Rail roads and their tracks.

fishheadbob

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Railroads worldwide have seen a dramatic decline in usage and number of people employed over the last 70 years. Credit that to the airplane and the interstates, and that's too bad. My father-in-law was a brakeman on a short line RR, my aunt worked for the New York Central. It became just too quick and easy for people to jump to cars and planes, while a lot of freight went to 18 wheelers.
Maybe the semis weren't such a great idea. I would love to get most of the big rigs off of the interstates and their freight back onto the rails. Give superhighways back to cars. 80,000 pounds of semi does a bad number on bridges and road surfaces, and who hasn't been white knuckled when a big rig blows past you making way too much time. This idea won't make me overly popular with many "knights of the highway". Too bad. There should be no overall loss of jobs. We still would need short haul trucks and drivers for terminal to customer delivery, lost trucking jobs would become new railroad jobs. The construction workers currently rebuilding roads and bridges all season long would switch to rebuilding tracks and bridges, and wouldn't be closing lanes during construction season, eliminating lengthy backups which we all know and despise.
Ain't going to see this in my lifetime.
 

caver

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The view of what's left of the old Bannock Pass tunnel and inside the tunnel standing at about the regular grade. The other end of this tunnel has been blasted shut as it was too unstable.
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This is Pipestone Pass RR tunnel near Butte MT. You would drive right over it on highway 10 and probably not know it is there.
Notice how the wall is about to fail on the right side.

IMG_2774.JPG
IMG_2779.JPG
 

aczlan

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Railroads worldwide have seen a dramatic decline in usage and number of people employed over the last 70 years. Credit that to the airplane and the interstates, and that's too bad. My father-in-law was a brakeman on a short line RR, my aunt worked for the New York Central. It became just too quick and easy for people to jump to cars and planes, while a lot of freight went to 18 wheelers.
Maybe the semis weren't such a great idea. I would love to get most of the big rigs off of the interstates and their freight back onto the rails. Give superhighways back to cars. 80,000 pounds of semi does a bad number on bridges and road surfaces, and who hasn't been white knuckled when a big rig blows past you making way too much time. This idea won't make me overly popular with many "knights of the highway". Too bad. There should be no overall loss of jobs. We still would need short haul trucks and drivers for terminal to customer delivery, lost trucking jobs would become new railroad jobs. The construction workers currently rebuilding roads and bridges all season long would switch to rebuilding tracks and bridges, and wouldn't be closing lanes during construction season, eliminating lengthy backups which we all know and despise.
Ain't going to see this in my lifetime.
The problem is the connection from rail to truck, especially for small lots of items.
You can go down to the tracks and watch train load after train load of UPS trailers go by, but if you track something that is in one of those trailers it goes to the offloading railyard, then it takes it one to three days to get offloaded from the train and picked up by a truck.
The other problem is when the trains get put together in hump yards the cars get bashed around pretty good and if you don't have everything perfectly packed, there's a good chance it's going to blow apart.
Now there are ways around that, Union Pacific has their Cold Connect that runs from Washington State to New York as a single train, then stuff goes on to trucks from there.
It is more efficient than driving trucks across the country would be, but it is 5 to 7 days to get it across the country.

Aaron Z
 

oosik

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One of the abandoned RR tracks has been converted into a walking/biking trail. The John Wayne trail. West to East - WA state. Some 240 miles.

Every now and then - get caught waiting at the RR tracks as the train passes. Best in the evening. You can hear/see any bearings that have run out of grease. Loud sound - bright orange glow. The wheel is dragging - causes the wheel and bearing to glow bright orange.

Down side - will eventually cause a wildfire as the train moves thru endless grasslands.
 

MossRoad

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E.Towas, MI as requested...

Pre 1998
roundhouse Towas City, MI pre1998.JPG

It was still there as of 2006, but gone in next available photo in 2011. Empty field and now a small building on it's spot just off the back-left corner of the Walmart parking lot.
 
  
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ArlyA

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No one here went to see the BIG boy this past summer?? It was in WI and even came up to Duluth MN so now I wished we'd have went there. :mad: Duluth is not far from us!

 

MossRoad

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No roundhouse in Duluth, although there is one to the west in Proctor, and a roundhouse foundation across the river in Superior, WI.

roundhouses duluth.JPG
 

two_bit_score

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Mine is dead or abandoned RR. It started many years ago with a tip of an abandoned RR grade over near Current River I explored in my truck with an old GF. Locals called it the tram road as in logging trams in the late 1800's but I later figured out this was a full size RR. I also like looking at maps and topo maps. The abandoned tunnels are like icing on the cake for me. Years ago I found one just following an old grade on my computer at home drinking a beer. That summer my dad went with me on my camping trip and found the old partially collapsed tunnel near Bannock pass ID/MT. This fed the old mining town of Gilmore ID. Many old grades and tunnels later I decided to see about getting a rail rider. A young guy who had his own fabrication business was interested in building one. It took way longer to build than he anticipated but he cranked out a fine product. He built two so there are currently only two of these in existence and I have one. His prototype is the other and he sold it. Me riding my railrider in Southeast MO


That is one heck of a hobby!
 
  
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ArlyA

ArlyA

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The problem is the connection from rail to truck, especially for small lots of items.
You can go down to the tracks and watch train load after train load of UPS trailers go by, but if you track something that is in one of those trailers it goes to the offloading railyard, then it takes it one to three days to get offloaded from the train and picked up by a truck.
The other problem is when the trains get put together in hump yards the cars get bashed around pretty good and if you don't have everything perfectly packed, there's a good chance it's going to blow apart.
Now there are ways around that, Union Pacific has their Cold Connect that runs from Washington State to New York as a single train, then stuff goes on to trucks from there.
It is more efficient than driving trucks across the country would be, but it is 5 to 7 days to get it across the country.

Having lived in a small town with a double main line of BN's with full trains passing through every 20 minutes or so, you might have a hard time convince me that trains have gone away. As Arron suggests, today most are "unit trails" that only stop to replace crews and refuel. By "full train" I would mean 120+- cars pulled by 5 power units rumbling through. I worked on those cars that passed through town. Here is a picture of one. They were constructed from Corten steel.
 

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Hay Dude

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I have lived in a railroad town all my life. We still have lots of active rails and some abandoned. We recently lost a rail line in 1972 to Hurricane Agnes (still the worst natural disaster in Pennsylvania history). Its a shame because there were many small trestle bridges and steep grades. Very picturesque. It was amazing when I was a boy watching such a mighty, heavy train run along a steep narrow ridge. Wonderful memories.

Now.....take yourself back to 1968 (if you’re old enough to remember) and look at this picture taken on railroad tracks literally on a farm where I farm hay in my little town. Anyone know who these 3 men are?
 

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