Showing posts from April, 2020

Visiting Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu (By Jet Lagged Jaff)

My Visit to Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu Modern Day Machu Picchu. Image: Chelsea Cook, Pexels One of history's most famous archaeological sites is that of Machu Picchu , an ancient Incan city built on the side of Huayna Picchu Mountain, located in present day Peru. In January, our friend JetLaggedJaff was able to visit this amazing world heritage site, and share his thoughts on visiting. Take it away! Before I discuss my visit to this magnificent civilization, I want to give a little basic history behind it. As some of you may know, Machu Picchu was built back in the 15th century and eventually abandoned in the 16th century. Machu Picchu was used as a royal estate built by the Incan Emperor Pachacuti. Construction of Machu Picchu began in the 14th century, after the Incans defeated the Chanca people in the territory. It was built as a refuge for the Incan aristocrats.  Located nearly 8000' above sea level, mountainous weather and fog are common climac

The Havana Rantoul & Eastern Railroad

The Havana Rantoul & Eastern Railroad was one of the very few narrow-gauge railways in the State of Illinois. Construction began in 1875, and eventually the line ran from LeRoy, IL to West Lebanon, IN. A Havana-LeRoy segment of the road was proposed, but never constructed. ( Right of way ) Image: "A westbound Illinois Central train passes the Sabina station en route to LeRoy. This was the first grain elevator east of LeRoy on the colorful “Punkin’ Vine.” ( Jack Keefe ) It was built in response to the Illinois Central Railroad , whom financier Benjamin F. Gifford believed was charging exorbitant freight rates. Locals referred to the operation as the Punkin’ Vine, alluding to its narrow trackage. Havana Rantoul & Eastern RR Stock Certificate. ( Amazon ) Like many short lines , it ran on a shoestring budget, and had little in the way of rolling stock. Less than five years into its life, it was purchased by the Wabash Railroad. Havana Rantoul & Eastern

From Railyard to National Icon: Toronto's CN Tower

As the North American railway network contracts in size (while improving efficiencies and moving more tonnage overall), there are many examples of former railroad property that has been converted into prime real estate, as many railyards were once built in and around major cities in the United States and Canada. Chinatown Square in Chicago, and Heinz Stadium in Pittsburgh are two of the many examples of this, and something we've discussed before .  In Canada, the Canadian National Railway turned a redundant railyard into Toronto's Entertainment District, which houses, among other venues, the Toronto Railway Museum , and the CN Tower, the subject of today's blog. JetLaggedJaff visited the Tower in 2015, and shared his thoughts on the visit. CN Tower Stock Image The CN Tower, also known as The Canadian National Tower, was constructed from 1973 to 1976. It was built over the former Railway Lands. The Railway Lands is a neighborhood in Toronto near the waterfr