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My old railroad bridges

My old railroad bridges

During the cold Winter months, I dug out some of my 30-year old slides of places I have visited.
Places that have since had abandonments and conversion from rails to trails.

The Middle River on the Northern Pacific Ashland Wisconsin line has a BN train in 1977.
In nine more years, the bridge will still be there but the rails are gone, and the route is the Tri County Corridor trail.


Same line in 1985, this time I am riding the next-to-last passenger train on this line.
(with a big thank you to Richard H for the heads up on the opportunity to film the west end of the Ashland line from the comfort of a train)


Way east of there, the dump boards on a trestle approach are exposed, and some fill has washed away.
This line had been embargoed for 3 years.



Rouse, Wisconsin, had a washout at a very small culvert.
For the second time in 10 years.
The nearby beaver dams probably didn't help.

This line had been embargoed for the second time, and rails would be removed the next year.

Notice the orange plastic fence that had been raised up during snowmobile season to mark this dip.


I have been busy scanning old slides while the Winter cold weather is too cold to work in. This has been a colder winter than normal. The heating bill shows it, too.
At least we have some pretty snow, about 8 inches for December and January.
And I haven't watched many real trains, I just watch them on the Waupaca Depot webcam.

Here's a link to the Bridge Hunters web site.
Bridge Hunters

Bridge Hunter's focuses on bridges and is not limited to just railroad bridges.
I have many slides of some railroads that are now abandoned. And if a bridge is already on their list, I can still submit my bridge pictures for that location.

At least I get some info out of my slide files and put onto a website that has some permanence in it.

How to find a lot of bridges on one route:
put this name in their Search box: Tri County Corridor
and that should bring up a list of many bridges and trestles of the former Northern Pacific / BN railroad from Superior to Ashland. I just put about a third of them into the record.

Or, click a state on their US map on their Home page, and then click a county.
Wisconsin's Bayfield County is interesting because there are several old large CNW bridges that I never saw personally, but I should have when I lived closer to that area. But, I spent my free time bypassing that branch line and going to the busy modern railroads of the Twin Ports. In retrospect, I should have visited that branch at least once just to realize what was there, before it was abandoned. In these days of Internet, people are sharing pictures and stories and now I realize what I missed.

I added some bridge locations and pictures in
Wisconsin, Ashland and Iron County
Michigan, Gogebic County

Here's some links to specific bridges
SOO - Hurley Rail Crossing

We could use more pictures for CNW - Vaughn Avenue Bridge in Ashland, Wisconsin BH i.d. 41915
Three rail bridges crossed over Vaughn Ave, just west of much of the Soo and NP railyards. There's plenty of info and pictures of the SOO and the NP/BN bridges, but not of the CNW that crossed over the street at an angle.
The CNW used the route to get to their passenger station west of there, and we saw a CNW passenger train near there in 1970 in the winter time. But we didn't view the bridge. I think the passenger trains quit running to the depot, and the freight trains quit running from the Ashland CNW freight yard to Ashland Junction, by ? 1974 ?
The CNW bridge was the first to be removed and I don't know if it was a truss or girder or what. All we have is a picture of the limestone block foundations at the edge of the street. And I see the latest Google map photo shows those foundations are gone now. And all the tracks are gone in that area now and there's a city park with ball diamonds.
All three of the bridges had low clearance. I remember at least 2 newspaper articles in the 1970's about delivery vans getting wedged under those bridges. There was only a little more than 10 feet of headroom.


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This page was wrote in February, 2022