Monday, December 21, 2015

A few minor changes coming

The Ohio River Blog needs a little refreshing and updating, so I'm planning a couple of minor changes come the first of the year. It's nothing drastic, but doing the same thing off and on for nearly seven years requires a new look every now and then.

As part of that, I'm updating the links on the left side of this page. Some will be changed to reflect new URLs, and some will be deleted. If anyone knows of an Ohio River-related link that could be added, please message me.

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seven more years.

Research aggravations

River, truck and rail move most of the cargo and freight in this country, but there seems to be a lack of easily available data on the history of certain companies that once were involved in river transport.

For example, yesterday I went online to find some history of Ohio River Co. and Dravo Mechling. If I had wanted to know when Pan Am was formed or when the Chesapeake & Ohio began operations, there would have been little trouble finding the information I needed. But river transport companies have hard-to-find histories, and that is particularly true of companies that no longer are active.

Yes, I know the river is different. Other than upscale cruises, river transport for passengers in the general public disappeared generations ago save for a few ferries. Modern towing companies have little to sell the general public, and to many of them the less we know about them the better. There are probably Homeland Security regulations they must adhere to that further distances them from the public.

The result is that I am still digging to find some dates of importance. A trip to the river archives at Cincinnati is out of the question for the time being, so I will see what I can find at the Point Pleasant River Museum and Learning Center on my next trip up that way.

If anyone has any ideas, send them my way.

Friday, December 18, 2015

M/V Amber Brittany

Sometimes you learn one of your favorite boats is headed your way and you try to get a picture, only to get there ten minutes too late.

You tell yourself you can catch it a few miles down the river in about half an hour, but you remember that you have to pick the wife up from somewhere in about five minutes, and it takes you about twenty to get where she is, so you tell your boat maybe on the next trip.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

M/V Findlay after dark

It's feast or famine when it comes to seeing towboats on the Ohio River in the Greenup and R.C. Byrd pools these days. Today was a feast day. I saw the Marathon and the Findlay around noon or 1 p.m. as they passed Huntington, and tonight I saw them after dark up near Robert C. Byrd.

I got this picture of the Findlay as it waited for permission to enter the lock. As usual, I had no tripod, so I held my camera against a utility pole.

Adam and I saw other boats tonight. There as the Alan P. Hall and the Detroit. We couldn't identify either specifically because of the dark, but we were able to see what kinds of boats they were. And we might have seen the City of Vicksburg, too.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Two news items

FirstEnergy and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio had agreed on a plan to guarantee a market for the coal-fired W.H.Sammis power plant along the Ohio River and the Davis-Besse nuclear plant in northern Ohio. But last week, an administrative law judge put a hold on that agreement.

The settlement had drawn some criticism and some outrage.

There is going to be a lot of discussion about how existing coal-fired power plants will play a role in future power generation when some states are deregulated and all states will have to comply with the new Clean Power Plan.

# # #

And the Washington Post takes a look at the fight over C8 discharges at the former DuPont plant near Parkersburg, W.Va., and Belpre, Ohio.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

M/V Sandy Drake northbound

The M/V Sandy Drake of Crounse Corp. passed Huntington WV this evening pushing 15 barges, heading up the Ohio River to I don't know where. The mouth of the Kanawha, to swap them for 15 loads of Central Appalchian coal? To the Wheeling area to pick up some Northern App coal? Or maybe somewhere else?

Coal traffic on the Ohio is on a downward trend. The question will be how long that trendline continues until it flattens to the new normal.

Two boats on a gray morning (updated)

I saw them both, one at sunrise and the other little after.

In this first shot, in which I did not get the name of the boat, I liked the wave formed by the one lead box barge.


After the first boat went down the river, the M/V Cincinnati came up the river. I didn't get the picture I wanted because it was moving faster than I expected. But this one works anyway.

UPDATE: I'm not sure, but I think the boat in the top three pictures was the M/V James E. Anderson.

Friday, December 4, 2015

New Louisville bridge to open

If only I had the money to go to Louisville tomorrow ...

The new Abraham Lincoln Bridge connecting Louisville with Jeffersonville, Ind., is scheduled to open before daybreak Monday. But tomorrow, people will have the opportunity to walk across the bridge. Access will be from Jeffersonville.

I remember walking bridges around here in the Huntington area when they were closed to traffic because they were about to open or about to close.There was the Silver Memorial Bridge in 1977, closed because of butt weld cracks (I always have to say and type that carefully), the East Huntington Bridge before it opened in 1985 and the old 6th Street Bridge in Huntington after it closed in 1994.

Those of you in the Louisville area, have fun tomorrow.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Catching up

With the Thanksgiving holiday, attention to the family, the need to earn money and Internet outage problems, it's been a while. Plus, I've not seen many boats lately, so there have been fewer opportunities to post new photos.

So here are a couple of things you might find interesting while we get caught up.

First, I had an article in the Waterways Journal recently about plans by Campbell Transportation to diversify into hauling more liquid cargo and servicing liquid barges.

And for those of you with an interest in the coal industry, here is an article from SNL Financial about various efforts to curb or destroy the industry.

More soon, I hope.