Saturday, December 31, 2022

1877 Bowstring Bridge over, and 1823 Grist Mill on, Rough River near Falls of Rough, KY

Bridge: (Bridge Hunter; Historic Bridges; B&T; Satellite)
Green Brothers Grist Mill: (Satellite)

The name of this bridge is Green Mill Farm Bridge.

Another bowstring bridge, the Rock Lick Creek Bridge, is just a mile away from this one.

"This is an outstanding example of a mid-1870s King Bridge Company cast and wrought iron bowstring truss bridge." [HistoricBridges] The design is a combination of a tied-arch and a truss.

C Hanchey Flickr, Jul 2009, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 
Greens Farm Mill Bridge
Historic 1877 Greens Farm Mill bowstring arch-truss bridge over the Rough River

1 of 6 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
Kentucky still boasts several rare bowstring trusses, some of which were fabricated by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Let's explore two of them in the vicinity of Falls of Rough in our latest Journal post, Photographing Kentucky’s Rare Bowstring Trusses:

Anita Haycraft, May 2021

It is hard to imagine what kind of water wheel this mill used.
Dewayne Buress, Jul 2022

Brody Dyer, Sep 2021, at source resolution

I downloaded a higher resolution copy of Hanchey's Flickr photo to confirm that this old bridge was pin connected. But there are very few pin connections. I have learned of an even older connection technology. They thread the end of the members and use nuts.
C Hanchey Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 

This photo illustrates that connection technique.
Sep 2011 photo by J.P. via BridgeHunter

Friday, December 30, 2022

1880 Pedestrian/Road/L&N Rock Lick Creek Bowstring Bridge next to Rough River near Falls of Rough, KY

(Bridge HunterHistoric Bridges; B&T; Satellite)

This bridge is still used by hunters. HistoricBridges dates this King Bridge design as ca 1878-80.

James McCray via BridgeHunter

This King Bridge uses the same threaded connections that the Green Mill Farm Bridge, which is just a mile away, uses. I labeled these notes "bridgeTrussPin" to indicate that it is an old design.
"After the abandonment of the Falls of Rough Branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad in 1941, the county converted the railroad right-of-way into a county road which offered superior driving conditions between the two communities. The Rock Lick Bridge was regulated for private use."

Thursday, December 29, 2022

DGVR/C&O Bridge over Trout Run near Greenbrier River north of Cass, WV

(no Bridge Hunter; Road Map, I used a road map instead of a satellite location because the tracks are hidden by trees in a satellite image.)

The DGVR runs multiple tourist routes and the restoration of this route will connect their Cass Scenic Railroad with their Durbin Rocket.

Cass Scenic Railroad posted six photos with the comment:
We are happy to report that bridge construction has resumed on the Greenbrier River Line at Trout Run! In early October, two massive 65-foot long bridge beams were delivered to Cass and later moved to the construction site by rail. crews, along with the WV Division of Highways and WV Rail Authority successfully installed the beams on the bridge abutments which were completed in early 2021. Over the next several weeks crews will continue to complete the bridge ahead of winter. 
We are very excited for rail excursions from Cass to Durbin to return for the first time since the devastating 1985 floods. Stay tuned for more information on the exciting plans we have for our 2023 season!
J.B. Rail Photog shared




[Some comments indicate that the original bridge and its abutments will left in place.
I wonder how they built the temporary work bridge. The boom on their crane doesn't seem long enough.]

Dave Ginny Cunningham
: Is this the same bridge my company (Mid Atlantic) drilled the foundations for ? And brought our big drill in with the work train to the job.
Walter Scriptunas II: Dave, it is!

Evan Armstrong commented on the fifth photo
Picture of the abutments from when I walked the line in 2015.

Michael Stinebaugh commented on the post

Cass is near the bottom and Durbin is near the top. Note that the route from the Lumber RR to Bald Knob has yet to be built.
1924 Cass and Durbin Quads @ 62,500


I noticed that we were in a wilderness because Nida is just a name on Google Maps. There is no town. (In fact, I changed the title from "near Nida" to "north of Cass." Then I noticed that we are just across a mountain ridge from the Green Bank Telescope. And there is no road along the Greenbrier River! The road is along the mountain ridge to the West.

The plans to run excursion trains over this route are coming to fruition.
Cass Scenic Railroad posted
The anticipation is building for the start of Greenbrier Express train rides between Cass and Durbin and we want to provide an update. 
Details are currently being finalized for a special inaugural public excursion in May. This historic ride will be one not to be missed! We look forward to announcing these plans soon along with our complete 2023 schedule.
We appreciate everyones patience and excitement as we prepare to debut West Virginia’s newest rail excursion!
Randall Hampton shared
Former C&O branch

The trains are running:
Trains Magazine posted
Big stuff happening in West Virginia today. We were on location at Durbin as the inaugural run of the Greenbrier Express from Cass arrived. The last time one could ride from Cass to Durbin by rail was in 1985. Big, big kudos to the guys at the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad and the Cass Scenic Railroad for rebuilding this line! Go take a ride the next time you are in the area. It follows the Greenbrier River the entire way. -Kevin
Randall Hampton shared
Former C&O branch

Cass Scenic Railroad posted
Last weekend we were joined on board the Greenbrier Express by author and historian William P. McNeel. In April 1985 Mr. McNeel published The Durbin Route, a definitive history of the former Chesapeake & Ohio Greenbrier Division. At the time, the future of the Cass to Durbin line seemed bright with rail tourism beginning to flourish. However, just a few months later on November 5, 1985 the route would be destroyed by a historic flood. After a hiatus of 38 years and a complete rebuild, the Greenbrier Line is once again open for service!
The Durbin Route is sold at the Rail & Trail Store.
Ted Gregory shared

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

I-64+I-77 1954+1983 Chuck Yeager Bridge over Kanawha River in Charleston, WV

Both: (Historic Bridges; B&T3D Satellite)
1983 NB: (Bridge Hunter), WB for I-64 and the West Virginia Turnpike
1954 SB: (Bridge Hunter) EB for I-64 and the West Virginia Turnpike, rehabilitated in 1986

I-64 crosses the Kanawha River four times in the Charleston area of West Virginia. Going upstream:

I chose the SB+EB side to get a better view of the older bridge.
Street View, Aug 2022

Boston Public Library Flickr, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
File name: 06_10_022416
Title: The Yeager Bridge on the West Virginia Turnpike
Created/Published: Pub. by The A. W. Smith News Agency, Charleston, W. Va. Tichnor Quality Views, Reg. U. S. Pat. Off. Made Only by Tichnor Bros., Inc., Boston, Mass.
Date issued: 1930 - 1945 (approximate)
Physical description: 1 print (postcard) : linen texture, color ; 3 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.
Genre: Postcards
Subject: Bridges
Notes: Title from item.
Collection: The Tichnor Brothers Collection
Location: Boston Public Library, Print Department
Rights: No known restrictions
[The BridgeHunter-SB link is broken, but I was able to find a valid link.]

1 of 4 photos posted by Bridges & Tunnels
The Charles “Chuck” Yeager Bridges, two unique steel through arches, carry the West Virginia Turnpike and Interstates 64 and 77 over the Kanawha River in Charleston, West Virginia. The first bridge was completed by the American Bridge Company in 1954 and named after Yeager, a brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force and the first aviator to fly faster than sound.
Studies were undertaken to upgrade the Turnpike in the early 1970s, and work to upgrade the highway to four lanes had commenced because of escalating traffic counts and congestion, and because of a high number of accidents. The update was also needed because of the proposal to route Interstate 77 over the Turnpike. In May 1971, the West Virginia Division of Highways (DOH) approved plans for the construction of a parallel Yeager Bridge, which was completed in 1983.
Long a drab green color that was fading and wearing thin, work began in the summer of 2021 to repaint the Yeager Bridges in a distinctive blue and gold paint scheme, the state’s official colors.
➤ Check out more photos and a history of the Charles “Chuck” Yeager Bridges at

"On February 9, 1961, an employee of the Amherst Barge Company noticed a broken bridge beam on the north end of the Yeager Bridge. Turnpike traffic was regulated to alternating one-way traffic as a precautionary measure. On February 21, the American Bridge Company cut away a four-foot section of the defective 60-foot beam so that it could be sent to the U.S. Steel laboratories for extensive examinations with X-Rays and other methods to determine whether the metal was defective just at the break or whether the whole beam needed replacing. A 500-ton hydraulic jack was installed to hold up the cut beams. A steel splice to correct the break, which was caused by a defective steel casting, was installed in late March." [B&T]

Photo by Royce and Bobette Haley in Jun 2016 via BridgeHunter-SB, 

A contract has been let for $16.267,273.80 to paint the bridge by Jun 2023. According to B&T, blue and gold are the state's official colors.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Tootsie Roll repurposed an aircraft engine plant in Chicago, IL


An alternative title could be (Tootsie Roll+Ford City Mall)/Ford/Tucker/Dodge Plant in Chicago, IL.

15:27 video @ 0:41
The Write R-3350 radial 18-cylinder, 2,200hp engine powered the B-29 Superfortress Bomber.
From 1942-44, Dodge built a plant that was designed to build 1,600 engines a month. 

@ 1:13
The engine consisted of two 9-cylinder banks.
30,000 people worked here during its peak production. [14:39]

MattStoneCars via FRRaP
[This building was the office building that fronted Cicero Avenue. Most of that land is now a parking lot.]
Buildings were built on a 500 acre "green field" that enclosed 6 million square feet or almost 140 acres. "It was the world's largest building at the time." At the end of WWII, production stopped and the machine equipment was sold off as military surplus. Preston Tucker then leased the facilities to design and produce his 1948 "Torpedo."  But after just 52 cars were built, the plant was closed in 1949.
[I've seen the claim of the "world's largest" in several sources. But I don't know if they mean the big building or all of the buildings. 
This article claims that the B29 was built here. That is wrong. It was the engine that was built here. The B-29s were evidently built in Boing's Kansas City plant. 4000 airplanes were built. Five engines were built for every airplane so that there would be spares. 5*4000*18=360,000 cylinders.]

After Tucker, Ford used the plant to make a different airplane engine.
David M Laz posted
A view of the biggest industrial plant in the world, the Dodge Chicago Plant at 75th and Pulaski Road on Sept. 9, 1945. By 1950, the Ford Motor company would be making 28 cylinder Pratt and Whitney Wasp Major engines for use in Air Force planes. — Chicago Tribune historical photo

1953 Englewood Quad @ 24,000

In June 1942, the first building erected was the tool shop (the red rectangle in the northwest corner of the campus). "Over a million-and-half tools, jigs and fixtures were needed."  And then the office buildings (orange) were built so the initial staff in Detroit could move to the location. On the opposite side of the campus, a die shop and forge division was built (yellow). An aluminum foundry was built to make the cylinder heads (dark blue) and a magnesium foundry was built to make the required magnesium castings (light blue). The big building (green) was for machining, assembly and testing. The parking lot (purple) could hold 13,000 cars. [@ 1:42]
1953 Englewood Quad @ 24,000 plus Paint

This is just the forging part of the complex and this part did not become Ford City.
James Stein posted
Ford City 1960, photo scanned from my dad's collection.
Jim Smith: My grandfather worked for Ford aircraft engine until they closed the plant in '59.

Some of the forge buildings are still standing, but the smokestack has been truncated.
3D Satellite

Three photos posted by Gail Bob McCabe.



So Ford vacated the buildings in 1959. [Jim Smith's comment on James Stein's post above.] Now I became confused because some  Facebook comments say the building became Ford City Mall and other comments say it became Tootsie Roll. By looking at some topo maps, I concluded that both comments are right. The southern part of the big building was torn down to make way for the mall. Tootsie Roll moved into the northern part of the building in 1967 [The date is from a Thomas F Tedesco's comment on a post]. 
1972 Englewood Quad @ 24,000

I came across the following two posts about Tootsie Roll in two days, and that is what motivated me to dig into the history of this building.
Thomas Cook posted
Driving past Tootsie Roll today and I always wonder why the building was built like that and what those structures are/were for?
[I presume the concrete structures above the roof were part of the test stands.
More than 13,000 parts went into an engine. Then an engine ran on one of the 44 test stands driving a generator for four house at various speeds. (Testing generated about $25,000 of electricity each month.) Then an engine was taken apart so that all of the parts could be inspected! Then the engine was reassembled and had a final test. [11:52]]

Thomas Cook was driving down 72nd Street.
Street View

Historic Chicago posted
Inside the Tootsie Roll Factory in Chicago. (1960s)
[Many comments referenced a I Love Lucy show and some comments mentioned the beehive hairdo.]
Heather Iffland: My friend and former coworker from another job is the current SQF Practitioner at Tootsie Roll. It used to be an airplane factory during WW2. It’s over a million square feet. He says they have a golf cart to get around. An SQF audit at my work takes a day and a half for 2 buildings and about 150,000 sq feet of building. Their audit takes 5 days.
[I Googled SQF Practitioner. There were a lot of results about SQF training and certification. I finally found "Safe Quality Food (SQF)." The code is up to Edition 9.]
Colleen Blackburn shared

When I looked at the former magnesium foundry building, I thought it had been replaced because it looks rather modern. But when I watched the video I realized that the architect did build some rather modern looking buildings. So now I believe that this is one of the original buildings. This "little" building looks rather large.
Street View

Monday, December 26, 2022

Corrugated box factories are still rail served

Corrugated box factories receive big rolls of paper. 

Chris Engstrom posted
Spur that ends inside a cardboard box factory. Nothing special really, but might be interesting to the folks who haven't seen them from the inside.

The comments on the above post taught me of four paper factories that are still rail served.

The Royal Group has an enclosed unloading dock and is served by the BRC. 
3D Satllite

The Case Paper Co. does not have an enclosed unloading dock, and it is served by NS/NYC/Chicago Junction. (Case makes a lot of different paper products. I don't know for sure that this one makes corrugated boxes. In fact, I think I read a comment years ago that this plant cuts and packages paper.)
3D Satellite

The International Paper Co. has an enclosed dock. It is next to a remnant of an Illinois Central route. That remnant is now an industrial spur to UP/GM&O. Again, I don't know if this location does corrugated boxes. But it is an example of unloading paper with an enclosed dock.
3D Satellite

Liberty Carton Co. has an enclosed dock. It is served by Canadian Pacific/Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern. I noticed that they share the building with Liberty Plastics. I wonder if this plant receives plastic pellets as well as paper from the railroad.

Chris provides three more photos of the paper roll unloading operation as comments on his post.
[When I saw Chris' first photo above, I was surprised that the boxcar was not a hi-cube boxcar since they were developed for the paper industry. But this photo shows why they are using plain boxcars. The extra height still would not allow them to stack the rolls double-high.]



I further researched the corrugated box industry.

The boxes are made with corrugated paper.
Staunton I. Cottrell comment on Chris Engstrom's post
The rolls of paper are run through a massive machine that corrugates them first. Three, sometimes five of those 3,000 pound rolls running on that corrugator at the same time to make corrugated paper.
[Another comment indicates that some plants recieve 6,000 pound rolls.]

Part of a Georgia-Pacific corrugator.
13:33 video @ 0:24

Here is part of the corrugator in the Royal Group in Cicero, IL.
Chris commented on his post, cropped

Digging deeper into the rail service. Here is what Chicago used to look like in the vicinity of Case Paper.
1953 Englewood Quad @ 24,000

And this is what is left today. I would not be surprised if some of those industrial spurs are no longer used.

When the Liberty Carton plant was built, an industrial spur was built from the Minneapolis, Northfield & Southern to serve that plant. Canadian Pacific now has that route.
1967 Minneapolis South Quad @ 24,000