Old Posts

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Every want to see Rapid City?

Rapid City, SD is really a unique town to model.  Literally next to the Black Hills, Rapid is both hilly, tree filled, and yet has a downtown district.  The district is also old town, and the train still runs through it!  Also, CP, DM&E, UP, and BNSF can be seen on the tracks in Rapid City.  Tracks still head East, South, and Northwest out of the town.  Below are some photos for inspiration:

 We'll start at the south end of town.  There is a small Classification yard which his under Canadian Pacific through the DM&E (Dakota Minnesota and Eastern).  From here, the line continues North, crossing underneath State Highway 79.  The line will also curve West and continues past the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and into Downtown Rapid City.  This mainline heads south past a cement factory and continues onto the towns of Hermosa, Fairburn, Buffalo Gap, Oral, Smithwick, Oelrichs, South Dakota/Nebraska state line and Chadron/Crawford, NE.
Several streets cross the tracks in Downtown, I tried to get shots looking both East and West.  Above we are looking west from East Blvd. McKie Ford is on the right, with the Rapid City Fire department on the left.  Below we are looking at a telephoto shot down the tracks from east Blvd.  In hte distance you can see a grain elevator and a track crew thawing turnouts.
 Looking Eastward from East Blvd. we see the mainline turn south, with and industrial spur to an unknown industry.  At the bottom left you can catch the yard lead headed to the left.

 Following the yard lead from the photo above, we meet a four track yard.  The yard as two short tracks extending one block which holds about 10 50' cars on the shortest track.  two longer tracks used to be part of a main line, but now are used as overflow tracks for the various industries.  Also, the buildings surrounding these tracks seem to be at some point serviced by rail, but are now served by truck.
 Again looking West, this time from 1st street, the mainline diverges into two branches.  The left one continues through downtown and eventually reaches the towns of Black Hawk and Sturgis.  This line continues in an arch around the north end of the Black Hills.  The other line will actually reverse direction in a tight diameter, 140 degree turn.  While doing this, the line will also gain elevation and cross Rapid Creek.  The main will continue through North Rapid and head East near I-90.
 Looking back East toward East Blvd.
 Looking East from Second street we can see the two mainlines meeting.
 Looking West from 2nd Street, we can see that a tire shop has taken residence between the mainlines.  In the distance one can see Dakota Mill and Grain, one of the largest facilities in town, and on the Left we see the same white grain Elevator from previous photos.
 From this point, the line will cross Omaha Street and then cross Rapid Creek on a cement beam bridge.  The line then continues upgrade going past the tiny residential community of North Rapid.
 I would never take this shot if I even thought that a train would come, but on a Tuesday morning after a late winter storm, the track crews have to clear the line before operations can resume.  Here we are looking East from 3rd street, using the large Ford dealership flag as reference.
 Looking West from 3rd Street, we see a siding which allows a train to pass the grain elevator without being stopped by the cuts of cars parked on the side track.  The White elevator ahead is serviced by a spur, but the siding is used for exchanging loaded for empty.
 Across the tracks from where 4th street ends, we look north and are faced by Dakota Mill and Grain.  This elevator complex is impressive and will get photographed in the future.
 From the same spot, we again look East down the track.
 As we walk along the side road trucks use to fill up at warehouses, we come to the white grain elevator to find that it is Aby's Feed and Seed.  There used to be a track which is snow covered which runs next to the building.  Some track is still in place, but the turnouts are long gone.

 We now look at the Dakota Mill and Grain and can make out several tracks leading to the complex.
 We now look down the switch lead for the Dakota Mill and Grain at 5th street.

 In the photo, underneath the grain elevator between the puddle and the shadow, there is a faint line in the snow which is where the track is for Aby's Feed and Seed.
 From 5th Street I climbed up onto a three story parking garage.  From the top, we can see that there is three spurs which go to Dakota Mill and Grain.  The left spur breaks into two tracks which run on either side of the large, white elevator.  The right spur continues underneath the structure on the far right.  This spur must serve the Mill section of Dakota Mill and Grain.
 Looking West, we can see that past 6th street, the line goes back to one mainline.  This line will continue through a pass and into the west District of Rapid City.  From Google Maps, it appears as though there is a large industry, possible cement plant in that section which may need more exploring.

 In this photo, hidden, are a pair of ex-Milwaukee Road buildings.  Milwaukee Road used to own a lot of track age within Rapid City.
 The depot is now a Mexican Restraunt, while the Freight house below is now a bar and grill with Irish and red neck themes.

So there you have Downtown Rapid City.  I hope you enjoyed, and possibly will think of modeling this great little City in the middle of nowhere.

No comments:

Post a Comment