Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)


Bob Chaparro
 

Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)

Photos from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1bz10

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1qj65

Photos can be enlarged.

Bob Chaparro

Hemet, CA


Todd Sullivan
 

Interesting photo, but why on earth would they do that?

Todd Sullivan


Edward
 

Probably thought best to keep the contents of that box car intact if it could be placed closer to a work site where the load inside was needed.
That could help prevent things from getting lost, stolen, etc. if the lading had to be transferred from the boxcar to other methods of cartage to get to the worksite.
Think of it as a shopping bag.
It was after all, just a big box that happened to have railroad wheels under it.

Ed Bommer  


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

Another possibility is that they may have short section(s) of temporary track at the bottom, and it might be useful to be able to easily move the the car and it’s contents to various locations. That’s not particularly unusual. They sometimes swung and lowered small locomotives into similar sites for moving such cars about.

Dan Mitchell
==========

On Jun 11, 2022, at 2:19 PM, Edward <edb8381@...> wrote:

Probably thought best to keep the contents of that box car intact if it could be placed closer to a work site where the load inside was needed.
That could help prevent things from getting lost, stolen, etc. if the lading had to be transferred from the boxcar to other methods of cartage to get to the worksite.
Think of it as a shopping bag.
It was after all, just a big box that happened to have railroad wheels under it.

Ed Bommer  


Jack Mullen
 

On Sat, Jun 11, 2022 at 12:52 PM, Daniel A. Mitchell wrote:
Another possibility is that they may have short section(s) of temporary track at the bottom, and it might be useful to be able to easily move the the car and it’s contents to various locations.
That may be the case. If you look at the second  photo in the OP, there's a rectangular recess below where the boxcar is hanging, that looks like the platform carrying the car would fit into it. There appear to be parallel lines leading from it which may indicate a track.
Whether or not the car is going to be moved further by rail, lowering a loaded car saves an intermediate step of unloading and reloading the contents. The great dam and bridge projects of that period were innovative in developing methods to increase production efficiency and Improve safety.
Great photos! - and many more on the site. Thanks.

Jack Mullen 


Alexander Schneider Jr
 

Lowering a loaded car on wheels, balanced on a platform suspended in the middle,  seems very unstable. If the center of gravity is even slightly off the platform will tip and the car will tend to roll or slide further in that direction. 

Winds in the canyon, possibly in different directions at different heights, are another factor. 

The photo proves they did it, but it wasn't a safe way. Hope the lading wasn't dynamite. 


Edward
 
Edited

I am certain the car was secured to that platform.
Brakes set and wheels chocked to prevent any movement by the car.
Possibly chains were used as well to prevent any movement of that car on the platform.
Also, lifting was done with steel rods at each corner, to maintain a level lift no lateral dipping or sideway rocking of the platform and its load.

Anyway, dynamite does not explode if its dropped or smashed but care should be exercised in handling it anyway.
No smoking around it and keep any lit matches away from it as well!
Dynamite's development earned a Nobel Prize for creating a safer to handle explosive for mining and tunnel construction. 

Ed Bommer


Daniel A. Mitchell
 

It wasn’t all that unusual. Railroad cars and smaller locomotives were occasionally moved by overhead tramways of various designs and sizes. It was everyday standard practice in a few places, such as the Michigan-California lumber operation across the American River in California. Complete loaded lumber flatcars were routinely moved across a huge gorge

Dan Mitchell
==========.

On Jun 11, 2022, at 5:29 PM, Alexander Schneider Jr <aschneiderjr@...> wrote:

Lowering a loaded car on wheels, balanced on a platform suspended in the middle,  seems very unstable. If the center of gravity is even slightly off the platform will tip and the car will tend to roll or slide further in that direction. 

Winds in the canyon, possibly in different directions at different heights, are another factor. 

The photo proves they did it, but it wasn't a safe way. Hope the lading wasn't dynamite. 



 

You’re a little backwards. Alfred Nobel invented dynamite. The invention made his rich. However, he was troubled that he had made his fortune on the misery of others (dynamite, other explosives, and weapons made by his company made war more deadly) He was called out as a war profiteer.

 

So he founded the Nobel Prizes.

 

 

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Edward <edb8381@...>
Reply-To: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Saturday, June 11, 2022 at 6:56 PM
To: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)

 

I am certain the car was secured to that platform.
Brakes set and wheels chocked to prevent any movement by the car.
Possibly chains were used as well to prevent any movement of that car on the platform.
Also, lifting was done with cables at each corner, to maintain a level lift no lateral dipping or sideway rocking of the platform and its load.

Anyway, dynamite does not explode if its dropped or smashed but care should be exercised in handling it anyway.
No smoking around it and keep any lit matches away from it as well!
Dynamite's development earned a Nobel Prize for creating a safer to handle explosive for mining and tunnel construction. 

Ed Bommer


Tim O'Connor
 


At the very bottom of the dam along the river was a broad concrete platform and just inside were the gigantic
generators and other machinery and I vaguely recall from my 1961 visit as a child that there was rail embedded
in the concrete. So yeah there were probably many such moves from the top to the bottom.

Tim O'Connor


On 6/11/2022 3:52 PM, Daniel A. Mitchell wrote:
Another possibility is that they may have short section(s) of temporary track at the bottom, and it might be useful to be able to easily move the the car and it’s contents to various locations. That’s not particularly unusual. They sometimes swung and lowered small locomotives into similar sites for moving such cars about.

Dan Mitchell


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


Jim Betz
 

  ... and let's not forget that all of that overhead rigging was already in place and used to
      build the dam and it already crossed the RR tracks at one/both sides of the dam - so
      setting up to put a box car full of supplies down to the base of the dam was an easy
      deal for the crew.  We'll never know but I'm guessing that there was some heavy
      stuff in the car that would be used to equip the turbines/what ever.
  And this was not the only time that a box car was lowered into this dam ... I'm willing to
bet it wasn't an 'unusual' occurence and happened often enough that the shot was a
happy accident for the photographer.
                                                                                              - Jim in the PNW


Randy Hees
 

The last use of the “Government” railroad connecting the UP at Boulder City to the top of the dam was 1961.  The line was removed in 1963.  The cable hoist is still in place and used to lower heavy equipment down to the power house.  That equipment now arrives via heavy haul truck.

 The last car delivered (and retrieved soon after) was a tank car of mineral oil to fill a transformer.

 

The dam has 17 vertical shaft turbines, each powering a generator, plus two Pelton wheels which are used to make “in-house” power.  At the time the dam was built there was not yet a need or a way to transport all the power the dam could produce, so not all generators were installed.  The final generator was installed in 1961.

 

The Government Railroad was 10 miles long, running from the Union Pacific “Transfer” yard at Boulder City, down grades of as much as 4% down to approximately the elevation of the top of the dam, then along the canyon wall via 5 tunnels to the top of the dam.  Equipment consisted of a 30 ton Davenport gas/mechanical (preserved at the Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City) and a 80 ton whitcomb, built at the end of WWII for European service, having a close clearance cab.

 

The Six Companies construction railroad came off of the Government railroad between 1930 and 1933 or so… it was removed before the dam was completed as water started to be impounded.  It operated a significant fleet of ex Union Pacific 2-8-0s and 2-8-2’s as well as a former Tonopah & Tidewater 4-6-0, several shays and at least 4 Plymouth gasoline locomotives.

 The lower portion of the Government railroad is now a hiking trail… it passes through 5 tunnels, hence its name, the Tunnel Trail.

 

 Randy Hees

 

(retired) Director Nevada State Railroad Museum, Boulder City


Tim O'Connor
 


One of the more unusual loads...

Also during much of the construction period the river bed at the dam was completely dry, so vehicles
and equipment could be located there.


On 6/11/2022 12:45 PM, Bob Chaparro via groups.io wrote:

Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)

Photos from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1bz10

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1qj65

Photos can be enlarged.

Bob Chaparro



--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


 

That’s a big “nope” for me!

 

 

Thanks!
--

Brian Ehni

 

 

From: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io> on behalf of Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
Reply-To: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Date: Sunday, June 12, 2022 at 11:23 AM
To: <main@RealSTMFC.groups.io>
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)

 


One of the more unusual loads...

Also during much of the construction period the river bed at the dam was completely dry, so vehicles
and equipment could be located there.


On 6/11/2022 12:45 PM, Bob Chaparro via groups.io wrote:

Photos: Boxcar Being Lowered At Hoover Dam (Circa 1931-1935)

Photos from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1bz10

https://special.library.unlv.edu/ark:/62930/d1qj65

Photos can be enlarged.

Bob Chaparro

 


--
Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts


David Wiggs
 

It was previously commented on that the rectangular lifting platform might fit into the rectangular cut in the floor below and I certainly believe that.  If you look closely, you can see that two rails in the concrete would line up with the two rails on the platform, and those connect with a track close by.

davo in Orlando