Thursday, February 14, 2019

Thursday, February 7, 2019

1944 Hanford Head On Collision

Images courtesy of Hanford.gov.

The idea behind this collision was to study the dynamics of what would happen to some  radioactive stuff if it was in a collision.

Edit: It was suggested this may not have been an accident.  Richard Olson adds:  "I don’t think that it was a staged incident; noting the weather, the materials loaded on the cars, and their trend for accidents on site besides the location I believe this occurred."






























Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Monday, February 4, 2019

Bridges Of The Adrian Cutoff

Article I wrote for "Them Dam Writers."


The Northern Pacific (NP) built the line from Cheney to Coulee City under a subsidiary, the Central Washington Railroad, completed in 1891. Plans were shelved to further the line to the west and north to the Okanogan mines, at this time.
The area traversed by the CW was prime wheat growing land, and it was found that most of the markets for that wheat were the Pacific Coast ports at Tacoma and Seattle. This meant that any shipments on the line had to be hauled back to Cheney, then to Spokane and the main yard there, before heading west to the port.
In 1902 the NP announced the potential of an extension from Coulee City to Adrian, a distance of about 20 miles, to meet the Great Northern (GN) mainline there. This was seen as a boon to wheat shipments, as shipments of wheat were charged by the mile and this would significantly reduce the mileage needed to get to the ports.
Construction to Adrian was completed by 1903, but not without some difficulties for the contractor. One note said that the rock seen along the line was some of the hardest seen by anyone, and one particular mile through Dry Coulee cost $100,000 to complete.
A fair amount of wheat was moved for a few years along this section, but the real spike in traffic came in 1909 when a further extension was built from Adrian to Connell, giving the potential of a through route, rather than a dead-end branch. This allowed the NP to keep more of the traffic headed to the ports, rather than hand it off to the GN, which was still a shorter route than the all-NP one.
During this time, there was regular passenger and mail service to Adrian, though by 1924, service was down to three days per week, and passengers were more likely to have to ride the caboose. By 1930, trains were only run as needed, and no longer regularly scheduled.
Traffic along the line spiked during the time of building Grand Coulee Dam. NP notes state that all the trestles in Dry Coulee were strengthened in 1933. Material for the dam started flowing through in 1934 and continued to 1950. Some of the trestles were even filled in, making the line much more permanent. But, operating schedules were such that the section didn’t see a further train after 1953.
The line was torn out in 1979.
Mileposts on the line were measured from Cheney to Connell. Bridges were numbered to match their milepost location. The pictures presented here show the bridges as built and views of their locations today; some of the bridges have been removed, and some were replaced by the NP with fill.
Vintage photos courtesy of the NP Telltale. The view of Bridge 114 courtesy of the Wayne Bolyard collection. The bridge with the train on it is courtesy of the Bureau of Reclamation. Current views by Dan Bolyard.

 Bridge 114, just up the canal from Summer Falls.

 What's left of bridge 114, near Summer Falls.

 First train over Bridge 114, near Summer Falls, when completed in 1947.

 What is left of Bridge 114, generally looking towards Summer Falls.

 Bridge 117 in 1942.

 Bridge 117 today.

 Bridge 117.

 What's left of Bridge 117 today.

 Bridge 117.

 Bridge 117 today.

 Bridge 118.

 What Bridge 118 looks like today.

 Bridge 118.



Bridge 118 today.
 Bridge 118.1.
 Bridge 118.1 today.
 Bridge 118.1.
 Where Bridge 118.1 used to be.
 Bridge 119.
 Where Bridge 119 used to be is now a fill.
 Bridge 119.
 Where Bridge 119 used to be is now a large fill.
 Bridge 120.
 Where Bridge 120 used to be is now a large fill.
 Bridge 120.
 Where Bridge 120 used to be is now a large fill.

Bridge 120.
 Where Bridge 120 used to be is now a fill.
 Bridge 120.1.
 Sagebrush obscures the current view of the fill where Bridge 120.1 used to be.
 Bridge 120.1.
 The fill where Bridge 120.1 used to be.
 Bridge 120.2.
 Where Bridge 120.2 used to be.

 Bridge 120.2.
 The fill where Bridge 120.2 used to be.
 Bridge 120.2.
 View where Bridge 120.2 used to be.
 Bridge 126.
 Where Bridge 126 used to be.