Monday, October 16, 2017

Illinois Central 1905 Bridge over Tennessee River near Gilbertsville, KY

(no Bridge Hunter, bridge no longer exists)

Illinois Central Railroad Scrapbook posted
You definitely need some serious G-U-T-S to work on a bridge gang. This photo was taken March 28, 1905, during construction of the IC's new drawbridge over the Tennessee River at Gilbertsville, KY (this is about 25 miles east of Paducah, but north by timetable direction). This new drawbridge replaced the original drawbridge at this location, built in the early 1870's.
A small crane has installed some temporary trestework and a temporary span, all in preparation for construction of the drawspan. The drawspan will be erected atop the pivot pier in the background.
The new bridge at Gilbertsville opened to traffic in mid-1905. Then in 1944 IC's tracks were rerouted across Kentucky Dam, which was built about 300 yards upstream from the bridge. Afterwards, several spans of the old IC bridge were moved to New Johnsonville, TN, where they were used to build a "new" bridge for the NC&StL (whose old bridge was flooded out by Kentucky Lake).
I copied the following from the Kentucky Dam posting because you can see this old bridge in the left background.



Illinois Central Railroad Scrapbook posted
Back on October 10, 1945, U.S. President Harry S. Truman formally dedicated Kentucky Dam along the Tennessee River at Gilbertsville, KY. The dam stands 206 feet tall, is 8,422 feet long, and creates a reservoir (Kentucky Lake) that stretches 184 miles south into Tennessee.
The dam was built about 100 yards upstream from IC's drawbridge across the Tennessee River. This drawbridge was built in 1904-05 and replaced an older bridge dating back to the 1870's.
During construction of Kentucky Dam the IC's Kentucky Division mainline was rerouted atop Kentucky Dam. The new route atop the dam opened to train service on Nov. 2, 1944. The attached photo was taken early that morning, prior to the arrival of the first train, northbound passenger train 102, with Lewis "Pop" Cofer at the throttle, making his last run after a 61 year career that began in 1883 with the Chesapeake Ohio & Southwestern Railroad. A portion of the old IC drawbridge is visible at far left.
Numerous changes have been made to Kentucky Dam over the years. A highway was added to the side of the dam, then a few years ago the highway and railroad tracks were relocated to new bridges below the dam so the locks at Kentucky Dam could be enlarged
The new bridge that moved the railroad off the Kentucky Dam.

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