Friday, February 9, 2018

Big Four over Wabash River at Terre Haute, IN

(Bridge Hunter)
3D Satellite
Obviously, this used to be a swing-span pier.
3D Satellite
Rob Sartain shared a link to a 1980 Flickr Photo.
Bill Edrington That must surely be one of the very last photos taken of a Conrail manifest freight train running to East St. Louis via Paris, Mattoon, Pana and Hillsboro. Soon afterward, CR diverted all through traffic west of Terre Haute to the ex-PRR line via Effingham and Vandalia. By spring 1982 CR had sold the Big Four west of Pana to the MoPac, and had permission to abandon the line from Midland (Paris) to Pana

Update: Bill Edrington commented on another posting:
The line is still there, but CSX has taken the Wabash River bridge out of service. Last time I was in the area, the line was full of stored trilevels from Sandford to Paris. Only way from Terre Haute to Paris now is up the C&EI to Hillsdale; west on the B&O to Chrisman; then down the Big Four.

Robert Holton posted two photos with the comment: "This rail bridge over the Wabash at Terre Haute, IN was the sight of a terrific collision in 1892. The remains of the locomotives are believed still buried in the muddy bottom."
Anthony Anderson posted
119 years this month [Feb 2019].


Terre Haute, Ind., Feb. 23 -- The west span of the "Big Four" railroad bridge across the Wabash River in this city gave way this afternoon just as east-bound Freight Train No. 96 was crossing, and Engine No. 440 and thirty-one cars out of a total of fifty dashed into the river.
The bridge had been weakened by the ice gorge, and people who saw the span swaying just a few minutes before the arrival of the train tried to flag it, but they were not quick enough. The train was loaded with lumber, wheat, and cotton, and the wreck is a costly one, not to speak of the delay to trains, which will have to detour by way of Paris, Ill., and the Vandalia.
Three of the freight crew went down with the train and were gotten out with much difficulty. They are the engineer, HARRY ADAMS, seriously injured, but probably not fatally; the fireman, DAN RUDDELL, who died at St. Anthony's Hospital to-night, and the brakeman, GEORGE WHITEMAN, of Worthington, Ind., who is fatally hurt.
The Southeastern Limited, due here at 1:30 o'clock this afternoon on its way East, had a narrow escape. All that saved a fearful passenger wreck was that it was an hour and a half late, and the freight was given the right of way. The Knickerbocker would have passed over at 4:20 o'clock.
Bob Johnson My father used to talk about a steam locomotive that remained in the Wabash with the smoke stack visible at low water level. This may be the wreck he talked about.
Jamie Brown Bob Johnson yep, my grandpa said the same thing, he was there after the derailment. Said the river was "blood red" from the blood of all the Hogs that were on board, the cut there throats with there hooves trying to swim!
Steven Caldwell To this day...the man is still dying. He is hanging on. [I had to think a bit to realize that he was saying the brakeman survived.]
Alexander Self posted three photos with the comment: "These photos are from 1900 from my great grandfather who did work on the railroad. This was a wreck on a bridge collapse in Terra Haute, IN."
Elvin Rivera Aaron Malone is this the bridge on our line?
Aaron Malone Elvin Rivera yessir. I believe that was rebuilt I’m 1906? I do believe. With a steam engine just under the bridge from the previous bridge collapse. When the water is low I guess you can see it. Idk cause I never noticed one down there ever.
Alexander Self
Alexander Self
Alexander Self Three major wrecks in 10 years.
February 23, 1900

My great grandfathers note.

Completed bridge.

Completed bridge, Friday March 2, 1900, 4:00 PM

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