Thursday, April 7, 2016

B&O Bridge over Calumet River

(Bridge HunterHistoric BridgesSatellite)

d.w.davidson Flickr shows the span still intact

20160521 3284, a view from the 95th Street Bridge

This is the photo from which the above was cropped to provide context.
The Baltimore & Ohio's original passenger route into Chicago was along the lake, over this bridge, and connected to IC tracks near 71st Street. B&O passenger trains later switched to using the B&OCT to access Grand Central Station. Since even the freight service dried up on this original lake shore route in the 1970s, there was no need to repair the Strauss heel-trunnion bascule bridge when a ship wrecked it in 1988 (more below). So the span has been removed and only the lift structure remains. which is the diagonal structure on the right in the above picture.

A view taken through an open gate across the CSL yard
Camera Resolution
View of the west side

Stan Hawker commented on his posting
A more recent picture of the bridge before the accident can be seen in the background of The Blues Brothers movie poster.
Steve OConnor posted
When ship meets railroad bridge . . . Calumet River, South Chicago
Tribune Article

[Photo source, p11]
Steve Malachinski That's the old B&O bridge. There was a plan floated to take the bridge down that is on the St Charles airline and move it on a barge to replace the one that was destroyed. They scratched the plan and just abandoned the tracks from the connection of the Chicago Short line to the bridge to Rock Island Jct. There was only one industry west of the bridge that was a cement plant which has been closed for years .
Ben Burch Was the line abandoned at the time?
Steve Malachinski No the line was still active at the time of the accident.

Bob Lalich commented on Scott Griffith's posting
I took this the morning after the accident on May 8,1988 [David Vondra post]. Imagine the sound when it happened...
Chris Fezler posted
Stan Stanovich ...though I haven’t researched this in any way or checked out the posted links Chris Fezler, to the best of my personal recollection this occurred in early 1988. I clearly remember something on this in what was sort of a news photo section of Trains Magazine in the Spring of that year!!! I was still a resident of Massachusetts at the time!!! The B&O bridge north of the former PRR and NYC at CP509. Supposedly the ship’s crew alleged the bridge was lowered as the ship passed through the channel and the railroad alleged the ship was to close to the structure in the raised position, made contact with it and took it down!!!
Lee Jones I believe the latter.
Jerry Smigla I think some of that bridge is still there.
Stan Stanovich ...I believe it is!!!
Dennis DeBruler The tower and "rocker truss" is still there. The span was removed.!3m6!1e1!3m4!1spTtRChSJZ
Dennis DeBruler Note the bridge is not only still intact in 1986, John caught the span in a partially open position:
Dennis DeBruler A view of the west side that shows the massive counterweight and the bridge tower:
Dennis DeBruler John has five photos of the wreck starting with: (Use the "right arrow" icon in the middle of the right side to scroll through the photos.)
Rod Truszkowski The wreck happened in the evening.
Dennis DeBruler A view of the west side that shows the massive counterweight and the bridge tower:

Jon Roma The Color Position Signal is a reminder that this was B&O's initial passenger train route into Chicago. This is the first time I have seen a "backslash" set of lights. What color was used for that configuration? The signal mast also has the lone light on the top that is common with B&O signals. I have yet to learn how that modifies the basic stop (horizontal red), approach (diagonal yellow) and go (vertical green).

Dennis DeBruler Why the B&O crossed the Calumet River here in the first place:
Rod Truszkowski Dennis DeBruler the F,PM also used this line
Dennis DeBruler Rod Truszkowski Please spell out the railroad name, I'm not familiar with that one.
Rod Truszkowski Dennis DeBruler flint, Pere marquette
Dennis DeBruler Probably before the C&O absorbed the PM. That must mean that PM used the Illinois Central Station along with Michigan Central, B&O, and Big Four (from Kankakee). How PM got from Michigan to this bridge across Northernwest Indiana would be an interesting study.

Dennis DeBruler IC was the main railroad serving the Columbian Exposition Terminal. The B&O was the only other railroad that had direct access.

Toad Brajkovich posted, cropped
Vince Bray Boy do I remember that 😱
Toad Brajkovich Bridge lowered on the boat.look up b&o. Calumet river boat lowering on ship.
Larry Grzywinski Vance motor service removed the bridge from the ship.
Jeffery Hamilton I believe that occurred in 1987 and the wreckage of that bridge is still there waiting to be recycled.

Scott Griffith posted six pictures of the accident. The comments indicate that the bridge was in the upright position and "the ship drifted into the underside of a stationary bridge.But the article below provided by a comment indicates the bridge was not in the full upright position as the bridge of the boat passed.





Wiliam Kruspe commented
Here's the article
[Actually, it was an allision instead of a collision.]
Scott Griffith posted
just found this in a trains mag
Rich Thielman I loved working at this tower. It was known as CR tower on the B&OCT.Rich Thielman My memory is somewhat hazy nowdays, but I recall that bridge was 375 feet long. When you were 'breaking in', they would have you lay down on the east end of the bridge, then take it all the way up. What a view that was, but also scary as hell.
[Unless they were wearing a fall protector harness that was attached to the bridge, I believe that "ride" would violate OSHA standards :-)]

Back in better days when it was still being used by passenger trains.
Scott Griffith posted
Lake front B&O
Bob Lalich This is one of a number of photos taken by Otto Perry at this East Side location. More can be found on the Denver Public Library site:
Rick Smith posted
B&O "Capitol Limited", the rear being adorned with Pullman-Standard built 5 DBR - lounge blunt-end observation, "Metcalf", is shown eastbound, crossing the B&O (corrected per Bob Lalich, from earlier stated as "B&OCT) Strauss heel-trunnion bascule bridge at the Calumet River. Following the *allision* (a nautical term) of the freighter vessel "Pontokratis" with the bridge in May 1988, the seemingly brownfield-entombed remains of this bridge has become a captivating if not pre-occupying subject of periodic review within this group. -==-
[photo - courtesy, John H. Kuehl]
Bob Lalich This line and bridge was owned by the B&O, rather than its B&OCT subsidiary.
Scott Griffith posted
The Penn and NYC were also still using swing bridges when B&O constructed their Strauss-trunnion bascule bridge.
From another posting: "1913 B&( Lake Front bridge"
Bob Lalich commented on the above posting
Here is a before and after drawing from HAER.
Scott Griffith posted
1913 B&O Lake Front bridge
Gary Golden Before the maintainers would qualify to work CR Tower you had to ride the bridge to the top...1975.
David Daruszka commented on the above posting
John W. Barriger III

Dave Arganbright commented on a post
John Uhlich Interesting term, "allision"...typo?
Dennis DeBruler John Uhlich Nope. Ship hit a stationary object as opposed to another moving vessel.

The third image in a 1914 report has some information on this bridge.

Bob Lalich Flickr 1981 Photo, still intact (it was destroyed in 1988)

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