Friday, May 5, 2017

KCS/Alton Bridges over Mississippi at Louisiana, MO

(1898 Bridge Hunter, 1873 Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, John A. Weeks III, Street ViewSatellite)

John A. Weeks III
Birds-Eye View
Panorama constructed from 13 photos by fmiser, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)

One of four photos posted by Mark Hinsdale
What's in a Photo Caption?
Well, four state names, at least in this one. A westbound KANSAS City Southern merchandise train eases across the moveable bridge over the MISSISSIPPI River at LOUISIANA, MISSOURI, on a pleasant March 5, 2020. I got lucky when I passed this way around 2:30 pm, just as the day and afternoon bridge tenders were exchanging shifts. The daytime bridge tender saw me with my camera photographing the impressive bridge structure and kindly let me know this westbound train would be along in a half hour, give or take. l happily hung around to obtain the photos, as the span is only used by a handful of trains each day. This swing bridge was built by Chicago & Alton in 1898, and later served successors Gulf, Mobile & Ohio, Illinois Central Gulf, Chicago, Missouri & Western, Gateway Western, and finally, today, Kansas City Southern.

Mark Hinsdale shared
Dennis DeBruler So what other photos did you get of the bridge? I'm of the school of thought that big RR bridges don't need a train on them to be interesting.

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I am from that same school. I took a couple. Here is the first picture I took after parking the car and observing the scene from the shoulder.

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And another, more straight on view.

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And finally, one that included the KCS-BNSF diamond in the immediate left foreground.


Mark Herren posted
Westbound ICG Train 93 crosses the Mississippi River at Louisiana,Missouri on May 4,1985
The predecessor bridge.

Public Domain, putlished prior to 1923

Public Domain, putlished prior to 1923
Update:
Bob Eisthen posted
I-VNKC crosses the Mississippi River (and shortly, the ex-CB&Q K-Line) behind KCS 4689. March 14, 2009.
Robert Daly posted three photos with the comment: "The Alton bridge at Louisiana MO, April 12 2013. The west end of the span has an 1898 date."
Scott Nauert Plans are in the works to replace it with a lift bridge. Parts are next to impossible to come by, and if something goes south when in the wrong position, all hell will break loose.
Robert Daly Thanks for the info. I didn't know the line has enough traffic to justify a new bridge.
Scott Nauert KCS just put a ton of money into this RR, including new signal systems, new rail, ties, etc. Bartlett Grain recently opened a monster grain load out near Jacksonville, IL, adding to the daily count. Other major grain terminals are served further west, and the amount of revenue generated is quite significant.
Brian Weber Will they be replacing the entire structure, or just the movable span?
Scott Nauert Whole thing I was told.
Doug Hefty Looks very similar to the Crescent bridge up in the Quad Cities where I worked back in the 90's. It also has an 1898 builders plate.
Lindsey Fowler I puttered my motorcar across that bridge.. I don't know how many times I've been across it. There is a signal to the interlocker to the old BN on the Illinois side I had to take care of.. It's scary going across that River with no guard rails and the wind blowing 45 miles an hour steady .. we also maintained the interlocks and relays for the bridge .. that meant climbing down on the pier on both sides of the swing spand with no guardrail. As young as I was it was exciting, but I didn't care to do it much after the first time.
Doug Hefty I know what you mean about the wind! There were a few times walking out to the swing span on the Crescent bridge I thought I was going to get blown right off the planks we walked on between the rails to get out there!! We had to walk 3 span-lengths from the IL side.

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