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The Cosmopolitan Railway

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In 1893, a footnote to the Book of the [Chicago World's] Fair stated, "The connection of the railroad systems of the world by way of Bering strait is by no means the chimerical project that some would have us believe, nor one that may not ere long be accomplished". 128 years later, such a link still has yet to come to fruition, nor will it in the near future. But that isn't to say that the idea is dead, far from it, and the project is now more technically feasible than ever, even if there would be countless environmental, economic and social issues to hammer out first.  Just five years ago, China began planning for a railway that would connect it to Russia, the United States and Canada via a 200 kilometer tunnel . Artistic rendition of the Bering Strait Railway Tunnel. From Bering Strait Tunnel Back on World Agenda! by Rachel Douglas, 21st Century Science & Technology, Spring/Summer 2007 Since a connection between North America and Asia has been in humanity'

Interstate 97: Why it Exists and How to Remove It

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I am not a fan of I-97; the number, not the road itself. The road itself is a short but important connection between Baltimore and Annapolis, MD, but it exists as only a 17 mile freeway, shorter than most three digit interstates. In fact, it is by far the shortest primary interstate highway, that is, one with only two digits in its numbering, and while I-87 in North Carolina (sadly) exists; it is planned to connect to Norfolk, VA, along a corridor longer than 100 miles in length.  That numbering will almost certainly be an entire blog of its own, but today we're going to explore how I-97 came into being as the short connector route that it is today, and how it could be incorporated into a much longer route.  A state-named Northbound I-97 Mile Marker. Famartin, Wikipedia Commons  - 2018. I propose five alternatives in renumbering, although I'm certain none will be acted upon, it's been a fun exercise for road enthusiasts to fix issues with the Interstate Highway System, such

And the dirty ole' track...was the Telegraph Road

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Before the creation of I-75, The major thoroughfare between Toledo and Detroit was Telegraph Road, and it has quite a long history. Currently carrying US-24, Telegraph Road was immortalized as a song by Dire Straits in their 1982 album "Love Over Gold".  If you have 14 minutes to spare, the song is an awesome bit of 80's progressive rock. Today we're going to do things slightly different, in that I was to discuss the history of both the road and the song, because I think the lyrics do a great job to that end. The modern-day Telegraph Road is one of the major parts of US-24 in Michigan; the other follows the Saginaw Trail , one of the numerous Native American trails that have been incorporated into our infrastructure in some form or another. The trail connects Saginaw with Detroit, and then US-24 heads south to Toledo. Despite US-24 being an East-West US Highway between Colorado and Indiana, it makes a turn in the Toledo area to become a North-South highway and follow

A Railroad into the Clouds: The Mount Washington Cog Railway

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A New Hampshire state legislator in the 1850's suggested that Sylvester Marsh, who was planning a railroad line from the base to the summit of Mount Washington, New Hampshire, should be granted the charter; not just to the summit, but to the moon as well, for how impossible such a railroad line would be. At over 6,200 feet in height, Mount Washington is the tallest mountain in the Northeastern United States, and its summit is well above the tree line, making the ascent feel similar to the much higher mountain terrains in the Rocky Mountains. Despite the incredible prominence of the mountain, Marsh was undeterred, and even put $5000 of his own money towards the project, which helped secure the charter for the railroad. In 1868, Marsh would prove his detractors wrong when his railroad was completed, one of the first rack and pinion railways in the world, and to this day the second-steepest grade in existence. This line is the Mount Washington Cog Railway , which we visited during La

Railbike Explorers: Railbiking Rhode Island!

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Last week, we visited another railbike excursion, this time the RailExplorers: Rhode Island Division . We initially were scheduled to go on the northern tour, but with flooding wreaking havoc on the entire Northeast after remnants of Ida passed through, we were moved onto the southern tour.  Just like with our visit to Tracks and Yaks in Frostburg, MD, we had an incredible time biking and taking in the scenery of southeastern Rhode Island! Luckily, by the time we'd visited, there were nothing but sunny skies and perfect weather, which certainly made filming our experience easier! The railbike tour uses remnants of the former Old Colony & Newport Railroad  line, which once linked Newport to Fall River, MA and points north, such as Boston. Through the product of numerous mergers and acquisitions, like many railroad companies, it would eventually become part of the much larger New York New Haven & Hartford  Railroad. Like the rest of the New Haven, this became part of Penn Ce

Cleveland's Abandoned Pedestrian Bridge: The Sidaway Bridge

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The Sidaway Bridge was a pedestrian bridge built over the Kingsbury Run that connected two otherwise unconnected neighborhoods in Cleveland, OH; namely the Kinsman Road and Jackowo neighborhoods. Despite its length at 680 feet, it was built solely for use as a pedestrian bridge. In fact, it is the only suspension bridge in the Cleveland area. While it still stands today, it has been closed for over fifty years. (Location on our Abandoned Places map) Image via the Cleveland Historical Society . " Spanning Kingsbury Run: This 1966 photo, with a view generally to the north, shows the full length of the Sidaway Bridge. It is 680 feet long with a center span of 400 feet. Its 6-foot wide walkway is located 80 feet above Kingsbury Run. The bridge's two support towers are 105 feet tall. One writer noted in 1978 that, while it won no awards when it was built, it is clearly a beautiful structure. Also shown in the photo are the buildings built by the Nickel Plate Railroad for use as c

US Highway 97 in Alaska

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The Territories of Puerto Rico, Alaska and Hawaii were included in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 , with the latter two, Alaska and Hawaii preparing to become US states, which they would become in 1959.  As such, a question arose as to whether the US Route system could be expanded into these new future-states as well. While a US Highway that entered another state, or was over 300 miles in length would be impossible in Hawaii, it would be easily possible in the vastness that is Alaska, and thus a push was made to give the Alaska Highway the US-97 designation. US Highway 97 has been mostly the same since it was first designated 1934, running from Weed, CA in the south where it started at US-99, now Interstate 5, to the Canadian Border north of Oroville, WA.  But in trying to connect the future State of Alaska to the Lower 48 in a more concise way, the idea of a northerly extension to US-97 gained serious traction, to the point where signs were actually created for the highway. Th