Saturday, September 23, 2023

Pamban Bridges between Mainland India and Rameswaram Island

1914 Railroad: (Satellite, middle bridge, 15,183 photos)
1988 Road: (Satellite, south bridge) Officially: Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge
2023 (planned) Railroad: (Satellite, north bridge)

"It is the first sea bridge to be constructed in India. With a length of 2.3 km (road bridge) and 2.6 km (rail bridge),...this bridge was completed in 1912, its construction was started in the year of 1887....This road bridge is also known as Annai Indira Gandhi Road Bridge. Pamban Bridge is the second largest bridge in India, after the Bandra-Worli sea link, which has been constructed recently. The Pamban rail bridge is also considered to be the longest rail bridge. This railway bridge has been upgraded to carry broad gauge trains by Indian Railways in 2007." [RameshwaramTourism]
The original railroad bridge was damaged by a Tsunami in 1964. In the background is the construction of the 2023 lift bridge.
I don't know where and when this truss bridge was built. Did they grab a photo from somewhere else? But the steel girder railroad bridge having a safety island on every fourth pier is consistent with the Pamban bridge.


Highway Engineering Discoveries posted
Pamban Bridge, Tamil Nadu
"Talking to ANI, the General Manager of Southern Railway said, 'The old Pamban bridge was commissioned on February 24, 1914. So, almost 108 years passed, and now the time has come to move forward with new technologies. The estimated cost of the new bridge is ₹250 crore and the target is to complete it this year only.' [The cost was over 400 crore and it did not complete in 2020. In fact, we will see if it meets the current (Sep 2023) expectation of Dec 2023. Whoops, just saw a figure of 535 crore. [NewIndianExpress]]
"Giving information about this bridge, the Divisional Engineer and Incharge of Pamban Bridge, Hridayesh Kumar said, 'The existing bridge structure has a total length of 2,058 metres comprising 146 spans of steel girders. There are 145 spans of 12.20 m and one navigational span of 61.0 m. The navigational span is also known as Scherzer rolling lift span after the name of railroad engineer William Scherzer who invented it.'
"'The vertical clearance of only 1.5 m is available between the high tide level and the bottom of the girder resulting in the splashing of seawater on the girders. In comparison, the new bridge will have 100 spans of 18.3 m and one navigational span of 63 m. It will be 3.0 m higher than the existing bridge with navigational air clearance of 22.0m above sea level,' he further added.
This source says: "The railway bridge is located 12.5 m (41 ft) above sea level." The 1.5m (5') clearance stated in the above livemint reference appears to be more accurate.
Sagar Shah via Google
The main span of the road bridge appears to be a box concrete girder with cantilevered ends. The regular spans appear to be steel girders.
I think that is a temporary construction trestle in the background.

[This web page has a lot of photos and details about how the Scherzer span works. I think the counterweight is heavier than span because the radius from the pivot contact is shorter. This is the first time that I have seen the extra framework added to help hold the live load. Now I wonder how regular Scherzer spans hold the extra weight of a train.]

iastoppers_article, p1 via iastoppers_web
"It will ensure that the trains, which currently operate at a maximum speed of just 10 kmph will be able to cross 2km distance at over 80 kmph.
"It is expected to give a boost to the tourism industry in this region, especially for pilgrimage purposes as a large number of devotees, every year, visit Rameshwaram Temple and Jyotirling."

I noticed that iastoppers cropped out the steam locomotive in the rendering of the new bridge.

Aug 5, 2023:
Construction began in 2019. The bridge originally was to be completed in Mar 2023. This article says it is being delayed from Aug to Sep. And the cost has more than doubled the original estimate to 545 crore.

The repeated completion delays are very significant because the old bridge was shutdown in Dec 2022 because of excessive vibrations. [NewIndianExpress_apr_3_2023] This NewIndianExpress April article says the rail tracks are being dismantled while this March IndianRailways article says they are going to study repairing the old bridge to put it back in service. Did that study conclude in a matter of days that it was hopeless?

In Sep, they announced they may miss a Nov deadline. "The railway bridge connects the mainland to Rameswaram, the South Indian town which is also one of the four Char Dham pilgrimage sites along with Badrinath in the north, Dwarka in the west, and Puri in the east." [TheHindu]

I can't find a date for this article that states the bridge "is expected to be operational in December 2023."

In Nov 2020, it was expected to be complete in Dec 2021! [cec-iitr] That would have been a year before they closed the old bridge and two years before it was actually completed.

They still had a long ways to go in Jan 2022.
 Nithish Shajan, Jan 2022, cropped

I hope that they dismantle just the rail tracks and turn it into a pedestrian bridge. Otherwise, the following effort seems to be in vain.
The Indian Railway is keen on getting the Pamban Railway Bridge its well deserved UNSECO “World heritage sites list” which is the United Nations body for culture. .The other two railway sites which were conferred the world heritage site status are the Nilgiris Mountain Railway (NMR) and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR).
The island depends on tourism and fishing, both of which are impacted by each additional month that the bridge's completion is delayed. Even if one is not a pilgrim, the temples look like they are worth visiting.
Yash Prayag, Jun 2023

shishupal, Dec 2020

Friday, September 22, 2023

Sicily Ferries

Sicily Terminal: (Satellite)
Italy Terminal: (Satellite)

I see there are several ferries between Italy and Sicily. I'm focusing on the railroad ferry.
This is the last train ferry in Europe. A crossing takes about an hour. [medium]
(The train ferry between Hamburg and Copenhagen quit running Dec 2019 when the train was moved to a new, longer route that uses a fixed crossing. A tunnel is being built to restore the shorter route. [rail-away])

The Man in Seat 61 - posted
Yes, the train to Sicily goes onto the ferry!

John Maguire commented on the above post
Highlight of the trip for me (northbound).

Marc Evans commented on the above post

Given the counterweight structure in the background of the screenshot, I believe it is docked where the ferry with the heleport is docked in this image of the Sicily terminal.

Sicily terminal:
Flavia Ilacqua, May 2019

Another travelogue

RFI via railtech
Railtech claims the crossing is just 30 minutes.
It is hybrid-powered and will have zero emissions in the port.
"The new ship is 147 metres long and 19 metres wide and has a maximum capacity of 27 rail wagons on 4 tracks. It can accommodate 700 people, including the crew. Iginia will join RFI’s fleet of ships between Messina and Villa San Giovanni, together with its sister ship Messina, Villa and Scilla, and the five ships of the Bluferries subsidiary."

I just skimmed this video.
23:16 video @ 8:00

Thursday, September 21, 2023

1946 & 2005 Svinesund Bridges between Norway and Sweden

1946: (Satellite)
2005: (Satellite)

travalour, Tommy Gildseth, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
VisitOslo, cropped
"This elegant span, with its handsome profile stretching 67 meters [220'] above the Ringdalsfjord, is Northern Europe's highest bridge. The Svinesund Bridge was opened with great ceremony on 15 June 1946, by the Norwegian king and the Swedish crown prince. The traffic has increased over the years, and at the end of last century it was decided to build a new highway and bridge between Norway and Sweden. June 10th 2005 the new bridge opened between those two countries."

travalour, Hakan Aurlien, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
"The Svinesund Bridge is a through arch bridge crossing Iddefjord at Svinesund and joining Sweden and Norway. It was completed in 2006. The bridge is 704 m long and has a clearance high of 55 m [180'] above the water."

"Arching 302 ft. (92 m) above the Iddefjord between Halden, Norway and Strömstad, Sweden, the Svinesund bridge opened to traffic on June 13, 2005....The arch is hollow, and employs heating coils to prevent the buildup of snow and ice. It also contains interior maintenance pathways to simplify access for the bridge’s upkeep."

NickeysCircle (source)
This photo shows that the approach on the Sweden side is non-trivial.
"The bridge features two separate lanes for automobiles, as well as a dedicated lane for bicycles and pedestrians."

This view shows its use of granite for the facing of the 1946 bridge.

Note that the bridge drawfs the houses down by the river's shore.
"The bridge is 420 meters long and the main span is 155 meters. The bridge was protected by Directorate for Cultural Heritage who believed that the bridge is a symbol for the connection between Norway and Sweden" To use the ferry before this bridge was built meant that you had to go down into the valley and then climb back out of it.

"The construction of the arch used a climbing formwork and the cable-stayed cantilever construction method known as the ‘Freivorbau’ technique. Using this method the arch is temporarily supported during the construction by cables that are anchored to auxiliary towers. The two towers are securely back-anchored in the rock using high tensile steel cables and are then dismantled following the completion of the arch."

The deck has two steel box-girders tied together with cross girders.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Cracked and Replacement Spitallamm (Grimsel Pass) Dams in Switzerland

(Satellite, the image is too old to show the replacement dam)

Adriano Gabaglio, Jul 2023

While watching another video, Facebook flipped this video in front of my eyeballs. I watched it because it was interesting. And this scene caught my eye because it appears that is a woman that is holding a consolidator. (Vibrator is a common term for that equipment, but I was afraid of typing a phrase that would trip some AI big brother in Facebook.) In America, if I see a woman on a construction site, she is typically holding a traffic control sign. In fact, I heard one complaining on her cell phone about how long would she have to do the entry level job before she could do something else. (Of course, if she was doing something else, she may have to give up do personal calls while working.)
4:43 video @ 2:22

The narrator of the above video never disclosed the name of the dam nor of the location. Fortunately, the Google search of "switzerland 140 million dollar dam project" provided some useful results.

"The Race to Replace a Cracked Dam
"Spitallamm is one of the world’s first large arch-gravity dams. It was built up in the mountains between 1925 and 1932 and is actually older than the Hoover Dam, which completed three years later. At 114 metres [374'], Spitallamm was also one of the tallest dams in the world when it finished."
[The web page has a 24:40 video, but I didn't watch it because it started with a talking headk and because the 4:43 video is very informative.]

Note that the old dam is still peaking over the top of the new dam.

The powerhouse is under the reservoir and a tunnel is used to access it.
[I was unable to find megawatt capacity of this powerhouse.]

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

1992 Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway

Osceola and St. Croix Valley Railway is a tourist railroad that is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minnesota Transportation Museum (MTM) and the Osceola Historical Society. It runs excursion trains from Osceola, WI, to Marine on St Croix, MN, and to Dresser, WI. It also has operating rights to Withrow, MN, which it uses for special trains throughout the season. [4:28 video]

The MTM offers a variety of train rides.

Redeker Rail Video & Photography 0:39 video
SOO Line GP7 crosses the St.Croix River on the Osceola & St.Croix Valley Railway. 9/11/2023
Terry Redeker shared

At least one exhibition train includes a demonstration of a RPO snagging a mailbag.
4:28 video @ 2:44

This railway runs on what was the original SOO/Wisconsin Central mainline until the 1980s.  Now CN runs just one ballast train a day that hauls rock from a quarry in Dresser. This ballast train was captured before Canadian Pacific sold the SOO line to Canadian National.
4:28 video @ 2:44

The railroad has preserved freight cars as well as passenger cars. And some train rides cross the St. Croix River on this 1887 swing bridge, which no longer swings.
4:28 video @ 3:54

Winthrow is in the lower-left corner and Dresser is in the upper-right cornfer. Saint Croix is now Marine on St. Croix.
1955 Stillwater Quad @ 250,000

1887 O&StCV/CN/CP/SOO/WC Bridge over St. Croix River not near Osceola, WI

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Satellite)

Redeker Rail Video & Photography 0:39 video
SOO Line GP7 crosses the St.Croix River on the Osceola & St.Croix Valley Railway. 9/11/2023
Terry Redeker shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on Terry's share

trains, Steve Glischinski 2008 photo
CN still owns the tracks. The truss span of this 1887 bridge used to pivot. The bridge is 675' (206m) long.

1:06 video @ 0:58

Monday, September 18, 2023

2002 Busan Gwangan Bridge around Busan, Korea

(Satellite, 3,910 photos)

Street View, Dec 2017

GlabbCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons via structurae
Construction started in 1994 and it was completed in Dec 20002.

Rather than tear down a bunch a buildings and divide a city, they just went around it.

LuNaR Lee, May 2010

The bridge is a double decker with four lanes on each deck.
Street View, Dec 2017

"The Busan Gwangan Bridge is 4.6 mi (7.4 km) long, and the Length over water is 2.7 mi (4.4 km ). It is a double-layer bridge. The upper part leads to Namcheon-dong and the lower part leads to Centum City. There are 4 lanes on each floor, a total of 8 lanes. It consists of 3 parts, among which the suspension bridge is 2953 ft (900 m) long, the truss bridge is 2362 ft (720 m) long, the connecting bridge is 3.6 mi (5.8 km), the width is 18m-25m, and the height from sea level to the roof is 115 ft. (35 m)....The bridge is equipped with thousands of LED lights, making its night view very beautiful. An annual Guang’an Bridge walking competition is held." It cost 789 billion won (US $710 million).

Korea likes pedestrian suspension bridges, but this would be the annual walking competition.
Highway Engineering Discoveries posted

In 2019, a 370'-long Russian cargo ship allided with the bridge. The captain was drunk and tried to flee the scene, but the Korean Coast Guard blocked the ship and shepherded it back to port. "The Seagrand had also struck a cruise ship in the port about 40 minutes before the bridge incident, according to authorities." "A KCG official said that it is not illegal for a captain to consume alcohol onboard the vessel as long as they are not at the helm." [newsweek] But I gather from a report of a grounding near Baltimore, MD, that the captain should be present when a ship is leaving a port. That would be especially true if your crew has already banged into something on the way out.

2:45 video @ 0:37
[Note from the propwash that the ship was still pushing forward. Soon after, the propwash changes because it was finally put in reverse.
The cars didn't even stop. If I saw a big ship coming at a bridge I'm on, I think I would stop well before the collision point to see if the bridge wins the battle.]