Wednesday, January 27, 2016

TZPR/P&PU Bridges over Illinois River at Peoria, IL

(1881 Bridge Hunter1911 Bridge Hunter, 1985 Bridge Hunter, 3D Satellite)

P&PU = Peoria & Pekin Union Railway
This bridge is also called the TZPR = Tazewell & Peoria Railroad
TP&W now uses this bridge after its bridge was wrecked

I asked David Jordan in a posting about the names. His response: "Tazewell & Peoria RR has leased P&PU since November 1, 2004."

The bridge before 1911 was a swing bridge, the 1911 bridge was a Strauss heel trunnion bascule bridge, and the 1985 bridge is a lift bridge.

1881 Swing Bridge

Larry Miller III shared a photo
Can anyone identify the bridge crossing the Illinois River or the cantilevered device in the foreground?
Dean Cunningham P&PU Straus Bascule Span Peoria, Illinois. Thanks for sharing Larry. I remember this bridge well.
David JordanDavid and 4 others manage the membership, moderators, settings, and posts for Peoria Illinois Railroads Trains & Shortlines. Probably the old P&S bridge (1872) in the background?

Andy Zukowski posted
Toledo Peoria & Western Railroad Bridge Construction in Peoria, Illinois. RPPC 1911
Tim Howard: more photos of this bridge:

Image via Google eBook via BridgeHunter-1881 and BridgeHunter-1911
Also, Engineering News Article, Public Domain. There are several other pictures in the article.
"Old bridge in background."

1911 Strauss Bridge

Larry Irvin Flickr via BridgeHunter-1911, License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
P&PU bridge over the Illinois River (used by the TP&W) near Peoria on 11-23-75

A glimpse of the old bridge. And it looks like the Illinois River was running rather high.
Howard Keil shared Peoria Historical Society's photo
Howard Keil Appears to be old P&PU bridge in background
Donald E Faris posted
Once again getting around to a bit of scanning. Here's Rock Island 4523 with four cars and a caboose 8/25/1979.
David Jordan A CCLX-marked covered hopper behind 4523 tells me this train is from Pekin, exercising P&PU trackage rights in place since 1973.
John Stell posted
TP&W 700-1000-902 on P&PU Illinois river bridge with train No 121.Photographer not shown September 1970 John Stelll colllection

John Stell posted
This is No 121 I was trying to post earlier,
Harold J. Krewer If the Feb. 1970 date is correct, this could have been one of the first trains to cross the river on the P&PU. The TP&W bridge was knocked out on or about Feb. 12, 1970. [I don't know where Harold got Feb 1970 date.]
David Jordan Harold J. Krewer I didn't think TP&W had any geeps painted in acrylic orange until 1971?

Michael Broshears posted
Something from 1978.
Dean Cunningham P&PU Bridge
John Stell Rebuilt into a lift span.

Todd Pendleton corrected John Stell's posting
Extra 700 West crossing Illinois River on P&PU bridge on 9-29-79. Photographer unknown. John Stell collection.
John Stell posted
TP&W 700, 1000, and 902 crossing Illinois River on P&PU grasshopper bridge in September 1970. Photographer unknown John Stell collection.
Dean Cunningham I remember that P&PU lift span - Used climb on it during bridge inspection in the 1950's.

John Stell posted
TP&W 700 is westbound on P&PU Illinois River bridge, Slide is marked Ross Porter collection and now in John Stell collection.

Douglas Butler posted
Credit to Julia Belle Swain P&PU Strauss Heel Trunnion Railroad Bridge is replaced in Peoria, IL.
Also, BridgeHunter-1911
"Lost P&PU RR bridge over Illinois River @ Peoria, May 1984 photo taken from Julia Belle Swain riverboat cruise.  GS, May 1984"

1985 Lift Bridge

BridgeHunter-1911 indicates the trunnion bridge was built in 1911, and it was in good condition when it was replaced in 1983-85. They describe the design as: "A Heel Trunnion bascule bridge although built as an early design with the machinery installed on the bascule span and the struts pinned fixed to the counterweight bridge tower."

A map shows that there used to be six railroads crossing the river along Peoria and Pekin, but only two still exist. (The other crossing is the UP/C&NW Bridge.) Currently, the P&PU is owned by TZPR+TPW.

On the same day I wrote the above, David posted a ground-level picture of the lift bridge.

David Jordan posted
KJRY train on TZPR's Illinois River lift bridge.

Jason Myers commented on a post
Potash crossing the Illinois River bridge
Erik Rasmussen: Jason Myers best shot I’ve seen here in a while! Great reflection and nice job getting all river in the foreground!

Mark David Moore posted
Railroad Bridge over Illinois River — in Peoria.
Mark David Moore shared
Dennis DeBruler: Given the tanks in the right background, we are facing downstream.,-89.6144408,1230a,35y,39.1t/data=!3m1!1e3?entry=ttu

Roger Kujawa posted
IAIS 513 crossing the river now headed north.

Dillon Harrison posted
A similar shot of what I'm use to back home in Joliet, The KJ heads Westbound across the Illinois River approaching Bridge Junction.
I did note that it appeared the bridge had been at one point double track.
Todd Newburgh commented on the above posting
[Various comments indicate that this is from April 2013 when TZPR stored cars on the bridge to keep it from being damaged by floodwaters.]


Lisa Murphy saved to Illinois Flooding Disaster 2013
Railroad tracks at foot of Court St. in Pekin IL. Image by Sherry Fulk
[I see there is fresh ballast under the track in the satellite image. I wonder if the height of the tracks was raised.]
Jodie Volk-Dave Allenson posted
In August of 1995, I was the junior man on the Proviso engineers extra board. I was sent to protect the South Pekin board for six days. So here we are meeting a TP&W transfer as we are about to cross the Illinois river on our way back to our yard at Peoria from the P&PU yard in East Peoria.
Roger Nelson The bridge use to be a double main but automatic switches cost too much to maintain.
Mark Llanuza this is a very cool view from a GP-9
Robert M. Kendall 2 things. The yard in Peoria was called the Adams St. yard. 10 tracks maybe 300 cars total. The P& PU railroad ( better known as the Push Pull and Upset) is where my Father worked for 21 years before coming to the CNW. My Uncle Bill was 2nd shift yardmaster there till he retired. I don't think that railroad exists today.
Ron Zack The P&PU still exists, but it's been sold and renamed the Tazewell & Peoria Railroad: TZPR. It's part of the growing G&W empire of shortlines.
Roger Nelson G&W also bought Rail America which owned Tpw making it one big happy family.
Guy Gamble pain in the ass going over there did it a couple a time. ps I got paid for being forced any body else collect!
Roger Wilhelmi I probably wrote up your claims Guy!
Peter Zimmermann posted
Peoria, a few weeks or so ago.
Summer 2016, Keokuk Junction train with their F units leading.]

Mark Hinsdale posted
"Tip-Up Town"
No, I'm not referring to Gaylord, Michigan, and its annual winter "Tip-Up Town" Festival,. but rather Peoria IL, the largest city and primary hub of the Toledo, Peoria & Western Railway (TP&W), long nicknamed the "Tip Up" in railroad circles. By this February, 1997 date, TP&W's controlling ownership by Santa Fe had ended in favor of its sale to Delaware-Otsego Corporation, but the railroad was still operating a large daily westbound train of merchandise and double stacked containers to the BNSF interchange at Lomax IL, behind a traditional brace of former Santa Fe GP20's. Here, the westbound is crossing the Peoria & Pekin Union lift bridge across the Illinois River and beginning its trek across western Illinois to Lomax and eventually, Fort Madison IA. Photos by Mark Hinsdale

At 5:45pm Friday, I finished my newspaper research when the downtown library announced it was closing for the day. I headed over to East Peoria in hopes of catching that A-B-A geep set on the westbound BNSF freight (though a late evening departure seems routine).
I actually saw it, because it was preparing to leave TZPR's East Peoria Yard as I drove past on Wesley Road!
BNSF 2036, BNSF 334, and BNSF 2129 have 20 cars. Scenes are at TZPR's Illinois River Bridge, Darst Street, the through truss bridge just south of Harmon Highway and at W. Farmington Road where a slow order is due to recent flooding.
[The link is to a public group so you should be able to see the comments about B units and Komatsu and Caterpillar flatcar loads.]
Gary Talsky posted
NSDMPE with NS 1024, NS 6744, NS 9875, IAIS 152 cross the bridge tonight (08/15/2017) at 20:10.
1/15 sec. f/5.6 70mm ISO3200
Thanks to Todd Pendleton for the o/s Sparland headsup
[This view is a different angle on the bridge. Thanks to the red buildings on top of the towers, I can be confident it is this bridge.]
Roger Holmes posted
Keokuk Junction (Lettered for the the Peoria & Western) cross the Illinois River on the TZ on June 2, 2007. © Roger A. Holmes.
Gary Talsky posted two photos with the comment: "Not the best resolution and focus for a grab shot since somebody was behind me on the McArthur/Cedar St bridge but here's where the high water stands on Illinois River at the TZPR bridge in Peoria on 02/24/2018 around 15:37. Currently 23.96'"


Gary commented on his posting
[From the link he provided, I found a link to a map of gauges and their states.]

D Scott Kramer commented on his video posting
Jason Riley posted, cropped
Yesterday [May 22, 2018] about 6 pm
Jason Riley posted, cropped

MKT okle Flickr 2018 Photo, IAIS 516 heritage paint PESI during the flood. (source)
Hal Collins Water level was at 22.5 on the 7th, over 24 a week earlier.
Hal commented on his posting
The river will touch the bottom of the bridge at 31 feet. The rusty white plate on the protective barrier is (or was at one time) a gauge of the water height.
Dennis DeBruler Hal Collins I see the record has been 29.4.
Mark Hinsdale posted (three other photos and several interesting comments)
Playin' in Pekin (and Peoria)
Peoria IL, and it's sister Pekin, across the Illinois River) is an unusual railroad hub in a state crisscrossed by main line railroads.. Although Peoria/East Peoria/Pekin is a sizable, industrial Illinois metropolitan area, it does not straddle any of the primary rail arteries serving the state. Instead, it served as destination to which nearly every railroad in the central part of Illinois built TO, rather than THROUGH. Once sporting fourteen railroads serving it, Peoria even had (and still has) a terminal carrier designed to facilitate interchange to and from the slew of railroads entering the city, and also owns the primary rail lift bridge over the Illinois River. But, with the exception of Toledo, Peoria & Western, itself only a minor player in the historical movement of freight across Illinois, the many different rail companies serving Peoria terminated there, with moderately trafficked branch lines to perform the task. Still served by eight railroads; more than a lot of cities many times it's size in this day and age, Peoria/Pekin remains a fascinating place to railfan (if you're patient!) and to study Illinois railroad heritage.
Mark Hinsdale The KJ transfer with the two Geeps crossing the TZER Illinois River lift bridge. 

HalstEd Pazdzior
A TZPR local heads back towards East Peoria.   3/17/22
Sam Carlson posted
July 15, 1996
Dave Allenson posted
A few months after I was set up, I spent a few days working out of S. Pekin. I am on a run back to Adams St. yard from the P&PU at East Peoria. As luck would have it, I had my camera with me! August, 1995.
Comments on the above post

Josh Clark posted two photos with the comment: "2 on the TZPR for today."

Josh Clark posted
HESR 3485 under the bridge this afternoon

The towboat Zeus allided with this bridge at about 8:20, Jan 7, 2019. [pjstar] No one was seriously hurt. The bridge was restored to service by the afternoon of the next day [David Jordan comment on a post]  The Coast Guard would not say much to the pjstar reporter, including the name of the towboat, which is displayed on the side of the towboat. But it is good they didn't say much because what they did say was incredibly inaccurate: "shearing off the top of the vessel’s pilothouse" "upon impact Monday night, the towboat’s pilot was pelted with debris but escaped serious injury" After seeing a photo, the roof was not sheared off, the entire pilothouse was sheared off!
Jennifer Humphreys commented on a post
My hubby saw it yesterday. Sent me this.

The pjstar also claimed "the towboat was pulling two barges downriver." Even without seeing the photo, I knew that towboats push, not pull, barges. A more creditable description is "The Peoria Rail Road Bridge started dropping before The Zeus had cleared. The Captain had enough time to knock her out of gear and hurry down the stairs before they made impact at 7.5 mph." [Hooked Up Hard Down The Towboater Lifestyle]
Tim Richards: The pilot didnt have time to get out of the wheelhouse. He drove on the floor behind his chair and every thing ripped off over him.
Rj Green: Watched it happen I went out and grabbed his tow.
Barry Potts: Is the bridge manned or is it controlled in the yard. I can't remember.
Carl Bates: Barry Potts unmanned
Bobby Kelley Jr.: I myself was going though Florida Ave. bridge going to Industrial Locks when it started coming down on me just as the head of my tow was going though. Plus the bridge tender wouldn't answer the radio. I had to sound general alarm, shine both of my spotlights in his booth, and sounded my horns. All the while as I was backing down hard. When he finally answered he said he thought I was going fast enough that I would've passing quick enough so he started dropping the bridge down. That scared the crap out of me.
[According to some comments, some bridge tenders are notorious for lifting late and dropping early.]
This post has more comments.
[The anhydrous ammonia barges were not dangerous because they were empty. But they still require surveillance to "pull pressure."]

 of TP&W crossing the river with 45 cars of grain for ADM.

Video of KJRY crossing the river as viewed from a boat.

At 6:14, a KJRY train with four engines going eastbound over the bridge.

A 1984 photo showing the bascule bridge about half way up and construction of the replacement lift bridge.

Hal Collins shared a few Flickr photos: TP&W on previous bridgeBN over high water,  TP&W with borrowed C&IM powerfoggy CN&W.

Jan Smith Flickr 2017 Photo

March 1997 flood over  26', the water is almost to the bottom of the girders.

It appears Erik Rasmussen used a drone to get a photo of the last run of the F-units heading westbound across the bridge. He also got about nine railfans down by the river.

Seven photos including a towboat

It opened Jun 30, 2022, after a 40-day outage. Detours were via Pekin and the Union Pacific's Pekin bridge. (David Jordan)

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