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Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I) Steel Water Tank

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Chicago Bridge and Iron (CB&I) Steel Water Tank
Posted by staybolt on Saturday, January 28, 2023 10:12 PM

I'm looking for photos of installations of the subject company's tanks at representative railroad sites. Before I model such a tank I'd like to see some typical examples the railroads used. From what I understand CB&I built quite a few tanks for various roads from the late 19th century on into the 20th century. I would think the company would have advertised that product with photos and text, but I have yet to find anything. So far, I've Googled it, looked at the Lib. of Congress site and Railway Age Gazette archives with no luck. Anybody have other suggested sources?

          -Chuck/St. Charles, IL 

             

 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 29, 2023 12:26 AM

That company name sorta rings a bell in my withered brain, but it also reminded me of the water towers that my hometown of Hamilton, Ontario built, when the city began to build and expand atop the Niagara Escarpment.
They weren't for trains, though, but were simply large, multi-legged storage towers for municipal water supply.  The tanks were shaped like giant hamburger buns.

I have several "wood" water towers on my layout, but I also added some water storage towers that I scratchbuilt from some cardboard tubes used for various types of rolled paper.  None of them have spouts of any type, but they're all supposedly connected to nearby standpipes (water columns)....

Here's one of them...

...with another standpipe just a little way down the track...

...here's another one, in the background, and with a standpipe visible...

...and another just a few hundred feet down the track, just barely visible at upper left...

...here's the third one, on the layout's partial upper level...

...with the standpipes on the south side of the coaling tower...

I think that if someone had limited room for their  layout, perhaps one water tower in the distance would be enough, with standpipes/water columns wherever they'd be needed.  (Kits for the latter are available from Tichy.)

Wayne

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Posted by "JaBear" on Sunday, January 29, 2023 3:30 AM
Gidday Chuck, my impression is that the Chicago Bridge and Iron Company was one of two major suppliers of steel water tanks, so that maybe they didn’t need to advertise, hence the lack of material. The other company was Pittsburg-Des Moines Steel.
I note on my US railroad internet searches that often the everyday mundane, especially, infrastructure, has been “badly” recorded. Afterall, who needs to look at photos of boring Stuff!!
 
I see that doctorwayne mentioned Tichy water columns, and I’ll take this one further...

https://www.tichytraingroup.com/Portals/0/Instructions/7012.pdf?ver=GqAXc0aH19zvt0oi6lM6WA%3d%3d

This too is a model, but...

https://www.brasstrains.com/Classic/Product/Detail/088005/HO-Brass-Model-Structure-OMI-3262-Chicago-Bridge-Iron-Co-100000-Gallon-Steel-Water-Tank-w-3-Spouts-Custom-Weathered

…. but this one is not…
 
Hope this gets you under way.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, January 29, 2023 12:31 PM

This is what the PRR was building:

 PRR Steel Tank by Edmund, on Flickr

I recall seeing one or two still standing. There was a large one in Fort Wayne but I don't recall when it was scrapped.

 Illinois Central Gulf - Pontiac, IL by d.w.davidson, on Flickr

Short & Squat:

 SAVANNA by rrradioman, on Flickr

Another style:

 Tank-Steel by Edmund, on Flickr

An interesting detail I learned when I was building the Tichy tank was the arrangement for rotating the ladder around the circumference of the tank for inspection or painting.

Or are you looking for a cylindrical type?

 201005_30_chapelle by lmyers83, on Flickr

Anybody up for a little roofing job?

 20101203 04 Roofer by David Wilson, on Flickr

Good Luck, Ed

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 29, 2023 7:30 PM

gmpullman
Anybody up for a little roofing job? 20101203 04 Roofer by David Wilson, on Flickr

Definitely not me...I'd be hunting for fresh underwear.

Wayne

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, January 29, 2023 8:21 PM

doctorwayne
Definitely not me...

I'd question the integrity of that "fall prevention" lanyard he has attached to his harness. The knot around the 4 x 4 looks pretty iffy, too. You're supposed to have a shock absorbing device on there, too!

 20101203 08 Roofer by David Wilson, on Flickr

I'm OK with heights as long as I have something solid to hold on to. The top of a tank like that, I'd have to pass.

Regards, Ed

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Posted by HO-Velo on Sunday, January 29, 2023 8:43 PM

Don't know the builder of the abandoned S.P. water-tower at Elmira, Ca.

Regards, Peter

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Posted by staybolt on Sunday, January 29, 2023 10:22 PM

Thanks, all, for your photos and suggestions. In fact, I've had the Tichy tank kit for a while, but am just getting around to assembling it. Since there are variations in shape and capacities available with the kit I wanted to see examples of actual installations by the railroads before deciding on shape and size. 

Wayne, your scratch-built cylindrical tanks are nicely done. Re water columns...I've got a couple of those Tichy columns, one of which came with the Tichy tank kit. By the way, re another subject, viz. paint color, I've tried your idea for "grimy" black by adding green to black, and like the result a lot....I posted a comment on your Dec./2021 reply under the subject "Engine Black vs Black (and where to find grimy black?)".

Thanks, "the Bear", for the brasstrains. com link, as well as the others. The   Overland Models brass tank design is very similar to the tank installed by the Ft. Worth and Denver (FW&D) RR at Childress, TX, except for the extra-long third spout on the model (guess for reaching adjacent parallel track). In fact, when I first got the modeling "bug" back in 1969 I had purchased a magazine with a 1945 photo of the FW&D's terminal, showing the tank there. Many years later, well into the computer age, I contacted BNSF RR (which had absorbed the FW&D) to see if their files might have the original print that they might copy for me. Sure enough, they did, and their very accommodating historian sent me the photo on a CD. That photo now serves as the background "wallpaper" for all my computer "devices". It's a scene of the sort that intrigues me, viz. steam-era servicing infrastructure. In that regard, are there any such artifacts left where you are in NZ? Here in the U.S.,  about all that's left are a few concrete coaling towers, maybe a partial roundhouse or two and a rare turntable.

The Pennsy tank and the one at Savanna, IL, Ed, both have the hemispherical bottom. Think I noted when looking at Pittsburg-DesMoines Steel info that that company used that shape. I spent a little time around Savanna while camping up the road at Mississippi Palisades State Park, but only came across the small museum with a Milwaukee Road passenger car. I suppose that tank may have been in what is now a CP yard (don't see the tank in a Google satellite view now) since I think that road absorbed the Soo Line which had acquired the Milwaukee Road before that. I also checked Google sat. for the Pontiac, IL tank. Looks like it's gone, but may have been across the track from the current Amtrak station.

Wonder if the cylindrical-shaped tank you show on the SP, Peter, was built by the railroad. Other SP tanks I've seen also have that shape.

 

 

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Posted by HO-Velo on Monday, January 30, 2023 5:18 PM

staybolt
built by the railroad. Other SP tanks I've seen also have that shape.

Chuck, You might be correct about SP building the Elmira water tank, the one at Black Butte near Weed, Ca. looks similar, and from what I gather was built by SP in 1926.   

Regards, Peter

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Posted by staybolt on Monday, January 30, 2023 6:48 PM

Peter-

A sad, to steam enthusiasts anyway, story about that water servicing installation is that it was operational until an Amtrak train knocked down the water column connected to that tank (how, I'd like to know). I don't think it's been repaired and re-erected....I don't see it in a Google sat. view of the place. Kind of doubt Amtrak reimbursed the owner, U.P. (?). Think excursions using S.P. 4449 and/or S.P.&S. 700 took on water there. If anymore run, guess the fire dept. in Mt. Shasta (town) could be the source. 

          -Chuck

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 2:47 AM

staybolt
In that regard, are there any such artifacts left where you are in NZ?

Gidday Chuck, it’s hard for me to compare to the US and therefore hard to quantify, but I would suggest that in some ways, we are fairly lucky to still have a reasonable collection of railway “stuff” in various states of preservation.
 
There are though even on the existing working lines, plenty of places where a modern train traveller, unaware of the New Zealand Railways history, would never guess that once upon a time there was perhaps a station, goods shed (depot), loading/unloading bank, (earth filled concrete bounded ramp) and stockyards, and associated sidings. There are generally not even concrete foundations and besides we only ever had one concrete coaling tower, and three roundhouses of which apart from photographs, no evidence exists.
 
We are pretty well off regarding turntables, I don’t have the numbers, but quite a few were saved and even if relocated, have been restored and back in use. This has been due to a deal done by some of the preservation groups and Kiwirail which allow for steam excursions to be run on the working rail network, though coal is often provided by a loader off the back of a truck, and water by the local volunteer fire brigade.
 
While there is the very good comprehensive New Zealand Rolling Stock Register, the same can’t be said regarding surviving railway infrastructure.
 
I hope you don’t mind me posting this photo of the former NZR A428, 4-6-2 taking on water at Glenmark on the Weka Pass Railway.
WT by Bear, on Flickr
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by staybolt on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 2:34 PM

No, to the contrary the Bear, I'm happy to see a working steam engine at a water tank, or anywhere else! Off the top of my head I can't think of an operational 4-6-2 here in the States and, according to your Register, you've got working 4-8-2s there, too! None here, to my knowledge. Speaking of steel tanks, which was the genesis of this thread, I notice the one in your photo seems to be steel also. And another thing I notice is those (working?) semaphores down the track. As far as I know, all are gone here. Once in a while in a monthly NRHS chapter Zoom program semaphores will show up in a 1980s shot somewhere out West where a railroad's "get rid o' those old things" campaign hasn't caught up yet. Love seeing those blades move when a train passes. After all, the mechanical age and the steam age were contemporaneous.

Hey, definitely off subject, but I can't resist asking....on your Flickr page, what are those delicious-looking confections in a photo about halfway down the page with Christmas/Winter scenes? Point me to the recipe!

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Posted by "JaBear" on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 3:52 PM

staybolt
and, according to your Register, you've got working 4-8-2s there, too!

Yes, out of the 10 complete J/Ja/Jb 4-8-2 locomotives, five are currently in service, four of those mainline certified, and one undergoing overhaul, which is why my favourite locomotive, (in my avatar) Ja 1267, is unlikely to be overhauled anytime soon. The Covid Epidemic, with the corresponding lack of tourists has certainly put a crimp in the plans that the Preservation Railways had made regarding restoration of “Railway Stuff.”
Off Topic
I’m afraid I’m not sure which “confection” you’re referring to, can you please be more specific as to which album and page or the photostream page, or feel free to copy and paste the BB code, though that depends on how far you wish this thread to be derailed!LaughLaugh
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by staybolt on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 7:13 PM

Yeah, "The Virus" put a squeeze, and worse, on a lot of activities. I've got all 5 vaccs., but I still wear a mask where there's a bunch of people. 

We had a 4-8-2 [SLSF RR (aka "Frisco")] operating 20+ yrs. ago, but according to what I've read, insurance costs, limited access to RR mainlines for excursions and boiler inspection expense put it back in storage. Re insurance, that issue I think has been the main one that has derailed a lot of excursion train aspirations here in the States. U.S. society has become very litigious over the years. 

Not familiar with Flickr features, but let me try this (BB code?) for that confection photo:  Christmas treats by JaBearz, on Flickr

Don't know which album, but under the "photostream" section it appears on page 1 of 15.

        -Chuck

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 10:14 PM

staybolt
I can't think of an operational 4-6-2 here in the States...

Reading & Northern has one.  I think the "Little River" in Michigan, and the one in Portland are still operational.

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Posted by staybolt on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 11:59 PM

MidlandMike,

You're right....I'd forgotten about R&N's engine. Hadn't heard of the Little River RR....yeah, the website indicates their 4-6-2 is operational. According to the website of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, where the Portland 4-6-2 is located, restoration work is ongoing. Of course, what a lot of folks consider as the cream of U.S. 4-6-2s, viz. Pennsy's K4s, the #1361 engine may yet be restored to operation.

Thanks for info....

      -Chuck

 

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Posted by "JaBear" on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 3:59 AM
Off Topic
Gidday Chuck, those are “Christmas Fruit Pies”. My Grandma used to make them, UMM! Now it’s just my young fellow and myself like them so we buy them commercially around Christmas. Still Um, but not with two capital MMs!
 
Here’s a NZ recipe…
 
 
You’ve made me think!!Confused  My only reason for having a Flickr account is so that I can post photos to this Forum, and I’d never thought that ffolkes may actually look at what’s there!!
So as a result of your unintended prompting, I’ve started to add captions to the “Railway Stuff” album, to explain and make some sense of what’s on view. It maybe a slow process.
 
Cheers, the Bear.Smile

"One difference between pessimists and optimists is that while pessimists are more often right, optimists have far more fun."

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Posted by staybolt on Wednesday, February 1, 2023 12:51 PM

Thanks for the recipe, the Bear!

      -Chuck

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Posted by Colorado Ray on Friday, February 3, 2023 7:43 PM

gmpullman

 

 
doctorwayne
Definitely not me...

 

I'd question the integrity of that "fall prevention" lanyard he has attached to his harness. The knot around the 4 x 4 looks pretty iffy, too. You're supposed to have a shock absorbing device on there, too!

 20101203 08 Roofer by David Wilson, on Flickr

I'm OK with heights as long as I have something solid to hold on to. The top of a tank like that, I'd have to pass.

Regards, Ed

 

 

My first job between undergraduate and graduate school was as a water system inspector for the Kentucky Health Department.  This included having to inspect municipal water towers.  Back in the day, no one had heard of ladder safety cages or harnesses.  I had to climb open ladders that often leaned outwards at the top to get onto a platform around the top.  Being young I relished the adventure.  Now that I'm older and wiser, there's no way in heck that I'd do that again!

 

Ray

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Posted by U-3-b on Saturday, February 11, 2023 4:02 PM

Grand Trunk Western had a number of CB&I tanks. There was one in Durand and Elsdon and a few other places.

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Posted by staybolt on Saturday, February 11, 2023 10:02 PM

Ed,

As I noted earlier, I'm assembling the Tichy tank now. When you got to the point of adding the ladder standoffs did you only use 4, per the instructions, or did you use 7? The ladder sections each have 7 pairs of posts for standoffs. It seems like it would be more realistic to use all 7 (there are enough standoffs in the kit to do it) since they're about 5 scale feet apart. Seems that distance would be closer to a simulation of the prototype as far as stability of the ladder is concerned. Also, as far as I can tell, the only way for the ladder to reach the roof edge is to cement part of another ladder section to the main one....agree?

          -Chuck 

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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, February 12, 2023 3:55 AM

It's been a while so I had to look. I only see the four on the leg and one solid bracket at the top.

 Tichy_Tank by Edmund, on Flickr

The ladder stays pretty straight and the cage helps to stiffen it.

 Tichy_Tank Ladder by Edmund, on Flickr

I built mine probably twenty years ago. Don Tichy has contributed many fine kits and details to the hobby.

Hope that helps, Ed

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Posted by staybolt on Sunday, February 12, 2023 10:46 PM

Ok...thanks, Ed...looks like somewhere between 4 and 7 standoffs will be acceptable. Also, the photo of the roofline gives me a good idea of how to position the gussets.

Yes, Don Tichy's kits and various detail pieces have supplied me with just what I need for my 1920s-era railroad. The detail he incorporates is remarkable.

          -Chuck

   

 

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Posted by staybolt on Sunday, February 12, 2023 11:08 PM

U-3-b,

Thanks for reply....I had the opportunity to visit Durand one day years ago. Was a busy place from what I've read. I don't remember seeing a tank then (maybe somewhere around 2010 or so), but it had probably been razed long before. Good that the station there has been essentially left intact. I looked at a Google satellite view of the trackage and yards at Elsdon, but didn't see a tank. Again, the GTW probably removed it decades ago. 

I think I've now got enough info from this forum and elsewhere for the appropriate size and placement of the Tichy tank I'm assembling.

      -Chuck

 

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Posted by gmpullman on Monday, March 27, 2023 4:01 PM

I just came across this interesting installation of a steel water tank located between two highways and a grade crossing!

 Short And Stout by 95wombat, on Flickr

Do this on your layout and get ready for some finger wagging. "You would never see a tank in a location like that!"

Cheers, Ed

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