Browsing Tag: Railroad

    Bauxite Train In Discovery Bay, St Ann, Jamaica
    Articles, Blog

    Bauxite Train In Discovery Bay, St Ann, Jamaica

    January 17, 2020

    The Jamaican railway originated as a private and small undertaking in 1843 by the Smith’s Brother who proposed to construct a rail system. Its major role, initially was the transportation of goods and people. The discovery of bauxite in the 1940s, brought about the need to utilized railway as the preferred mode of transporting the bauxite extract to be processed and shipped. In 1992, public rail transport services stopped operating, although bauxite industry (bauxite mining) continue to operate using the Jamaica Railway Corporation lines. To-date, plans are being pursued to restore the railway network, and increase mobility in Jamaica.

    Transportation Interpretive Center at the Port of Kalama
    Articles, Blog

    Transportation Interpretive Center at the Port of Kalama

    January 17, 2020

    My name’s Mark Wilson. I’m the Executive
    Director for the Port of Kalama. As the Executive Director, I’m responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Port under the guidance and the policy set by
    the Port Commission. About 15 years ago, the community did a
    community planning effort and it was one of those things where everybody comes
    together, brainstorms all the little things that they think that would make the
    community a better place to live and and then you’ve developed this list of
    projects that you go out and execute and one of those was a museum about the
    history of our community. We have a really rich history here for a relatively small town, and a pretty diverse history. Well, we frequently have folks that
    live here will bring family that comes to, comes to town down and walk them
    through this and then take him to lunch next door at McMenamins and then they
    walk the halls at McMenamins and look at all of the other history that’s on the
    walls. So it’s become a place of pride I think for the community to become, to be
    able to come down, tell, show the history of the community and with real items,
    some of them life-size so you can actually see what they look like and
    touch them. There’s just these funny collections of
    things that happened here that are tied to a lot of bigger things that went on in
    the greater development of the Northwest and the changes that happened. The wagon here is a representation of
    the Meeker wagon that Ezra used when he went to went back across the Oregon
    Trail when he was retracing it so the photograph here is Ezra Meeker in Kalama. He was the very first homesteader in Kalama. He had a cabin right here also
    near the spot of that first rail. They drove the first spike of the
    Northern Pacific on the western end was here in Kalama and so that was the the
    beginning of the Northern Pacific Railways presence in the Pacific
    Northwest. First mainline rail was just a few
    hundred yards from where we stand. The Tacoma Ferry was a designed to shuttle entire trains across the river and so these steam locomotives would come into town, they would break the trains down with a switching locomotive, load onto
    three rail sets across the deck of the ferry, steamer would paddle across the
    river, and then they’d offload it on the other side. The story of the ship being
    built or the boat being built clear over on the East Coast, taken apart, shipped
    clear around the Horn, and reassembled in Portland before it was put into service
    so it ran for about 25 years I think was roughly 1884 to 1908. Last run was right after Christmas of 1908 and then they then they shut it
    down. And this exhibit we talk a little bit
    about the the different countries that we currently trade with all over the
    globe. So Port of Kalama’s connected to the Pacific Rim. We ship over 13 million tons
    of cargo a year all over the globe, primarily wheat, corn and soybeans so
    we’re feeding a lot of people around the world. When we were developing the
    interpretative center we contacted the Cowlitz Tribe about providing a canoe for
    this because that was one of the very earliest forms of transportation and
    technologies for trade. This is carved from a cedar log but this is only half
    of the log. The other half of the log has a sister canoe that the tribe made
    for themselves so we’re able to get this carved and it shows an example of the
    kinds of canoes that would have moved up and down the Columbia River where they
    would be out hunting, gathering, doing their their other activities and then
    engaging in trade with the other tribes nearby or anybody else that was moving
    through the area. This story is kind of fun too because
    the person that found it was a commercial fisherman that lives here in
    the community and he was clearing his drifts so that he could drift his net
    through a stretch of the river and so they were down there with divers they
    found this piece of wood sticking out on the bed they hooked onto it to move it
    and discovered that there was an anchor attached to the piece of wood. I figured
    well nobody just leaves an anchor behind so I started digging into it and
    discovered that there was a ship accident almost identical to the
    location where we found the vessel. 1889, two ships collided in the river one
    was at anchor and one was coming downstream. Fortunately for us it was
    tied up in a big legal battle and went all the way to the US Supreme Court
    so there’s Supreme Court records that describe in great detail how the ship
    accident happened its exact location and the fisherman’s description of where he
    found the anchor and where the ship accident happened were within a couple
    hundred yards of one another so I can’t say for sure that that’s where it came
    from but I found a picture of the vessel that sunk and they had the same kind of
    anchor so we think we could tie it together it’s pretty pretty plausible
    but I can’t guarantee that because there’s no there’s no markings on it. There’s a lot more here than meets the eye. We’re a small community but we’re
    at the crossroads of trade routes and it’s brought a lot of people here over
    time, a lot of people that you wouldn’t think would be here. you

    The Last Spike – Canadian History #2
    Articles, Blog

    The Last Spike – Canadian History #2

    January 17, 2020

    This is an iconic picture of the
    Canadian Pacific Railway director Donald Smith hitting the last spike. It united the
    east and west parts of Canada and in many ways created the nation we know
    today. The funny thing is, this is actually the second spike He totally
    missed the first one and so they had to retake the picture because he messed it up
    so badly the first time. Old white guys, am i right!? Nothing is real. The world is
    a lie. Welcome to more Canadian history! Today we’re going to be talking about
    the last spike. So Pierre, “wood” you like to get started? … Oh yeah, that’s right. I
    forgot beavers are impervious to puns. I became fascinated by the railway and its
    history in Canada back in junior high. I was shown this miniseries by my teacher
    called The National Dream. It was hosted by Pierre Berton, no relation to you, and
    he was a Canadian historian that went into great depth about why the railway
    was so important. If you can somehow track this down I would highly recommend
    it. Yes it was made in the 70s so the production value isn’t as high as you’d
    be able to see today, but it’s a great exploration about how crazy it was to
    think that we could actually tie together this sparsely populated nation. And it showcases some of the wonderfully weird characters in our history. So the
    person who spearheaded this crazy railroad idea in the first place was our
    very first Prime Minister, Sir John A. MacDonald. He’s the guy that’s on the $10
    bill! He understood just how fragile our unity
    actually was, and whether it was showboating or not, he really didn’t want the United
    States to lay claim to all of North America. There seems to be a bit of a
    disagreement between historians about how big of a threat
    it actually was, but MacDonald really wanted that railway to reach British
    Columbia before the Americans got a railway there, to protect British
    Columbia within the Canadian Union. And spoiler alert! That’s exactly what
    happened and why Alaska is so cut off from the rest of the continental United
    States. The railway now seems pretty quaint and
    old technology, but at the time it was quite advanced. It
    would be decades before the national highway system, or even cars existed. MacDonald’s dedication to this form of transportation nearly bankrupted the
    country and literally almost came to blows in Parliament. And happening
    simultaneously with this political intrigue in the East; in the West there
    was people discovering ways to blast through the Rocky Mountains. You got
    to meet all these fascinating figures in Canadian history, like William Cornelius
    Van Horne, the CPR general manager who proclaimed himself to be “the boss of
    everybody and everything.” He was essentially the Lex Luthor of that era,
    except – you know – not super evil. He was an American, but renounced his American
    citizenship after the construction of the railway was done. And there was also
    Andrew Onderdonk – just a fun name to say. He was tasked with finding a way to
    blast through those harsh granite walls of the Rocky Mountains. Thousands of
    Chinese workers came to help with this work and to place dangerous dynamite
    charges. It’s estimated that there is three Chinese lives lost for every
    kilometer of track lain. And this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the other
    surveyors and settlers of the West. While this was going on, by the time that this
    picture was taken, John A. McDonald had both lost and then come back to become
    Prime Minister again. Thousands of lives had been lost, but a country was
    starting to take shape. Cool stuff huh! Pierre? What do you mean you’ve been sleeping! My
    name is Kyle, this is Pierre. Thanks again for watching a short video about
    Canadian history. I also upload videos every Monday and Thursday. You can also
    like and subscribe down below for more. I’ll see you again next Saturday!

    Skagway, Alaska Cruise Port Guide: White Pass & Yukon Route Railway
    Articles, Blog

    Skagway, Alaska Cruise Port Guide: White Pass & Yukon Route Railway

    January 15, 2020

    The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway is
    a popular attraction for cruise guests visiting Skagway, Alaska. Completed in 1900, the railroad was the primary
    means of transportation for prospectors travelling over the White Pass to the goldfields in the
    Yukon. The “White Pass Summit Excursion” allows
    guests to ride in vintage-style passenger cars along the same route as gold prospectors
    of the past while seeing spectacular views, gold rush points of interest, and more. The narrated tour takes about two-and-a-half
    hours as the train travels forty miles round-trip to the White Pass summit at 2,888 feet in
    elevation. We enjoyed the White Pass Summit Excursion
    with our little JellyBean while visiting Skagway during our Alaskan cruise in late May of 2019. The “White Pass Summit Excursion” can
    be booked through your cruise line or the railroad’s website. If you book through your cruise line, you’ll
    board the train alongside your ship. We purchased tickets through the railroad’s
    site and selected a departure time that was convenient for our schedule. The site offered minimal savings, but our
    non-cruise-line passenger car also seemed to be less crowded for our tour. If you book through the railroad, be sure
    to allow 15-20 minutes for the roughly half-mile walk from the furthest Skagway piers to the
    train depot. The White Pass Depot is one of the first buildings
    you’ll see in Downtown Skagway. The depot has restrooms, a gift shop, a small coffee bar, and a cute photo op. Large complimentary maps of the train’s
    route are available at the ticket booth. The map helped us track the points of interest
    — and our current elevation — during the tour. A smaller version is available in the All
    Aboard magazine. Each White Pass and Yukon Route train has
    multiple engines and passenger cars, including some that are wheelchair accessible. Each car is heated and has several rows of
    padded seats that each hold two adults. Small windows at the top of the cars can be
    opened for fresh air and restrooms are located in the back of the car. During our tour, complimentary bottled water
    and brochures were available and the tour guide’s narration was broadcast through
    the speakers. On an interesting note, almost all of the
    passenger cars are named for a lake or river in Alaska, the Yukon, or British Columbia. When you board the train, be aware that both
    sides of the train will have views of all of the sights by the end of the tour. The left side will see most of the sights
    on the way up to the summit and the right side on the way down. Although you cannot move from car to car,
    you can enjoy the tour from the outdoor platforms at the front and back of each car. As the train leaves the depot, there will
    be a few sights located on the right side of the train. The first is Harriet Pullen’s grave. “Ma Pullen” was an entrepreneur during
    the Gold Rush who eventually opened and owned an upscale hotel. Further along on the right, the abandoned
    Salmon Hatchery was established in 1982 by the city as a vocational opportunity for local
    high schoolers. Gold Rush Cemetery is located on the right,
    at mile 2.5 of the journey. It was the first cemetery of Skagway and many
    people tied to the Gold Rush are buried there. As the train leaves town, the Skagway River
    — which starts in British Columbia, Canada — will be visible on the left side of the
    train. At mile 5.8, the train crosses the Skagway
    River near the start of the Denver Glacier trail. At mile 6.9, Rocky Point provides a great
    view back to Skagway and the cruise ships, with Mount Harding in the distance. Across the canyon, you can see the Klondike
    Highway, which also leads to the White Pass Summit. Near mile 8, you can catch a glimpse of a
    large whirlpool and rapids in the Skagway River that are rated Class 6, or “unpassable.” The “On to Alaska with Buchanan” sign
    on the opposite side of the canyon at mile 8.8 was reportedly painted in the 1930s and
    40s to commemorate George Buchanan, a businessman who helped bring boys from
    Detroit to Alaska each year. After passing Buchanan Rock, you’ll likely
    see more and more waterfalls on the rocky side — or right side — of the railroad. At mile 11.5, you can see Bridal Veil Falls,
    which — according to the brochure — “cascades 6,000 feet from the glaciers on Mount Cleveland
    and Mount Clifford.” Heney Station at mile 12.3 was named for Michael
    J. Heney, the man who authorized and managed the construction of the railroad. Near Heney Station, the railroad track splits. During our tour, two other White Pass and
    Yukon Route trains passed in the opposite direction heading back to Skagway. While we waited, our train was stopped near
    a small avalanche that was still visible up the mountainside. As the train approaches the bridge, you’ll
    pass Glacier Station and the start of the Laughton Glacier trail at mile 14. After crossing the bridge, Mount Carmack will
    be visible in the distance. The mountain was likely named after George
    W. Carmack, whose group discovered the gold that started the Klondike gold rush. Near Glacier Gorge, the train enters Tunnel
    Mountain at mile 16 for a pitch-black journey to the other side. The view from Inspiration Point at mile 17
    — through the criss-crossing mountainsides to Skagway below — is breathtaking. The 400-foot steel bridge at mile 18.6 was
    the tallest cantilever bridge in the world when it was completed in 1901. The replacement for the steel bridge and the
    675-foot tunnel at mile 18.8 were completed in 1969. At mile 20.4, the train will reach the White
    Pass Summit and cross the US/Canada border, which is designated by two flags and a marker. The train then turns back and begins the descent
    to Skagway. Along the way, there are several opportunities
    to take great photos of your train against a spectacular Alaskan backdrop. After finishing the White Pass and Yukon Route
    railway tour, the train depot is a great place to start exploring Skagway, starting with
    the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park next door. Kids can complete a Junior Ranger book in
    advance — at home or on the train ride — and turn it in to be sworn in as a Junior Ranger. Ranger-led tours through Skagway’s Historic
    District are available and tickets can be reserved online in advance. Finally, a fun photo op near the train depot
    — especially for smaller kids — is the railroad’s HUGE Rotary Snowplow #1 that was built in
    1898 and retired in 1965.


    Brazil Railways – Narrow gauge steam, Broad gauge freight

    January 14, 2020

    Brazil Railways – Sao Joao del Rei, August 2006
    Brasil Ferrovias – Sao Joao del Rei, Agosto 2006 São João del Rei a city in the southeastern Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. The colonial city is home to 18th-century churches like the São Francisco de Assis, my focus is on The Estrada de Ferro Oeste de Minas (EFOM) a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow-gauge railway. The tourist railway operates between São João del Rei and Tiradentes. Enjoy shots of doubled headed steam on two photo charters taking advantage of evening and morning light. A brief stop at Joaquim Murtinho, Minas Gerias to observe broad gauge freight action of MRS Logistica Trem da Vale Ouro Preto a 18km, metre gauge line from Ouro Preto to Mariana. The train is powered by a 2-10-2 built by Skoda in 1949.