and B&O were fighting over the best route along the Potomac River. WM had to actually post guards because they would lay track during the day, and B&O would tear it up overnight!

Thomas Wentzel posted posted
A Rio Grande 4-8-4 (M-68) has the first section of the heavyweight, westbound "Royal Gorge" (Denver - Pueblo - Ogden), stopped at the famous Hanging Bridge along the Arkansas River on June 1, 1947. Otto Roach photo.

Trains Magazine posted
The appeal of the D&RGW's famous Hanging Bridge at the bottom of the Royal Gorge is timeless, as Mileposts blogger Kevin Keefe discovered on a recent visit:
[A comment points out the three rails. Back then it could handle the original narrow gauge and standard gauge.]

Nicholas Valdez commented on Trains' post, cropped
[It appears they cut off part of the "wall" and added fill to the river.]

Monday, April 27, 2020

Western Avenue Bridge over the 60' Cal Sag Channel

(Satellite, it used to connect Old Western Avenue)

Between 1911-22 a 60' Cal Sag Channel was dug to reverse the flow of the Calumet River. What we see today was the result of widening that channel in the 1960s.

MWRD posted
The original Western Avenue bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel on June 20, 1921, viewed looking north towards what is now Old Western Avenue in Blue Island.

MWRD posted
Workers in action on the original Western Avenue Bridge over the Cal-Sag Channel on June 16, 1921, viewed looking north towards what is now Old Western Avenue in Blue Island, Illinois.

Dennis DeBruler commented on the MWRD post
This 1938 aerial shows that this bridge was west of the Rock Island bridge. In fact, an abutment for the Rock Island overpass is in the lower-right corner of the photo.
When they widened the channel to 120', they moved Western Avenue further east.

NS/N&W 1950 Elkhorn Tunnel

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite: West Portal, East Portal)

Norfolk Southern Corp posted
It’s Throwback Thursday! This January 1948 Norfolk and Western Magazine cover documents the building of a new 7,110 foot double-track tunnel through Flat Top Mountain, west of Bluefield, W.Va.
The huge mobile scaffold used to help with blasting and drilling was nicknamed “Jumbo.” The structure could hold 35 workers and was equipped with 15 power drills. Crews excavated about ten feet of the mountain daily, eventually moving 1,400,000 tons of earth and rock. N&W lined the tunnel with steel and concrete for safety.
The new Elkhorn Tunnel was placed in service on June 26, 1950, and replaced a single-track tunnel constructed in 1887.
Norfolk Southern has served the freight transportation needs of America for nearly two centuries. The railroad’s 19,500 route miles and 158 tunnels connect businesses and communities to the marketplaces of the world.
[The comments agree that this is the west entrance.]

RailPictures photo of N&W heritage locomotive helping to shove an eastbound coal drag into the tunnel. It appears N&W used the same color positional signal heads that I associate with the B&O.

First train through Elkhorn Tunnel in West Virginia. 1950.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

A Time-Lapse Tour of Calumet River and Lake

Start: (3D Satellite)
Finish: (3D Satellite)

A time-lapse view from the tugboat Candace Elise as it travels from the mouth of the Calumet River to the EMESCO Dock on Lake Calumet.

A time-lapse video from BigLift's Happy Ranger as it travels from Carmeuse Lime to Lake Michigan. Judging by the green-roofed building, it started its journey from here.

The crane we see in the video...
...appears to be a owned by EMESCO Dock.
3D Satellite

Friday, April 24, 2020

CN Strauss Direct Lift Bridge over Fraser River in Prince George, BC

(Historic Bridges; Satellite)

Street View
I remember reading that the BNSF/NP Strauss direct lift bridge over Chambers Bay is the only one left. But when I took another look at what I read, there is an important qualifier: "in the United States." This is the other Strauss direct lift bridge in North America.
Street View
Street View
Chuck-Susan Chin posted five photos with the comment:
"PG Strong" - Our symbol of strength - 106 years and counting.
Robert Sinclair shared





Thursday, April 23, 2020

BNSF/CB&Q Apr 20, 2020, derailment between a rock and a hard place


You can see the path down the hill made by the boulder that slid down onto the tracks.
Roger Kerns Jr. commented on a post
The locomotive that fell over was the second unit.
Dan Mahoney posted
The lead unit did hit the bolder, and it was derailed. But it stayed upright. No one was injured.
Trevor Young commented on a post
Notice how the rail rolled. Not my photo.
Joe Smile commented on a post

Joe Smile commented on a post

The autoracks were empty. That should make cleanup easier. And those cars piling up brought the revenue cars to a more gentle stop.
JR Sampson commented on a post
Joe Smile commented on another post: "They were at train speed. They watched it come down."
Nick Bradbury Joe Smile Wow. Takes electronic/remote monitoring system out of the equation for avoiding this one then.
Joe Smile Nick Bradbury this is the 2nd time in under a year this has happened. Last 1 was 7 miles north. But hit head unit. They weren't as lucky. They at least made it to my house to wait for help. All I got to say is BNSF is amazing. If you have questions pm me on it. Won't put here.
[The other detection method, sending a HyRail track inspector out ahead of the train, would have also missed this boulder.]
Scott Thomason commented on a post
Scott Thomason It was at milepost 192.8ish.
Main 2 was open and running a train about 10:30 this morning and main 1 wasn't far behind.
[Since the derailment happened at about 10:50am, they got the tracks open in about 24 hours. (The timestamp for Scott's comment was just "1d".) I assume they had to run trains at 10mph through here. Nnetheless, they were running. And another work window for a surfacing gang should have them running at track speed.]

3D Satellite
That bluff is so steep, I wondered what it would look like on a topo map. Bethween the "Y" and the "611", there are three 50' contour lines merging into just one for a little stretch.
1956 Dubuque North @ 1:24,000

safe_image for UPDATE: Officials: Train derailment in Grant County caused by boulder; no injuries reported
The derailment occurred at about 10:50am. The unit on its side did leak diesel fuel.