Thursday, October 19, 2017

More Stops in West Virginia




 Driving along the Ohio River on our way to Kennedy Marina and RV Park.  I had high expectations since the Captain had booked us a spot right on the Ohio River.

This area of West Virginia along the Ohio has a great deal of commerce and power plants.


This huge plant even extends across the highway and you drive through a tunnel below part of the building.

The sides of the roads are sheer rock that has been blasted away.

We followed Betty's directions ( our GPS system - doesn't everyone name theirs?) through the town of West Liverpool to cross the Ohio River to our RV park. 

The road kept getting more narrow as we continued through old sections of the town.

We started seeing signs that weren't good but there was nowhere else to turn with a large rig.

As we reached the end of this road we could only turn left.  To the right was a local hospital.
And this is where we came to a stop and we knew we were in big trouble.  It was a narrow toll bridge with a weight limit of ten tons and a height inches shorter than our rig.  

The only thing we could do was to stop and disconnect our car from the back of the rig because you can't back up with it connected.  To make matters worse it was around 3:00 p.m. which is shift change so the bridge is used heavily by workers leaving work and those heading to work.  Our rig took up half of the roadside and drivers were not happy.  Our only lucky break was two security guards who came out of the hospital and helped us by directing traffic.  We unhooked, I moved the car, and the Captain backed up the rig a few feet so we could make a turn into a very narrow road that was more like an alley.  Once we got the rig off the busy street, the guards directed us through the parking lot of the hospital until we could turn onto the correct road that would lead us to a bridge to cross to get to our RV park. 


The park was right on the Ohio River as advertised but they neglected to mention that they stuck RVs in any spot that was feasible.  We got a river spot on a grassy section right next to the men's bathroom.  Wow! That's convenient if you need to use it.

What they also neglected to mention was that the RV Park and Marina was surrounded by factories that were also along the river.  It was definitely an industrial area.

But we did get some nice views of the water.




It was also the home of many, many, geese.  


Our rig in the distance being admired by the locals or maybe they were just waiting to use the bathroom.


We took a ride acoss the infamous toll bridge, $.75 each way, just to see what it was like.




It also gave us the chance to stop at the local china outlet in the next town.

They had a nice array of Halloween dishes but we thought they were too much for the rest of the year.




It took awhile to decide which array of colors we wanted but we persevered and finally came out with a nice new set.


Our final stop on this leg of our journey was the Roundhouse Museum in Martinsburg, WV.  The complex of buildings was built for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad in the early 1800's.  Major shops were erected along with a passenger station. The buildings were destroyed in the Civil War and rebuilt again.  The facility was used continually until 1988 when the operations were transferred elsewhere. What remains today is part of the museum and includes the Roundhouse.  


The Frog and Switch Shop is a one story ceiling to floor building consisting of 13 bays with uninterrupted floor space made possible by  double-membered wood truss with a clear span of 100 feet.  There are heavy duty wood sliding doors and the windows are fixed metal units with sections that pivot horizontally.  The shop was originally used to manufacture railroad freight cars used for coal. Later they started making frog and switch points which guide the wheels of the train from one track to another.


Heavy double-member roof trusses 13'4" on center bear on the masonry walls.  






The Frog and Switch had some vintage train cars on display.



These metal railings are called 'frogs' and were made in the Frog and Switch Shop.  Their purpose was to move a train from one track to another which is why you see the split section of the track.

The floors in some of the rooms were made of wood, too.  These are end pieces of wood a foot long that were pounded into the ground. 

These metal designed stops were used to protect the doors of the buildings.

An air operated drop hammer to forge steel.

A pot belly stove used for heating and cooking in a Caboose where the train crew lived on long trips.

The Caboose had windows in front and back that the train men had to continually look through to make sure the other railroad cars didn't have any embers burning on top of them.  


The remains of an old  caboose.


Some of the original chairs found on the passenger trains.

A rendering of the Roundhouse.

The frame was built in Baltimore and transported to Martinsburg.  It is a high bell-shaped form functioning to remove hot locomotive gases and smoke and hovers above the turntable and pit while a low, ring shaped shed roof, separated from the bell by a ring of clerestory windows covers the locomotive repair bays radiation from the turntable.  It is an engineering feat in itself .

In the center of the concrete floor is a 50' diameter turntable which acted as a rotating hub delivering locomotives into the work bays radiating from the hub like spokes on a wheel.





An old railroad car the museum wants to refurbish.

A track gauge used to measure and level the railroad tracks as they were being placed.


A typical track section and what was needed to assemble it.

These are cut spikes.  They consist of a square shank and a chisel end which allows the spike to be driven into the tie without splitting the wood.  It is the most common type of spike in North America.

Railroad rails and other parts were cut here.  Overhead cranes were used to position material into and out of the Saw Shop.  Rail cars were used to move the finished materials into the Frog Shop or other shops.

This building is the Bridge and Machine Shop.  It was used to build bridge sections and other large equipment used by the railroad.  The building is 60 feet by 185 feet.  The second floor is suspended from the roof trusses by wrought iron rods leaving the ground floor area uninterrupted by columns

The doors are large, heavy duty and located in the end of each gable. There are double-hung windows which fill the space allowing maximum natural light and ventilation.


The second floor with the suspended roof trusses.





This is a view of a beam crane located outside the Bridge and Machine Shop which was used to lift heavy components such as bridges and other parts in and out of the building.

A picture of the Martinsburg B&O Railroad Complex in earlier days with the town in the background.
This is all that remains of the East Roundhouse.  It was built in 1872 and was destroyed in 1990 when some young vandals started a fire among piles of discarded pallets that were stored there.

The train station in Martinsburg is still in use today with Amtrak.  
In its day the other building was also a large hotel for the daily travelers.
The older downtown area of Martinsburg still reflects its history.



Our next stop will be at Harper's Ferry as we head out of  West Virginia.  We wanted to stop at this historic area because we had heard so much about it.  

But before I leave, the Captain and I wanted to share this wonderful fall yard scene we saw along our travels.  I'm always amazed at the creativity and design people use to celebrate the colorful season.  Peace!