Kevin’s Komments 10/25/2022

I’ve been itching to do another trackwork study. I popped up this first pic, and trackwork drifted into abandoned trackwork!

The caption on this pic talks about a century old RR trestle being found in Colorado. The bridge was “lost” after it was buried by an embankment. Those of us with a little understanding of how railroads work realize trestles are typically built to cover spans quickly, and are often filled or partially filled later as fill becomes available. Maintenance as a fill is much lower than a trestle or bridge. But the modern uncovering of the trestle is fascinating. It was determined that this trestle was built around 1911 over Grange Creek. In 1951, UP piped Grange Creek and then backfilled the trestle. Many years later, it was decided to remove the old railroad embankment, and guess what they found?

Here’s what an abandoned trestle looks like if it hasn’t been backfilled!

A fascinating pic of major faults in abandoned track. The suggestion with this pic is that it might have been in a location where tracks were built on permafrost. Check out the edge of the bridge and how much movement there’s been in the surrounding ground surface.

Here, the embankment below the track has washed out.

Another washed out abandoned line.

Caption “Nature Takes Over” about nails this one. The track actually looks reasonable, but there’s a lot of years of growth around it (or through it!).

Another of nature’s reclamation projects.  This is Conrail track (former B&O Charleston to Gilmer line) near Elkview, West Virginia, in 2010.

…Just need a few more feet of track to make this work! I’m not sure where this is – no info available. It looks a little like a mine tailing track except for the solid stone abutment used to hold the track in place.

This is the Denver & Rio Grande RR’s Marysvale Branch Tunnel in 1979. (Near the end of the line in Utah.) It appears abandoned with just a bit of rock sliding starting to fill the cut leading to the tunnel.

I’m not sure what was supposed to allow water to run under the track at this gully, but whatever it was, it appears to be washed out while the ties & track remain intact.

Didn’t anyone tell the rails to give up hope on this former bridge? I like how the tie plates hang on by the spikes, while the bridge structure is long gone. No info on where this is (or better, was!).

So…In this case, the ties have held out along with the rail, while the bridge structure is long gone.  (Flex track!)

This damaged bridge is somewhere in Vermont – appears to be a partial washout during a flood.

This is a 2015 pic of an abandoned RR bridge – no info.  I need to go back to my bridge truss study to identify the spans.

This abandoned RR bridge is in Pittsburg. Looks like a two track span. On the top of the truss right side, there appears to be a walkway.

Again, no info on this pic, but what a great set of spans! It looks like a shallow span allowing nature to creep up as she reclaims.

You can almost use the same caption from the previous pic, but it’s definitely a different bridge.

Former crossing and tower past their operating life. When you blow this pic up, it appears that the rail that’s been cut-off has been used more recently than the continuous crossing rail.

Rust on the rails and older ties suggest that no train has run down these tracks recently. The leaning wood structure adds to the abandoned feel. Caption says that this is Stewartstown RR, in Stewartstown, PA. The RR was chartered in 1884 to connect the town to New Freedom 7.4 miles away for agricultural support. It’s now a heritage railroad, and regardless of the look, tourist trains run on a regular basis mostly weekends.

The tracks are well maintained and actively used, but the sacred place just off the tracks has been abandoned for a while. This pic was taken by an Ohio farmer – so I assume one of the many lines across the state.

Milwaukee Road End of Line. (Abandoned.)

We’ll finish up with this abandoned track (from track level).

I sent the lower email last night only to find a great photo of an abandoned trestle this morning.  This is the Gilahina trestle, Wrangell-St Elias National Park, Alaska; part of a gallery of black and white pictures of US National Parks by professional photographer QT Luong.  It’s a great cross section of the trestle showing the multiple heavy wood timber beams under the rails with shimming to level the surface.  Note the location and through bolts on the cross braces of the bent.  Also, you can see the long threaded rod that secures the side guard boards through the ties and into the outside beams.  I spotted a detail I’ve never noticed before on the beams – A set of threaded rods go through all three beams each side, joining the beams and probably holding the separation between them.  In this case, it looks like they used a rather shallow – probably standard tie size.  Typically on bridges and trestles, the ties are much deeper than normal ties, and are sometimes placed a little closer to each other.

I had to throw this in because it is in itself a great study for model railroaders – besides being a nice pic.

The abandoned track theme is more picturesque but less helpful as info about RRs (that can be used by modelers). My original intent was to do a track study to aid in future modeling. While there’s a few tidbits in this study for modeling use, this is more for the artistic soul. I’ll keep the track study on my list.



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