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| | |-+  Vintage film- Richmond VA triple crossing and the Southernís Natural Tunnel
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Author Topic: Vintage film- Richmond VA triple crossing and the Southernís Natural Tunnel  (Read 419 times)
Trainman203

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« on: July 10, 2020, 07:43:27 PM »

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A52359

This film shows two important railroad landmarks in the South, both in Virginia -  the Triple Crossing in Richmond and Natural Tunnel on the Southern Railway.

These excellent histories are good.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Crossing

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Tunnel_State_Park

The Triple Crossing is related to replacement of the Church Hill Tunnel because of maintenance issues and eventual collapse in 1925.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Hill_Tunnel

The clip of Natural Tunnel is spectacular.  The views from the interior show the stupendous height of the tunnel, 80+ feet in places, and the width being enough to accommodate a stream and a pole line.  There is a telltale at the mouth of the tunnel, an absurdity given the monumental interior height.

The first sequence is one of SRís early-Mallet-era 2-8-8-2ís emerging with a rider on the pilot, possibly a switchman but more likely a hobo.  After that, what appears to be a 2-8-0 pulling a mixed freight comes out of the tunnel, again giving someone a pilot ride.  The first three cars are really nifty wooden side dump gondolas.

The next sequence is from inside, of another 2-8-8-2 slowly approaching. A figure sitting by the track gets up and walks back, I wonder if he is a hobo getting ready to hop the slow moving drag.

The next sequence is inside the other end of the tunnel, spectacular in its cathedral-like height.  The creek and the pole line are clearly seen.  An engine begins to appear but is cut off by the photographer.  

The last scene is a wonderful view of yet another 2-8-8-2 coming out of the same portal, clearly educating us on the hows and whys of articulated steam power.

These two incredible railroad landmarks in the South deserve better recognition.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2020, 08:08:51 AM by Trainman203 » Logged

Modeling the New Iberia and Northern 1945
RAM

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« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2020, 12:03:39 AM »

The triple crossing is still there.  I think it is two NS and one CSX
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Trainman203

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« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2020, 10:58:55 AM »

Engine 231, still buried in the Church Hill Tunnel in Richmond:

https://www.richmond.com/c-o-locomotive-engine-no-231/image_b819c61c-91f7-11e3-aacf-001a4bcf6878.html
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Trainman203

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« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2020, 06:03:33 PM »

C&O 231 was a very modern and heavy 4-4-0, built at a time when the wheel arrangement was already too small for the growing size of the trains of the time, ie a modern design of an obsolete type.  The last 4-4-0 was built in the 1920ís for the C&EI, after large Limaís were already on the scene.  By the 20ís, 4-4-0ís werenít really good for much except branchline work and duties like the buried MOW train, that didnít have to go fast and sat still a lot of the time, not using steam faster than it could be generated.

Thereís several on line articles about multiple occasions that reclamation of the 231 and the two deceased workers still down there was considered, but the consensus was that if the water filled tunnel was drained,  the heavily developed surface 50í above would collapse also.  So likely the 231 is down there forever.
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ebtnut

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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2020, 09:29:38 PM »

Wish I could see these, but I don't have Flash player and it doesn't seem to be available to download, unless I missed something.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2020, 01:09:51 PM »

They are whatever program they are.  Other people are having issues too.  Sorry i canít help.
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Trainman203

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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 11:47:21 PM »

About the pilot riders- long ago I read that a number of SR engines had an engine-wide step on the pilot that made them very popular with hoboes who could manage to jump onboard when the train was just starting, undetected by the engine crew, most likely the preoccupied fireman.  Anyone who has ever gone through a tunnel behind a steam engine, especially uphill, can appreciate why these grand seats were prized by the bindle stiffs.
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RAM

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« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2020, 09:09:45 PM »

I think he was the head brakemen.  It would be a much cooler ride than the cab on a hot day in the south. 
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Trainman203

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« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2020, 12:29:10 PM »

Yeah, of course, coulda been, but if youíve been behind a coal burning steamer through a tunnel of any length you understand quite well the value of being in front of the stack.  SR used tender riding doghouses on only some of their engines and I donít know which got one and which didnít, but could not have been a good place to be either.
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