Jun 8, 2016
Thank you for the kind words. It sure is nice to see and hear the trains running again.
BTW, what's the rolling stock behind the 2 UP units ? Never seen that before. Looks like scrap loaded gondolas, but articulated such as 5-unit well cars....
Those are full of rip rap, or large rocks for a better term. They were using them to stabilize the river bank in front of the trestle bents.
Thank you. But I wasn't aware of this kind of articulated gondola until today.
I am curious of the dumping mechanisms for those cars. Appearance is quite different from such as the Difco style we have seen.
I noticed the funny cars too. Five combinations, about 11 "cars" to a combination. Like a single car eleven cars in length. It made for much quicker and easier unloading as the scooping machine didn't have to wrestle with the front and rear walls as much. I'm not sure how it articulates though.
Maybe both sides open, releasing the rip rap to both sides of the tracks? I've seen a video of an old Milwaukee Road train of rip rap on flatcars, and a very skilled operator on an old bulldozer was literally pushing it off the sides onto the roadbed!!
That video seems vaguely familiar. Know I have seen something similar or the same one.
Here's some extreme close up footage of the bridge from the Fort Bend County of Emergency Management.
A few good shots of them unloading rip rap with a "Back hoe" type excavator riding on the cars.
Looks to be a very time consuming operation. How long did it take to unload all those cars?
When I went back around noon the train was gone, so not too long. Or they didn't use it all.
I would wonder the latter- It was not all used.
Sorry to wake up this thread again but the river has risen to 40 feet and now workers are experiencing a rather large log jam. The new trestles they built are especially non aerodynamic to the water and catch a lot of debris. They've been picking at the back side with a couple of work boats. I'll try and get another look at it today.
Uh, oh. That's not good.......
Not a problem. Any open thread can be brought forward again, at any time.
This is an excellent topic, so following it further continues to hold my interest! Pictures, please!
Well, OK. After risking life and limp I managed to crawl out of the tangle of new growth vegetation along the river bank to the north west of the bridge and report back.
After all the rain, I thought I was prepared. Had my boots on and grubby cloths. The rain let up so there was a bit of wading across a flooded field to get to my old haunts of a few years ago where I documented the rebuilding of the piers. I wish I had brought a chain saw... or at least a machete. Since the flood a few years ago knocked down a lot of the brush and trees along the bank, it has all grown back with a vengeance.
I finally was able to bush-whack my way down near the base of one of the piers along the bank to get a better view. I had to knock down some brush to get this one.
The boats were attaching cables from the back hoe on the bank to the big logs and pulling them out of the jam. Then going back and grabbing another log.
They may need to drive some fender piles.
I've seen many bridges in this environment that have V-shaped structures on the upstream side of the piers. They serve quite well diverting debris, including whole trees, around piers.
Yeah, they need to put something around that pier. It is made up of 12 steel pilings grouped into 4 three unit clusters with all kinds of angled cross members to hold it all together. Like a giant log net just begging to snag everything going by.