Browsing Tag: and

    Why Is China Investing Billions in Africa? | NowThis World
    Articles, Blog

    Why Is China Investing Billions in Africa? | NowThis World

    August 22, 2019

    China has invested billions of dollars into the continent of Africa to build massive infrastructure projects. Much of this infrastructure is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, an estimated 1 trillion dollar plan to connect the country to trade routes all over the world. African leaders like Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta have favorably compared China’s investments to earlier projects built by colonial powers. While the old railway was built by force and violence against the wishes of those whose land it divided, the new railway is built by consent and partnership both between ourselves and China and between the governments which will prosper and profit by it. But is China’s investment in the continent actually a “win-win” as some African and Chinese leaders have said? Or just a new form of colonialism on a continent that’s experienced so much of it? In this episode, we’re examining China’s Belt and Road Initiative and what it might mean for Africa. While China’s Belt and Road Initiative was only proposed in 2013, the country’s first infrastructure project on the African continent was built decades ago. The Tazara railway, completed in 1976, was built to connect copper mines in Zambia to Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s former capital. The Tazara railway was the first infrastructure project built on a pan-African scale. China’s Belt and Road projects will be designed with this scale in mind, creating new trade routes within and between African countries. In 2017, a Chinese firm opened a railway network in Kenya, connecting its capital Nairobi to the port city of Mombasa. There are already plans to extend this network into South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. China, through its public and private sectors, has already loaned about $132 billion to African countries from 2006 to 2017. Many observers worry that African countries won’t be able to pay back these debts, placing them in what’s been called a quote “debt trap.” The Jubilee Debt Campaign, which campaigns for poor countries’ debts to be canceled, estimates that about 20% of debt held by African governments is owed to China, making it the single largest lending nation. For comparison, 35% of African debt is owed to multilateral, global institutions like the World Bank. Earlier waves of Chinese firms that invested in Africa made mistakes that caused problems for those countries’ governments. Starting in 2005, tens of thousands of workers from China poured into the west African country of Ghana to take advantage of a gold rush. This eventually provoked a local backlash due to accusations of illegal mining, inflaming tensions between Chinese miners and the local government. Many observers have pointed to projects like this as examples of China exploiting Africa for its natural resources through quote “neo-colonialist behavior.” However, other observers contend that the majority of investment from China has largely avoided creating the problems seen in Ghana’s gold mines, precisely because resource extraction has not been the main focus of other investments. In fact, the number one industry for Chinese investment has been the service industry, according to IMF economist Wenjie Cheng. She also points out that the countries where China’s investment has been largest include those without abundant natural resources, such as Ethiopia and Kenya, in addition to resource-rich countries like Nigeria. Ultimately, African governments may feel that the risk of accumulating debt is outweighed by the benefits of new infrastructure. The China Africa Research Initiative found that roughly 40% of China’s loans between 2000 and 2015 went towards paying for energy projects and another 30% went toward modernizing transportation on the continent. These loans were set at relatively low interest rates and with longer periods of time to pay them back. The Center for Global Development crunched the numbers on debt to China as a result of the Belt and Road Initiative, and found that eight of the 71 countries involved in the project were particularly vulnerable to getting caught in a debt trap. Of these eight countries, only one was in Africa: Djibouti, a port country that’s also become a military strategic point for China. The other seven countries are in Europe and Asia. Nevertheless, China has denied engaging in “debt trap” diplomacy. In an attempt at thisto strengthen this collaboration, China has also promised to align its goals for the Belt and Road Initiative with the African Union’s own development goals of greater interconnectivity on the continent. However, these promises have yet to be outlined. Ultimately, China’s push in Africa may be seeking to increase the country’s influence, rather than reap financial gains. Its investments are already strengthening China’s alliances with African governments, to China’s benefit. Every African country but eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, has cut ties with Taiwan, a prerequisite for diplomatic relations with mainland China. Some observers think that as African countries rise economically, they could actually have the upper hand by the time they negotiate payments back to China. This explains why African leaders have been so confident in calling Chinese investment a “win-win,” but only time will tell if their long game pans out. So do you think China’s investments in Africa will be a boon to the continent, or are they a form of neocolonialism? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for watching NowThis World, don’t forget to like and subscribe.

    The Importance of the Railroad in Small Town Iowa in the 1940s
    Articles, Blog

    The Importance of the Railroad in Small Town Iowa in the 1940s

    August 22, 2019

    Narrator: For many years the railroad was
    Ridgeway’s lifeline to the rest of the world. But with the advent of automobiles, trucks
    and eventually airplanes, the “Iron Horse” was nearing the end of the line. Departures became less frequent in the late
    1970s, and by the early ‘80s Ridgeway’s train was gone. John Moe, Ridgeway High School Alumnus: One
    thing I remember at 11:00 the elderly men in town would have to come to the railroad
    station, get out their watches, and set the time, because at 11:00 they put the time on
    the telegraph. That way everybody’s clock was right. They had passenger trains, two each direction,
    morning and evening. I know I used to go from Ridgeway to Cresco,
    go to the bakery, get a long-john or something like that, and then catch the train and go
    back to Ridgeway. Bob McQueen, Ridgeway High School Alumnus:
    Your dad must have got a pass for you. John Moe, Ridgeway High School Alumnus: We
    all had passes. We could rid the train for nothing.

    The Family Builds Earthbag Building with Underground Studio | $7000 Cost | Full Version Movie
    Articles, Blog

    The Family Builds Earthbag Building with Underground Studio | $7000 Cost | Full Version Movie

    August 21, 2019

    We moved to the country when I was 10 years old and my siblings were four six and eight We absolutely loved the open spaces growing up here Yeah, we were building all kinds of forts. We built a ship once. We used to all build forts together. I think that’s kind of you know the whole way that we were raised. We really stay on the farm a lot We would do our school and we’d get that done And we couldn’t wait to get out and be creative and build something I think that desire to build and create has just kind of stayed with all of us. As we got older being the millennials we are, we eventually discovered Technology and when we did it was iPods and that was it. We were sold. When we were creative as kids, I think that creativity hasn’t gone away kind of just gotten better. Our family has built a few earthbag buildings So now it’s time to put those skills to work once again.Build cheap buildings Cheap buildings [laughter] This is our biggest challenge so far. A recording studio underneath and then there’ll be a workshop on top. The price to Build it somewhere between five to seven thousand. Which is a pretty good price for a building. These kind of buildings are really nice because it allows the whole family to work on the building Let us take you on our adventure and show you how our family works together to build it. [music] When we had Jeff out to dig a hole. We’re really pre-planning to have the studio done It’s really really deep here. Maybe if we go this way here’s the latter. And then I want to show you. There we got the whole crater We noticed that the walls were kind of starting to have fallen a little bit so we decided to lay that foundation layer That would be I would say pretty close to the center. Just to ensure that it wouldn’t get buried because it was going to be quite a few months before we would start building on it. We dug a trench all the way around the outside edges of where our walls are going to be. I’m taking the rock and putting it inside the foundation We’re going to be setting the walls on. We had originally planned to have a whole bunch of rock brought in so that we could stack the two walls on top of each other and like a two-story building would be. We changed our minds we’re able to expand the top section so that we could encompass the stairwell It’s your high-tech level mechanism using like two shovels and a string to level it all Everything’s good right here – I had gone through before and just kind of checked it and eye balled it and it was level. Then the guys came in and they’re starting to level it And it’s getting less and less Level and then they’d be like. Oh, it needs to go up, and I was just like nooooooooooooo We use some railroad ties for the entry and we just kind of buried them and then on the top we went ahead and cut one shorter to put on the top. All right do you got the drill bit? Drill some holes. And then we took rebar and we banged it into it to hold the thing together and then that’s going to go ahead and be the entry downstairs. It’s going to be a little bit challenging to get this thing in the ground. Get started huh guys? Yes Bryson’s got his new haircut. I’m cooler. Cooler because I don’t have all the hair on me and I’m cooler because I look cooler No comment over there popsicle girl So why didn’t you bring one for all of us? [music] we’ve been really needing a sound studio and an art studio so I’m excited to have a place to work on my costumes and family to work with When we get around 18 inches high with the bags we lay the electric wire and boxes [music] Starting this right here Yeah We’re gonna go ahead and put plastic around our building We got some plastic here to act as a moisture barrier between the bags and the dirt. Is it pretty thick plastic? 6 mil 10-foot High 100 foot – should easily reach around the whole building I’ll keep pushing it out of our way as we grow, back filling, pushing it out of our way You just want to make sure that you weren’t involved in the mathematical calculation so that you have no responsibility if it’s wrong. It you just said, “ya” to make me feel better. we are cutting out for the stairs. So is this is going to be inside or outside of the building itself. It’s going to be inside. Okay. For sloping our steps down so that we can stair step them. Cut them out as we go along And then we’ll be building forms down here at the base. We have a four-foot landing in front of a door that goes in Where there are pockets of mostly sand the walls cave in but the clay like you see above doesn’t budge Colapses, what do we do? Lay underneath it with your mouth open Yeah, your eyes wide open and facing up. That’s what they teach you in avalanche training. Go into the white smoke . Like a wave you know you go underneath it [music] Bags here and plastic separating the dirt from our bags [music] So that was a good burn Bry Totally there’s all kinds of geography, I mean every place has deserts everybody has rainforests and living in a certain area requires a certain type of dwelling. Our geographical situation is far different than that might be in the Pacific Northwest or eastern states like New York, and the makeup of our ground is totally different. The amount of rain we get. We’re only looking at about a foot of rain compared to 25 inches or more in the Pacific Northwest. It makes a big difference in what type of soil we get. So we had to take these same things into consideration when we were building our underground studio out of the earthbags. One is how much water do we get. What type of soil do we have. It has a great deal of clay in it. It has a ton of caliche. Which is a calcium So we have kind of a hard soil, especially that first three feet of our soil And you have to pickaxe through that stuff to get down And then there are pockets of sand here and there. The caliche level is like this first First three feet you get a lot of rocks in our soil. There’s a lot of clay inside here too, so it’s very hard Very very hard. That’s just after a rain. It’s time to strengthen the wall to ensure safety. First we backfill [music] We’re just going to fill it up [music] Whoa Diesel good boy. Yeah. Oh are you going to pull him out? [music] Hi Diesel [music] Come here Diesel Yeh!!!! [music] Okay, so we’re going to put in the deadman just to help the walls from caving in. It might be a little bit of overkill because of the way the bags compress on themselves But better safe than sorry and this really isn’t that hard to do so I think we’re just going to go like three foot in And then put like another three-foot chunk Right there where going to do one bag out, one bag over Stake a rebar through the two to hold the two together. Might even put a rebar in on this side I’m going to do three. One here. We’ve got another one over there, and then one more by the staircase It’s kind of interesting We’re about halfway up and it feels like we’re starting on ground level again because we’ve backed filled around it and Our bagger is going to be able to stand on that and so are we [music] So we had to say How do we retain a circle inside of the ground. We have some forces that work We have the force of gravity which pulls straight down So how we fix that is that our bags are stacked directly on top of each other And we have tamped so they are solid. So you get to get the idea that if you can compact the soil you’re going to return back to the caliche or to the solid packed ground which doesn’t move we have used barbed wire to help with the shear strength and three just by it being a circle it retains the same types of strength as an arch. You can Actually have an arch hold itself together Throw it on side any forces that come from the outside in Equally, press on the circle. Because all forces together – similar to the arch theory The cool thing that this is, its rained because it means all of our dirt that we have been putting on the outside will settle nicely That’s why we put the plastic here. These are definitely solid. We keep going up. Building these walls like a tube of toothpaste. I’ve always wanted to say that. [music] Cleats are placed to secure the bags to the doorframe one more We need several hanger cleats installed around the building in order to hang green screen and other background items on the wall [music] Do you know what it looks like? It looks like we’re all standing on the same level. We are. Get on my level son. Shae, you’ve never stood on something this high you’re getting very good look tall for you [music] [music] there you go, I Find that if I stay in the air-conditioning all summer long I don’t really – the summer gets really super super hot so I find if I can get out and work in it. And your body just seems to get used to it. So it’s really important to get out early It’s really hot outside. It’s not hot, just our brains telling us it’s hot Are you ready? Yes, I am. Wow, that’s gonna keep the sun off. It was only $25. I was like I couldn’t say no [music] Go get it. Quick, I only have so much time before he come backs [music] Here have some dirt. Will you scoot that way? Look at that It’s the simple things in life Bryson has always been a boy of wonder. We all wonder too – guys. I got a speck of dirt on me [music] [music] What we’re now calling the MusArt studio. Get it cuz this going to be an art and a music studio For our steps here. We have a four foot opening going up. Our first actual going up. It’s going to be right there Is that cool? Bryson, Shell? How does that sound? Yes. Okay And we want to have steps that are going to be about seven and a half Inches high on the Riser and we’re going to pour a 12 inch thread but then we’re going to lay the next step on an inch and a half so we’ll have a Ten and a half inch tread. We built one frame so that allowed us to just use that same frame throughout the entire build. [music] All right good. Let’s try with this. It doesn’t need to be too sturdy. It’s these that need to be fairly sturdy. But I think we’re okay [music] The steps were rectangular however they needed to go in a spiral going up So you have one side that a bit little smaller on the other side larger. So that’s the first step Huh? Yeah, this is the second One step at a time And then we tear the frame out on and set our next step and then put our next step in and then pull the frame Out and keep using the same frames all the way up. So this overlaps onto the concrete An inch and a half this is number one two three four five six [music] So you’re just doing steps and suddenly …what? what the Dog! Monday was at you? Was it you Monday? or Diesel? Who was it? Who put their paw in this? And talk about feet print. I gonna put my foot in there. You feeling pretty good today? hundred percent hundred percent? so we went waterskiing and The sun kissed us and then my muscles wouldn’t work. I couldn’t get myself to haul in all this big heavy Bottom out of the water. I’m a teenager and I can’t move. You weren’t the one skiing behind the boat. See. Smart. Perfect alright, we’re done We’re done. We’re done. We’re done. Garen begins planning the layout for the upstairs circle. We wanted our bigger circle to be centered in our smaller circle and the Center Circle has the staircase so we had to kind of account for that, so we move the reference pole over and Put a little extension on it, so we could get higher I got my pole in and draw it out then I’m going to level it off – start laying the next layer of bags Won’t we? Yes, we will [music] I’m taking a highest point in the bags so we can know where to put the top of the stairs – actually the inner circle We counted for a six-foot opening. The two front posts there that you see are for French doors that are going to go in possibility of me putting a six-foot slider in [music] This is the desert for you. One second it’ll be like hey It’s all nice and sunny and the next it says now I’m going to pour rain on you We’re installing a a berm around just the side of the building – getting a little bit of pooling inside of our first layer. We need to be able to divert the water out of the foundation level. That’s a common building problem That’s not just us but any builder has to keep water out of their foundo. We’re going to see how well this this holds up. Hi pig It has made of our bags a little bit soggy on the outside so we had to let them dry out They get that wet all the way through like a real mud – move them at all and then they just turn into this real Mush and it can cause tons of problems all the way down We don’t touch the bags when they’re that soaked. We just let them dry out naturally. I’m not playing. I’m sidetracking the dogs so Mom can video So therefore. I am a key piece of instrumental work Sure rather than an adornment. I don’t even know what that is. Like a decoration. Yeah rather than a decoration. [music] We’ve put in about an hour a day Maybe a little bit more on the circle to try to get in a row a day We’ll work in the morning when it’s not raining and then cover the bags so that we get whatever afternoon rains come through We won’t soak our bags so bad. We’ll be able to work the next day [music] It’s amazing how fast it really goes when you just do one one row a day. That thing will be up in no time [music] The Walls continue to grow Nice, whiny wheels. We see who’s the squeaky wheel is this family. The guys begin to prepare for the electrical outlets? We install the electrical boxes like you would a cleat. We just nailed the boxes right to the plywood. The duplex boxes we’re using have nails on the box itself so it’s like nailing it to a stud [music] She should be out here learning electrical. She could learn to wire her house. You never know Bry. Okay, so the question is I have one more outlet Where would you want it? Three across there, rocket stove, one right there? I think it looks perfect, okay? We just run the wire in between the bags and make sure they’re separated from the barbed wire so we don’t get any shorting going on. Inside or outside? Outside wire, inside barbed wire It’s easier than trying to pin it to the wall later and cob over it. Subscribe if you want to see more “U” nails [music] What’s that one now Garen? Your light switch that you said we needed because you were right. We needed one. What’s up with you being right today Mom? [music] When the kids get a room they get a dog and Bryson hasn’t gotten his yet when we finished his room four months back I think he just wanted to kind of settle in. When the kids get up in their teenage years you know you no longer really like when they’re little you hug them and you cuddle with them. As they get older you know you just don’t do it anymore That’s tough when dad lays a big kiss on them so we like them to have an animal when they get up in that age because That just gives them something that they can they can cuddle with and love on. I was thinking more like a teacup poodle For Bryson? Yeah. Get a poodle. You want to get a poodle? Yeah, a poodle shaved all the way down to the skin with just its tail. They make… God makes those. They’re just called hairless poodle Exactly. You wouldn’t have to shave it. You can get a Great Dane took so it can tackle Diesel. I thought about that I think you should get a not so Great Dane. Real small. I want a really hairy dog that doesn’t shed or bark Or eat or poop. I think you’re talking about a statue. How about a cuddly toy like a plushy toy. They could cuddle that. It’s now window level We got the window wraps. I gained weight Watch your toes! This particular room has larger windows. We went with a three foot by five foot windows. Dad’s nailing these braces in to keep them square So that you don’t have a window. That’s like In Bryson’s building we used two by twelves on Bree and Garen’s building we used to two by tens so I went back to the two by tens The cost of the Layout I eye balled too much… We just wait while dad and Garen plan out all the windows Garen’s bothered by that window right there. Dad likes it symmetrical. Garen is all like… We can’t do that [music] Diesel are you picking beans over there? Are you eating them? [music] These are tent poles, and we’re going to use these to reinforce the walls between the windows. Like we’ve done in the past. Little bit of movement on this wall because of all the rains we’ve had lately. Come over here. We get a shot of this. You can see a little bit of movement on the wall. We’re out of plumb. The best way that fix these things is to brace them off. I was hoping to avoid it but that’s what we have [music] Use the pole in the pole and we run our circle around that way we get our Perfect circle that we want. I take the rope pull it tight in this case I’m just using a knot as my marker and just running around do that mark that all the way around the building before I tamp it and then we just follow that all the way up the Building and then our walls are relatively straight [music] There was only half a brick [music] It rains like a lot. We had a giant storm come through. It gets the bags wet and blows off our tarps Yeah, we have such a bad storm. They’ll get wet lower down to so everything will be soaked [music] So we should go down and take a look at the underneath here It seems like it is actually holding up really well. I mean, I don’t see any like bulging, collapsing anywhere Which is good Oh you can see water is pooled down here definitely We had a lot of rain Yeah, it seems to be holding up really nice actually as solid as ever Hey look a little mesquite tree. Look at that. Hey, you know if we wait long enough, It can be the center post After weeks of dodging rainstorms we finally get a reprieve. We quickly jump into work to reach the top of the window boxes with bags. What was it he got wrong? I don’t know [music] One of the ways to help reach our goals sooner is to cut the top of the window boxes off We wanted to go ahead and shorten the walls to accommodate the roof a little better We decided to go ahead and drop them down one foot and that brings the whole roof down one foot. The wall height was just getting too high after we add everything on top of the windows. It’s going to be a skyscraper before we can get the roof on [music] In this building, I really wanted to do a lot of bottles. When you put them together I don’t want them to stick out too far beyond the bag because then you have cobb around and they stick out so I’m trying to stay real close to the same width. Where do you think, Bry, right there? Yeah With bottles you can’t just run barb over them and tamp over them like normal because all the weight, when it starts building up will eventually break that bottle So you have to like you put the bottle in and back up to it and then do a thin layer over the top of it and then when you tamp, you only tamp up to it Don’t tap on top of it until at least you get the next layer on Beer bottles They’re not beer bottles [music] I like this arch [music] When we first started the design process for this and everything, Dad really wanted to put in buttresses We talked them out of it because we don’t like the look Because we didn’t put the buttresses in. It is possible that we had more problems than we really would normally have had. If you too many layers too fast and they never get a chance to dry and harden It’s like a bag that can move even even with it just being damp. Once it gets hardened the thing is Rock solid. A 30 foot circle on a 14 inch bag is Absolute max that you’d ever want to do. It really is. We didn’t really know that going in and we didn’t really think that far We didn’t even think it would matter really because we’ve had such good luck with the smaller circles And then once we got to a certain height we had some issues with just setting the walls and our center line got a little shorter at one point it brought the walls in and out and normally that would be okay But then we had a big rain come through. It soaked the bags all the way through down to the bottom one It caused a lot of weakening to happen and then it started to buckle I mean if we were put buttresses in, we wouldn’t had these problems It was the worst place for something like this to happen, but it did right there. We noticed it was definitely moving So we’re going to try to fix it. We decided to use come-alongs. So we’re at the base of the door downstairs We’re able to connect the come-along at the base, run a cable all the way up to the wall We’re able to run the cable through. We put a backing on the back of that.Back and around out to the come-along and then use the come-along to bring the wall in That is already a ton better. Look at this line. I’d go some more He needs to be pushed in and I’m thinking we could tamp it and it would move it over and then tamp it down So this isn’t going anywhere Got this, you know [music] It’s really working good. Garen come out here and look. We are already at one hundred two and a half. So we’re moving a lot Dirt on the center bag here since we had that big rain – all the dirt is still damp – hasn’t dried yet So it’s going to resettle really nice And if it was all dry the wall would weaker. This “s” turn kind of thing we had going on we were able to get that straighten out. When we were doing this, one of our links in the wire we were using ended up popping, which, I guess you kinda always You’re always afraid of it. So you’re always careful around it, but uh It actually happened this time. Yeah it come out about six or eight inches. Didn’t it? At least The come-alongs work really good to pull the wall back to where we wanted it I think what was was the spring effect where we had pulled it in. When it busted It’s just like whoa. It went as far as it could go instead of just coming back to normal so it went a little bit past We brought it back in and it’s just unforeseen. We can’t always – sometimes things break It’s actually a pretty good testament to what the bags – how sturdy they really are. I mean to be able to spring back like that and hang out just at a crazy angle and just stop I mean that’s – it really is quite amazing Dad’s first thing was he just wanted to tamp it and I was like no no No, you can’t just tamp a giant section Just does not work, and then you have to go over and I was out of ideas and so I was like okay Dad’s gone, we can test the tamp now [music] It looks better. It does. [music] Don’t tell Dad how we did it. Actually did end up working, a little. Was that hard to admit? Yes. Look at that wall. Look at that wall. How beautiful is that? Better than it was. We managed to get it back in and get everything all put back together [music] We’re digging some holes to put some posts here to hold up our murphy bed. So that worked really well We not only get posts for the murphy band, but we also get posts for the wall – can help support it [music] Hey, didn’t move at all. It’s good I’ve been thinking about some different types of roofs like this reciprocal roof thing kind of came up We needed to build a reciprocal roof as kind of an example – a reference [music] The guys bisect the circle, draw a line, and create eight equal segments You went slow all the way across. I could of drawn six circles I’ll show you how its done. What do you call that? boom bi-section [music] Look at that line! A little better [laughter] So we were signaling outer space, weren’t we? Our symbols in the ground If you land here you can take us with you [music] Yeah, I think this will work pretty good. Dad is using an excellent method of attachment Alright there it is. And it was strong enough that one of us got up there and stood on it. Gosh that is amazing guys [music] We went down purchased all of our wood – got our great big 30-Footers. 30 foot 2 by 8. Eight of them. I wonder what kind of trees they had to chop down to get those at least 30 feet [music] Everything look good? [music] So what is this? Dad, are you sure you got these right? This one goes like [music] Hang on Hang on And I’ll going to figure it out. I thought I was going to just keep doing this over and over and it would work It would work if we were doing that We can create a monster! We’ve created a master piece. This is not going on the video [whispers] It’s going on the video [sings] We are the champions? Y’all go jo kim ah you better not me. I’m handling your eggs this thing in [music] the world’s Heaviest Hula hoop [music] I think we got it figured it out now. So all we’ve been doing today is just building sketchy scaffolding. It will work The scaffolding looks like this crazy mechanism that was held up by one post No, I it had four posts. Looked like it was one. It was scarier than heck but it was fun. No, it wasn’t scary [music] Oh, my flailing system fun. I bet you wish you were up here [music] back a little more [music] Yes, that’s it. Yeah Intersection. Yes! [music] Ahh! Did it fall? Then on top of that, they decided to put a ladder on top of all that We couldn’t quite get high enough – scaffolding only reached so far. So we had to get up on top of that It’s probably 25 feet [music] You’re at the best view to see if this is level. Can you stand up to see if the top of that is level? Do you feel comfortable? There we go See where we’re at people [music] Push Push Push um He’s on that edge, and it’s just if he just takes one step back. There’s like nothing Nothing to catch him It’s so scary. They’re, they’re very brave they’re doing a great job is just Look at that. It’s so stressful Just watching them. I can’t stay out here [music] Hey, we got to see up in the air and thanks to Sam and Garen and Bryson we got all our rafters up in the air and Everything’s looking real good. Ready to go [music] With the rafters placed, it’s time to get leveling. It’s about four foot across there. actually that one is our highest one we’re just gonna go around and level and nail off all the rafters so that the roof is is level [music] Someone chewed up our line level. Yeah Bryson. What does this look familiar? Does that look familiar? [music] So that’s your new line level right there. Yeah it’s our new line level. It’s top of the line. Top of the line [laughter] Look at that beauty. It’s so big for the hard of seeing. Hard of seeing that’s the wrong words Visually impaired. It’s bold. That way Dad can see it [music] This was a spot in the bag where the rain It got so wet that it was oozing out of the bag and now it’s like completely solid [music] Here down here, you’re looking up there – you’re seeing this beautiful – little wonderful curve that comes up [music] Here, I’ll show you how they work Sorry Bry It’s going to be boards that are going to come down here to help with these. They set up here like this this to support the boards that are going to come out We’re putting in Jack rafters that fill in between the rafters and that helps with the support Yeah, some guy named jack did it. I don’t know why but they named him Jack. We named the monkey Jack Arhhhh Do you want to do the other ones now? I’ll get this first 34 for you. Inside or out? It’s inside. I got it You know what’s really cool is to vave garen up there taking measurements and laying out and doing all that and then just hollering down measurements for me to cut. Now he’s going to be able to do it on his own Over a little more a quarter of an inch – go back [music] The guys begin installing the Fascia – the face of the roof [music] We built the fascia in kind of a zigzag pattern which is the same width and dimensions of the rafters themselves So it’s kind of nice to be able to build it in that way I know some folks will save money with using smaller materials, but I kind of like to match the tails with the facia material [music] Done We’re always really happy when we get to this point the bagging We’re on the last bay section, and then we’re like, we’re done for good and then it’s cobbing and roof This is victory my brother We have won the battle but not the war [music] The kids they think they’ve done bagging but there’s a little bit more that we’re going to have to do but They’re feeling pretty good about life so I’m not going to say anything We first found this whole idea of the reciprocal roof from doing a little bit of research on the internet I found this pdf of reciprocal roofs by a gentleman that’s a designer engineer that’s in Japan and There was a lady, her name is Olga Popovic. She had done a great little review of that particular process And how that was all done. The name of it called reciprocal frame architecture in Japan and check it out on Google So it’s very confident that this was a good process. Started cutting roof and designing it just like it was done in Japan. The idea, too is that we have compression rings at the top and a compression ring at the bottom It’s very similar to a yurt or a teepee even for that matter you have a compression ring at the top Where you rope around the tepee poles I’m very happy with the results, and I’ve been building roofs for a long time and very fun – fits a circle just perfect [music] Dad wants to reinforce the frame with a cable system similar to a yurt. He heads to our metal junk pile to look for needed parts We’ll look for a pipe for this. Here it is perfect If we run the wire through there it won’t risk Breaking eventually okay now to make it pretty do you think we need to cut the other side off? I don’t think it needs to look pretty we’re not seeing it right? Yeah, this shows [whispers] Oh, it shows I say we do the four bend and clean them. I didn’t realize we were… you still can do the four bend [music] De-burring Are you cold? Yeah, I am cold. It’s colder out here. I’m still in shorts. Freezing out here. It’s not suppose to be cold. Garen’s not in shorts but you always were the bright one? Bright one what? the smart one oh [laughter] Don’t look over my work. I’m not looking. Yeah, right we have enough in here perfectionist You’re not going to see it from 40 feet in the air just bring the pair of pliers and their cable thing you wanted to do [music] What is your plan with these? put these in here And yeah, maybe against the wall, so it’s all – looks the same Just drilling a hole right there. Slamming this through – running our cable. We only have eight to do it shouldn’t take that long. Does that sound good? Yeah, that sounds good [music] There we go. That’s one [music] Cable that we’re installing now, is something similar to a compression ring which holds all the bottoms of the rafters in and it’s kind of an extra measure of I haven’t built one of these before so I’m kind of going with something a little extra at the bottom – like a yurt [music] the cable is going to be below the ceiling level so we do get the opportunity to tighten it and use it as a Hang Banners or something from. It’ll be fun [music] That’s all I need. Nice. That’s the insurance right there baby. That’s all I need. [music] We went down to get our plywood for the roofing section, but then I usually like to buy the plywood But the wood has become so much more expensive than I went with the osb It should be eight feet it’s not it’s a little too long though It’s happening Yeah One Bay complete [music] It’s looking good. Coming together [music] the last Mellon. That’s it! [music] This is the top plate that the curve will set on [music] Dad made a seven sided polygon. I’m gone like the wind you didn’t measure the right distance Well, let’s just pull this one and cut off another one that’s a half inch longer. three fails this morning Well third time’s a charm right? Fourth times a charm Fourth? All right, then [music] Perfect. You are a genius. We knew you had it in you, dad. We always believed you [music] Through the hole [music] Well, I missed it We receive a surprising call from Susie, an Ondura representative offering us materials to use on our roof. Today it arrives [music] push box of nails We’re sure thankful that they gave us some product and we’re all set. It’s awesome It’s really awesome very excited very grateful these guys so willing to do this. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you Tar paper time [music] We’re gonna go ahead and tarp it He’s going up. He’s going up! He’s going up He’s not moving Right up there [music] That’s good enough. We can figure this out now Okay, you can change this. You can slide it up and down. Yeah Start putting up the first bay kind of figuring out where we want everything and how we want to start laying them out. Wind starts Picking up – looking like it’s gonna rain [music] Your width measurement now if you could give me that? Let me nail this so that I don’t move it. What we need to do is sight these Yeah, go to the right at the top just a touch. That’s it right there Back a little bit – there. That’s it that’s perfect At one point it blew even some of our sheets off. well, they’re tough yeah, they are throw together the one bay that we got okay, I’m I’m going for it right now put things away and wait for tomorrow to finish it up [music] ut oh. injury suppose to hammer the nail not your finger tell that to the hammer It’s the hammers fault yeah, it’s the hammer’s fault. It’s out of balance unbelievable sorry Garen. It’s called training poor Workman blames his tools Garen Our good friend Marvin came out to help us out and we’re very excited to have him out here he’s quite – quite the carpenter [music] now I’ve seen a lot of kids with saws and crews the stuff that I’ve run and It’s amazing to watch these guys use these saws. They’re so confident. They’re using them properly safely very impressed [music] So we’re trying to figure out a solution to this skylight And I think we might of found one I think it’s the best idea so far. If it leaks… I think it’s Bryson’s fault regardless [laughter] Now it’s time to put the skylight on [music] Skylights on my friend. That means our job is done [music] The guys decide to start from the bottom up. They head inside and downstairs to start the soil cement floor we set the grade by taking two bricks for leveling and putting one in the center of the floor and at the seal of the door And then we level it from the seal to the middle of the room. We want to have the right grade, the right amount of dirt So that we put it in the cement everything gets mixed in there. We don’t have to pull anything out There he is. We were fortunate to have everybody marvin come out and help again [music] I’ve joined the Marvin, Bryson, Shae team [music] Is he trying to pull it up? He’s trying to help you Diesel, pull on it. Go that way Come on Diesel. Good boy. Pull! [music] First time we turn this entire thing I turned the whole thing by shovel first and then you guys did the tiller [music] the young guy in the room Bryson, was able to like do twice as much work for us because you know We’re seasoned carpenters you know and so We weren’t as apt at a shovel as he was so poor workmen blames his tool. I’m not blaming the shovel I’m just blaming the bodies of the two old guys that you are working with you didn’t know you were coming over for this did you Marvin. No Yeah [music] [laughter] There’s something really enjoyable about that [music] So we use the water to actually dampen and keep the dust at the same time and then I got a chance to spray Bryson every now, and then which was fun. He only did it once surprisingly I expected more [music] When we lived in the city. You know we were putting the kid’s in activities Which is great. Ativities are great But I think those moments that we spend working alongside each other are probably the most valuable moments, we have with them. It allows us to build that relationship with them You know they get to see to how we handle problems. And how we don’t handle problems very well So they’ll see some of our mistakes, and they’ll say that we’re not as perfect as we think we are. So it’s humbling And it’s enjoyable because you’re sharing and the kids get something out of it I get something.I learn all the time and you, you’re good leveler. I mean with Dad. Not taking Dad out. Just helping We get to see how our kids handle stressful situations The rock bent the tine? on how they handle situations when they are tired It just allowed us these moments to intervene Try this again, I’m almost done with my crop circle Did you hit another rock? yes Oh no [laughter] It’s huge [music] Call that done hey? Gonna rinse this thing off [music] Now we got to focus on leveling it. and then we tamp it [music] Oh no. Diesel you’re gonna get me in trouble. Don’t make any paw prints. quick quick We need to find and cut down some good tree limbs to replace the temporary posts for the entryway of the studio We’re at the pile of potential posts [music] Want to help me pull this out? Yeah, let me wait, hold on [music] What do you think of these two? This one? That one? How fun [music] Dad makes plans to frame the floor Put my double two by ten and then come out to about four feet and then cantilever back over the top of this [music] and so after the cleats are built we take twenty foot two by Tens and Clap them together and then put them across the long distances – the longest part of the circle And then we’ll just shrink it down from there and just put singles Bring it down here, Bryson can practically push it I can push it flat Yeah, he’s amazing. you can nail that end in… Show them Bry. Show them your strength [music] Because it doesn’t have a brain it can’t defeat us. Right boys? [music] The one that’s going to determine the height I think is going to be that one over there. The one next one over or this one right here we’re going to put them in but not nail them and then decide [music] We basically lifted up the sides of the cleat so that we got a nice level floor I think that’s pretty dead-on Exactly Our goal is to finish the floor this week, so the guys continue installing the floor joists [music] four five six seven [music] We’ll go ahead and block it up so they can work on it When Bryson and Dad are filling in the sections on the floor, us gals are bagging in between the joists [music] We were asked if us girls use power tools. I use power tools It can’t stick up [music] That is a hack job the bags are like Adobe Bricks, but with nails in between them to secure the floor [music] I think I may have too much in here [music] can you get out? Are you stuck? [music] Yeah, please take it There we go but hang on, it’s wrapped like three times around and you call yourself safe? hang on you are scaring me and that is why we don’t show us using power tools That was dumb you didn’t get that on video did you? No okay I don’t want you to see that We can do a couple of these before it gets too dark all the way to the wall okay We’re going to take these 8-footers and we’re going to run them out over the top of the stairwell cantilever them out we’re going to party like it’s… we’re going to party [music] Hi Buddy [music] Now, what are you going to do? [music] Hey, we’re selecting our posts now for stair railing.Does this look like a great post? It has some memories too into it – from our tire swing Oh yeah Kind of excited to do a mesquite stair rail What’s good about a post that’s secure is if you can actually make it part of the floor so it can bolt it down [music] That’s what’s cool about Mesquite is that it’s really twisty. It’s all over the place. It’s not like plywood. Straight [music] We bolt it right to the two by tens We’re going to run that at 38 inches on the post height and maybe like 40 for the top section after we get the railing piece on. and then bag right up against it and then put some blocks in so that makes really nice strong posts as opposed to just like Attaching it with a bracket or something to the top of a deck [music] Now that the main stair posts our in, we’re going to head downstairs laying down from our electrical yep Doing the three-way switch, so we turn the lights on and off upstairs and the fan, too [music] Okay, so we are doing wall prep. Not a lot of prep though right guys just a little bit? What you’re seeing is the aftermath I was carrying this on my shoulder, then when it got right to shoulder height, it went “boop” like this. The plan you guys are doing is mixing mud with perlite [music] One to one for right now – kind of see how it turns out We’re going to add some water probably just a little bit. I wouldn’t add too much Alright, should we go test it? Yeah [music] Okay, let’s pour some in Dad. Want to help me? We got it to a peanut butter Mixture that was their first one then I went to pancake batter. I wanted it a little bit thinner What do you think of that Bry? Well, it’s sure a texture that’s soft Yeah. More? Okay this is yours. I gotta go make more. Sound moves in a straight line until it hits something and then the more times it hits something, the weaker the sound gets So the idea was with the rolls of the bag we get a little bit of deadening. Also to it reflects off of the little pieces of perlite so that it bounces off something. The more bouncing we can get in there really Is the better. If I can get all kinds of different angles and soft material then that causes the sound to deaden, and that’s we’re trying to get is a dead sound Sounds good when you’re standing in the middle like this. When you move over here is really does get quieter over here are we going to paint this down here too? Yeah Isn’t this perlite for gardening? yes Do you want more water? Yeah The test – think pancake batter No no? I was thinking about something else. He was thinking of food. When I say pancake, it was like, “cool dinner time!” actually I was thinking about food [laughter] [music] So we have our fans and we got our piping. The dog stuck his head in here, and it got jammed on his head [laughter] This was kind of broken and kind of hanging off And so we’re trying to get it off. Dad get over here I need your help. You need to run. Hopefully, we can salvage it and get some pipe out of it and basically our fan hooks up to this piece this pipe to supposed to stretch out to eight feet but it’s got a few feet missing Diesel you did not learn the first time? Do not stick your head in there. I think he might of enjoyed it [music] putting the air vent in now Is going to be our draw so it will draw air from down there and push it up in here It’s got to go up that high. If we can grab the lowest, coldest air down there Which is at the very very bottom right and pull that up so what we’ll do is We’ll just run that four inch by 12 inch pipe They make this like this, and we’ll just go right straight down alongside the wall you always need good airflow down there It also gives good airflow. Yes, and get fresh air [music] Shelly and I were just like traveling around one of the hardware stores And we bumped into this architectural glass we picked up a couple of these and we’ll be installing them in the floor [music] You want to put it in? Can I? yeah Think that that can handle the weight of a person? yeah, why don’t you step on it and see? Easily. Glad my foot didn’t go through that would been a disaster [music] This goes in here in the wall, collects light from the outside, but it all has to come through this hole [music] This week we’ll start by doing some painting downstairs [music] Hi Buddy Kind of like a grayish I like it The plan today is to put in the can light. You can do it! camo-ing to put the can lights in Oh yeah For people like me. Who make simple mistakes well, that’s ridiculous It is re-duck-ulus Is that a head holder? Yeah Where were you when I put mine in? you know it doesn’t matter to have that crooked does to me now. doesn’t matter to be honest [music] If you think the guys were the only ones working then we’re going to give you a sneak peek of a future video. Follow me [music] Whoa are those little dragons? Yes. This is a dragon rocket stove which is built over the dirt foundation in the corner of the MusArt studio We have a separate video that documents this build We start the acoustic ceiling downstairs We have some landscaping cloth here that will be running underneath the floor joists And this will help keep the insulation that we’re going to want to put between the rafters Held into place we pull a ceiling tile down. We don’t get a face full of insulation [ringing] Hello Bryson, where are you? We need you? I’m literally right here Really because like we need you. Dad’s already like – I think he’s almost done [music] so we ran into town We picked up our tongue and groove for our decking and we got all of our insulation too kind of made out of jeans material and that kind of stuff. So it has better sound quality Wow [music] It usually has this grid system and I didn’t want to lose any ceiling so we decided right up on the bottom of those rafters Dad found a really really interesting way of holding the acoustic tiles I thought it was spectacular. [music] It already sounds like the recording studio [music] Last piece going up All right trim is done And it’s looking beautiful We’re going to do this whole circle with this insulation because this is right above the sound studio And this is supposed to have higher sound qualities because it’s made out of recycled jeans And I guess recycled cotton and that stuff When you stick your hand in here, and you’re like brushing stuff out, it feels like petting something and all the hairs are falling off of it ew! ew! What a picture that paints we decided to put a mask on because I think we’re moving at blazing speeds so all the dust is coming up. Don’t you think Shae? yes, sure There is actually a blower for this installation But we live too far from town to go rent one and a have to go take it back. Too much driving So we’re doing it by hand, but it’s cool We got this The guys jump in to help a little bit with the insulation Everyone comes up with their own unique way of busting up that insulation. This is just our tool we’ve been using for sculpting and putting cob up – trowl And then I just kind of scratch at it and it just gets a lot faster than tools or Really anything So I think I found very best way break up the insulation You can do like half a bag at a time and just put it in there Pinch off the top with your hands just slam into the ground breaks the whole thing up in a couple hits half bag a time [music] We’re ready to screw that one down [music] We’re also using screws, and we’re going really close together. We’re using a lot of screws. And the floor feels really solid because of it [music] There’s a big difference between putting a floor down in a square room where you’re using square materials and here we are trying to actually put a square peg in a round hole It did make for some interesting cuts. We had interesting things happening around and yeah, it was a lot of fun actually [music] We’re gonna Dance on this floor. My baby and me [music] This week it’s time for windows and doors [music] All right [music] Good boy good boy. Yeah, this is bullet. He’s my new dog. He is a good doggy [music] It’s interesting too with the bag building as you tamp the bags down any frames you put in place you have to make sure they are dead level And either nail them or level then in as you go because as you put those bags in and tamp those back down your frames can shift around a little bit There’s a crack That’s a kind double pane. So double pane because we have to take it back. I was just gonna say pain. ahhhhh you’re such a pain Bryson [music] Putting in some trim around the windows easy peasy nail them down, cut the sides. pew pew [music] We were out enjoying our cobbing session, singing. As usual Singing. Normal. Laughing, enjoying each other’s company and then Bryson joins us and our wonderful little session turns into an argument about measurements you treated her like she didn’t know anything so I will respond What is that even I know all sorts of measurements because I work in like you know like stuff and I’m like Huh. You wanna go? Do you know what a cubit is? No, but I know what a cupid is. Do you know what a centimeter is And I was like no, Bryson. I don’t know what a centimeter is but in the end I won because he didn’t know what a cubit was that Shae, I mean, she did not know what a cubit was I wanted to move onto other things ‘cuz you know, I can ace a lot of things, but measurements aren’t one of them Okay move over that way a little bit the doors are really sensitive things. A centimeter off and it won’t shut so it’s like They’re really difficult yo Get right get one corner 90 and the rest of its lines up. On double doors It’s a little more complicated because you got six foot. We want that to be even all the way around You know it looks really good Our door is finished It shuts and locks It’s done It feels good to finish it [music] Last week while we were working on the outside my friend Esther came over and she was a big help And we were all just kind of singing songs Esther do you mind being in the video? No I give you my consent to put my beautiful face on the screen Let’s just say men of his stature are in short supply You may have to “lower” your expectations Recently, we’ve all really gotten into a movie on Netflix called Shrek the Musical and we’ve all been singing the songs, quoting the lines [singing] Now he lives in squaller Me and Bree were really happy when Esther saw the show with us. So that she gets all of our jokes now and understands our quoting But you have to be this tall to get in What can I say? It is almost Gru, it’s a little weirder. I don’t even know what I think I don’t have time for Diesel antics [music] In the next three days things are really going to get serious We do not have everything done that we would like to have done. So we’ve been really putting in an extra effort [music] We’re going to be bringing out a hopper that we used in my room for the cob and we’re going to be putting stucco through it and stuccoing the walls with it. It’ a modified mud hopper or sheetrock actually the technique that worked the best for keeping the mud on the wall is to actually use a method where we wet it down to almost a liquid Bryson would throw his thumb over the top of the hopper hole, I guess, and then when he’s ready to release the air He would just pull his thumb away I think thicker or two coats. That’s what I say I wanted it really wet and Dad wanted it really dry. So like a slurry Dad Try something like this. You are probably right. It pours out, but it sure goes on nice we were on opposite ends of the field and Bree comes in and says, why don’t you guys just make an in-between batch. This is slightly thicker, okay? just to ease both you and Dad. Happy medium. Okay, go get it. See what happens. I’m game for something new Leave it up to her for the logic looks like water [music] Nice huh? Good? Yeah although I still think it should have been wetter [music] I need windshield wipers [music] Every once in a while, my dog would lose sight of me and howling and howling. M dog is so attached to me I’m right here. What you doing buddy? You have to get better at tracking Dude. I can’t go anywhere without him howling for me if I lose him Don’t worry about it. I got you. [music] All right, point out spots Dad Because I know you probably got a thousand of them We get done covering the main coat of the building and then I hear Dad And he goes, I want to do another batch. Pretty tired. You were pretty tired I was not very happy at that. But, I knew that we had to do it because, you know a few spots we needed to fix up [music] Mom was watching me clean off the bottle and how the light would just like shine through in the room would get a smidgen bit lighter and it was really, it was really kind of cool Before we start painting we need to clean off some of the stucco. Shae found the perfect tool I get to sweep the eves Sounds productive, am I right? [music] The guys get out there, and they paint a section on the building and I’m just not liking the color Part of winning is experimenting. That meant a trip to the store real quick to pick up some green, but we did find some By the time I got done mixing all of this paint up and getting this new color for Shelly, Bryson is gone It’s computer problems Bree’s computer crashed, and that’s kind of an important computer for all of us with the livestreams and with her own work So Bryson’s in there doing some first aid on her computer. And I’m left to paint this thing by myself [music] If you painted the eaves of a home before, it’s like totally frustrating. And having an air sprayer like in your hand, doing the eaves is the coolest thing I feel really bad because Gary, he’s trying to accommodate the fact that I didn’t like the color But I’m still not liking it. I’m thinking well, maybe when Gary takes that plastic down I’ll actually like it, but it’s just not happening. I look out there and like okay. Yeah, I like it I like it, and then as the day goes on I just I just I don’t know what to say It has to be right if you’re not going to like the color, you’re not going to like looking out there It’s a pretty color I just don’t think it fits into our desert scheme because it looks to me like it belongs on the beach somewhere Aqua Blue – there is a lot of blue in that color Ocean. Surfing I start looking into other ways to change the color Sponging, ragging, rolling, anything. I’m searching online When it comes to the outside Mom’s the final decision We’re going to go with the dark green and then Bree is going to put a little bit of white over it. I think I’m going to like this a little more It’s kind of toned that down a little bit, so I’m really hoping I’m going to like it The trim color, too It’s going to be really fun it. I think it looks like chocolate mint ice cream mmm I like the way you think I really like this look – I think it adds. It’s kind of a organic and creativity of of these shapes and textures, and it hides a lot of the bumps and blemishes in these buildings I’m liking it [music] I thought you had your headsets on. I thought I was safe to say that out loud What have you done um it’s between my toes ewww [multiple voices] That’s not comfortable. That was a “wow” That was magical I think I’m finally really happy with the color It actually looks more deserty. It now has that little texture. granite, marble type of texture yeah, yeah And it’s hidden a lot of the blemishes. I like that too. If you look at it with your eyes closed it disappears. That’s true. That’s probably what I should of done before and then we wouldn’t of had to do the ragging The family heads back inside to work on the stair rail. We decide to de-bark the stair posts. What are you doing? Look away It’s not flattering let me I’ll make myself look better here no, just chips off the old block I got this tool. Which is the good tool if we’re honest You know Shae, I really have quite an advantage with this tool Oh, yeah, optimism Shae, are you shaping? I don’t personally think that Bree should be able to film anymore because all she can do when she comes over to film us is pun after pun You need to get out of here. Now [music] A bigger bark than it’s bite? [laughter] You’re not welcome in the workspace anymore Did you get some? He’s de-barking that little piece right there. [music] Hand railing that I’ll be putting around here You can imagine that you have this curve, and you have pieces that are really curved I mean they’re the pieces of Mesquite Twisted and turned and so on It’s a puzzle to be able to put them all together in a railing like this So that was a lot of fun I think what I’m going to go ahead and do when I put the railings together is to just go ahead and overlap them Then run a bolt right through the middle and down into the post [music] This is so beautiful Dad This giggly person here is my friend. She’s gonna help us with the work today. Hi she actually volunteered [music] I got brown chicken pox. so much easier and more fun to work with a friend because you can sing [singing] All I can say is “your welcome” I hope to come back during the summer and help you guys build more yeah free labor thank you for your help too of course [music] I left the door open [music] What have you done? nothing Nothing at all [music] Are you going to do a lot of those little ones? Yeah, they’re supposed to be designed for like, kids So they don’t stick their heads through and stuff So you put them real close together. So I figure if we leave the stickers on, the kids won’t even what to touch them true Yeah, good thinking [music] What is that? That’s an ocotillo I didn’t even recognize it [music] That’s pretty good wood down there. So just getting down to that white wood. We’re ready to go I use my draw knife Yeah see the top on it? so that you have a slat so the distance between the bottom of that hole and the top of this hole is greater So that you can just push it in on the top, slide it in and pull it down, put a nail right there So let the determination of how far apart these are I just don’t want Diesel to be able to fit [music] Diesel proof. It looks like it’s Gonna work. Yeah good boy We have this section beside the stairwell that goes on down that’s on the left hand side that is unused space Perfect spot to put to put storage, cabinets and fill that up with as many cabinets as we could afford and just for one Cabinet is a little over $100. See if we could find some used ones I find this deal of these looks like a lot of cabinets. We’re going to go look at them and Really to our shock. They didn’t come out of a kitchen. No. They didn’t. They were all custom cabinets. Oh, thanks Dad, I don’t know if we could of handled that one Big I know very nicely made very strong. Maybe even better than what I could have put together no. never They were really good. when gary and I were going in to purchase them – we’ll try to get them for $75 this is going to save us a ton of work But when we got there, I looked over at Gary. I’m like No don’t offer any less. It was too embarrassing. It so much cabinets. It was already such a good deal And the guy was just great too. Yeah, he was a wonderful man They’re really nice too. very well built fuchsia I can 3D print dragon heads for them that would be cool Took two trips because one of them filled up the whole bed in the back Every time you can close something down behind closed doors. The place… Can’t see it from my house You know what I mean We’re just putting a white base coat on and then we’ll go back through and antique it. It will look totally different. [music] [singing] Your so vain, you probably think this building is about you You’re so vain He’s like, what is going on? [music] Shae has painted this all white now it’s really cool Keep antiquing. What’s the word on the cracks mom? Well you can see now. They are actually coming through we were worried They weren’t going to come through and that was one of the things we wanted. It’s the coolest color It does have a lot of texture. That’s for sure Yeah, it totally it totally matches the fun kind of shape and theme that we have going on in here Love this idea here. It’s kind of a leathery stone look or cave wall. I just love this – dark spots, light spots – it has a nice texture to it The cracks lead credence to some kind of bricks or something. It’s nice. I like this [music] The guys get started installing the cabinets [music] That was very cool We decided to go with the two, long 53 by 42 we put the two of those together, and then a taller one that is 80 inches by 32 we drilled holes and we put bolts through the connecting pieces at the Because it’s a round wall and square cabinets So wherever they connected we stuck a bolt in there now that I have the arrangement We’ll just go ahead and take the cabinet doors off so I’m going to sand everything down and we’re going to match the stain that we’re going to use for the railing One coat of Red Oak Gary’s idea is to do just a long streak. So we just do one long streak [music] How are you standing there? Are you on the edge? I built scaffolding Oh do I dare look? Yeah, Look Then if I get bored Gary Stop. Well, I’m wearing safety gear what? I have shoes on You know those two you just put in Oh yeah [music] 3 and 5/8ths Watch your finger [music] That’s when I discover something we hid from you last time. We didn’t show it because it’s a secret Now it’s not secret anymore. Hey will I fit in there? yeah don’t fall down to the third floor Ya! Just kidding In those old movies when they open up the shutters and they start yelling She’s very organized the way she sweeps each step separately Don’t judge me I love the way you sweep I’m so sweepy at least I’m cleaning That’s true you are working. you have a very sweeping personality We’re getting ready to cob-arooney. My strategically placed bucket. If we have empty space under the stairs We can name that Harry Potter’s room. it looks like something from hogwarts [music] Back at it again. We’re trying to get our railing in for our stairwell How’s it going Dad? It’s going great. Oh, Hi Bree with camera What’s up? [music] A year from now you’ll wish you started today. You don’t know who said it nope [music] That’s it [music] Secure the handrail right here. This is nice and secured. This is secure and that will be secured down here [music] Dad and Garen begin planning for the murphy bed And just started watching, looking, drawing this whole section here Is going to be right in here and then we spent a couple hours figuring out exactly what we wanted to do My son has designed a little bracket that will fit our situation and I’m trying to determine how to build the frame There is plenty of room to get on either side of the bed Cob-a-knobbing Ellie’s Gonna come to help us out I’m going to go ahead and put a can light downstairs What are you thinking right here? that looks good Hey, Dad do you want to come down here for a sec? Cost you a dollar. Got a buck? That mark here, I put it right in the center perfect absolutely perfect. That will be a nice light down here Yeah, you found me? good boy The mirrors for down below as someone very kindly gave to us. Thank you Pam is going to be awesome Jet mirrors How should I attach these things? [music] It’s not like you would expect. It’s actually soft We have a solar light – nothing like seeing yourself everywhere So we’re good now or shut off lights and see how much brighter is is right? yeah Wow, that is a whole ton better. Yeah look it’s even reflecting off the wall [music] Perfect, we’re done [music] This is going to be for our Murphy bed We found somebody who had a great design to make the frame in the box Today we put together the box It was simple a couple pieces of plywood – nails or screws glued this is the bottom piece or actually the right side piece. It’s going to go up onto the right side And it should fit right up here against the wall And be the right side of our murphy bed hard to make a round cut with a straight saw [music] We’re going to do the same thing we did in my room. Which is using these floor panels as ceiling panels inside of the stairs [music] That’s nice. Just like there’s a light up there That’s really cool We found a seat swivel for a boat it’s a six inch plate with a nice swivel And that’s the main mechanism for both sides it will sit here [music] It will be comfortable. This pieces are going to need quite a bit of cleaning [music] Just an L bracket with a spring offset on the L bracket and then the seat swivel will be offset as well That way we’ll get tension when the bed’s coming down. So it doesn’t just fall We’re going to get these two hinges installed and finish up the murphy bed Is your arm in there? It’s out. I’m okay should we squish the dogs? we don’t need them right? And the good thing is that if it’s wrong, we’ll just unscrew and fix it This will send down. Yeah. This can go up. This is that [music] Hold it Go up with it okay stop Okay, we need to get it up past this. We have to go through it Alright bring it down. Let’s see what happens. Counterweights it really nicely it does There, it’s good. Okay. I have a spring? Let me jump out how’s that feel Bry? Get two of those bad boys. It was fun. There was a lot of thinking that went into it I like that It turned out to be a lot simpler which was which was really good. Yeah, I’ll be able to do that We got functionality on all the mechanical parts of this thing built. the springs are in, the hinges are in.Iit’s going to work really good. Hey all right Oh yeah that’s easy peasy The material for the ceiling arrives we got some canvas here for the ceiling Oh, well, not exactly canvas 100 yards of burlap there it is we love the look of the reciprocal roof. It’s got this cute little design It’s a shame to think that we might have to cover that up, so we started thinking about how could we do that? we could could put stuff in-between there Still be able to see the design we’re going to staple this up in between the boards so that we’ll still have the boards showing and then we’ll have little sections of burlap with the insulation underneath it. We’re hoping it’s going to work We’re doing nothing more than the little top part right here That’s my job while Mom and Bryson have been putting up the burlap and the insulation I have to stay ahead of them because we wanted to be stained before we put it up there. Duct tape it with a rag Shae so doesn’t drip [music] We’re gonna have a finish line to work for If we set up the goal of finishing up the MusArt studio It would be so overwhelming it would be miserable yeah, so we set up small goals which is what we did on the ceiling and I think I got a little over ambitious on this one Tuesday and Wednesday, and so on all the way to the top today’s Wednesday, which we’re suppose to be on this layer and we’re still on Tuesday We need to catch up. I think the kids thought I was a little ridiculous this time when I named the rows Tuesday’s done Now we’re sitting at the Thursday, and I don’t know Still fun to have the goals and try to achieve them but if we miss them Like in this case. There’s a pretty good chance we’re not going to make this one Every once in a while her goals get a little ambitious And if they’re just barely ambitious, typically us kids are like. Oh, no, Mom No, this is where our goal is. But if there extremely ambitious, we’re like okay Come here, I would like to brush your hair Hmm.This is one time I’m going to deny your request just lean would you? [music] And eventually Mom’s like This was a giant goal! [music] What’s kind of fun about these projects is I really enjoy the time that we come out together as a family And we spend an hour of our day when we’re all together working side by side On this project, We couldn’t really all be out there together as a family because we only have one staple gun We picked up this air gun for the job, and oh it’s so worth it This is a good investment. We took turns working in pairs or three of us would go out at various times It’s some of the best ways to build relationships with each other whether it’s family or even friends I think that when you have to work with someone it’s even more of a test to that friendship or relationship How are you keeping up there? Watch this magic Put up the cotton candy from hell There’s also you just have to kind of build off each other a lot in a work space You can’t endanger someone when you’re working You have to know where everyone’s at and you have to communicate Those frustrating moments you have to work out A lot of compromising when it comes to ideas – a lot of middle ground. It’s like okay. Let’s compromise here That would be one way to learn [music] Bryson? He has been 3d printing these little dragon heads. We’re going to use them like… Well, just like this in the music studio. Cabinet door handles So we ordered some black plastic online to replace the pink knobs that are on the cabinets now Hi Buddy So we started out printing on Garen’s printer because my printer was broken down at the time. It’s finished kind of like a frog It just needs to have all the support stuff taken off It’s cute, isn’t it? It’s very cute. Gosh. It’s just silky, beautiful To supposingly keep our hands safe But I don’t want to smash this or ruin this Take a drill bit and I was showing Shae how to drill the holes into the back of them Oh my goodness I’m gonna go get the old knobs Let me get a screw here and see if I can get it I’m not in my pajamas What? [whistles] Ahahaha It’s not easy Maybe if I held it on this side We used the same method that the other knobs did where the screw simply screws into the back First ones done. Look at that From it’s ears. sure is a process though Looking Good Shae So our original number is 12 But we may end up printing more depending on how many cabinets We may put some larger ones for the murphy bed going to keep all my fabrics in here. Keep my equipment in here. Oh Yeah Wow, you’re booking away on this [music] We ran out We’ll have to finish this up later You know one of things that’s always with every project is how do we get enough time to do all the things that we need to do And I travel for work sometimes so it requires me to be out of town for three, four, sometimes five days You know it’s frustrating knowing that everybody’s here at the house working real hard like they’re working on the ceiling. I’d really long to be with them too and be there. When I am away It’s really reassuring to know that Bryson and Garen are here, a part of the family upholding and I know that both boys really step up to the plate when Dad’s gone And I just like, okay good. I feel better on the inside. These are the spindles for the headboard dry out a little It’s so cool to come back and be able to play here and create and have a lot of fun. That to me. It’s like one of the coolest things about what we’re doing here [music] I really like the stain that Dad is putting on. Ooh, I didn’t even see the railing. That looks so cool [music] We are driving towards the goal of completing the underground music studio With several finishing touches still needed to be completed, the family heads downstairs to see what’s next Ooh, it’s really dark in here. The gap between the ceiling and the wall still needs to be filled okay this looks really ridiculous But we did this on Bryson’s room it goes between the ceiling and the wall and we’ll trim it off and paint it purple and it will look halfway decent I use this spray foam stuff I do not take responsibility for my fallage troublemakers you want a different color [music] This is where Dad supposedly fell through Yeah, he said he fell through all the time, but he really just stepped a small step Should I cut it out just exactly like he fell out? You should just put a bandaid on it and have that sign it okay, do you have a tape measurer? No, it’s upstairs He puts them away in “Lost” Maybe he put it in the house With so many of us working. We’re always misplacing the tape measure Where’s your sense of adventure Bryson? Gosh, so unfun We only have so many of these be a little careful Can I cut it? Yeah, please do [music] Actually Mom I think we were both right All right. Go make us proud [music] Were going to try to trim this off to make it look like it is part of the wall it just look like it’s part of that stucco wall And then Shae will come back and paint it with a purple And then it will blend in a little bit better I slipped and kind of tripped and did that. Isn’t it beautiful? Yeah it’s like my signature yeah [music] I don’t have a light down here. Working? Yeah [fan starting up] I wired up the fan so that they’ll work off just a normal plug in mainly because we just wanted to test them and we needed to get some airflow down there and they’re working great. Oh, yeah, I can feel it There’s already changing temperature in here Bryson and I – we were on the electrical for the building We started on all the outlets Got them them in. We banged that out pretty quick Where the tape measure? I need the tape measure. Getting the height of the light is the challenge part. They all are a little different What are you wearing? Army pants, flip flops and… Isn’t that kind of uncomfortable with that in your toe like that Very comfortable [laughter] [music] Why are you filming me? What are you doing? Putting in lights [music] The can lights were already in right? The can lights were already in, we just put in the caps we got light bulbs This is the unboxing and drop test [laughter] oh sweet oh I’m so much faster than you What’s this Bryson? Why are you messing me up? I’m not messing you up. You said you can do it faster Serious Yes I’m serious Are you serious? Yes I am serious Screw in a lightbulb Bry. Okay, I’m gonna go plug it in Okay let’s see if this thing works The testing at the end was everything worked Which was See that, that is so cool good. It means we did it right It looks so cool Let’s go downstairs Bree and check it out Where’s the switch? Let’s see. That’s the fan. Really lights this room up pretty good. Yeah, it does it looks great guys wonderful work Got home from work today, and I’m so excited the boys went ahead and got all the electrical hooked up It’s all working so good, so I’m very excited. They did a great job The last thing needed for this building project is the floors [music] you too sir Our burlap came so we will be able to finish that and look over here too, our flooring material So we are ready to go Whoa! [music] Shae what you doing? I’m cleaning the steps that we can fill in the holes and chisel of the weird little things [music] Yeah, I got this one [music] This is Marvin. He’s back. What are you guys up to today? Trying to get some pad laid down Marvin has graciously donated some carpet we took it right out of his house so they don’t have any carpet in that room now He said you could do without for a few months. No big deal. I like perfect It looks good. It looks good all the way down pick up a little stragglers [music] It is so silent in here [music] I’m going to get the iron out that one little piece almost covers the whole thing yeah [music] Testing out the new carpet sick So I get to mess up if we mess up. Yeah I do kind of like the red tint. I think I do too I like that a lot. Much approval Mom. Do you want me to sweep it for you and then you come back through and paint it? Yeah I’d like to make a point that Mom has started painting at the top of the step which is clearly a wise decision When there is no other exit I’m only going to do half down and half back up. You just you got this figured out Obviously, I don’t [music] Get some new blades on our tools [music] Gary has this idea to put foam floor on the upstairs floor Should we see what it looks like? I didn’t want a big gray floor up there I like the foam idea to our surprise we found out that they made foam in patterns three-quarter inch plank And the only place we’re going to use a straight edge is in front of the door Yeah, everything else is cut. Bring it over. Let’s get started Once we get this first layer down We can all just get going on it so ebay we found our best price And they had a marble pattern I would prefer that but for whatever reason, it was a lot higher price so we just went with the lightest flooring that we could find I think we want to glue this down like around the edges I don’t think so. We can always do it if we need to Shelly, you should come up Yeah, come up and look. You’re going to like it. Oh, I love it Wow, they’re big. I don’t know why I would realize they’re so big they’re fun to have under your feet though there’s a top hard plastic coating to the top of this it’s not like foam This floor is going to clean up real nice when it’s laid there I thought it would look really corny But I thought well at least it would be pattern, easy to clean and it’s got the foam and it’s not gray. Can we get a drill too and we’ll open up our thing and see where we need to cut I’m going to build a square trim Dad right? on inside of here [music] Should I start just laying down? yeah I’ll peal the ends off and set them there I think of all the jobs that we’ve done on this building so far this one’s my favorite. Maybe you can play like I don’t know [music] Awwww What? I just cut this one in wrong. The grains of the wood is going the wrong way. That’s okay It’s gonna be because yeah, we’re not going to notice. That’s a really ocd cray cray dude I’m having a heart attack. It’s singing off key You know what the cool thing about someone singing off-key is? what? it makes you realize how good the people singing on-key are yeah, it also makes you lament that one person is in the choir [music] This is amazing I love this To my surprise it actually looks really good. It has a vinyl top on it So you can kind of clean it off you need to and so that’s the nice thing you can walk on it You clean it. It sweeps up nice. It’s not very expensive, and I think too if one gets ruined, you just replace it with another I don’t know how you know how long it will last and how well it will hold that, but I guess we’ll see Let’s give it a tr that’s what we’re about Dude, this is so cool not to much left We got to trim around those [music] How do you like the new floor? Huh? notice these and and those Been cutting some metal here getting ready to create the brackets that are going to hold the murphy bed up just getting fabricated now will get cleaned up and then the bracket will go from here over and then we’ll tie them together and put them on [music] [music] Don’t fall in the hole What hole? Awwww That hole Unwrapping it? Yeah. Hey it fits This is comfy [music] Notice how the crossbars is wood? Yeah, Dad likes it a lot better than metal [music] Oh No Yep, Dad is going to be really mad at himself Push Ut oh Ut, ut oh Daddy did a boo-boo. Can you fix it Bry? We won’t even tell him [music] [music] We just finished our MusArt studio. Let’s go take a look around [music] Welcome to my MusArt studio Riighht Shae, would you like to show off your corner? Technically this is my work area and that is my work area, but we like to say that is everyone work area But this one’s specifically designated to moi Are you sure that’s not the boyfriend communication station BHQ Boyfriend headquarters right here [music] This is the rocket stove here that Shae and Dad designed and put together and this baby’s going to keep us warm during the winter time We have a vent. We can vent to people now. Just why!!! You said I could vent on it right? You don’t even need my therapist anymore This is our Murphy bed Our cousin Ashton was actually the first one to sleep in the murphy bed [music] You love it don’t you [music] Sleep good okay. Let’s rock and roll downstairs to the studio part of the studio [music] You’ll actually probably notice the sound difference from upstairs to here So we’re still putting in furniture and now we’ll do the narrating The MusArt studio We begin with down tones Can’t get enough of my buttery voice? Wait, wait, wait. Here we go. What are you doing? I’m just showing how beautiful you guys look in this light. Can’t always count on that light Is there anything else? Look at this. This is our most beautiful editor in the world Our most beautiful mom Give me the camera please Thank-you. That was delightful Where’s the big screen TV and the refrigerator? This is not a guy den man cave Oh, that’s what it is. A man cave [music] It has this olden, artistic feel to it. I love the curtains and colored bottles. I like being in here I just really like it and just the skylight at top just a beautiful look it still has that modern feel though It’s creative and fun. The purpose of this building to have a place where we can think creatively And a place to work You don’t really realize how huge this building is It’s bigger on the inside. I didn’t make a Dr. Who reference. What right? So let’s go outside [music] Reflects light and reflects it on the inside at the bottom of the stairs. Oh and here’s a little bit of cob on our window [music] We installed a patio here. Actually, it an entry way ramp. [music] So that wraps up for this building Put it on repeat. Put it on replay. you can wash all your dishes to it Thanks so much for being here. Bye See ya Our family moved from the city to the country. Thanks for taking part in our adventure We have new videos every Friday evening. If you would like to help us out You can like this video, share it, subscribe or support us on Patreon. See the links in the description Please consider supporting us on Patreon

    Railroad Crossing Safety in Michigan
    Articles, Blog

    Railroad Crossing Safety in Michigan

    August 21, 2019

    [Train bells and whistle] NARRATOR: With higher speeds coming to Michigan passenger trains, and four major railroads and about 20 shortline railroads currently operating in the state, drivers need to pay close attention when they approach a railroad crossing. Don’t ever take a chance at a railroad crossing. Slow down. Obey the signs and signals. If the lights are flashing and/or the gates are activated, you are required to stop. The lights and gates are there to save your life. State law prohibits a motorist from driving around crossing gates when they are lowered. The consequences can be tragic. JEFF CAMPBELL: “This accident definitely could have been prevented. The fact that the driver tried to cross the tracks is what caused the crash. And that is the easiest way to prevent something like this is to have drivers just exercise some patience.” NARRATOR: Michigan’s 4,800 public train crossings are safe and meet state and federal standards. About half have automatic warning devices, including lights or gates, or both. Flashing lights and gates have been installed on all crossings on the Amtrak-owned line designated for high-speed rail from Kalamazoo west to the state line. So why do 60 percent of the crashes occur at crossings where there are active warning devices? People are in a hurry, or they misjudge the speed of a train. Even if the train engineer sees a car on the track, there’s little they can do. SAM CROWL: “One in particular that I remember was a driver of a car, coming up on the tracks, looking at me, as I made eye contact with him, just before impact. The driver was killed.” NARRATOR: Here are some very important facts about trains – facts that could save your life or the lives of your loved ones. It can take a mile or more for a train going 55 miles per hour to stop, once the emergency brakes are applied. That’s 18 football fields! The train you see is faster-moving and closer than you think. If you see a train approaching, wait for it to go by before you proceed across the tracks. Passenger and freight trains use the same tracks but travel at different speeds. Don’t fool yourself that you can determine the speed of a train. [Train roaring by] Here are more crossing safety tips from Operation Lifesaver: Focus your attention and follow the law. Hang up your phone, remove earphones, turn down music, and don’t text, e-mail, or use social media while driving or walking near tracks. Do not get trapped on the tracks. Proceed through a crossing only if you’re sure you can completely clear it without stopping. Always expect a train at any crossing. Trains can come from either direction, at any time. Look and listen for a train as you approach every crossing and be prepared to stop if needed. Remember, the life you save may be your own. [Train crossing bells]

    Unused Railroad Exploration
    Articles, Blog

    Unused Railroad Exploration

    August 21, 2019

    hello ladies and gentlemen, RailROL82 here. Your railroad archaeologist so I’m over here at the CSX Homestead
    subdivision on you I tell you Rico drive processing I did a tour of this crossing
    last year and today I’m gonna show you what this time looks like now that it’s
    officially out of service here we can see some girls on it so Moodle right
    there this thing was built this is facing
    south west facing north east the sign was built in 1927 looking for a real
    with the date on it 75 pound rail built by a Marilyn Marilyn steel I do not see
    a date though but yeah I know for a fact that was built in 1927 and you can see
    the old wooden ties and if I stand on this line okay it’s mostly gross just
    see what it feels like to have been on this line this is what it was what it
    would have felt like see a nice residential area next to here and
    agriculture it’s on my right I’m gonna include a little map into that crossing
    so you guys can know where I’m at and this is facing north east so you see
    over here we can find a date on the rails yep
    1926 right there 1926 built by the seaboard airline railroad design came
    from my Annie from 5-9 the International Airport and do you ignore that it came
    to haul away from from Central Florida to homestead homestead is a city that is
    about a few miles south of here just to put it into perspective on this
    Yurika drive here this crossing is 1 84th Street and this line ends at around
    320 something 330 something Street so this is our about 20 miles away or so
    from the end of the line you can see these rails pure rust that’s a shame because if these reels
    could talk I’m sure they’d have some very interesting stories to tell and yeah there we see the gateless
    crossing it’s really case on the other side so yeah guys that’s this crossing
    and I’m gonna continue further south to Seoul I thank you for coming along with
    me please subscribe for like dinking please comment over and out

    Lackawanna Cut-Off – Part 12: Freight Trains Over the Cut-Off
    Articles, Blog

    Lackawanna Cut-Off – Part 12: Freight Trains Over the Cut-Off

    August 21, 2019

    Hi. Welcome to Part 12 on the Lackawanna
    Cut-Off where we’ll going to be talking about freight trains over the Cut-Off.
    Hi, I’m Chuck Walsh and I’m president of the North Jersey Rail Commuter
    Association and we’re here on top of Garrett Mountain overlooking Paterson,
    New Jersey, and, in the far distance, New York. You’re probably wondering what
    we’re doing at Garrett Mountain. What does that have to do with the Lackawanna
    Cut-Off? It actually it has a lot to do with the Lackawanna Cut-Off. Now in the
    distance here you can see Route 80, which is the main highway in northern New
    Jersey, runs from just west of the George Washington Bridge all the way to the
    Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco. From here below us is Route 19. Now you’re
    wondering why I’m getting into talking about highways for. Well, Route 19 and
    Route 80, following this particular alignment, was the Boonton Line, or in the
    days and it was built the Boonton Branch, of the Lackawanna Railroad, over which all freight from Hoboken,
    Secaucus, you know the east and the Lackawanna, went west to Port Morris and
    over the Cut-Off. Now the Boonton Branch was built 1869,
    1870, and was a bypass to the Morristown Line. And in this segment we’re going to
    visit Denville; we’ll show you the relationship there of the Morristown Line
    and the Boonton Branch. But the Boonton Branch was essentially a cutoff, the
    cutoff between the west side of the Bergen tunnels, just outside of Hoboken,
    and Denville. And for almost a hundred years was the main freight line in
    northern New Jersey for the Lackawanna. Now when the Cut-Off was built trains
    had been running over the Boonton Branch, back and forth, for over 40 years.
    It was a low grade line, had very few grade crossings, and went through this–it
    wasn’t called a notch per se but it was a gap between Garrett Mountain and
    Gothel Hill, which is north, but basically parallel–this is the Watchung range in
    New Jersey, and there are actually a series of gaps that railroads have taken
    advantage of the different gaps in the Watchung Range. You have the next one
    down, which is Great Notch, which the Erie used for its Greenwood Lake Branch.
    We’ll talk a little bit more about that when we get to Mountain View which will
    be essentially our next stop. And the Morristown Line itself actually use the
    gap between Millburn, Springfield, Summit, up in
    that neck of the woods. But this was really a key place for the railroad to
    go through. In fact it actually took advantage of another gap west of here. So
    when the the builders of the Boonton Branch were contemplating this
    particular line they knew that this was one place they needed to go through. Now
    how does this all impact the Cut-Off? Well, yes, it was the freight line for
    a number of years that trains over the Cut-Off would come east and would go
    through here, through Patterson, around this sweeping curve through the gap over
    here and westbound the same way. Fast forward to the early 60s–and this is
    after the merger between the Erie and the Lackawanna creating the Erie
    Lackawanna Railroad–and remember we talked about this in Rails Under and Over the
    Cut-Off, that segment, where in 1960 when there was the merger that the management,
    which was primarily Erie people, who took over the Erie Lackawanna, who became part
    of the Erie Lackawanna management– shifted virtually all freight traffic
    from here up via the Erie, which actually would go in this trajectory in that way
    out, way to the east of where we are here for the most part. By 1963, the Erie Lackawanna in the
    previous two years had lost 43 million dollars; they would lose another 15 or 20
    in 1963. But in 1963 there was an opportunity presented to them where they
    could make money by selling off this section of the Boonton Branch to the New
    Jersey Highway Department. The New Jersey Highway Department would later become the
    Department of Transportation, the New Jersey DOT. But in those days they were
    the highway department. Now the highway department really, really, really, wanted
    to have this access to this gap here. As you can see this is Route 80, that
    Route 80 goes right through here. However, the Lackawanna, or at
    that point the Erie Lackawanna, had two tracks that went through that gap. In
    fact I’ve had a couple of conversations with my friend John Willever who
    worked for the Lackawanna and then got a job with the highway department in,
    like, 1956, 1957, and actually was part of the team that was tasked with condemning
    land to create Route 80. And he told me the story that the then-Commissioner of
    the, or whatever the head of the highway department was called in those days, came
    to the right-of-way team, or division, and said that–and they had been condemning
    land adjacent to the Boonton Branch, in other words, they were not at that point
    contemplating taking the right-of-way of the Boonton Branch, as
    would eventually happen–but the Commissioner had come up with a
    brilliant idea that, well, why don’t we see if the Erie Lackawanna might be
    willing to set sell part of the right-of-way.
    And at that point, as I mentioned, the Erie Lackawanna is in the red and in
    desperate straits as far as cash is concerned. So what happens is that the
    highway department approaches the Erie Lackawanna and offers money to
    buy the right-of-way, and because at that point in time the Erie Lackawanna
    had shifted all freight traffic away from the Boonton Branch they figured, oh, we
    don’t really need this and we can make a bunch of money–actually it would turn out
    to be like two million dollars–but we’re talking now fifty-five years ago, so two
    million dollars was quite a bit of money in those days, and what would have at
    least helped somewhat toward the bottom line. However, the decision was going to
    come back to haunt the Erie Lackawanna big-time and come back though the haunt
    the Cut-Off, as a matter of fact, as well. But, in any case, to finish the story
    with John Willever, what happened was that the highway department
    worked out a deal where the Erie Lackawanna could keep one track. Now this
    is where the story gets a little muddy, and then I’m going to give my opinion on
    what actually happened here. The Erie Lackawanna eventually ended up selling
    the entire right-of-way; in other words, Route 80, there are no tracks anywhere but
    we’ll actually show you, or at least we’ll try to show you, along the section
    of where there were tracks. But the Erie Lackawanna basically was willing to dump
    this right-of-way to get their two million dollars. But the highway
    department really didn’t expect that was going to happen. Now the story that has always
    been told publicly has been that the highway
    department was only willing to give the E-L–the Erie Lackawanna–money in the
    event that they sold the entire right-of-way
    and didn’t keep any tracks. But that can’t be possibly true, and here’s why. In
    eminent domain, which is another word for condemnation, in eminent domain the condemning
    party–in this case it would be the state, the State of New Jersey, the highway
    department–is obligated to pay the landowner, in this case the Erie
    Lackawanna, fair market value for whatever they take, be it land, could be a
    right-of-way, could be buildings, whatever the case may be. So to say that they
    would leave room for one track–in other words, they take
    right-of-way and only leave one track behind–means that they would have taken–
    and this section is several miles, as a matter of fact, I’m going to guess
    three four miles of right-of-way–they would have to pay the Erie Lackawanna,
    they be obligated legally to pay the Erie Lackawanna, for what they took,
    irrespective of what it took to somehow get one track to go through this section,
    with highway ramps that were going to be built and the highways themselves, and so
    forth. So basically the story that somehow that the Erie Lackawanna wasn’t
    going to get any money for leaving one track behind is nonsense, absolute
    nonsense. It cannot be. It’s legally impossible. My opinion what
    happened was that the Erie Lackawanna made up that story to justify them
    dumping the whole section of track and selling it off to the State of New
    Jersey. I think that’s what happened. And the story that’s been told over the
    years and it’s been repeated–it’s in Thomas Taber’s book, I’ve seen in other books as
    well–is, in my view, untrue; it’s false; a lie if you wish. Basically that’s what it
    is. Now, how does this affect the Cut-Off? Well, in 1963, October of 1963, the last
    trains come through here and they start tearing up the track and the
    right-of-way and planning for the highway, and so forth. Now what happens is
    that there’s several different changes that are made to the traffic patterns
    for the Erie Lackawanna. Now the first one is, of course, well, this is no longer
    in operation, the Boonton Branch, or the Boonton Line as it would become. And in
    the distance, you can’t really make it out per se, but there’s what is now
    called the Main Line for New Jersey Transit, runs through here and actually
    connects into what is remaining of the Boonton Branch east,
    timetable east–really south–of here in this direction. West of where the line
    was severed a spur was left in, what they call the Totowa Industrial Spur, all the
    way to Mountain View, which will be our next stop. At Mountain View, the Boonton
    Branch crossed at right angles with the Greenwood Lake Branch of the Erie, the
    former Erie as I mentioned. The Greenwood Lake would now become the Boonton Line
    and would shift over, which we’ll show you, on to what was originally the Boonton
    Branch at Mountain View. We’ll have maps to show you–this is a little bit
    confusing–but essentially what happens and what part of the justification for
    this particular change, if we will, of operating patterns for the Erie
    Lackawanna, was, oh, the City of Paterson still has train service; the
    line going up through Great Notch and Mountain View still runs; and the rest of
    the Boonton Line will still have passenger service west of Mountain View.
    However, what was lost was a high grade, or high speed, freight line between these
    points. To use an analogy the Greenwood Lake Branch was similar to
    basically the Old Road when you compare this to, let’s say, the Cut-Off; that was the
    difference, and an added difference was that not only was it like the Old Road to the
    Cut-Off–the Greenwood Lake to the Boonton Branch–but there was also heavy
    commuter action that was taking place every day on the Greenwood Lake Branch.
    So, as a result, freight trains would have to somehow weave in and out, if you
    will, between heavy commuter operations. So that’s where things stood through the
    60s and into the early seventies we talked about in, once again, Rails Under
    and Over the Cut-Off about the Erie Side and all the traffic being moved over
    there. Well, guess what? It didn’t exactly work out that was the best plan in the
    long run. The so-called New England Gateway dries up; the Penn-Central
    merger causes a change in freight patterns, which means basically the whole
    justification for using the Erie Side now no longer exists. So we get into the
    early- and mid-70s, the Erie Lackawanna is now forced to move all its freight
    traffic back on to the Boonton Line–not the Boonton Branch because the Boonton Branch is gone–
    the Boonton Line, and now have to run trains basically on a heavily-used
    commuter line, with a heavy grade going in and out of Great Notch, which is
    basically going through the same Watchung Mountains, only it’s
    much more of a heavy grade going up. This is a much better gap. That’s why the
    Lackawanna chose this gap to go through, not where the Greenwood Lake went
    through it at Great Notch. So, as we go through the 70s
    the Erie Lackawanna is basically stuck now with this line, which if
    they had not abandoned the Boonton Branch they wouldn’t have to have that problem.
    Now how does this affect the Cut-Off? Well it affects it big time, because after Conrail
    takes over–in other words, the Erie Lackawanna and six other railroads in
    the Northeast are conveyed into Conrail as of April 1, 1976–this line now, well
    it’s not even this line but the line that the Greenwood Lake Branch-Boonton Line as it was called, now becomes basically an albatross and Conrail
    sticks with it for about basically two years more or less–maybe a little more,
    two and a half years–and then shuts down the operation using this–at least that’s what they said, whether it was true or not, if you want to believe them or not–but Conrail said the
    main reason why they abandoned this entire route for the Erie Lackawanna, including
    the Cut-Off, was because of this, the Boonton Branch, which was removed. So, that short-sighted move back in 1963 would come back to haunt the
    Erie Lackawanna, and the Cut-Off, big-time. That’s why we came to Garrett Mountain, to
    discuss the implications of a move that took place now fifty-five years ago and
    caused the abandonment of–well, it didn’t cause the abandonment of passenger service –freight-wise it did, but there
    was still passenger traffic on the line, so that the State of New Jersey ended up,
    ironically, taking over most of the operation. But at that point the Cut-Off–
    and now we’re talking 1979–was only a freight route at that point and as we’ll
    get into in subsequent segments we’ll talk about the effort to try to bring
    back the Cut-Off using passenger service, maybe talking about freight service at
    that time, but this long predates the current effort which, you know, in the
    modern time, 2017, but we’ll talk about all that history. There’s still a lot to
    talk about the Cut-Off that we haven’t even gotten into, we haven’t really even touched
    for that matter. But a lot of it comes back to here:
    Garrett Mountain, Route 80, Route 19 that took over the right-of-way
    and basically changed the freight operation on the former Lackawanna line
    forever. There’s no way to bring this back. And you maybe you could think about
    a hundred years, or who knows how many years at some point, highways will be now
    abandoned in favor of rail lines. That could happen but that’s not
    something I’d bet on happening anytime soon, of course. But in the long-term
    maybe that will happen but in the short-term, impossible, basically. So, that’s the
    story behind Garrett Mountain and the Lackawanna and the
    Boonton Branch. So, we’re going to take a trip now to our next stop, which
    is Mountain View, and we’ll point out the relationship between the Boonton Branch,
    the Greenwood Lake, and the Boonton Line, and what is now called the Montclair-Boonton
    Line. So…here we are at Mountain View.
    Now, as I mentioned, when we were back at Garrett Mountain, the Boonton Line–this
    is the Boonton Line, or the Boonton Branch–this is looking east towards
    Garrett Mountain, Paterson, Hoboken, New York. And west is that way, towards…and I’m going to actually walk around… the Morris Canal ran, I believe, right over in
    here, as a matter of fact. This is the station
    area. Where the actual crossing with the Erie, or the Greenwood Lake
    Branch of the Erie, is up the track apiece. We’re going to visit there next
    just to give you some perspective. So as of October of 1963, freight trains stopped
    going through here, through freights. Local service still actually exists.
    You can see that the tracks are still shiny. The tracks do go several
    miles as far as Totowa, in that neck of the woods,
    and then basically used to dead-end, actually almost literally next to Route
    80 where it almost seemed like the tracks are going to go right on to the
    highway right-of-way, but I believe most of those tracks now have been removed.
    That’s a number of years ago. In any case… we’ll give you some perspective of what
    happened here, but this used to be two tracks. Originally the plan was to
    have four tracks here but that was never done. The station here was, like, 1903, was
    an early station, was here, and certainly would have been discontinued as of 1963
    at the very latest because of the cessation of all through traffic, because this was a passenger route as well. We’ve talked about freight,
    but passenger service used this as well and which would shift over to the
    Greenwood Lake Branch. So, the Greenwood Lake Branch is our next stop. The crossing, as
    it were– it doesn’t look like it did at one time–but where the two lines crossed each at grade. Here we are at Mountain View, and we’re
    going to show you what the track arrangement is now. At one time the Boonton
    Branch came across through here and continued on. As you can see, we have a New
    Jersey Transit train coming up the tracks behind me…I’m not going to try to
    compete with him. Now what’s happening is that he is now going on to the last
    piece of the Greenwood Lake Branch, and now is entering what became a
    connector. And probably by the time I finish the
    next sentence that train will be on the original Boonton Line, where it
    continues on from Mountain View. Now, that train just stopped at the Mountain
    View station, former Erie station, Erie Lackawanna. As of 1963, all trains shifted,
    went back and forth, shall we say, freights and passenger trains along this section
    of line. Now the section here that I’m standing on is essentially a wye track,
    for all intents and purposes. It comes off of the branch, continues
    up here. Now this is the original Greenwood Lake Branch I’m standing on. [Train whistle in distance] Now I’m facing north.
    This continued on to, well, Greenwood Lake. That’s why they call it the Greenwood Lake
    Branch. Now you can see another track which comes back and goes in that
    direction; that’s the connector to the Boonton
    Branch, what’s left of it east of here. This is west of Mountain View and New Jersey
    Transit goes back and forth this way. Now the question about the combining of
    routes; that occurred in 1963. There’s also been a further combining that’s
    taken place for, well, since the Lackawanna where, I should say the
    Morris and Essex, had a Boonton–I correct myself–a Montclair Branch, which went to
    Montclair. In 2002, more or less 80 years after it was
    first suggested as a connection, a connection was made from the Greenwood
    Lake Branch, which connected into the Montclair Branch of the old
    Lackawanna, creating what is now the Montclair-Boonton Line. So what happens
    is that the trains that, let’s say, we’re going in this direction–
    eastbound–when they get to Montclair, they switch off of what is the
    Greenwood Lake on to a connector track called the Montclair Connection, and then
    go on to the Montclair Branch what used to be the Lackawanna, or now is
    the Morris & Essex of Lines of New Jersey Transit, then goes into Newark-Broad Street and then into Hoboken, or could possible go into New York from
    there as well. So that traffic pattern has changed. What’s significant about that is,
    because we’ve been talked about, well, what happens if you reactivate the
    Cut-Off? Would there be long freights that could possibly go over the Cut-Off? Well, the
    question is where would they come from? There’s no place…the Boonton Branch is
    gone; this is impossible, this line dead- ends a few miles from here, as we’ve seen.
    And in this direction, the Greenwood Lake Branch was bad enough when it
    was being operated by the Erie Lackawanna, as a last resort, with heavy
    commuter operations. But since the shifting of the connection at Montclair
    so that the line now goes down the electrified Montclair Branch–that means
    there’s overhead wires, catenary that are energized–
    and the original Greenwood Lake, which went to Croxton Yard which was where the
    Erie Lackawanna ran its freights out of… You can’t get there anymore.
    So as a result, this line in terms of any kind of freight usage, maybe a little bit
    of local freight, yes. This is a freight spur; there is some local freight, but
    that’s it. The days of the long freights of hundred-plus car trains are long over.
    They will never see that here again. It’s just not possible.
    So, in any case, that is Mountain View. So our next stop– the far end if you will of
    the Boonton Branch where it connects with the Morristown Line and that’s at Denville
    Junction. Here we are at Denville Junction. As a Morristown Line train is about to leave. So that train is either headed for Dover
    or Netcong, or maybe even Hackettstown as its last stop. This is the Morristown Line,
    and on this side is the western end of the Boonton Line, what is now the
    Montclair-Boonton Line, and at one time was called the Boonton Branch. Now trains
    off of the Boonton Line will go basically on to what is the Morristown Line.
    They’re combined west of here. Now the setup here has actually changed dramatically
    over the years. Originally, and when the Boonton Branch was built, it actually came
    straight through, as it does now, but the Morristown Line, actually–and I will go
    and turn around here–actually came through where this parking lot is and
    crossed–and actually didn’t even connect in–it crossed through, went up around
    to Rockaway and came back in at what they called East Dover, and that was where
    the connection back into the Morristown Line was made. So this was at one time, in freight times, was a real busy place. It was, I’ll say, enormously complicated; you still had
    the two tracks here, but you had four tracks going west of here. There are only
    two tracks now, but there were two electrified tracks–I’m going to turn
    around again–you can see that the catenary here and maybe do just a quick
    explanation what catenary is. The catenary are these overhead wires that
    deliver electricity to trains. Now the train that just left was a
    diesel-powered train so that wasn’t a train that requires overhead catenary.
    But the catenary continues on the two tracks to the left and then there were
    two to the right. And now we got a
    Boonton Line train coming, so now we’re going to go around the other way again. Now if we get a view of the catenary, or
    I should say the pantograph, up on top of here,
    up on top of the engine. That’s been pulled down because the Boonton Line is not
    electrified, at least the western portion of the Boonton Line is not electrified. Part
    of it is all the way to Montclair State University is and then the rest of the
    line is not electrified. So, therefore, they pull the pantograph, which is the
    thingy that touches the wire, 25,000 volts of alternating current. When I
    said this is a busy spot, I meant it. Here comes now an eastbound train while
    the westbound train leaves. Now this is busy now, can you imagine back
    in the day with freight trains coming through here; it was a railfan’s
    delight to be here. Now this eastbound train…these are
    Arrow multiple–no they’re not; this is a regular old push-pull type of deal. And these are running under diesel as well.
    So he does not have the pantograph up. So, anyway, unfortunately we can’t show you a
    train with a pantograph because one of the issues with running trains–freight
    trains–east of here, talking about the Morristown Line, which has been done in
    the past, but only under basically emergency conditions. You have the
    overhead catenary which restricts the height of any train, not so much here, but
    much further east of here is a problem at Roseville Avenue–not Roseville Tunnel–
    Roseville Avenue, which is near Newark. That’s actually a Metro-North locomotive
    that’s pushing that train. But to complete the thought about the
    overhead catenary at Roseville Avenue in Newark, it restricts the height of
    everything basically. Actually the train cars–we haven’t seen any of the
    double-deckers yet–but the double deckers, which would be the tallest cars
    that New Jersey Transit would have, because you have two decks: you seats down here and
    seats up here. The height of those was actually restricted so that
    they could run under the wires, or the catenary, at Roseville Avenue, which is
    under 16 feet, so that really restricts the height of the cars and the
    locomotives, of course, as well because you need some space. Otherwise you’d have
    25,000 volts arcing between the train and the wire. So, in any case, this is
    Denville, a real hot spot we can say as we just proven. The last couple minutes
    we’ve seen three different trains. Our next stop, we’re finally getting back to
    the Cut-Off because I know we’ve been talking about the Cut-Off. And the
    whole reason for giving a view of the eastern part of the line is to talk
    about the interaction of freight with the line. The Cut-Off was built to such a
    high specification, it’s not the issue. It’s the lines east, and also
    west. We haven’t really talked too much about the west of the Cut-Off with the
    Pocono Mountains; that was an issue as well, which we’ll get into other in
    future episodes. But at least for now to give you an idea, one of the major issues
    with trains east of Port Morris, which we’ve gone through with Garrett Mountain. Freight train specifically, not so much passenger, although passenger has
    been indirectly affected by that particular change in operating
    alignment, where basically the railroad goes.
    So, onward to Port Morris, and hopefully the weather will be better there. If not,
    then at some point we will definitely continue on at Port
    Morris. Here we are at Port Morris Yard, Port
    Morris Wye. The weather has cleared up, fortunately. If we look at the Cut-Off,
    which is just on the other end of the yard going in this direction. To orient
    you, this is towards Lake Hopatcong station; the Cut-Off; in that direction is
    Netcong; and this is all of the yard, part of which is being used by New
    Jersey Transit for various purposes. As you can see there are lots of railroad
    ties and various kinds of junk, I guess you could say. This is Port Morris Wye,
    which is the connection between the Cut-Off, which is back there, and the yard itself,
    of course. Now, this wye was opened at the same time that the Cut-Off was built, opened
    in 1911, and was the conduit for trains coming in and off of the Cut-Off that
    we’re going to come into the yard here. For example, in 1913 the Lackawanna
    experimented with an incredibly long train for that time, a 132-car coal train,
    which they ran from Slateford to Port Morris. It would have come in here
    because this was a distribution point, and that train barely made it: it had
    three locomotives on front and two pushers; the train had to stop
    several times because several couplers broke under all
    that weight. I think with 8,000 tons, which is a large train, and that was an
    experiment that Lackawanna would never repeat. They learned that that was just
    too big of a train, at least for the technology, the couplers just couldn’t
    withstand that kind of torque, that kind of weight that was being
    applied onto them. Over the years this yard served certainly various
    purposes, but one of its main uses–and this would even I guess predate the
    Cut-Off, because this yard goes back into the 1880s, 1870s–was what they called
    less than carload freight, LCL as they called it. And what that means is that
    when various items were being shipped they would be grouped together with
    other shippers or receivers that were going to get that particular freight. So
    if you were shipping a any kind of, let’s say an appliance of some sort–of course
    in those days there wouldn’t be that many appliances, maybe a washer, it’s
    possible a clothes washer, although they looked quite a bit different than those
    days–but that transfer would have taken place up at Port Morris. There was an
    area, the LCL area, in Port Morris up until about 1931, which interestingly
    enough coincides roughly with the time of the closure of Roseville Siding just
    west of here, a couple miles west of here. It also coincides with the beginning of
    the depression, the Great Depression of the 1930s, so it may or may not, the siding
    closing, may not necessarily be directly related to the closing of LCL,
    although LCL may be directly related to the
    depression era. This yard would last until 1960, until the time of the merger,
    after which it would be closed. The reason why Port Morris closed was because,
    as I mentioned earlier in this video when we were at Garret Mountain, the Erie
    Lackawanna, which took over in October 1960, the Erie Lackawanna management
    shifted basically all freight off onto the former Erie side or the Erie
    mainline, which is now today’s Bergen County Line under New Jersey Transit. So
    that, for example, the Lehigh and Hudson River, which we talked about in Rails
    Under and Over the Cut-Off, which ran via the Sussex Branch into here, the Sussex
    Branch would have come in at the far end of, well it would have come in at
    Netcong but it would have connected in through Netcong at the far end of the
    the yard here in Port Morris. That also ceased after 1960 because the whole
    pattern of freight movement for the Erie Lackawanna changed from that of what was
    previously done under the Lackawanna days. So everything was moved up there;
    when I say up “there”, meaning north to Maybrook where that interchange took
    place and such that all of the main traffic up until when we start getting
    into the mid 70s when it will shift back. But up until that time, from the period
    between 1960-61, and to the time of the the great shifting back of everything to
    the Lackawanna side, everything here is basically shut down. There’s nothing
    really much of anything going on. Don’t know that the Erie
    Lackawanna actually had any plans to do anything with Port Morris. There were proposals,
    as a matter of fact, and this went even later in the time, even into the Conrail years
    past 1976, there was talk of using this particular facility as an inter-modal type of facility. In other words, the trailers would come in, basically
    truck trailers come in, and they would be transferred and pulled out by the
    tractor–the tractor trailer–and because of the close proximity of Route 80, Route
    46, Route 206, trains could have been brought into here, let’s say from
    the west, and they wouldn’t have to go all the way into, basically, the far
    eastern part of the state and then have to be brought back out. They would be out
    here and wouldn’t necessarily have to deal with as much traffic. It would’ve saved time,
    and so forth. It was never implemented. It was a great idea but it it never got any
    traction, unfortunately, and then in a couple years New Jersey Transit became
    involved and they didn’t do anything with this particular property for quite
    some time, as a matter of fact. They had their bridge department here
    for a number of years, this going into the 80s and into the 90s, as a matter of fact,
    and then they put in their own yard, which stores train sets for the
    Boonton Line, or what became later the Montclair-Boonton Line, which we just came
    from at Denville. So, basically when trains, and this was talking once
    again going back to the pre-1960 days, trains would have been coming
    back and forth through here. This would have been probably one of the most
    heavily-used pieces of track on the entire Lackawanna system, this wye track.
    Because trains leaving going westbound and trains leaving or coming
    in eastbound into this yard–not all of them would go in and out; a lot of them
    would bypass and go on to the Cut-Off–but a lot of them would come in and
    out of here, and so this this wye got quite a bit of use,
    as a matter of fact, but all that changed once the Erie Lackawanna took
    over. And that, as we’ve talked about had a dramatic effect, and then when you also
    talk about the severing of the Boonton Line in Paterson, the closure of Port
    Morris. So you see that there was a pattern here. And of course what caused all this was the shifting of the traffic to the Erie
    side, thinking that money was going to be saved, that basically over the
    long-term operating over the Erie side can be argued, maybe, was the best way of
    running the railroad. It would not stay that way. And as we talked about when–
    we’re talking about now going back to ’74- ’75 when things are shifted back to the
    Lackawanna side–it becomes very evident that the mistakes of the past have come
    back to haunt. Not only Garrett Mountain but the single-tracking of the
    Cut-Off; the single tracking of parts of the Boonton Line, as a matter of fact, as well.
    Just a lot of changes that if there had been a little bit of foresight would
    have possibly allowed Conrail to continue operation of this line past the
    time where it decided that was just going to get rid of it.
    Now there are complications, and what I guess we can get into this another time
    because we will cover this era in greater detail, but just to give you a
    little glimpse of what we could talk about when we get to Conrail and the
    abandonment of the Cut-Off…that Conrail had a heavy influence by, of course,
    the Pennsylvania and the New York Central, was Penn-Central at that point,
    but historically they were basically
    the reason for Conrail being formed and a lot of other railroads got pulled into
    that mix, and the Erie Lackawanna got pulled in very
    late, as a matter of fact; they weren’t originally intended to be part of
    Conrail, what became the Conrail merger. But the predecessor railroads
    in Conrail also had other railroads that they had financial interest in. Like the
    Pennsylvania, for example, had great interest in the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
    Which interestingly, maybe not coincidentally, after the abandonment
    of the Cut-Off, the Lehigh Valley– while it already had become
    one of the main routes–well you can think well there’s an economic interest
    that was together with that… MAN WITH CHAIR: I’m sorta getting your money. CHUCK: Hi. MAN WITH CHAIR: Hi. You don’t have to pay me. CHUCK: Well, that was interesting.
    Not sure where he’s headed. So in any case, with Conrail we see that
    what became Conrail was made of predecessor roads that actually had ties
    to the main railroads, meaning the Pennsylvania and New York Central. We can
    also talk about some of the influences that the New York Central had on the
    Lackawanna, and that that would be another discussion entirely. So, in any
    case, that’s a little bit of an overview of Port Morris, its relationship to the wye
    here, its relationship to the Cut-Off. Our next
    stop, and our last stop, is going to be at Roseville Road. We’re going to take a
    look, which we’ll discuss a little bit more freight, and we’ll also talk about
    the new bridge that’s there. Here we are at Roseville Road overpass, which you
    can see is under construction, but it is nearing the end of construction, should
    be completed as I speak within the next six weeks about. That’s what they’re
    saying. And then the work on the approaches and all that stuff and this
    particular roadway, which has been closed now for over a year now, should then
    hopefully reopen shortly thereafter. Now, one of the reasons why we’re here is
    to talk about, of course, we’re talking about freight, but this is an
    interesting location in terms of a freight accident, which occurred on
    September 17th, 1929. An eastbound freight was coming up the grade and was catching
    up to another freight which was ahead of it. The engineer in the second freight–
    and this is from an ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission) report, in those days they’re the ones who would investigate accidents–from that report,
    the engineer of the second freight train was doing somewhere in the neighborhood
    of about 25 miles an hour when he hit the rear end of the leading freight that
    was doing 11 miles an hour just on the other side of Roseville Tunnel, which at
    this point is less than a half a mile away from here. What’s interesting, though–
    a couple of things are interesting about that particular accident. First of all, it’s
    the only accident where there really seems to have been any negligence on
    part of any person, in this case the engineer, of any accident in any way
    related to the Cut-Off. There was a derailment in 1960 in Greendell,
    probably attributable to track conditions, or a switch or something, but in
    this case there was negligence on the part of the engineer. He passed a
    restricting signal; in other words, a yellow signal. He passed a red signal. He
    went over two torpedoes, which are basically explosive devices which you’d
    have to be basically dead in order to miss. And then went through the tunnel
    and then hit the leading train. There was a derailment. Fortunately, nobody was killed;
    four people were injured. But what’s significant–and then this wasn’t this
    bridge because this is a replacement bridge and is taller than the original
    bridge, although the alignment is very similar to the original bridge–what’s
    interesting is that there was a signal that was between this bridge and
    Roseville Tunnel. In 1929 it would have been a semaphore signal, and according to
    the ICC report they discovered that that particular signal would have been
    partially obscured by this bridge when it was in the down position, or maybe the
    up position… in any position apparently. That didn’t
    really factor into the actual accident itself, we don’t think. I mean the
    engineer should have seen the restricting signal; he should have seen
    the red signal, even though he might not have seen it
    initially, he had more than enough time to stop.
    He claims–and this was 6:31 in the morning when he hits the lead train from
    behind–he claims in the report that he was
    having lunch. Six-thirty-one in the morning; that sounds rather suspicious. But how on earth did he miss the torpedoes, which are like
    M-80s going off? Something was not right with that. But anyway this
    accident occurred here, probably tied up the Cut-Off for the day, or at least part
    of the day until he cleaned up the mess, and went on from there. Now in terms
    of talking about Roseville Tunnel, there really were no major operational issues
    with the tunnel per se, and we’ll divide the use of the tunnel from 1911
    up until, let’s say, the early- to mid- 70s to the Erie Lackawanna days. In the early days, or up until 1958 where there were two tracks. After 1958 we have
    a single track, which would have been the eastbound main here; the westbound main
    would have been over here. In the mid 70s they actually upgrade the Cut-Off,
    that’s the Erie Lackawanna, and they move the track, what was on the
    eastbound side, they move to basically the center of the tunnel to give greater
    clearance. Now the thing about freight trains on the Cut-Off you probably want
    me to mention something about, oh, HB-1 or HB-2, which would be Hoboken-Buffalo
    freights, the symbol freights going back or ES-98 and -99
    which were the Elizabethport–and I have a bug unfortunately flying around–
    Elizabethport to Scranton run which was a joint run after the Central Railroad of
    New Jersey gave up its operation in Pennsylvania and operated trains back
    and forth between Elizabethport on the CNJ–the Central Railroad in New Jersey–
    over the High Bridge Branch, up through Port Morris, and down the Cut-Off and up and
    over the Poconos to Scranton. I’m not going to get into a great detail about
    all the trains, to all the freight trains that ran on this line. You have to realize
    though that if you go from the time of, let’s say, the opening the Cut-Off that
    the number of freight trains was actually quite large: 40-45 freights a day
    was not unusual. As the freights, as the freight cars get larger the number of
    freights actually decreases. So we go into like the 30s and 40s you’re talking
    about maybe 20-25. At the time of the ’29 accident it was like upwards of like 50
    trains a day. But that was both passenger and and freight combined. But as you go
    into the 60s and 70s, while we know what happened in the 60s and 70s, at
    least early 60s and into the early 70s, there was basically no freight for all
    intents and purposes on this line. And then later on though the freights that
    were originally being run on the Erie Side moved over here and then Conrail
    continues to run freights, but only through the end of 1978 and after that
    they shut down the line, so there’s no activity at all. Of course, passenger had
    already ended in 1970, so there was no– except of an occasional special–there
    was no passenger operation taking place on the Cut-Off after 1970.
    So that’s a broad high-level view of freight activity on the Cut-Off. So, that
    basically ends this episode. I’m not going to give away what our next episode is,
    but maybe you can kind of guess. But I’ll leave it to you to keep that in your
    mind in terms of our episode 13, part 13. But I hope you in the meantime that you have enjoyed part 12 on the Lackawanna Cut-Off. Until next time, we’ll see you then.
    Look forward to part 13 on the Lackawanna Cut-Off.


    Pedestrian standing on railroad tracks killed by train

    August 21, 2019

    – Internal Affairs, okay?
    They investigate dirty cops. – For what?
    – The pen cap! – What do you want?
    – Her. – Whatever you need to kno4,
    but he has to stay out of it. – Do Sara and Harry have
    grandparents? – What do you mean? – When you and [email protected] husband
    go away. – I did every single thing
    you asked. – And still, I got nothing. – Can you meet me right [email protected] [“Freedom! ’90”
    by George Michael][email protected] ♪ ♪ – ♪ I won’t let you down ♪

    Concerns being raised over railroad crossing safety after deadly train crash in Virginia
    Articles, Blog

    Concerns being raised over railroad crossing safety after deadly train crash in Virginia

    August 21, 2019


    Articles, Blog


    August 21, 2019

    WELCOME TO World action and Reaction News…
    TIES HEADING? Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived
    this week in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat for what was the tenth
    meeting between the two leaders since Modi came to power in 2014. The centrepiece of the visit has been the
    Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail project. Modi and Abe laid the foundation stone for
    the bullet train in Ahmedabad on Thursday, with the former lauding Japan as India’s friend
    for having extended a Rs 88,000 crore loan at just 0.1 per cent interest. Further cementing their bilateral ties, India
    and Japan on Thursday also signed 15 memorandums of understanding (MoUs), which dealt with
    wide-ranging issues such as bilateral relations, defence and security cooperation, and supporting
    each other for a permanent seat on the United Nations� expanded Security Council. It remains to be seen if the bullet train
    will prove to be economically viable and whether India and Japan’s joint front against China
    will yield any dividends for either of the nations going ahead. Japanese firms to invest Rs 5 lakh crore in
    India While no figure was released on how much Japanese
    companies planned to invest in India, some sources said it would be around Rs 5 lakh
    crore, including the flagship bullet train project. One of the more import MoUs was on civil aviation
    cooperation and open skies. (Read all the details here) Apart from fresh investment proposals at the
    summit, Modi claimed Japan�s foreign direct investment (FDI) to India had actually trebled
    in the past few years, a testimony to the growing economic ties. So far, around $25.7 billion has flown in
    as FDI from Japan; the plan now is to double this by 2019. Bullet train project kicks off Modi and Abe on Thursday laid the foundation
    stone for the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-Speed Rail Network, commonly known as the bullet
    train, in the Gujarat city of Ahmedabad. (Read our full coverage on the viability of
    the bullet train project here) Around Rs 1.10 lakh crore will be spent on
    the project that is being partially funded by Japan. Out of the Rs 1,10,000 crore, Japan is giving
    a loan of Rs 88,000 crore. The interest on this loan is minimal at 0.1
    per cent and it is to be repaid in 50 years, with a grace period of 15 years. The train will stop at each of the 12 railway
    stations on the route, but only for 165 seconds. A 21-km-long tunnel will be dug between Boisar
    and BKC in Mumbai, of which seven km will be under water. Enhancing Defence ties with an Eye on China,
    Countering Terrorism During the visit, Abe and Modi agreed to deepen
    defence ties and push for more cooperation with Australia and the United States, as they
    seek to counter growing Chinese influence across Asia. (Read all the details here) Abe’s visit comes less than three weeks after
    New Delhi and Beijing agreed to end the longest and most serious military confrontation along
    their shared and contested border in decades. In fact, Japan had come out in full support
    for India in its protracted military standoff with China at Doklam, near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan
    tri-junction, saying no country should use unilateral forces to change the status quo
    on the ground. In a lengthy joint statement, India and Japan
    said deepening security links was paramount. This included collaboration on research into
    unmanned ground vehicles and robotics and the possibility of joint field exercises between
    their armies. There was also “renewed momentum” for cooperation
    with the United States and Australia. Both nations addressed the other’s security
    concerns beyond China too. Modi and Abe used the summit to jointly condemn
    North Korea�s latest nuclear test and uranium enrichment activities, urging the hermit nation
    to comply with UNSC resolutions. Further, one of the most significant joint
    announcements was when the two called upon all countries to work towards rooting out
    terrorist safe havens. India and Japan vowed to cooperate to tackle
    terrorist groups and the joint statement by the two countries mentioned names such as
    Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Jaish-e-Mohammed. The two leaders also demanded Pakistan to
    initiate action against terrorist outfits responsible for attacks in Mumbai (2008) and
    Pathankot (2016). Progress On India-Japan Trade Will Take Time
    to Fructify Though the India-Japan joint statement mentioned
    �enhancing free, fair and open trade�, the industry specific trade developments will
    take time to fructify. India�s trade with Japan fell 16 per cent
    in four years from 2013-14 to 2016-17, mostly on account of falling petroleum demand and
    prices. (Take a look at India’s major imports and
    exports with Japan here) Petroleum products like liquid paraffin, mineral
    oils and transformer oils form the highest exported component (at the 8-digit HS code
    level), but their exports to Japan have bottomed over the years, from more than a third of
    total exports at $2.4 billion to $70 million. By and large, this can be attributed to fallen
    oil prices and reduced demand from advanced economies, including Japan. On the other hand, petrochemical exports � especially
    those of naphtha and some oils � to Japan have improved, but there is a caveat. �Naphtha is getting exported without adding
    value domestically as a raw material,� Mahendra Singh, general secretary of the Chemicals
    and Petrochemicals Manufacturer�s Association (CPMA) of India told Business Standard. Throwing the Doors Open for Japanese Industrial
    Townships and Expats With India and Japan declaring that the key
    to global economic progress lies in the development of both the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions,
    PM Modi on Thursday invited more Japanese investments in India even as agreements were
    announced for setting up four Japanese industrial townships in India. “Today, four locations have been announced… Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil
    Nadu… for setting up Japanese industrial townships,” Modi said on Thursday in his address
    at the India-Japan Business Plenary, which was held
    in Gandhinagar.

    Is CHINA the new tiger of BANGLADESH? – KJ VIDS
    Articles, Blog

    Is CHINA the new tiger of BANGLADESH? – KJ VIDS

    August 21, 2019

    (curious music) – [Narrator] Bangladesh
    and China have maintained good relations for much of history. Today the two countries share a strong strategic relationship, with China playing a vital role
    mainly in terms of economic and infrastructure
    development of Bangladesh. However, things weren’t so
    good especially during the time when Bangladesh gained
    independence from Pakistan and the subsequent years
    until around the mid 1970s. I’m your host, Kasim. Welcome to another KJ Vid. In this video we will
    look at the relationship between China and Bangladesh. During Bangladesh’s War
    of Liberation in 1971, there was a outbreak of
    complex geopolitical rivalries. India had allied with Bangladesh
    due to their long-term conflicts with Pakistan, and
    more so because Bangladesh was actually a part of Pakistan after the end of the
    British empire since 1947. China had been allied with
    Pakistan for most of history, and the ties strengthened
    especially around the time of the Sino-Indian war in 1962. As a result China opposed
    Bangladesh’s independence and vetoed their UN membership until 1974. It was only after the military
    coup in Bangladesh in 1975 that relations between
    Bangladesh and China started to improve. Prime Minister of Bangladesh
    since their independence, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had
    close ties with India, and only months after
    the military takeover, China eventually recognised
    Bangladesh as an independent state as diplomatic
    relations were secured. This dramatic transformation
    was fascinating, but it did not come as a
    surprise as the military rule led by President Ziaur
    Rahman distanced Bangladesh from India and the Soviets, which can possibly be
    regarded as one of the most significant reasons for
    their improved relationships. Ziaur Rahman helped
    restore free market economy in Bangladesh and made
    a visit to China in 1977 which is regarded as a crucial
    step in laying groundwork for bilateral cooperation, which was followed by
    Chinese visits to Bangladesh in the late 1970s. Since then, state visits
    between the two countries have been regular most of
    which have resulted in positive discussions and signings
    of agreements on political, economic, and security issues. Bangladesh and China have
    a very strong relationship that ranges from the
    spheres of the economy, politics, development,
    to defence and security. Today, Bangladesh considers China an “all-weather friend
    and a trusted ally”. In the 2010 visit to Bangladesh by then Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, he stated that Sino-Bangladesh
    relations would remain strong regardless of any change in the domestic or international situation. Bangladesh Prime Minister
    Sheikh Hasina on the other hand reiterated the importance
    of the country’s bilateral relations with China
    considering them a major ally of the highest significance. One of the most important
    aspects of the Sino-Bangla bilateral relations is
    the economic cooperation. China are by far the largest
    trading partner of Bangladesh with the latest World Bank
    figures revealing that Chinese exports to Bangladesh to be worth over 10 billion dollars in 2015. On the other hand Bangladesh is China’s third
    largest trade partner. Majority of Bangladesh’s
    imports from China consist of raw materials
    for clothing and textile. However, the balance of
    trade between the countries is significant with
    Bangladesh having a deficit of approximately nine billion dollars. Reduction in trade deficit
    has been a primary concern for Bangladesh over the years, and following negotiations China
    agreed to provide duty-free access to around 5,000
    Bangladeshi products to the Chinese market under the
    Asia Pacific Trade Agreement which has so far resulted
    in a slight decline in the ratio of trade deficit. Talks have been in
    progress for several years about Bangladesh seeking a
    zero-tariff access of 99 percent items including Ready-made
    garments products in order to improve balance of trade. China’s meteoric rise in becoming
    the second largest economy in the world only behind the United States by toppling Japan was possible largely due to its diversified economy, while having 14 FTA’s with developed as well as developing
    countries around the globe. However there are some
    challenges of the FTA, mainly with regard to
    China’s ‘Made in China 2015’ industrial policy plan. There are significant restrictions
    on investing in China, and also preference is given
    to state-owned enterprises that control 38 percent of
    industrial assets in China, skewing competition in the
    market in favour of those. Also another concern for foreign investors is the ‘Chinese ways’ of
    implementation and enforcement of laws and regulations which
    tend to be ambiguous and lax. A major geopolitical
    challenge concerning the FTA would come from the
    United States and India, especially with India also having a strong
    alliance with Bangladesh. Chances are that India may
    take the Chinese assertion in its backyard as a means
    of increasing influence in India’s sphere, while the
    United States may consider an FTA as a geo strategic
    obstacle in containing China at the Bay of Bengal and
    the Indian Ocean region. However, if Bangladesh
    wants to achieve a fairly unrestricted access to Chinese markets it needs to keep pushing further
    on the negotiation table, while asserting to their
    other major allies, India and the United
    States that the actions are for their own best interests mainly in terms of economic development. The recent trade war
    instigated by Donald Trump with his protectionist approach, with Chinese retaliations following by, has had impacts in the
    Bangladeshi economy. There has been a rise in
    steel prices, mainly rods, in the domestic market
    threatening both the major public infrastructure projects
    and the real estate market due to the US imposing
    tariff on 34 billion dollars worth of exports from China. While the latter imposed
    tariffs on American cotton, and while China plan on
    importing cotton from India, the prices had already
    increased by 10 to 12 percent. It must be noted that more
    than half of Bangladesh’s cotton imports are from India. Soaring cotton prices would
    significantly hurt Bangladesh’s economy as they would affect
    the ready made garment sector. Despite having strong economic ties there have been disagreements; a significant one is
    Bangladesh’s refusal of agreeing to China’s terms and
    conditions for the construction of the Sonadia deep-sea port in 2014. But generally, defence cooperation
    has been one of the major strengths in the bilateral relations between the two countries. China happens to be the
    only country that Bangladesh has signed a defence agreement
    with, which was done in 2002. Since then China had been the
    largest supplier of weapons and military equipment to Bangladesh, with latter being the
    second largest recipient of Chinese arms in the
    world between 2011 and 2015. Between 2013 and 2017, China
    has provided Bangladesh with 71 percent of all
    their arms purchases. Bangladesh also recently
    purchased their first submarine to add to their naval fleet
    causing concerns in India. The Bangladeshi armed forces
    have acquired large numbers of tanks, large-caliber artillery, armoured personnel carriers, small arms and light weapons, as Chinese arms are the
    Bangladeshi Army’s weapon of choice while the Navy use Chinese
    frigates with missiles, missile boats, torpedo boats among others. China has also been supplying fighter jets and training aircraft to the Bangladeshi Air Force since 1977. Very recently, China and Bangladesh made crucial developments
    in security cooperation. The bilateral relations
    between the two countries have been elevated to “Strategic Partnership of Cooperation”. The deal is aimed at intelligence sharing and counter-terrorism activities, although other important
    matters such as cyber crime, militancy, transnational
    crimes, narcotics, fire service, and visa issues were also discussed during the signing of
    this major agreement. Development cooperation
    is an integral part of the bilateral relations
    between China and Bangladesh. China has played a crucial role in the infrastructure
    development of Bangladesh over the years. It has assisted Bangladesh
    in building bridges, roads and railway tracks and power plants. The development assistance
    from China to Bangladesh and other developing countries
    mostly come as LOC’s. During a recent Bangladesh visit in 2016, President Xi Jingping
    promised 24 billion dollars in economic assistance to Bangladesh mainly as LOCs related to 24 projects. China assisted Bangladesh
    in the construction of six bridges commonly known as the “”China- Bangladesh
    Friendship” bridges. China also helped
    Bangladesh in constructing the Barapukuria coal-fired
    power plant located in Dinajpur in the
    North West of Bangladesh and was commissioned in 2006. During Jingpin’s visit
    to Bangladesh in 2016, the two countries signed
    agreements for two 1320 Megawatt coal-fired power plants. One in Payra, Patuakhali and the other in Banshkhali, Chittagong. Making China the largest energy partner to Bangladesh overtaking India. China has also provided economic
    assistance to Bangladesh in terms of free aid and token gifts. Two major agreements were signed in 2010 for establishing a fertiliser factory, and telecommunications
    network systems in Bangladesh that were to be set up with
    a 770 million dollar LOC from China with a two
    percent interest rate payable within 20 years. There had been discussions
    for several years on potential road and railway connections
    linking Chittagong with Kunming that would boost the economies
    of both the countries. However, that has not
    materialised as of yet. Currently China is developing
    a 750 acre industrial park in Chittagong which will take five years to become fully operational
    and it will largely be used by Chinese manufacturing firms. The good relations shared
    between China and Bangladesh have always been of mutual interests and both countries benefit from that. Although the growing relations
    between China and Bangladesh raise geopolitical tensions
    in the South Asia region and the Bay of Bengal, there
    should not be much doubt about China’s primary interest lies in the booming economy of Bangladesh, which has been ever so dependent on their bilateral trade relations. Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently said that there
    is nothing to be concerned about for India while not
    explicitly mentioning China or any other country, and
    that Bangladesh need funds for the sole purpose of development and that she would welcome any country that is willing to invest in the country. She also urged India to
    maintain cordial relationship with all its neighbours. Keeping close ties with
    Bangladesh will no doubt be hugely beneficial for China as
    the demand for oil and gas have risen largely owing
    to its growing industries, and having a strong geopolitical presence in the Bay of Bengal and
    the littoral countries could give them an advantage
    in terms of accessibility to various ports. On the other hand, as it stands, Bangladesh can only benefit
    from the cooperation with a major economic power
    as it has done so in terms of their diplomatic, economic,
    and security affairs. And would be keenly anticipating
    further developments in their bilateral cooperation. (curious music)