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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:45 am 

Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:07 am
Posts: 133
In looking at the photos there is some empty land behind the tower.

Is this RR property or someone else's? Maybe you could use it or another nearby piece of land as a temporary landing point? Dillabaugh could probably get the building off the property in one piece in a day, maybe two. That would get you around the IHB deadline. This is what we did to get Haley out of the way of CSX in the time alotted. It's also what was planned had we not been able to lease the land Spring Hill was on from CP.

That would give you time to raise the total cost of moving the building to HVRM.

Bill


Les Beckman wrote:

Thanks for the note. The $40K figure came from the same company that moved Dearborn Tower for the Whitewater Valley Railroad. They moved Dearborn in sections, and I assume that the proposed move of Grasselli would be somewhat similar. There is a difference in the size of the two towers however. The "footprint" of Dearborn is about 13' x 13'. As stated previously, the "footprint" of Grasselli is about 12' x 35'.

I admit that moving Grasselli in the time alloted by the IHB is probably unrealistic. But that is what we have at the present. If we show the railroad that we are making firm progress toward getting the Tower moved, we are hopeful that they will give us additional time. But as of right now, the original date is all we have to work with.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2008 10:28 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:04 am
Posts: 151
Location: Argos, Indiana
Just a short update ---

Les, a few other guys from the museum and myself visited the tower last week with IHB and we looked things over. This tower has to be saved and we a perfect home for it! The inner workings of an operational tower is something that must be seen to be appreciated.

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Bob Barcus, Treasurer
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
North Judson, Indiana


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2008 2:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5434
Does anyone have any idea as to when the last mechanical interlocking tower was erected in the United States? We have been having some problem finding out when Grasselli Tower was actually built. The IHB tells us that they have not been able to find anything in their records. The model board (track layout) shows a 1944 date, but that seems awfully late for a tower of this type.

I am GUESSING that the tower was actually built by the Chicago, Indiana & Southern, a New York Central subsidiary. There is a tower about a half mile or so north of Grasselli on the same CI&S line, that resembles Grasselli, but is quite a bit larger. It was also built with a mechanical interlocking plant. I think that the two towers may have been built about the same time.

If anyone can furnish information, I would be appreciative.

Les Beckman (Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum/North Judson, Indiana)


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 1:00 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
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Les Beckman wrote:
Does anyone have any idea as to when the last mechanical interlocking tower was erected in the United States? We have been having some problem finding out when Grasselli Tower was actually built. The IHB tells us that they have not been able to find anything in their records. The model board (track layout) shows a 1944 date, but that seems awfully late for a tower of this type.

I am GUESSING that the tower was actually built by the Chicago, Indiana & Southern, a New York Central subsidiary. There is a tower about a half mile or so north of Grasselli on the same CI&S line, that resembles Grasselli, but is quite a bit larger. It was also built with a mechanical interlocking plant. I think that the two towers may have been built about the same time.

If anyone can furnish information, I would be appreciative.

Les Beckman (Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum/North Judson, Indiana)


Got some good news this week. Number one, Bill Gustason, who runs an IHB website, was able to come up with a track diagram of Grasselli Tower from 1916. Thus we now know that the tower was there at least as of that date and it is thus, at least 92 years old. Secondly, as our efforts to secure donations continues, we did receive notice from the IHB of a 30 day extension in getting the tower moved off of their property. Every little bit of additional time helps!

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:43 pm 

Joined: Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:18 am
Posts: 416
Location: San Francisco
Have you spoken with a house mover or two about the job yet? I did not have the sense the messages that you had a firm bid and proposed schedule to do the work. It looks like there is a lot of prep work that you could be doing now, and it would be good to have some professional guidance on what can be done now to save time and money later. It would also be good to have the mover go over the route possibilities to confirm that the structure can be moved without being cut into at least two pieces.

I also recommend developing a contingency plan in case your organization is unable to raise the money by a certain date. You should be prepared to document the structure with drawings and photos, and remove as much as you can walk away with. Saving that terrific interlocking equipment should be the highest priority, but it would also be reasonable to take all of the millwork, windows, and doors if your organization would like to commit to reconstructing the building.

Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:04 am
Posts: 151
Location: Argos, Indiana
Here's a scan of the Grasselli Interlocking Track Diagram:

Image

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Bob Barcus, Treasurer
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
North Judson, Indiana


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 10:20 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5434
Bob -

Thanks much for posting the 1916 track diagram. In addition to showing the Grasselli Tower building there at that time, it also revealed where the B&OCT line was. There is a reference to the B&OCT on the model board in the tower, but we could not tell for sure where their line was. That particular line probably disappeared quite some time ago. The IHB line that branches off "to Cudahy" is also now gone, but that must be a more recent development as the repair to Kennedy Avenue where the line was, is still readily visible.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5434
A proposal has come in to HVRM that Grasselli Tower might be able to be moved on its side, intact. The company making the proposal moved a smaller two-story tower this way. What I am trying to find out is if any other preserved towers (or other buildings for that matter) were moved in this manner, and whether the results were satisfactory.

Thanks for any information that can be furnished.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:41 pm 

Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 1360
Les Beckman wrote:
A proposal has come in to HVRM that Grasselli Tower might be able to be moved on its side, intact. The company making the proposal moved a smaller two-story tower this way. What I am trying to find out is if any other preserved towers (or other buildings for that matter) were moved in this manner, and whether the results were satisfactory.

Thanks for any information that can be furnished.

Les


Back around 1976-78, I saw a tower in Minneapolis that was apparently being prepared to be moved that way. It was just east of Hwy #280 near Union Yard. Others may recall something more specific about it. It had been fitted with large angle irons with their flanges wrapping around each of the four corners from the ground to the roof. Steel rods were welded in an "X" bracing pattern between the angle irons. The angle iron was on the order of perhaps 6" X 6" X 1/2", and the rods were about 1" dia. There may have been some cross bars perpendicular to the angles in addition. At the time, my impression was that they were preparing to move it by laying it on its side as you describe. Basically, they built a big structual steel basket around the tower to pick it up and handle it with a crane.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:15 am 

Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:04 am
Posts: 151
Location: Argos, Indiana
We've got a new website dedicated to the Grasselli Tower project. You can visit it at http://www.grassellitower.com. We'll be adding more information and photos as that information becomes available.

When you think about it, we only need 2,500 people to donate $20 each to get this project done... that sure seems do-able!!!

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Bob Barcus, Treasurer
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum
North Judson, Indiana


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:37 am 
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Posts: 1322
Location: Henderson Nevada
We had a tank house (residential water tank support building) moved to our site 0n its side. Tank houses are stoutly built (to support the weight of the water) so it didn't take any special cradle or other handling...

I saw a tower which due to its balloon frame came apart when cut apart to be moved as separate first and second stories.

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Randy Hees
Director, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City, Nevada
http://museums.nevadaculture.org/nsrmbc
http://www.nevadasouthern.com/
https://www.facebook.com/FriendsOfNevadaSouthernRailway


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:31 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 33
Location: Southeastern PA
May I suggest you add a PayPal link to your website. If so, I will send along $20.


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5434
A couple of links of interest:

http://www.haleytower.org/springhillmove/sht-move.html

http://www.2719.com/pages/towerphoto2.html

The first link shows photos of the move of Spring Hill Tower to the Haley Tower museum site in Terre Haute, Indiana. In this case, the tower was moved in 4 sections; roof, second floor, first floor and interlocking plant.

The second link shows the Eau Claire tower sitting intact on its side. Unfortunately, there are no detail pictures of the procedure in getting the tower into this position or eventually uprighting it.

Both towers have now been completely restored and are intact in their new locations; Spring Hill Tower at the Wabash Valley Railroader's Museum in Terre Haute and Eau Claire Tower in Carson Park in that city.

Les


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2008 11:22 pm 

Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2006 9:07 am
Posts: 133
Les,

We looked at laying Spring Hill on its side too. Structural integrity was an issue.

The thing most poeple don't realize about interlocking towers is they are not square. They are built like a pyramid. Larger on the bottom than up at the top. If you lay it on it's side you shift the weight to points that weren't designed to bear it.

Also, in the case of a tower with an all mechanical machine, the machine is built as part of the foundation. By that I mean the tower was constructed around the machine which is normally mounted to cross beams that are held up by posts that are in turn anchored to steel rail or beams which are anchored into the foundation.

Looking at the Eau Claire photos, it looks like the beams attached to the tower bottom are there to keep the building from collapsing. It looks like the building was lifted from the foundation, leaving the bottom floor behind and the first floor is hollow. Is this one of the towers I've heard was saved without a machine inside?


Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Tower under the gun!
PostPosted: Wed Feb 13, 2008 6:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:25 pm
Posts: 5434
hytwr1 wrote:
Looking at the Eau Claire photos, it looks like the beams attached to the tower bottom are there to keep the building from collapsing. It looks like the building was lifted from the foundation, leaving the bottom floor behind and the first floor is hollow. Is this one of the towers I've heard was saved without a machine inside?Bill


Bill - I don't know if this tower has the interlocking machine inside or not. There is nothing on the Chippewa Valley (2719) group's website that says one way or the other. And no one from that organization has made any comments, as much as I would like to hear from them.

Les


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