Showing posts from March, 2019

Meigs Field: Gone Under Cover of Night

My father almost never played video games, but was a big fan of Flight Simulator , as he was also an amateur pilot. While I never cared much for planes (I was more interested in trains and automobiles), I enjoyed the game as well, and loved seeing the birds-eye view of the ground from a Cessna (the commercial jets were far too complicated for a six year old). Nowadays, Google Earth offers the same thing , with much simpler controls. But my favorite thing about the game was that the default airport, and the one we almost always took off from, was Meigs Field in Chicago. Image: Alex Hauzer via  Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields Seeing my city in all its 32-bit glory was great, and probably is at least partially responsible for my love of digital mapping. But past 2004, the default airport of  Flight Simulator  was no longer Meigs Field, for a very simple reason. It no longer existed. Late in the night of March 30, 2003 , the airport was razed and large X's were placed on the

South America's First Railway: The Demerara-Berbice Railway

The Demerara-Berbice Railway was the first railroad built in both Guyana, and the continent of South America, beginning service in 1848. It connected Georgetown with Rosignol on Guyana's east coast. ( Right of way ), and is sometimes referred to as the Demerara-Mahaica Railway . Guyana National Trust rendition of the Railway Terminus at Cumminsburg in Georgetown Sadly, opening day ceremonies featured one of its directors being run over by the locomotive. At that time, the country was known as British Guiana. The railroad was designed by Frederick Catherwood, and financed by the Demerera Sugar Company, as a way to transport sugar from the jungles of Guyana to the Port of Georgetown. The railway was built to connect the Demerara River with the Berbice River in order to transport goods and people between the two areas. It was initially built as a wooden-railed tramway and was later upgraded to a standard-gauge railway. The railway was considered a major technological and engineering a

The Ancients: 6 Railroads Abandoned Before 1900

Most of the abandoned railroad corridors in the United States have been abandoned post-1970, as federal regulators became more lenient in allowing under performing lines to be abandoned, or railbanked . Spikes in abandoned railroad lines also occurred around 1916 and 1940, both of which involved tearing of rails for steel to aid in the effort of both World Wars. But indeed, railroad abandonment is an ongoing process, and has been since nearly the beginning of the history of railroads in the US. With that in mind, I wanted to discuss some of the earliest abandoned railroad lines, abandoned before the turn of the 20th century, which died before no one reading this would ever remember seeing. 6) Iron Range & Huron Bay Railroad (Abandoned: 1893) One of the two used Baldwin locomotives used for the IR&HB Railroad. Image: Baraga County Historical Museum The story of the Iron Range & Huron Bay Railroad could easily take up an entire blog post. It was one of dozens of r

St. Mary's, Lake City & Gulf Railroad: A Georgia Geographical Oddity

The St. Mary's, Lake City & Gulf Railroad  was a short lived railroad that ran approx. 30 miles between Boulogne, FL and Charlton, GA. ( Right of way ) Sadly, very little is known about this railroad, and much of it that is known was only available thanks to the Internet Archive , which is an incredible project to preserve digital information!  From 1895 Rand McNally Map of Georgia. The railroad immediately north of the SMLC&G is the Suwanee Canal Company's Brunswick & Pensacola Railroad. (RailGA) The now defunct RailGA website described it as follows, "In 1893-96, the Brooks Brothers lumber and turpentine company built a rail line along Trail Ridge, on the eastern edge of the Okefenokee Swamp, naming it the St. Marys, Lake City & Gulf Railroad. The northern terminus of the SMLC&G was at Boulogne, Florida, on the Jacksonville branch of the Savannah, Florida, & Western. From there the railroad ran west across the St. Marys to Traders Hill and then so

11 Of The Most Amazing Abandoned Railroad Bridges Still Standing Today - Updated February 2023

With the hundreds of thousands of miles of abandoned railroad corridors in the world, it's no surprise that some of the most amazing infrastructure humanity has ever built was eventually abandoned, or re-purposed. And indeed, many bridges, trestles and viaducts have been lost to history, such as the Brushy Creek Viaduct in Alabama. But there are also many which still stand today which serve as reminders of bygone days, the folly of man, or the power of Mother Nature, or some combination thereof. Here are 11 such bridges. 11) Goat Canyon Trestle, Jacumba Hot Springs, CA (32.729167, -116.183333) Image: Goat Canyon Trestle is the largest standing (for now) wooden trestle in the United States, and in spots is 200 feet off the ground, and 750 feet long. Built in the 1930's, it's actually a lot younger than it looks, since by the 1930's, steel had all but replaced wood as the preferred construction material for bridges. It was made out of woo