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Showing posts from March, 2019

Meigs Field: Gone Under Cover of Night

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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

Abandoned & Out of Service Railroad Lines Map: Year Three

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It's been three years since I began the insurmountable task of finding all the abandoned railroad corridors of the world. It actually began on 3/29/16, but I have another blog soon to be posted. On one hand, the map, with nearly 400,000 views (undoubtedly more once this post is published), is a complete and massive success. On the other hand, after three years, there's still plenty more to discover! What started as a simple thought while walking on an abandoned railroad corridor one day, "I wonder how many abandoned railroads there are?" took me further than I'd ever thought possible, and spawned this map, this blog, my photography,  Facebook page , Twitter , Instagram , and an interest in railroad art  and memorabilia. The bridge over US 45 along the Old Plank Rd Trail; among my favorite rail-trails in Chicago . I summarized the background of the map and in last year's update , so this post is going to be mostly about the map's current status

The Ancients: 6 Railroads Abandoned Before 1900

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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

11 Of The Most Amazing Abandoned Railroad Bridges Still Standing Today

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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: CoachellaValley.com 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