Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thebes 1905 Bridge over Mississippi River

(Bridge Hunter, including some construction pictures, 2011 flood pictures, and concrete arch approach spans; Historic Bridges; John A. Weeks III, Google Photos: 12, 3)

C Hanchey Flickr, License: Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 

Thebes Bridge

Historic 1905 railroad bridge over the Mississippi River at Thebes, Illinois.

 

The Thebes Bridge carries the Union Pacific Railroad over the Mississippi River between Thebes, Alexander County, Illinois and Scott County, Missouri.

 

The bridges was initially owned by five railroads - the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad, Illinois Central Railroad, Missouri Pacific Railway, St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, and St. Louis Southwestern Railway


C Hanchey Flickr, License: Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC) 

Thebes Bridge

Reinforced concrete viaduct approach spans on the east side of the Mississippi River.


Dave Honan
The St. Louis & Southwestern ("Cotton Belt," now UP) crossed the Mississippi River at Thebes, IL with this unique cantilever structure. The bridge, opened in 1905, has five main spans comprising a length of 2,750', along with 490' of concrete arch approaches on the west bank and 325' on the east bank. (March 23, 2002)
Dave Honan
A view of one of the east approach piers from ground level. (March 23, 2002)

Neal McDaniel posted
Mississippi bridge at Thebes, IL. 1948
Christopher Gobert It is spectacular. Opened I believe in 1905. Joint project with perhaps 6 railroads. Still in use.

Jose Vicente Sendin posted
No. 844 crossing the Mississippi river near Cape Girardeau, Mo., taken by Danny Moore, March 28, 2012.

Daniel Larabee posted
UP 4014 crossing the Thebes Bridge — 8/28/21

HAARGIS photo from Bridge Hunter
[Note all of the falsework needed to build the regular trusses.]
HAARGIS photo from Bridge Hunter
[A cantilevered span avoids having to build falsework in the middle of the Mississippi River. Not only do they save the expense of building falsework, they keep the shipping lane open during construction.]

Illinois Central Railroad Scrapbook posted two photos with the comment:
A couple days I posted a mystery photo of an IC auto racks/auto parts train rounding a curve on March 21, 1970, and asked where it was taken. Several folks correctly replied "Thebes, IL". Unfortunately there is no prize for giving the correct answer.
The train in question was a test train for General Motors. Auto parts and fully assembled cars from GM plants in Michigan were shipped by PC, Grand Trunk, and C&O and delivered to IC's Markham Yard in Homewood, IL.
At Markham Yard the cars were assembled into a single train and dispatched south over the IC to East St. Louis. The train was handed over to the Cotton Belt and then to the SP for final delivery to GM plants and dealerships on the West Coast.
An unknown IC company photographer caught the train as it charged around the curve leading to the Mississippi River bridge at Thebes, IL. The photographer also caught a going away shot of the train, included here.
BTW, many fans are familiar with the MoPac's and Cotton Belt's "Joint Line" operations across the Thebes bridge, and that in recent years MoPac owned 60% of the bridge, and Cotton Belt owned 40%.
The Thebes Bridge was built by the Southern Illinois & Missouri Bridge Company. When the company was formed, the SI&MBCo. was owned equally by the Cotton Belt, Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railway, the MIssouri Pacific Railway, the St. Louis & Iron Mountain Southern Railway, and the Illinois Central.
IC reached Thebes via a branchline from Carbondale, IL. Traffic never reached expectations and by the early 1930s (the exact date is unknown to me) the southernmost part of the branch had been abandoned. IC sold its interest in the SI&MBCo. to Missouri Pacific, which also took over the St.LIM&S Railway, and thus became majority owner of the Thebes bridge. Eventually the C&EI abandoned its line into Thebes and sold its interest in the bridge to the Cotton Belt. Of course, today Union Pacific owns both the MoPac and Cotton Belt.

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Russell Barber posted
1960 C & EI diesel # 225 at an unknown bridge.
Steve Rodgers commented on the above posting
Thebes bridge today looking toward Thebes Illinois
Steve Rodgers commented on the above posting
North side of the bridge looking southeast at IIllinois from Missouri
Steve Rodgers commented on the above posting
 Dan Tracy took this great photo of some MPs on the the bridge (see below for Dan's posting)
Abandonedimages by Michael Wright posted
Union Pacific train going across the old bridge ( built in 1905 ) at Thebes ,Illinois.
Damon C. Poole That's the Missouri Pacific Railroad they're on, it was originally owned by Chicago & Eastern Illinois, Cotton Belt, & Illinois Central, in conjunction with the MP. MP merged with C&EI in 1967, then UP in 1982, UP then merged with SP which owned Cotton Belt in 1996.
Dan Tracy posted
Northbound empty coal train rolls across Thebes bridge at Thebes IL on 11-24-84. More info on the bridge here:
http://www.johnweeks.com/river_mississ…/pagesC/umissC14.html

Ryan Barry posted
Empty coal train crossing Thebes Bridge, Cape Girardeau, Mo, on its way to the Southern Illinois coal field. Note the hunters shooting birds from the bridge. Nov 24, ‘84. Photo: Dan Tracy
Steve Puchbauer long nose forward, thats unusual
Richard Steed Not unusual for the MOP
Kirby Ellis Wow can you imagine today if a hunter was on a bridge with a gun? There would be a meltdown lol

Bill Neill shared

Mike Chervinko posted
Standing tall, and fading into the low morning fog as it spans the Mississippi, the Thebes bridge is worth a look if you are in the area. It is 115 years old and it is magnificent.
Pete Dunkel https://flic.kr/p/MFZUhA
[About 40 trains a day.]

I've gotten to the point where I can recognize the Thebes bridge because of the different heights of the trusses.
Terry Redeker shared

Steven J. Brown posted
Cotton Belt 819 crosses the Mississippi River on the way to the NRHS Convention in St Louis at Thebes, Illinois - June 13, 1990.

Drew Lawrence posted
Name bridge
Eddie Dover: S/B above Thebes RR Bridge.

Roger Red Woelfel commented on Drew's post
Thebes sb.

Katherine Hutto posted two photos with the comment: "Train going across prob gives it away!"
Adam DeSimone: Thebes
Adam DeSimone: Ole barge sinker
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Michael Q Quagilano posted
Generations
A grandfather shares the moment with his grandson as the largest steam locomotive ever build crosses the mighty Mississippi.
Out of all the photos I took at this location, this is definitely my favorite. The little boy, who was 6, wanted nothing to do with siting and waiting for #bigboy. Even as the all-powerful steam locomotive started to make its way across the mighty Mississippi on the Thebes Bridge, the youngster still showed little interest, that was until #UP4104 roared with her whistle, and he was quickly captive of her awesomeness.
[People who hold their phone vertically while taking a photo of a train boil my blood. A train is a horizontal (landscape) subject.]
Michael Q Quagilano shared
Daniel Herkes: Don't miss the Thebes Courthouse either.

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