Thursday, January 28, 2016

CSX/NYC's Strauss Trunnion Bridge over Erie Canal at Tonawanda, NY

(Bridge Hunter, could not find it in Historic Bridges, Satellite, Bird's Eye View)

New York is generally out of my turf, but I'm a sucker for Strauss railroad bridges.

Erie Canal overview

Douglas Butler sketched what it would look like partially open.

Cleveland State University Library Book from Bridge Hunter

Street View
Rodney Baisley posted
William Boylin: The original New York Central line shared space on Main St. with pedestrians and vehicular traffic (the station is still there), crossed Tonawanda Creek right next to the Renaissance Bridge (concrete abbutments still there) and continued up Webster St. in North Tonawanda. In the 1800's, there was RR bridge at the spot of the current bascule bridge. It was for the " Peanut Line" which came from Canandaigua, which later was purchased by the NYC. A tad to the east of this was the Erie RR bridge
William Boylin: And further to the east of the Erie RR bridge was the "High Speed Line" bridge.
Brian R. Wroblewski shared
Signal station 57...

Brian R. Wroblewski commented on Rodney's post
That was officially "Signal Station 57" on the New York Central. It only lifted for tests & was never used again.

Thomas Trumeter posted three photos with the comment: "This railroad bridge spans Tonowanda Creek near Buffalo. Trying to figure out what appears to be a counter balance and what it does? One of the more unusual bridges I have ever seen."



Frank Garon shared Brian R. Wroblewski's photo
Frank's comment:
Nice shot of one of the NYC Towers in Tonowanda/North Tonowanda NY. My guess is EL-2 but I could be wrong. Anybody know for sure and also when this one was closed?
Brian's comment:
Steel beams for the new (then) Rt. 384 bridge over the Erie Canal in Tonawanda being built during the 1950s'. In the background is the New York Central lift bridge & interlocking tower. This bridge still exists today, but the tower is long gone. It originally had steam power to lift it, but was only tested & never lifted for any vessel traffic.
Lee Gorcheck posted
Erie canal buffalo ny...this one only drew back twice in it's lifetime--built in 1919..
Peter Benham: The lift mechanism was removed in a WWII scrap drive.
When it was planned, there was a possibility that an American link between Lakes Erie and Ontario was going to be necessary.

Lee Gorcheck posted
The 4th of july in buffalo ny... [Actually, Tonawanda, NY]

Jeff Picka posted
Counterweight to the New York Central (and possibly LV) bridge over the Erie Canal between Tonawanda and Noth Tonawanda NY.
This bridge served local NYC trains from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, some Michigan Central trains from Detroit that went through Niagara Falls, and Lehigh Valley / Grand Trunk service from Toronto, Hamilton, and Niagara Falls to Depew, Sayre, Wilkes-Barre, Allentown, Bethlehem, and either Reading Terminal in Philadelphia or Penn Station in NYC.
The bridge is locked down, and so a good part of the structure is dedicated to holding up this block of concrete.
Dan Eff: I live in Chicago, and there's a bascule bridge on the Chicago River just like this thats locked in the UP position. It cant be lowered because a high rise was built up against it.
[Lee Gorcheck added several photos of this bridge in the comments]

Joe Dockrill shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on Dan's comment
UP lowers it once a year and runs a hi-rail truck over it. This photo was posted by Mike Welch in 2015. The reason they do that is to maintain an active status for the RoW. I have not seen an explanation of why they maintain an active status since it is now a route to nowhere.

Bob Seemueller commented on Joe's share
CSX and Amtrak still use this portion of the Niagara Branch.

Tim Shanahan shared a post of four photos by Lee Gorcheck.




Albert McFadyen posted
Amtrak train 64, the Maple Leaf, crossing the Erie Canal between N. Tonawanda and Tonawanda as it heads east to New Yor City over former NYC trackage.
Albert McFadyen shared

RR Trax Studios posted
Another Erie Canal crossing: A pair of CSX locos haul a short freight across the former New York Central RR's Niagara Branch at Tonawanda, N.Y., on 5/21/2023. The industrial spur in the foreground is the former NYC's 'Peanut Line' that also hosted Lehigh Valley trains on trackage rights. -TKK
Brian R. Wroblewski shared

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