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Old October 23rd, 2012, 08:45 PM   #1
Chris BIGDoer
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MISC | Railway archaeology

Canada: East Coulee Alberta Road/Rail bridge.

Built to service the coal mines on the south side of the Red Deer river valley, the East Coulee bridge is an amazing piece of history. Unusual and rare in design it was used both by trains and vehicular traffic on a common shared roadway.

From the dual CPR/CNR branch line on the north side of the river and near the town of East Coulee, it allowed trains to cross over and service both the Murray mine (not much left) and the Atlas mine (now an historical site). During boom years train after train left those busy operations via this unique structure. From there the coal, mostly used for domestic heating, travelled to all points in Western Canada and perhaps beyond. With the change over to natural gas the demand for the product slowed. The Murray mine closed in 1959 and the Atlas mine, the last in the Drumheller/Red Deer River valley, followed by 1980. Near the end the Atlas mine only worked sporadically, usually in winter.

Full article....
http://www.bigdoer.com/811/exploring...adrail-bridge/





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Old October 23rd, 2012, 08:51 PM   #2
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Canada: Sharples Alberta grain elevator.

Here, along an old CPR rail line is the former town of Sharples Alberta. I doubt the place ever amounted to much, but all that remains today outside of the elevator are a few dilapidated sheds, some old cellars and house foundations. And maybe ghosts.

Full article...
http://www.bigdoer.com/461/exploring...ta-ghost-town/







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Old October 24th, 2012, 09:38 PM   #3
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Canada: Near the Alberta/BC border west of Banff.

The steam locomotive seen here has sat abandoned for over 100 years. Used in construction of the CPR’s famous Spiral Tunnels that bypassed the problematic “Big Hill”, when this project was completed the engine was simply left behind.

Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, this mogul (whyte system 2-6-0) was originally owned by the North Western Coal and Navigation company of Lethbridge Alberta. This line was constructed to tap the areas coal reserves and was built to the non-standard gauge of 3 feet. Other major rail lines in Canada were all built to standard gauge (4.8 1/2”).

Full article here....
http://www.bigdoer.com/3926/explorin...big-hill-1992/





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Old October 26th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #4
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Canada? "Amazing"? Funny your starting this thread, coz I keep thinking, 'Eat your heart out, Quebec!' all enthralled as I make my way through this ton of railway archæology ... there's yet two more five-episode series I'll be sharing, so stay tuned to their host thread :
Oh this-here-pipsqueak Canada!

"Amazing"? WTFC!
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Old October 26th, 2012, 11:59 PM   #5
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Canada: Crowsnest pass Alberta.

A flat car abandoned for over 100 years!

While wandering along the rail bed a few hundred metres from town, I stumbled across a real find. Off to the side and sitting upside down was an ancient flat car (or it could be a coal gondola minus its sides). It’s obviously very old and I can only assume it derailed here and was just left. It was missing the wheels and bogies, but otherwise fairly complete. No report I can find online mentions this car, so even in spite of its close proximity to town, it must not be well known. It’s not exactly hidden but you still have to look for it.

More of the artcile...
http://www.bigdoer.com/3256/explorin...nd-a-flat-car/





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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:55 PM   #6
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Canada: Nordegg Alberta.

An old flanger along a an abandoned rail line.

......Off to the side there was an old rail car, minus its wheels. The cupola may have you think it’s a caboose, but actually it’s a maintenance of way car. More specifically, a flanger which is used to clear ice and snow from between the rails – build up of these can derail a train. The car appears quite old, but I could not find a number on it (or perhaps saw it but have since misplaced that). So for now, I don’t know it history and why it was here. Perhaps it was retried and later used as some kind of office or crew shack. It seems logical, since we are near the mine and switching crews would be working in the area. The current state of it is pretty bad so I doubt it has much time left and since it is outside the historical site, it may not get any attention. There was an old pot-bellied stove seen near the car.

Full article here...
http://www.bigdoer.com/3737/explorin...-nordegg-1997/






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Old October 31st, 2012, 09:47 AM   #7
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What are those extra rails called between the track on the bridge and what is their function? I see those extra rails all the time and I never knew what they were used for.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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Stabilisers? Maybe to mitigate shifting of track gauge either from absence of ballast or at critical, prone junctures.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 05:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
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What are those extra rails called between the track on the bridge and what is their function? I see those extra rails all the time and I never knew what they were used for.
They prevent train from falling off the bridge in case of derailment.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 06:16 PM   #10
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I suspect full disengagement from track bed be what he wishes to relate, for a bridge isn't the only site for those rails.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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Yes, any place where derailment may cause too much damage is the subject for installing extra pair of rails.
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Old October 31st, 2012, 10:23 PM   #12
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Do you know how absence of ballast is compensated? Is excessive bolting remedial?
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Old November 6th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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image hosted on flickr


No train passed through this tunnel since 1964.
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Old November 14th, 2012, 07:27 PM   #14
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Canada: Wynndel BC

An old elevator and an abandoned flat car.

Grain elevators are more often associated with the vast expanses of Canadian prairie so seeing one deep in heart of BC seems really odd. However here in BC’s mountain flanked Creston Valley conditions are prefect for growing grain and this helps explain why a few of these “prairie” sentinels can be found in the area (more exist in Creston). This example stands in the small town of Wynndel BC.

Full article here...

http://www.bigdoer.com/1213/explorin...rain-elevator/



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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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Canada: Alberta Canada

An old CPR railway bridge, seen in 2012 and under repair in 1947.

"For this report we find ourselves exploring the lonely plains southwest of Medicine Hat. Initially it appears there is not much to see, but when we look a bit closer history starts to unfold right before our eyes. For example, we discover this amazing piece of engineering, the CPR Suffield Subdivision bridge over the Bow River near the former town of Cecil......"

http://www.bigdoer.com/2242/explorin...-river-bridge/





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Old January 7th, 2013, 11:40 PM   #16
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Location: The prairies of Alberta Canada.

In 1982 the new design Buffalo 2000 elevator was to be the future of the Canadian grain handling industry. Designed to replace old fashioned, inefficient and unsafe (fire) wooden elevators, it stored more, it loaded more railcars and faster, and was safer. Together with a fleet of new high capacity government grain hopper cars, this would be a double whammy that would save the industry.

Instead this unique design went largely ignored and simply became a footnote in history. Remarkably, a few 1920s style traditional wooden cribbed elevators were built AFTER the Buffalo 2000 was constructed.

The government hopper fleet was a success, so at least some of it worked out well.

One of three test elevators built to this pattern, this one still stands and here it's joined by some stored railcars.

If you'd to read more about this fascinating structure, click the link below.....

http://www.bigdoer.com/6084/explorin...yalta-alberta/





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Old January 10th, 2013, 10:22 AM   #17
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In the Netherlands most parts of close railways are converted to bicycle paths. So wen you cycle you can still see some parts of old structures like railway bridges or station buildings. For example like this old steamtram bridge in the village of schipluiden.

Also some parts of old railways remains an monuments like for example de hef bridge in Rotterdam. The trains now run trough a tunnel under the maas but the bridge still remains.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
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In the Netherlands most parts of close railways are converted to bicycle paths. So wen you cycle you can still see some parts of old structures like railway bridges or station buildings. For example like this old steamtram bridge in the village of schipluiden.

Also some parts of old railways remains an monuments like for example de hef bridge in Rotterdam. The trains now run trough a tunnel under the maas but the bridge still remains.
Wow, that's amazing!
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Old January 17th, 2013, 10:44 PM   #19
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Canada: Near Calgary Alberta

An old boxcar in a farmer's field.

To see a larger image, click the picture at the link below twice.
http://www.bigdoer.com/?attachment_id=6333



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Old January 27th, 2013, 03:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3737 View Post
In the Netherlands most parts of close railways are converted to bicycle paths. So wen you cycle you can still see some parts of old structures like railway bridges or station buildings. For example like this old steamtram bridge in the village of schipluiden.

Also some parts of old railways remains an monuments like for example de hef bridge in Rotterdam. The trains now run trough a tunnel under the maas but the bridge still remains.
In Victoria Australia there are many hundreds of km of abandoned railway lines which have been converted to "rail trails": for walkers, cyclists & horse-riders. Problems arise where there are bridges over major streams: which in many cases led to the railway being closed in the first place.

An issue that concerns me is those paths just on the outside of the metropolis, where railway lines were pretty foolishly closed half a century or so ago. Just last year, a few km of line was reconstructed and put back into service at great expense. There are many more km of trail like this ... which are needed for public tranport, but which have been converted to a recreational facility, and will not be relinquished without much objection.
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