Rails & Trails Pages

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Louisville 2013

In August, 2013, I flew to Louisville to see my first grandson, Christopher Paul Hawley, born the previous week.  My wife Margie had driven down two weeks previously.  Louisville is a great city and I try and see new sites each time I visit the Cardinal town.

We went to a Louisville Bats baseball game.  Louisville is the AAA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.  The League is one-step from the major leagues.  The team plays in Louisville Slugger Field which was just voted the number 2 minor league stadium in the entire country.  From the outside:

Inside the front gate at the ticket booth:

The Color Guard for the game was one of the most interesting I have ever seen at any game:

How do you like my seat???  Actually our seats were way down the 3rd base line but the usher let me take this picture through the net right behind home plate.  I told him we were from Wisconsin and what could we do to sit behind home plate?  He told me to come back in the 4th inning and we would have seats but we sat in our "new" seats behind 3rd base where we didn't have to look through the net.

 It was Billy Hamilton Night at the Ball Park and the first 2,500 fans got Billy Hamilton bobbleheads.  I had no idea who Billy Hamilton was (is) but turns out he set the stolen base record last year with 155 steals!!  He got a double this night and stole third base without a throw!  I was using my wife's camera this night and the battery now went dead so no night shots!

I had lined up a cab ride in the engine at the Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven for Sunday.  I was anxious to do this as they use a CF7, a very rare engine.  Just as I was leaving Louisville I got a phone call from them saying the engine had broken down the previous night during their Murder Mystery Train and they would not be running on Sunday!  (Their backup engine had issues also).  They were very apologetic but it probably didn't hurt their business as this is their slow time of year and they didn't have many reservations for a ride.  (Do you have any idea how hot and humid Kentucky is at this time of year????)

So I drove down to the Ohio River Riverfront to see some industry action.  Sunday mornings are always good for railfanning as there is no traffic around and a person can drive anywhere there is no gate.  I found that the RJ Corman Railroad does the switching at many industries here.  They connect to the CSX mainline for interchanging cars.  Here their engines at the left are at a Sand & Gravel facility and they load sand into gondolas (some sand besides frac sand must be valuable!)  The engine on the right is the one they use for switching and interchanging cars.

Their track at this location could use the equipment they have right now on the Barron sub replacing the ties they didn't get in last summer.  The track is actually worse than this picture shows.

 It was impossible to drive into all the industries so I snapped one pic of one facility.

On Monday morning I walked across the Big Four Bridge.  This is an abandoned railroad bridge and named after the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad that used it.  It has sat abandoned since 1969 and both approaches were removed so it just sat up in the air (like the CNW bridge at Winona, only much bigger).  Finally funding was figured out to rehab it for use it part of a walking/biking path between Kentucky and Indiana.  

In this shot you see several bridges.  First is the Big Four Bridge.  Next is the I65 Bridge, the main artery between Indiana and Kentucky.  This bridge backs up for MILES at rush hour.  Behind the I65 Bridge is the Clark Memorial Bridge which goes downtown, and behind that the CSX Railroad bridge which crosses right at the "Falls On The Ohio."  There should be some good railroad photos here as it is in a neat park.  (When I tried that last time the bridge was closed for repairs!!!)

To get up on the bridge, they constructed a spiral walkway.

You can almost imagine yourself an engineer on a train about to enter the bridge:

The two most interesting things I found about the bridge is that 42 men were killed during the construction of the first bridge and this "new" bridge was built inside the original structure and then the original one was removed.

 There are a lot of barges on the Ohio River.  I thought it was neat that this coal barge had 2 tugs and then the one on the left dropped off right after I snapped the picture.  Must have been a booster through the locks or by the bridges.

Since there is so much traffic on the I65 bridge, they are building a new bridge right beside it so they will have 2 bridges allowing traffic to proceed better through "spaghetti junction."  They are also building a new bridge a few miles east so traffic will be improved in a few years.

The approach on the Indiana side is not finished so the bridge is closed at the north end.

And this is the reason I went to Louisville--Christopher Paul Hawley with sister Catherine Elaine, mother Allison, and father Josh. 

Another fun visit to Loooville!  Already looking forward to the next trip!!!!

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