787 Construction

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787 Construction

Postby Mdudek » Fri Mar 02, 2018 9:31 am

I'm trying to find any information / pictures about the unit trains of fill that the D&H operated during the construction of the 787 interchange for the Collar City Bridge. I've heard about this operation, but never have been able to find any specifics.

Thanks!
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Steve Wagner » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:22 pm

I have read an account about this, possibly with some photos. Here are two preliminary guesses as to where. First, in the Bridge Line Historical Society Bulletin, which has now been published monthly for more than 25 years. The second is one of the several books on the D&H published in relatively recent years.

Once I have time I'll try to search for it. I've just finished my 11-times-a-year volunteer stint writing for the BLHS Bulletin (while still working for wages full time at the age of 71). I have to catch up on a lot of household work, including tax return preparation, first.

My memory is that the Norfolk & Western helped to supply the hopper cars for all the earth and gravel hauling for the construction of I-787. That probably means it occurred either during the time Dereco controlled the D&H along with the EL -- the subject of a fairly recent hardback from Morning Sun Books -- or while Bruce Sterling was President of the D&H in the 1970's. That doesn't much help with the question of when an article on the subject appeared in the BLHS Bulletin, if it did. If it did, it may well have been one of the columns written by Howard Hontz, a former D&H vice president.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Steve Wagner » Fri Mar 02, 2018 8:33 pm

The account of the D&H unit trains that helped build I-787 in the Capital District isn't in Dereco In Colr: The N&W Tests the Waters in the Northeast 1968-72, by Arthur J. Erdman, published by Morning Sun Books in 2015. I've just now (March 2, around 8:25-8:30 p.m.) looked through my copy. I'll have to check the BLHS Bulletin. Bruce (or Carl) Sterzing was D&H President a little later. He was a former N&W official and maintained good relations with that railroad.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Mdudek » Sat Mar 10, 2018 8:52 pm

Thanks for the info!
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Wed Mar 14, 2018 11:42 am

I believe it was discussed in Bridge Line Freight, Volume I, by Dominic Bouregois.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Engineer Spike » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:30 am

Where was the fill excavated from?
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Steve Wagner » Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:54 am

Monday, April 23, 9:41 a.m. EDT

While looking for something else I found the following this weekend, in Delaware and Hudson In Color Volume 2 by Jeremy F. Plant and Jeffery G. Plant, published by Morning Sun Books:

On page 14 the location noted is Half Moon [NY]. A photo has this caption: "The massive construction in Albany during the Rockefeller years required large amounts of gravel to be transported to the city for the South Mall and I-787 projects. D&H contracted to haul gravel from a pit in Half Moon, between Mechanicville and Waterford on the Albany lien, in solid trains usually hauled by a pair of RS3s or RS11/36s. Jim Shaughnessy climbed high above the loading area to capture this shot of two RS3s waiting for their train to be loaded in August of 1970.

The locos, in the blue, gray and yellow lighting stripe livery, are coupled at the front of train, which includes at least black 30 hopper cars, extending around an S curve with the other end out of sight. Norfolk & Western's initials are visible on the first four cars. The first 12 or so cars have been loaded, evidently by a what appears to be a front-end loader on the outside of a sweeping curve. About 5/6 of what is visible is gravel and/or sand, with verdant woods to in the upper right and at the very top of the picture below a bit of blue sky with clouds. A typically great shot by Mr. Shaughnessy!

I still think there was an article on the arrangements made for these trains some time back in the BLHS Bulletin, but I simply haven't yet had time to make a systematic search for it in my nearly complete set of back issues of that publication. I probably won't be able to until I've finished my writing for its upcoming June and July issues, traveled by Amtrak to and from the reunion of the class of 1968 at Oberlin College in Ohio May 24-28, and finally finished a long-overdue updating of my D&H modeling bibliography.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Engineer Spike » Thu May 17, 2018 10:35 am

I wonder if it was at the Troy Sand and Gravel pit at MP15. Other than that, I haven’t seen signs of a former switch. I’ve also been looking for signs of where the AN came it. I’m on an Albany based job, so there are lots of opportunities to look.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Benjamin Maggi » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:23 am

A friend (who isn't a registered member here.. tisk tisk) saw this and sent me the following information to post. It would seem the gravel pit is in Halfmoon off Lower Newtown Road.

Also, available online (and if you pay, in better resolution and size):
The Troy Times newspaper had an article in their 7/25/1970 paper on page 10 about this fill project including pictures.
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Re: 787 Construction

Postby Engineer Spike » Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:25 pm

Thanks Ben. There is a sand and gravel pit just north of Lower Newtown. This is the Troy Sand and Gravel pit which I mentioned.
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