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Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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The RAM is... alive!  It lives on, after some CPR.  Anything's possible when David is in the building... that is, if there were any in 3RR... :)

Absolute genius, David.  There are Devotees who have longed for single-track rail, myself included. :thumbsup:
Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.


Ladies and Gentlemen David has entered the building!!!! thats the only liner I can think of David other then the by far normal WOW!!  ;D

Don't forget the SC4D Podcast is back and live on Saturdays @ 12 noon CST!! -- The Podcast soon to Return Here Linkie


Seeing that you are still up as I'm posting, I guess your signature is true!...Great job on that track,I'm looking forward to more!



You know, David--mind-blowing projects are becoming pretty commonplace around here. That's a trend, I'd like to see stick around for along time!

You're doing some amazing things here, my friend--things that we only dreamed about not long ago. You're a wizard!

I hope you're weekend is going well!


Shadow Assassin

Wow, that looks excellent.

Any chance of a texture for a FARR > diagonal rail curve? That's the only thing, IMO, that's missing from the current set (well, there's always FARR junctions and stuff like that... but that can wait till later, I suppose).
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So...remember that blog I said I would notify you about?  Well, I finally got around to writing it, and as promised, 3RR is featured in it.  Check it out [right here] ;).

EDITWell worth a read, Isaac.  3RR is honored to be included in such great company- Thanks! -DE
(Under Construction)


QuoteEDITJeff, I've got REO Speedwagon's "Riding the Storm Out" on at 11 for you and all our friends in Texas and Louisiana.  You hang in there, we've got your back! -DE

I LOVE REO Speedwagon!! Thanks for the well wishes. We actually got lucky and had the storm pass to the east of us. We got a lot of wind and a bunch of rain, but nothing nearly as bad as the people who were on the "dirty" side of the storm (the east side). Ike devastated Galveston, Houston and the surrounding area, and an estimated 140,000 decided to try and ride out the storm  ()sad()!! Rescuers have been going non-stop since the hurricane left the area to try and rescue as many idiots as possible, but they say it could take up to a week to get to everyone. They also estimate that it will take WEEKS for the power to get restored in that area. We were quite lucky and kept our power during the whole storm, which meant I spent the whole time either here or working on my SC4 program! Take care, and I will talk more about this later..Right now my wife needs my help. Talk to you all soon!


EDITThat's great news, my friend.  We can only hope that the devastation in the areas that we've seen on the TV and 'Net was by and large limited to stuff, because stuff can always be replaced.  People, on the other hand... -DE



Hey David, as usual this is an awesome CJ. Congrats on all the wonderfull work done hear.  &apls :thumbsup: :)


Toichus Maximus

oooooooh... maybe this means I can be throwing away my one track rail lots!



Artist's rendering of wind generator at High Island Wind Generation Complex, 1996

Electric arc lamps were first seen in Pineshore, Three Rivers Region in the late 1870s, just as Thomas Edison was inventing the incandescent lamp.  The city chartered and provided initial funding for Pineshore Electric Company (PECO), a public-private corporation, and then awarded the company a contract to install arc streetlamps.  The electrification of the city and its environs north along the bank of the Grand River proceeded rapidly, and electric trolleys were in operation by 1895 north from the city center to the ferry landing at the mouth of the Cold River.  PECO's first electric generating plant was just south of the Grand River Arsenal, and was an oil-fired steam turbine facility.  The city was served by 11 kV wood pole lines.  By 1900, PECO was also operating in and providing local power from small-scale steam plants in Aurora, Grand Valley, East Pineshore, Falls City, Brooks Ferry, Highland and Independence.  Other local generators also commenced business, and by the end of the first decade of the 20th Century, every community in the region located on a rail line or that was accessible by riverboat had power available to its residents and businesses.

In 1913, following the passage by the Regional Assembly of the "Electrification Act," PECO reformed as a public co-operative, with every resident of the region 18 years of age and over owning a single share.  Local companies were quickly absorbed by this new enterprise, the Three Rivers Power Cooperative (TRPC), which then went to work north of the arsenal on a 45 megawatt oil-fired steam generating plant on Parasol Point, which up to that time had been a popular outing spot for Pineshore's fashionable set, hence the name.  The region's first transmission lines were built, with 85 kilovolt (later 110 kV) lines radiating out from the plant as far west as Brooks Ferry, north to Pvarcoe, and west across the river to Aurora. Wolf Lake, East Pineshore and Des Plaines.  The almost mile long underwater cable crossing of the Grand River Power, now removed, was considered a marvel of engineering for its time.  Power to the areas south of the Wind River was provided by a second oil-fired steam plant built north of the mouth of Falls Creek.  The Falls Creek Steam Generation Plant, likewise a 45 megawatt facility, provided power to the rapidly growing communities along the western shore of the Hotham Inlet and to the expanding port and industrial area at Falls City. The first power from the Falls Creek plant was delivered in 1917.

Three Rivers Region - A History, Olafson, J., Northwoods Pub. Co., 1954

The towns and hamlets in the rural and remote areas of the region also wanted to share in the benefits of electrification.  This situation also spawned a multitude of entrepreneurs; all charging what they thought was reasonable. The Electrification Act undertook to have TRPC sell power to these localities for resale to the general public on local lines connecting to the cooperative's grid, but by 1933, when the depression forced many into financial difficulties due to residents not paying their electric utility bills, the legislation was amended to permit the TRPC to take over the lines and sell directly to the customer.  The 1930s ended with much of the region's modern power grid in place, and with every corner of 3RR provided with power.

By 1950, demand had outpaced the power the two TRPC plants could provide.  In order to meet the region's growing need for electricity, work was begun on Parasol Point Unit 2, a 60 megawatt oil-fired steam plant that would bring the total capacity of TRPC north of the Inlet and Wind River to 105 megawatts.

Pineshore Voyageur-Times, Sunday, November 18, 1951

An agreement was also put in place with Minnesota Power (now Allete) to create an 110 kV intertie south from the Falls Creek plant to that company's coal-fired Duluth area plants and to buy power from MP under a 40 year agreement.  This resulted in the stretching out of the life of the old 45 megawatt Falls Creek facility into the 1990s, when it was completely replaced with three natural gas powered generators built by the German company Siemens that total 120 mW in capacity.

Pineshore Voyageur-Times, Saturday, May 15, 1999

The intertie was upgraded at the same time to a 330 kilovolt line, and Allete now buys power from TRPC under a new long-term agreement.

In the 1960s, TRPC negotiated a joint agreement with two Canadian electric power providers: Kenora Hydro and Hydro One, to build a nuclear power station in the region and a high-capacity intertie into western Ontario.  This resulted in the construction of the Grand River Nuclear Power Station (GRNPS) on the eastern shore of the river a mile south of Baronet Island.  This 740 megawatt facility was constructed by the U.S firm Babcock and Wilcox and houses two Westinghouse pressurized water reactors, Unit 1 and Unit 2, which first began operation in May, 1979, and August 1986, respectively.

Grand River Nuclear Power Station from the south, 1992, personal collection of author

The 525 kilovolt 3RR-Western Ontario Intertie was completed in 1987, along with a major reconfiguration and upgrade of the region's high voltage transmission lines north of the Hotham Inlet and Wind River.  The underwater cable, which had been in service for almost 75 years, between Parasol Point and the east bank of the Grand River was abandoned and a new 330 kV underwater crossing was built to the west of the GRNPS.  The main western 330 kV line was extended all the way out to Highland and the TRPC generating plant there was taken out of service and dismantled.  Other lines were upgraded to 330 kV service by adding a second set of transmission towers.

330 kV line, Sunset Twp., 2007, personal collection of author

3RR's two large islands: Pratt and High, have presented a challenge for the region's electrical engineers over the years.  Each island has two built-up areas.  High Island is home to the localities of Shaw and Portis.  Willoughby and Avon are located on Pratt Island.  Each of these communities had TRPC generators into the 1990s, as underwater cable was not feasible to lay to either island.  In the case of High Island, cable could not be laid under the busy East and West Channels as they have sandy shallow bottoms and must be dredged for larger boats.  The population of Pratt Island has been simply too low over the years to justify the expense of laying about four miles/6.5 kilometers of cable.  The natural beauty and the historical significance of each island made the siting of the larger and more efficient plants that were needed with the growing population of the last quarter of the 20th Century very difficult.

Enter wind power.  In the 1990s, wind turbine facilities were proposed on both islands, as each has a point offering significant elevation and good orientation to the prevailing winds.  On Pratt Island, there was little opposition (the destruction of the Avon generator in a major storm in November, 1992, and subsequent power outage in the village for three weeks was certainly a factor in establishing commuinity sentiment) and the four 1.3 megawatt turbine Wild Horse Hill Wind Generation Facility entered service in 1997.

Wild Horse Hill Wind Turbine, 2001, Siemens AG, all rights reserved

These generators are also Siemens products, and it is a testament to German engineering (and the region's winds) that there has not been a single "offline" day since the facility began producing power.  A state of the art battery and backup generation site located in Willoughby ensures that power is consistently available to Pratt Island residents.

On High Island, it was a different story.  The best location to site the six turbines deemed necessary to power the island is immediately adjacent to North Head Regional Park, and 3RR's historic preservation crowd simply came unglued.  The modern appearance of the turbines was deemed by those opposed to be incompatible with the 150 year old cannon batteries on North Head.  Ten years of fighting, both on the proposed site on the island and in the region's courts, ensued.  In 2003, the proponents of wind power finally prevailed in Four Shaw Residents v. Regulatory Comm'n., and ground was broken for the facility the following year.

High Island wind turbine construction, 2004, personal collection of author

It is estimated that the public expense associated with the controversy, if divided individually between those who are served by the facility, came to approximately $43,000 a person.  The position of the environmental community in the matter was summed up in a popular bumper sticker of the time: "Wind Power?  Heck, yes!  Anywhere but here!"  The 8 megawatt High Island Wind Power Generation Facility, consisting of six Siemens 1.3 MW turbines, began producing power in 2007.

This is the 3RR power grid as it stands today.

n.b.Preview map, click on it or here [linkie] for a full-size version.

The filled gray dots are major and minor power substations.  The large ones are each named as depicted on the map.

* * *

So that's it for electric power, folks.  Thanks for tuning in.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


This looks like it could easily survive on Wikipedia.  It's awesome!  I know it has had a powerful effect on me.  As if I needed another reason to stay caught up on 3RR.

Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.


Interesting time line of 3RR's power generation capabilities. Indeed, power plants often spark controversy, but the most frightening aspect is our dependency on them.

It takes a mega-storm like hurricane Ike to remind us, I guess. The current lack of power along the Gulf Coast could last for weeks in some areas. For now and the near future, it  means no gasoline, little or no ordinary cell phone communication, stores closed, and for those whose homes are all electric, forget about cooked food or hot showers. The list seems to go on forever.

And for those of us with family members less than 100 miles north of Galveston, the frustration is excruciating. Wish 3RR could share some of that power!



Excellent work on the power history of 3RR. The pictures are great, and the legal case is a nice touch (reminds me of the wind farm proposed off the shore of New England). The detail that is going into these maps is impressive. That's quite a number of substations, but I suppose that's normal for a region this size. I did notice a few things in the update that I wanted to ask about:
QuoteThe natural beauty and the historical significance of each island made the siting of a the larger and more efficient plants that were needed with the growing population of the last quarter of the 20th Century very difficult

QuoteA state of the art battery and backup generation site located in Willoughby insures that power is consistently available to Pratt Island residents.
I've wondered about the difference between 'insure' and 'ensure' as both seem to work in this situation

QuoteThe modern appearance of the turbines was deemed by those opposed to be incompatible with the 150 year old cannon batteries on North Head.

Great work on this David, great work.


wow, thats quite a map!  Well done! 

Interesting background on the power situation of 3RR.  It was an interesting read.

And Mas, I'll have to check out your new blog!  Thanks for letting us know!



More brilliant work, David. The amount of detail that you put into these things is just unbelievable! I couldn't tell you how much I've learned on my trips to 3RR, but I am definitely a better person for it, and I thank you very much, my friend!

Take care,



Now that's a backstory! That is amazing David! How do you come up with all this?

Quote from: metarvo on September 14, 2008, 08:30:10 PM
This looks like it could easily survive on Wikipedia.

I have to agree with that! How 'bout the SC4 wiki?
NAM Team Member | 3RR Collaborater | Virgin Shores


interesting history of power ther my friend thanks &apls


Single track rail, FARR, ... everytime I think there can't be anything better you come up with something even more incredible.  :thumbsup:
My name is Raphael.
Visit my MD: Empire Bay (My old MD: Santa Barbara County)


Still waiting for the full size map to load. ;D

Great stuff. As always. I really hope the single track rail works out too - that would probably be an even bigger leap forward for rail construction in this game than even the FARR.

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