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27E_20

Unfamiliar Terms

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Questions I should have asked a long time ago:

 

What is a Battery Well? GC1545

 

When it descibes a location as #of tracks

 

What does a triangle-blazed tree look like- read it several times in descriptions, never seen one.

 

A whistle post? GC1538

 

Concrete abutments? I think I have a good idea, but just wanted to make sure. GC1540, 1549, 1554

 

Ill be coming home for R&R leave in a few days, and I am hoping to aviod any confusion while on my benchmark-hunting trip- Thanks guys.

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27E_20 -

 

I don't know what a battery well is.

 

As to the number of tracks (rails) click on the word "Search" at the top of the forum's window and in the keyword area put "rails". You will see this discussed and answered several times.

 

Using the same search feature, I found this picture of a triangular blaze.

 

A whistle post tells a train engineer when to blow the whistle because of an upcoming road intersection. Wikipedia has a good writeup on whistle post with several pictures.

 

Holograph's excellent Benchmark Hunting Wiki has a good article and drawing of a bridge abutment in the abutment entry of the wiki's Glossary. The Glossary also contains lots of other information about benchmark hunting related words such as rail and blaze. :)

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All railroad signals were (and I believe still ARE) operated by battery power for safety in case of power failure. The batteries were most commonly simple lead acid batteries in glass containers and were placed in small buildings or wells near the signals.

 

CallawayMT's pic shows the old battery well and what I think may be the replacement in the background, complete with a solar panel for recharging.

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is there a way to search to find marks in these "battery wells"

 

also - what is the "saddle" of a hill?

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is there a way to search to find marks in these "battery wells"

I don't know of any way to do a full-text search for certain phrases such as "battery well," either on Gc.com or the NGS site. Of course, one can download all the station information for an entire county and then search through that in a word processor. Does GSAK allow full-text searches?

 

However--and this is important--note that CallawayMT is a professional surveyor. The rest of us would do well to stay away from battery wells and anywhere else near active railroad tracks. There are plenty of safer survey marks to find...

 

Patty

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is there a way to search to find marks in these "battery wells"

 

also - what is the "saddle" of a hill?

 

You can do a search for battery wells with GSAK if you have it. If not, we would do it for you if you tell us which county/state you want to find them. Then we could send you the list. But, to get GSAK is free for a few months and then you just get a nag screen. It is a fun and interesting and easy tool to use. (And no we do not any connection except for using it and we gladly paid.)

 

As to the "saddle" - a picture is worth a thousand words....

4ed2f1f6-634c-4687-9c9e-aa4f981fcc43.jpg

Picture in your mind a horse saddle and then look again at this picture. The area between the two craggy peaks on the right, that you could imagine someone could "sit" on is the saddle.

 

So a saddle is a low spot between two higher areas usually on a ridge.

 

From the "freedictionary.com"

3.

a. A saddle-shaped depression in the ridge of a hill.

b. A ridge between two peaks.

 

I hope this helped.

 

Shirley~

Does GSAK allow full-text searches?

 

Yes it does.

Edited by 2oldfarts (the rockhounders)

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There are only 82 PIDs in the NGS data that mention battery well.

Some of them have _SP_SET: BATTERY WELL and others just use the battery well as a reference point.

 

There are 812 PIDs in the NGS data that mention whistle post. :(

 

I didn't try to find instances where one of the words was at the end of a line and the other word was on the beginning of the next line. :laughing:

 

This is not to recommend looking for such marks though. I have avoided looking for many many marks by a RR; there are so many others to look for.

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rockhounders:

 

Thanks for the offer - if you would look up kanawha, boone, and clay counties (all in wv) - I'd appreciate it! If its not much trouble to do a search on the whistle stops - thas would be great too.

 

Thanks for the saddle def. - that makes sense.

 

And as for RR hunts - unlike other states - here in WV its fairly safe to look around for marks near tracks as even "active" ones are barely active anymore. Kinda sad actually.

Edited by frex3wv

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OK, John finally woke up and I asked him to get the info. I am sorry to say that there are no 'Battery Wells' in any of the 3 counties that you gave us. But, one really interesting one that lists "Battery". It is PID# HX3090.

 

Now on to the Whistle stops...no stops but, just "Whistle" pulls up 3 that mention either "Whistle Posts" or "Whistle Signal". Those look interesting also.

 

PID#s HX2099, HX2143 and HX2078.

 

Have fun! And if you do go for these - we expect pictures. :(

 

Shirley~

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I may be wrong, but I think that a battery well is where batteries were kept below ground to keep them warmer in winter. The batteries were to power the signal lights at each end of a siding. The batteries were recycled/charged on a regular basis. Look for a steel or cast iron box big enough to hold 1 or more batteries with a cover over it to keep out snow & rain.

The whistle sign has a big "W" on it and you will find it from 100 to 300 yards from a grade crossing depending on the speed limit on the rail line. Some town/cities restrict the times that an engineer can blow the whistle to avoid waking people in the night. It is always wise to STOP/LOOK/LISTEN whenever you come to the the "X" railroad crossing sign.

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FTR, "Battery Wells" aren't used anymore. I mean, new ones aren't being put into survive. Old ones may still be used, especially out west. All railroad signals - including grade crossings - are technically run off of batteries (Contrary to what Mloser said - All power comes from batteries. Charging systems draw AC power to keep the batteries charged.) No marks should be *IN* a Battery Well. *ON* is certainly possible, however. :(

 

Also, bit of Trivia - in the US, "Whistle Posts" are no longer used. A new Federal Regulation (don't have the # handy off-hand) made them obsolete, as engineers now have to blow the whistle 15-20 seconds before a crossing, instead of 'when the train reaches the whistle post'.)

 

And, like I always say - I do not recommend anyone BM hunting along a railroad. (As a railroad employee, I verify that the dispatcher knows of my location when I do so on our property, and in the case of my railcar picture on the "Mode of Transportation" thread, I have an Absolute Block when I'm on the rails.)

 

I know that won;t stop ya'll from doing so, so.. just be careful, please. :laughing:

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2 old farts. I grew up in Kanawha County, WV. the PID there that mentions "battery" means, I think, a civil war battery. It is the Fort Hill area where there was a fort there at that time. I keep missing a chance to go there and log that mark every time I govisit family there. It's all the way across the county and kind of difficult to get to. It's supposed to be a really neat place there, though. I've entered several marks in the last couple contests from Kanawha County.

Edited by wvhillbilly59

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I do not recommend anyone BM hunting along a railroad. (As a railroad employee, I verify that the dispatcher knows of my location when I do so on our property, and in the case of my railcar picture on the "Mode of Transportation" thread, I have an Absolute Block when I'm on the rails.)

 

I know that won;t stop ya'll from doing so, so.. just be careful, please. :D

 

According to a public service announcement I recently saw on TV, its a (Federal?) crime to Trespass on a RR and that the RR's are going to prosecute anyone who does. It endangers you, the public and the RR employee's if they have to take evasive actions because of your presence. You make be suspected of criminal intent and treated accordingly.

Edited by Z15

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According to a public service announcement I recently saw on TV, its a (Federal?) crime to Trespass on a RR and that the RR's are going to prosecute anyone who does. It endangers you, the public and the RR employee's if they have to take evasive actions because of your presence. You make be suspected of criminal intent and treated accordingly.

 

Yes and no. It's a federal crime to interfere with any railroad. Whether a railroad reports you or not is up to the railroad. (My railroad, for example, won't just report anyone walking along the tracks. If they're seen obviously doing something they shouldn't - destroying a signal, digging around a bridge, etc.) Then yeah, they'll get reported.

 

All railroad property is private property (with few exceptions), so on top of criminal, they could go after you civilly, too. :D

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According to a public service announcement I recently saw on TV, its a (Federal?) crime to Trespass on a RR and that the RR's are going to prosecute anyone who does. It endangers you, the public and the RR employee's if they have to take evasive actions because of your presence. You make be suspected of criminal intent and treated accordingly.

 

Yes and no. It's a federal crime to interfere with any railroad. Whether a railroad reports you or not is up to the railroad. (My railroad, for example, won't just report anyone walking along the tracks. If they're seen obviously doing something they shouldn't - destroying a signal, digging around a bridge, etc.) Then yeah, they'll get reported.

 

All railroad property is private property (with few exceptions), so on top of criminal, they could go after you civilly, too. :D

 

So what would be the correct way to go after benchmarks along RR property? If a surveyor wanted to use those marks I assume the RR would have a procedure to allow them to do that.

 

The shipyard I worked for had a video that was shown to all contractor personnel before they were allowed into the yard. It covered safety, security and a few other things. If we were to present ourselves to the proper RR authority and request permission I would think that we could be briefed in a similar manner. We could give our cell phone number to the dispatcher and get his number too. We could call the dispatcher just before we entered the property and again when we are clear.

Edited by 68-eldo

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2 old farts. I grew up in Kanawha County, WV. the PID there that mentions "battery" means, I think, a civil war battery. It is the Fort Hill area where there was a fort there at that time. I keep missing a chance to go there and log that mark every time I govisit family there. It's all the way across the county and kind of difficult to get to. It's supposed to be a really neat place there, though. I've entered several marks in the last couple contests from Kanawha County.

 

If you ever get a chance to go for this one, remember that it gives the distance to the "Drill Hole in the Boulder" from the mark. Even if the Wood with nail is not there, the Drill Hole might be and the mark is adjusted. So the Drill hole would be from ground zero or so. Exciting to think about even finding that! It is an old one after all. With 2 DNFs to boot.

 

Shirley~

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I may get to go for it in thewinter or early spring. probably take most of a day to get there from my mom's and get to where it is, find and document it, etc.

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I may get to go for it in thewinter or early spring. probably take most of a day to get there from my mom's and get to where it is, find and document it, etc.

 

Good luck!

 

By Harry Dolphin Posted Yesterday, 03:12 PM - Always ... post ... pictures ... for ... Shirley.

 

photographe-3032.gif

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So what would be the correct way to go after benchmarks along RR property? If a surveyor wanted to use those marks I assume the RR would have a procedure to allow them to do that.

 

The shipyard I worked for had a video that was shown to all contractor personnel before they were allowed into the yard. It covered safety, security and a few other things. If we were to present ourselves to the proper RR authority and request permission I would think that we could be briefed in a similar manner. We could give our cell phone number to the dispatcher and get his number too. We could call the dispatcher just before we entered the property and again when we are clear.

Ultimately, the best way would be as you described - contact the local railroad branch office and tell them what you're going to do, and that there would not be intrusive to the railroad's operations and it's safety. (And yours..)

 

They may grant permission, however, they probably won't. (Due to federal rules, you'd be technically working on the right-of-way, which means they'd have to give you a radio, temporarily put up signs to make the area you're working in a 'slow order' area, and would have to have each train passing through contact you via radio first and ask YOU for permission to continue through your work zone.) It's a real big pain in the butt, honestly. If you had some backing (worked for a survey company, for example) then eventually, someone up the management line would grant you permission to do it. (Heck, even when I go out along my work's line to find marks, I only do so when I'm going to be in an area working to avoid putting up with that mess.)

 

So unless they actually give you permission, you'll be doing it under the radar. While I can't recommend it, if I were to do such a thing, here's a few tips: Figure out the area the mark is in, first - look on maps, satellite view maps, plot maps. Figure out where the nearest crossing is, and if there are any sidings or switches or other private property nearby (Like a strip-mall, etc). This will let you know what to expect when you get there, and knowing where where to park to minimize time on RR property. Wear a reflective (i.e Construction) vest. Don't wear an iPod or other MP3 device. :blink: Always look behind you for a train. If there's a switch nearby, keep clear of it, it could move at any time. If there are signals, keep an eye on them, they'll tell you when I train may be coming. Basically, keep the time on RR property to a minimum.

 

This is way OT. Sorry guys. I ramble.

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If you ever get a chance to go for this one, remember that it gives the distance to the "Drill Hole in the Boulder" from the mark. Even if the Wood with nail is not there, the Drill Hole might be and the mark is adjusted. So the Drill hole would be from ground zero or so. Exciting to think about even finding that! It is an old one after all. With 2 DNFs to boot.

 

Shirley~

That one sounds fun. I like the older ones with the multiple references. (Originally drill-holes, then bolts, then disks, and somewhere within that there's a tree with a nail or blaze. :blink:

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This is way OT. Sorry guys. I ramble.
On the contrary, I think this provides a valuable perspective about the dangerous aspects of approaching RR marks. I think there is no way that too much can be said about safety. Thank you, foxtrot_xray for providing this useful insight. Edited by Black Dog Trackers

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In my area the trains don't travel fast. They haul cargo, iron ore, logs, no pass trains anymore. We were once leveling on the RR for a new US-2 Highway over pass near Manistique. As the train approached, we got out of the way. I came across several logs laying in the tall grass that had came off of previous rail cars. So not only must you watch for the train, you have to cognizant of cargo flying of the cars. Logs and iron ore are mostly what you see on the rails around here.

 

On that same job we found a 55 gal drum of hazardous chemicals along the RR that had come off a rr car also. I was some chemical used by the local paper plant and they had to come a retrieve it. You can imagine all the concern that caused.

 

Wisconsin Central is one of the major lines. The comes from the Chicago area and has changed so many times I don't know what it is anymore, CN I think.

Edited by Z15

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Surveyors probably have more luck on active rail lines. I'm just a geocacher/benchmarker. The rail lines in Jersey seem to be NJ Transit (with some Amtarak overlap), Norfolk Southern, New York, Susquehanna and Western, or abandoned (including the Columbia Pipeline, which also seems to frown on trespassing).

I've taken to ignoring most of the benchmarks on active rail lines.

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Surveyors probably have more luck on active rail lines. I'm just a geocacher/benchmarker. The rail lines in Jersey seem to be NJ Transit (with some Amtarak overlap), Norfolk Southern, New York, Susquehanna and Western, or abandoned (including the Columbia Pipeline, which also seems to frown on trespassing).

I've taken to ignoring most of the benchmarks on active rail lines.

 

Not to rub it in, but we can get to the airport control points with the right connections as well.

010b4ae2-d46c-4c72-a482-f5a4350dcb8f.jpg

 

MSO D - Missoula International Airport

 

CallawayMT

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Not to rub it in,

He says, then proceeds to do exactly that. ;)

 

but we can get to the airport control points with the right connections as well.

There are some at the Palo Alto Airport, but of course none of us amateurs can get to them. Ah well, c'est la guerre.

 

Patty

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while I have yet to go find them - I can gain access to the airport marks in my city with connections with the Air National Guard folks - so if any of y'all have an airport that is both civilian/military - and some connections - you might want to look into that option!

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There are some at the Palo Alto Airport, but of course none of us amateurs can get to them. Ah well, c'est la guerre.
I even have a connection at the Atlanta airport down here, and it's no-go. You gotta have d@mn big connections. <_< (Now, local county airports I've had good luck with. Go find the Manager, and he'll grant you access. Never had an issue there yet..)

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I have been in many airports.

I have not had any trouble yet.

 

I do always (almost always) contact the administrator first though.

You have recovered benchmarks near taxiways and runways at active airports??

 

Patty

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Naw. I'd never do that!

8ef33939-88b8-40ec-af62-ea8dfd5923f9.jpg

Then again, I was hiking along a trail near the Blairstown Airport, only to find out that the hiking trail was also the taxiway...

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I thought I remembered a topic where the subject of "whistle posts" came up, well I found a BM today that references one so I thought I would add to the post. The referenced post called for a concrete one but it has since been replaced with a metal one.

The PID is HX2307

Hope this post works, my first time making a forum post after a couple years of just "lurking" & don't know what I am doing

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I thought I remembered a topic where the subject of "whistle posts" came up, well I found a BM today that references one so I thought I would add to the post. The referenced post called for a concrete one but it has since been replaced with a metal one.

The PID is HX2307

Hope this post works, my first time making a forum post after a couple years of just "lurking" & don't know what I am doing

 

I lurked a long time and still do not know what I am doing welcome.

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I have been in many airports.

I have not had any trouble yet.

 

I do always (almost always) contact the administrator first though.

You have recovered benchmarks near taxiways and runways at active airports??

 

Patty

 

Yes several now.

 

No JFK or Love Field though.

I will stay away from the BIG one's too much trouble and time to wait for clearance.

And not to take off.

 

As long as I am mapping and recovering marks I have an ID which allows me into Federal Facilities with escort.

And during Regular Buisness hours.

But tend to not use it unless confronted or stopped like the other day at a FAA Facility.

I just tried to get some pictures and go but they would not let me.

 

It is all in the report now.

So everything is good.

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I came across an old battery well today while searching for benchmarks along an abandoned railway and remembered this post. This is what they look like around here:

 

batterywell.jpg

 

Concrete with a metal lid. I've seen them much bigger along the old telegraph lines.

Edited by 89SC

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planning to do alittle benchmark hunting over the weekend (traditional - not usgs) and found this description:

 

DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1956 1 MI NE FROM RED HOUSE. ABOUT 1.0 MILE NORTHEAST ALONG THE NEW YORK CENTRAL RAILROAD FROM THE STATION AT RED HOUSE, 5 FEET SOUTHWEST OF MILE POST COR 101, 1 FOOT NORTHEAST OF A FENCE LINE AND IS THE TOP OF A VERTICAL RAIL PROJECTING 1 FOOT.

 

Can someone tell me (and post a picture of) what a vertical rail is?

 

Thanks.........

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Around here it is common for a highway right of way boundary to be marked with scrap pieces of rairoad rail a few feet long and planted in a posthole so only a few inches project. Then a common iron fence post may be put alongside to make it easier to find.

 

If planted deeper than frost line, and the end is rounded with a grinder, this would make a reasonably good elevation benchmark (but subject to surface motion) and I suspect that is what you have. I don't think I have any pictures.

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Here's one. Sorry, I couldn't resist.

LOL! ;):D

 

Well, I see that it is a Canadian Pacific train, so I guess it's only natural that it would be heading north. :wacko:

 

Patty

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Thanks. Now I have this weird feeling I will be looking for a needle in a haystack - darn...if only the mark was adjusted!

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It figures that after the fact of asking - I find this log from a nearbye mark (with pic of vertical rail and remains of old milepost). Adding this post here so folks can get a sense of how they placed it in these parts at least.

 

Its HX2286.

 

Also - can someone tell me what the pictured monument could be in a post by "man in the wild" for HX2593?

 

Thanks!

 

(edited to correct error pointed out by mloser)

Edited by frex3wv

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I have only found that one vertical rail, and I don't think I looked for more than one or two others.

 

I think you meant HX2593 didn't you? I don't have any idea what it is!

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Fortunately, the rail was described as projecting a foot. Finding a rail like this if buried would call for a magnetic locator type of metal detector. It would be screaming from a few feet away, whereas a treasure hunter would have to be on top of it.

 

Does that US monument mark a corner of a piece of present or former government land along the river? I didn't look carefully at any maps to see if that makes sense. Does it make sense as a property corner?

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Does that US monument mark a corner of a piece of present or former government land along the river? I didn't look carefully at any maps to see if that makes sense. Does it make sense as a property corner?

 

My quess it is a property marker from the days when there was a lock at this location (pre 1930's) would have been Lock 9 in the Kanawha River series.

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Also - can someone tell me what the pictured monument could be in a post by "man in the wild" for HX2593?

 

Thanks!

 

(edited to correct error pointed out by mloser)

frex3wv,

 

Judging by where it was found, my guess is that it is a Highway R/W monument.

 

CallawayMT

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frex3wv & CallawayMT,

 

I'm still thinking this is a boundary marker for the old lock property. Purely circumstantial at this point but consider. To me "behind the church" means just that or 'on the river bank'. Old Lock #9 was at this location (you can see the remains on the North side of the river....googleMAP-satellite , google-earth etc,) Also, years ago US35 was on the North side of Kanawha River where State Rt. 62 is today and the highway on the South side was State Rt. 17 not a US highway so there would be no reason for a US marker to be there. I did not find the subject BM HX2593 during my visit last fall so I will be making a return trip at some point, probably summer to try that one again (still wondering why prev. finder did not photograph), so I will nose around and look for this marker as well. In fact HX2288 which is a disk actually mounted on the lock structure on the North bank is on my summertime list to attempt. I will most likely search from the river side using a kayak. When you can mix fishing and benchmarking it just doesn't get any better..........

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=HX2288

 

VagabondsWV (.5)

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frex3wv & CallawayMT,

 

I'm still thinking this is a boundary marker for the old lock property. Purely circumstantial at this point but consider. To me "behind the church" means just that or 'on the river bank'. Old Lock #9 was at this location (you can see the remains on the North side of the river....googleMAP-satellite , google-earth etc,) Also, years ago US35 was on the North side of Kanawha River where State Rt. 62 is today and the highway on the South side was State Rt. 17 not a US highway so there would be no reason for a US marker to be there. I did not find the subject BM HX2593 during my visit last fall so I will be making a return trip at some point, probably summer to try that one again (still wondering why prev. finder did not photograph), so I will nose around and look for this marker as well. In fact HX2288 which is a disk actually mounted on the lock structure on the North bank is on my summertime list to attempt. I will most likely search from the river side using a kayak. When you can mix fishing and benchmarking it just doesn't get any better..........

http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?PID=HX2288

 

VagabondsWV (.5)

 

I have never been in this area so I am speculating based on the photo and maps. The maps do show this as US 35 and from the description it sounds like it is approximately 60' from the road which is a standard highway R/W in many areas. I see the lock on the other side and I have no idea if the locks in that area were ever monumented along the R/W. Vagabonds, you could be right, but you would have to convince me with more evidence.

 

So now I guess the gauntlet has been thrown, you have a reason to go back to that area and prove me wrong. :P

 

CallawayMT

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