7 thoughts on “Wordless Wednesday #53

  1. Hi Chris
    1992: http://trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/montrealfalls/mfalls1992.jpg
    2013: http://trainweb.org/algoma/Images/Locations/montrealfalls/generatingstation3.jpg
    And I presume the photo you posted was from this summer?
    So 1992 – 3 old towers (what are they, anyway? I’m not up on dam technology), and old covered building across the three pipelines.
    2013, covered bldg. resided, yellow safety railing on walkways, but still three towers
    2017, single tower now.

  2. They are surge towers. When you’re turning on or shutting off the flow of water down the penstocks (those big pipes), there are large pressure changes at the bottom. Water surges up the towers, absorbing the pressure change, which would otherwise be hard on the piping and gates. My father worked for Hydro, and he told me this once.

    I’m pretty sure there are three towers in my Sept 2014 pix. I would have noticed if two were missing ;-). I don’t know what they do about the pressure changes without the tower.

  3. Each big pipe connects to a generator turbine, and each was controlled separately. The water level in the penstocks could be as high as the lake level. One winter in the 70s they froze over inside, and filled with snow. My father and some others had to remove the ice to allow proper operation, but had to get the snow out first. They were pretty smart, and decided to use a stick of dynamite to blow the snow out. They stood back and watched, and waited, and nothing happened. The pulled up the stick that the dynamite was attached to, and it had detonated, but the snow didn’t even move.

  4. The generator station was originally built with 2 generators and 2 penstocks. The third, on the right, was built in the early 70s, and the transformer station was enlarged. My Dad spent many days assembling the transformer station. Some materials were brought in by train, but I don’t know specifics. But it would not be a modelling stretch to use the Great Lakes Power spur for an interesting variety of loads. Bricks, stone, cement, sand, transformers, metal framing, metal plate, large beams, fence, insulators, wire coil, wood and hoops for the penstocks, perhaps a bunkhouse for the extra workers, and crates of stuff. I don’t know how they would handle fuel there, would there be a local fuel car to fill a trackside tank, or would they just ship numerous drums? Or they may have taken the long road in with a fuel truck.

    • Thanks for the added history Dave!

      Even in the 1970s/80s part of the spur at Montreal Falls was listed as belonging to GLP, although I don’t know what materials they brought in there (the occasional replacement transformer or circuit breakers, etc?)

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