Friday, April 30, 2010

1940 NP Inspection Trip Grand Coulee Dam

Courtesy Aaron Schwarz

Saturday--April 27, 1940

Our party, with the exception of Mr. Neish, and accompanied by Mr. L.J. Gallagher and Mr. J.A. Clark, drove in Mr. Clark's car from Spokane, Wash. to Pasco, Wash., by way of Coulee Dam, leaving Spokane at 7:30 A.M., arriving at Pasco at 9:00 P.M.

The Northern Pacific Railway Company handles considerable traffic for the Coulee Dam project, which consists principally at this time of cement in bulk loaded in box cars. This operation is carried on from Coulee City to Mason City (Coulee Dam site), by the contractor over approximately 30 miles of railroad constructed by the United States Government from Odair to Damsite. Many units of freight train cars loaded with cement were inspected.

An item of particular interest was noted at the unloading platform at the Damsite, wherein a remote control electrically driven pneumatic cement unloading device is used, which works directly into the box car and picks up the cement by a screw conveyor and raises it to the air chamber and then into the near-by silos through an 8-inch rubber conduit. The device is, in fact, a robot, which moves either forward, backward, or to the right or left, as desired by the operator who remains on the platform. It is presumed that this device was especially devised for this job, as box cars only are available, and has been greatly improved since it was first used.

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