Browsing Tag: abandoned places

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    An Empty City Lost Under the Sand in Namibia

    August 24, 2019


    Imagine a town in the desert, where sand dunes
    live in the houses instead of citizens. Each year the sand takes over more and more
    of the town. The history of this place is dramatic, mysterious,
    and looks more like a legend than a historical fact. Kolmanskop is an abandoned town in the south
    of Namibia. It used to be a rich and prosperous town of
    diamond miners. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was
    the richest town in what was called German South-Western Africa. 10% of the world’s diamond mining was concentrated
    there. But 60 years ago, the citizens left Kolmanskop,
    and it fell into ruin. But first things first. In 1882, a German merchant, Adolf Luderitz,
    bought a small piece of Namibian coast from the chief of the local tribe. He founded a colony there and named it after
    himself – Luderitz. In 1884, he asked the German chancellor, Otto
    von Bismarck to defend his colony. Not far away, on the coast, Englishmen were
    making themselves at home, and Luderitz was afraid of a British invasion. A couple of military ships came from Germany
    to the Namibian coast, and the country, which is known as Namibia now, became German South-Western
    Africa. The British didn’t mind at first. Colonists and colonial troops were arriving,
    and manufacturing companies appeared. A railroad was built between Luderitz and
    other towns deeper within the country. But the real story of Kolmanskop started in
    1908, when a railroad worker, Zakharias Lewala, found an unusual stone in the sand not far
    from the railroad. Lewala’s chief, August Stauch, who was also
    an amateur mineralogist, asked his subordinates to tell him about any interesting findings. That’s why Lewala brought the stone to him. Stauch consulted with a friend of his, a mining
    engineer, and he confirmed that it was a diamond. They searched the territory and found several
    more diamonds. It turned out that a small river was washing
    away diamonds, together with the sand, and taking them to the ocean, which threw them
    to the shore during high tide. After that, the wind would spread the smaller
    diamonds around the desert. Both friends bought the rights for extraction
    of commercial minerals on the territory of 30 square miles. Only then did Stauch announce his finding. A couple of years later, the lucky friends
    became millionaires. Soon after, the African desert all of a sudden
    became a sought-after place for living and working. A diamond fever began. About 6 miles from Luderitz, not far from
    the railroad where the first diamonds were found, a mining town was laid out. Later, it was named Kolmanskop. In Afrikaans language it means “Coleman
    Hill” after the hill where Johnny Coleman left his truck when caught by a sand storm. The frame work of the truck stuck in the sand
    and stood there for dozens of years. Kolmanskop very quickly became one of the
    richest Namibian towns. The newly born capital of diamond fever was
    built in German style with German solidity. Nothing resembled Africa here, except the
    sand and heat. Since it stood right in the middle of the
    Namib Desert, they had to import all the things necessary for living, including water. But the local administration wasn’t scant
    on expenses: the citizens of Kolmanskop lived not only well, but enjoyed all the luxuries
    available at that time. There were only 2 streets in Kolmanskop: all
    the houses stood on one, and all the public buildings, like a hospital, a supermarket,
    a post office, a bakery, a butchery, a club with a restaurant, a bar, a library and even
    a concert hall stood on the other. Kolmanskop was the first South African city
    where a horse-drawn streetcar appeared. In 1911, all the city buildings, including
    private houses, were electrified. They would first deliver fresh water from
    as far as Capetown, which was 618 miles away. During the trip, the liquid would literally
    become priceless, but diamonds covered all the expenses. Soon they started producing desalinated water
    near Luderitz. And there was an ice manufacturer in the town:
    water was frozen in metallic cylinders, and then a streetcar would deliver it to the houses. Kolmanskop had its own label of soda, lemonade
    and sausages. Even roses and eucalypt trees grew in the
    city in the desert. Kolmanskop citizens were so rich that they
    could afford inviting opera singers and theater companies from Europe. The concert hall, apart from the stage and
    the floor of the house, had a fully equipped gym and bowling alley. The hospital of Kolmanskop boasted state-of-the-art
    devices, and the 2 doctors of the town had totally different, but interesting, approaches
    to treating illnesses: one of them prescribed caviar and relaxation to his patients, the
    other believed in the magic powers of onion. He had it daily for breakfast, and advised
    his patients to do the same. In the first 6 years of its existence, about
    5 million carats of diamonds were discovered, which is about a ton of stones. But after 1914, everything changed. Diamond mining reduced to a minimum, because
    they were no longer in high demand. German manufacturing and economy were on the
    decline. The head of the South African company, De
    Beers, took advantage of this situation. He bought the German companies and founded
    “Consolidated Diamond Mines”, (CDM) which gained control over the diamond-mining enterprises
    of Namibia. In 1915, the ex-British colony, South Africa
    (now the South African Republic) occupied Namibia and put an end to the German rule
    in this country. But despite all the changes, Kolmanskop kept
    developing and getting richer. At the end of the 1920s 344 citizens still
    lived there– members mainly consisting of the administration of the enterprise, engineers,
    and doctors. There were also 800 workers, who had a 2 year
    contract for diamond mining. The workers lived separately, and couldn’t
    communicate with the outer world. At the end of their contract, they were even
    x-rayed, so they couldn’t swallow diamonds and take them away from Kolmanskop in their
    stomach. The x-ray machine that was used there was
    the first in all of South Africa. In 1928, on the bank of the Orange River,
    170 miles from Kolmanskop, another rich deposit of diamonds was found– and it’s still
    being developed. At the same time, fewer and fewer diamonds
    were found in Kolmanskop. In 1936, after the Great depression, they
    started developing mines on the Orange River. Kolmanskop citizens began moving to different
    places, and a couple of years later, the administration moved away too. After so many of the citizens left Kolmanskop,
    living there became next to impossible. There was low financing, unemployment, sand
    storms, and no fresh water. For some time, the abandoned town served as
    a warehouse and traffic terminal for mining equipment deliveries. But very soon, they found out that it was
    easier to deliver cargo from the South African Republic. In 1956, the Kolmanskop hospital was closed,
    and the last citizens left the formerly prosperous town forever. For more than half a century, it was overwhelmed
    with the sand of the Namib Desert. The buildings were preserved thanks to the
    dry desert air, and absence of plants and animals. In 1980 “De Beers” made the ghost town
    into a museum. In the house that belonged to one of the richest
    citizens, the owner of a supermarket (sometimes they even paid for groceries with diamonds),
    they reconstructed the domestic furniture of the Kolmanskop citizens. In the concert hall they reconstructed the
    bowling alley and a stage. “De Beers” started bringing tourists. A lot of people were interested in seeing
    the formerly rich diamond mine, where precious stones could be found right in the sand. The current locals of Kolmanskop are the staff
    of the museum, bugs and vipers. It’s hardly possible to imagine this town
    in its hay day. Thousands of tourists from all over the world
    go there every year to look at the abandoned town and take scenic pictures. Excursions are scheduled on the first half
    of the day, because sand storms in the afternoon are too strong and dangerous. Shabby buildings are half or fully covered
    with sand nowadays. After some more time passes, the desert will
    probably take this town away forever. You remember the man who started it all? Diamonds didn’t bring him happiness either. August Stauch invested his fortune from the
    diamonds in different projects, both in Germany and Africa. But the Great Depression didn’t spare him,
    and he lost most of his money. That would discourage anyone, but not Stauch. He got hooked on astronomy and physics, and
    even tried to prove that Einstein’s relativity theory was wrong. He eventually had to earn his living as a
    farmer. In 1938, health issues forced him to go back
    to Germany, where he enrolled in the University of Breslau (which is now the Polish city,
    Wroclaw). He spent the rest of his life as a student,
    and never got rich again. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to keep the
    diamonds all to himself. Do you know any other abandoned cities that
    used to be rich before? Let me know down in the comments. Hey, if you learned something new today, then
    give this video a like and share it with a friend. But don’t go stick your head in the sand
    looking for diamonds just yet! We have over 2,000 cool videos for you to
    check out. Just click on this left or right video and
    enjoy! Stay on the Bright Side of life!

    Abandoned Railroad Bridge FEC South Miami Florida
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Bridge FEC South Miami Florida

    August 24, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m here in Miami, FL right next to US1 in South Miami. This is an abandoned railroad bridge you’re looking at. It used to belong to the old Florida East Coast line that ran all the way to Homestead well, to the Keys, the Overseas Railroad. Then in around 1984 they took off the rails and the county replaced it with the metrorail which is the mass transportation system you see up top. Pardon the noise there’s a lot of cars behind me. So yeah, there hasn’t been any rails here since about the early 1980s. As you can see, the bridge is still pretty intact. I’m going to take you to the other side; hold on one second. Ok, this is what the other side looks like. Pretty nice place. They tell me this place is called Small Creek. And now this is what the top part would look like. see. As you can see, that’s where the rails used to run through that way. That’s facing South. Then this would be facing North. And as I said, that over there, is US1 This track ran all the way back to North Miami Florida East Coast all the way to St. Augustine at one point. Alright guys, Let me give you one last shot of the bridge again. Before I sign off. Alright. take care and bye bye

    Abandoned Railroad Spur & Old Switch CSX SCL
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Spur & Old Switch CSX SCL

    August 23, 2019


    OK guys, CSX abandoned spur North Miami, FL This is facing NE. That’s the CSX mainline over there. The overpass is Miami Gardens Drive. And up until a year ago This line was active; they used it for Mow storage. I seen some stored in that spur over there next to the warehouse. But now they just paved over it so They sealed it’s fate for good over here. Look at that. Look at the switch. A Beth Steel switch Oh! 1956. Oh it’s locked. So this would be facing West, guys. Look at the 2 lads crossing the road there. My buddy Chris and Heckman. They’re just as heartbroken as I am to find out that this spur became abandoned. We can hardly contain ourselves. Alright guys, I thank you very much for viewing this video. Please subscribe, like, or share. Thank you, bye. Bye.

    Abandoned Railroad Spur & Old Switch CSX SCL
    Articles

    Abandoned Railroad Spur & Old Switch CSX SCL

    August 22, 2019


    OK guys, CSX abandoned spur North Miami, FL This is facing NE. That’s the CSX mainline over there. The overpass is Miami Gardens Drive. And up until a year ago This line was active; they used it for Mow storage. I seen some stored in that spur over there next to the warehouse. But now they just paved over it so They sealed it’s fate for good over here. Look at that. Look at the switch. A Beth Steel switch Oh! 1956. Oh it’s locked. So this would be facing West, guys. Look at the 2 lads crossing the road there. My buddy Chris and Heckman. They’re just as heartbroken as I am to find out that this spur became abandoned. We can hardly contain ourselves. Alright guys, I thank you very much for viewing this video. Please subscribe, like, or share. Thank you, bye. Bye.

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing with Lights Folded Down
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing with Lights Folded Down

    August 19, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m over here at NW 12th ST and NW 127th Ave here in Miami, FL. and I’m going to show you guys an abandoned railroad crossing today. Here we go, here’s a look at the line. You got pine trees growing in the middle of the line. I think there’s a squash over there. in the middle. You got wooden cross ties here. And then let me show you the actual crossing. We got a Oh! This is a GE GE signal base. Okay I think this might be an STS model 95 gate mechanism. Harmon lights which are folded down now. and then the cantilever is a oh, it’s also a Harmon. Yeah, there you go. Harmon cantilever The lights are also folded down on top. Can’t tell. Those might be WC Hayes lights, might be Harmon too. Let me give you a look from over here. And then Let me give you a look at the other cantilever. which is right underneath the express way over there. So right now I’m facing North right. and Here you can see the other one I wonder if That cantilever hits the actually makes contact with the bottom of the expressway? Let’s take a look. Actually, it’s a few inches shy of making contact. Again the lights are folded down. Harmon cantilever. GE base on the signal. Signal base. Lights folded down yeah. I wonder how long it is before they take this one down? Let me give you a wide shot of what it looks like from this side. This is looking South. And there, over there is the relay case. Please Subscribe or Like guys. Thank you very much for viewing. Over and out.

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing FEC Spur WPB
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Crossing FEC Spur WPB

    August 19, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, Today we have an abandoned FEC Railway Spur here in West Palm Beach, FL. Here’s the emergency contact info and the crossing There’s no gates here. And right now we’re going to be facing South. As you can see the track just goes into some Ficus trees here. And it came from South heading North. As you can see over here, that parking lot has some shrubs in it too. And right next door to this Right East of this parking lot is the UPS Distribution Center. So this track might’ve gone into the UPS Distribution Center. And now we’re going to be heading Northbound. So if the trees weren’t a good indicator of an abandoned railroad, perhaps the paving over of the rails might be a good indicator that it’s abandoned. It used to go into this warehouse over here. By the way, the warehouse is still functional. I can hear some industrial equipment being used. They’re very overgrown and I’m not going to walk any further. I don’t know if there’s any snakes or what not in there. In that shrubbery over there. Now we’re going to be walking back South. And these rails are mighty, mighty rusted. I was trying to look for a date on the but yeah, they’re really rusted. I haven’t been able to see a date on them. The old wooden cross ties, There’s actually, it used to be a wooden crossing, look at that! That’s really old. You don’t see many of those anymore. Alright guys, I thank you.

    Old Railroad Crossing 1987 & Now
    Articles, Blog

    Old Railroad Crossing 1987 & Now

    August 19, 2019


    Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m going to take you back in time April 1987 Look at the 3 cantilevers Old SCL cantilevers This is where it’s located. Right on North River Drive where the red arrow is flashing. It’s a very busy corner of Miami. You got 4 main streets meeting there. You got North River Drive right here then you got NW 36th ST US 27 in the background and then you got the 112 highway exit and the on ramp quite a lot right? This is track view South. As you can see, this is the CSX historic Bridge in Miami, which was built in 1926. and the signal right there. And then track view North You’ll notice the 112 and there’s a Tri Rail Station. So now onto the crossing as it looks nowadays. Hey guys, I’m going to show you guys an old school SCL crossing located on the S line extension There’s the mile post right here. WRRS cantilever with Modern Industries lights Okay guys and we got 4 Safe Tran lights up there. But yeah, that cantilever that side got replaced with the modern one. See it’s vastly different from this one Here you even have the crossing gate separate from the cantilever which is a characteristic of an SCL crossing. And here you have a Safe Tran gate mechanism. And let me give you a shot from the back. Crossing lights are Reco lights. Oh, here you go! Our lucky day, they’re doing signal work. signal maintenance over here. Electronic Bell sounds That’s an E dinger. Back in the day this used to be a most likely a US&S mechanical teardrop bell. I have a video. I’ll include a link to it. There’s one down the line. Yeah, look at the Safe Tran Systems base. And we got the crossing gate going back up now. There was a huge malfunction at this crossing a few weeks ago. I’ll include a link in the description. Okay guys, please subscribe, like, or share. And I thank you very much for viewing. Take care. Over and out.

    Closed Railroad Crossing Before and After
    Articles, Blog

    Closed Railroad Crossing Before and After

    August 18, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, I’m over here in Miami, FL. Right next to the Tri Rail Miami Airport Station. on NW 28th ST. let me show you the NW 28th ST. And I’m going to show you a closed railroad crossing at NW 28th ST. which they still haven’t opened yet. They just recently built this road. And they recently built the crossing too. It still has the concrete barriers on it. And they haven’t yet opened this road to traffic. Look at the pavement marking. Everything here is brand new. You can see the spray. Look at the concrete barriers. 2 tracks. This is a WC Hayes signal base here. Siemens New Siemens gate mechanism. Here we got 2 tracks. This is track view North. And track view South. That’s the Tri Rail airport station. On that side, we have a cantilever and regular crossing gate on that side. WC Hayes signal base and the new Siemens gate mechanism. I’m going to assume they’re the same on that side. And, oh one thing I wanted to point out to you! Funny thing I think they’re going to have a bit of an issue because As you see, this is NW 28th St. here and the following crossing over there is also NW 28th St. so either they’re going to have 2 NW 28th St. crossings or one of them is going to get renamed. I’m going to go ahead and post the picture of the signal box at the next crossing so you can see that it also says NW 28th St. Please Subscribe, like, or share. And thank you very much for viewing guys. Over and out.

    Abandoned Railroad Being Restored
    Articles, Blog

    Abandoned Railroad Being Restored

    August 15, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen, so this is the before as you can see the rails were buried here in this picture. And in this picture, they used this track as a parking lot. You can see all the vehicles that are parked on it. But welcome to 2017! Here we see the first crossing. It has no gate, just lights and a cross buck. Here we see the emergency contact info. And we’re going to see a Safetran signal base here. And this is where the track used to be. You can see off to the right side there that there’s some cross ties they’re going to lay for the new track. This is going to be utilized for the Brightline now. So it can give, it can facilitate rail traffic in this area. This is looking East That’s looking South. This is looking North here. And this is where the spur used to come from the CSX main known as the SFRTA here in South FL. You can see the relay case off to the left there. And You can see this is where the train traffic stopped. And here we can see the crossing number 2. with the emergency contact info here And a Safetran signal base as well, no correction this is Modern Industries. A modern industries signal base. You can see lights are Safetran Cross buck up there. And there you see the where the track traffic stopped. This is where they’re going to lay the new track-age now. There’s the old relay case. Like I said, this is going to be used for Brightline. Please Subscribe or Like! Thank you very much for viewing. Over and out.

    Exploring Abandoned Railroad & Crossing
    Articles, Blog

    Exploring Abandoned Railroad & Crossing

    August 13, 2019


    Hello ladies and gentlemen so an
    update on an abandoned railroad crossing over here at Southwest 8th St. and SW 69th Ave so over here a few months ago I filmed this crossing where you can
    see the cantilevers are missing the light and gates, crossbucks. I came to see
    what else had been removed and at first glance it appears that they
    haven’t touched anything else this is walking westward and SW 8th ST Where that Walmart is, that was the sight of Everglades Lumber, until 2008 when it closed. So on that side, opposite side
    which would be the North side of the crossing you had the relay case and then here it
    this would be track view South. And here you have the cantilever and where the
    crossing gate once was. Notice the cut wires there and the four screws that held it
    up this was all a Harmon Cantilever yeah you can see the brackets for the lights there. Nothing else. Track view South This line actually ends four blocks
    South of here home at Southwest 12th ST have a video where I filmed the end of the line. It’s fenced off. yeah you can see this beyond that you
    can see the remnants of the rail bed but nothing else give you a quick
    glance here that there is Voodooo.
    There’s a dead chicken in there. Whoever dropped that off thought that this track
    will still active and that the train was going to take away the bad spirits but
    there’s no train or bad spirits so jokes on them right ha ha ha. Track view South. Give you a walk here… see concrete cross ties one and two
    among all the wooden cross ties. that house has probably been there as
    long as the railroad it’s about the late 1920s or maybe earlier than that. Wow!
    look at that building it’s totally covered in vines oh crap that’s amazing. Oh! Again I got all these guys sticking
    along with me. This here is a mango tree. Been picked clean. okay Mobile home park there. damn I hate when these go inside your shoe, pinch you all over the place makes it uncomfortable to walk Can you see a date on there? hey guys this is all the end of the line
    is about a hundred feet that way getting kind of cloudy and windy so I don’t want
    those oh well you just walk a few hundred feet here and show you the There’s a spur here. Man! Look at this. This is freaking torture. Cheese 2 so this is the FEC track that
    connected to the main along US one in Southwest 88th ST and then led into the
    Oversea Railway but look at this. It’s a Wheel stop by Hayes, old school. so yeah the end of the track is just like I said about a hundred or so feet over there
    where I have a video on so I’m going to head back before the rain guys- feel it
    in the wind now walking northbound and this way it
    went about maybe five or so miles then it went were the Miami International
    Airport is went around the airport into the Hialeah yard which still exists.
    Currently the Hialeah yard is the southernmost point for the FEC Railway now. Oh God! Another one. Those things are ruthless. I don’t know why I find this to be such a beautiful sight you think so? If you agree with me, comment below. I
    don’t know it’s just maybe the history and it’s the potential
    that that there is here or that there was here Or that nature is reclaiming what once belonged to man. take that in for a second look at how
    old that is all in all, this track isn’t in bad shape for something years old right? and here we go SW 8th ST. Our original filming spot. So now, we were facing West. Now we’re going to be facing East. Alright guys, I thank for your accompanying me on that tour. Please Subscribe or Like! Take care, over and out.