Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Amtrak/PRR Bridge over Susquehanna River at Perryville+Havre de Grace, MD

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges, Satellite, Birds-Eye View)

1904-06 bridge between Havre de Grace and Perryville, MD. Engineering studies are under way for a replacement. [Bridge Hunter]

Street View

2005 Photo by Jann Mayer, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
Taken from Havre de Grace. Piers for old bridge on the right.
2005 Photo by Jann Mayer, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) Swing span

Bridges Now and Then posted
A 1978 look at the CSX Susquehanna River Bridge, linking Perryville, Maryland and Havre de Grace, Maryland. It was built by the Baltimore and Philadelphia Railroad, a subsidiary of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, in 1908. The Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge carrying US 40 can be seen to the right. (Jack Boucher)
Jack Stoner posted
Oh, that frigid winter of 2015, 2/22/15, an eastbound CSX freight crosses a frozen Susquehanna River at Perryville, MD. The 6109 foot, 1910 vintage bridge was the longest on the B&O system and the second on this site replacing the less sturdy 1884 structure.
Wayne Spyker: Considering the ice is a mixture of the Chesapeake Bay estury's brackish water it is cold in Havre de Grace.
Roger Riblett shared

Jack Stoner posted
An Amtrak Acela train set crosses the 1906 vintage, (PRR) Susquehanna River Bridge between Havre de Grace, MD, on the south, and Perryville, MD, north side. Speed limit on the 1453 foot bridge is 90mph passenger, 30mph freight. Weekdays see close to 100 movements with Amtrak, MARC, and Norfolk Southern freight over a 24 hour period. Weekends are traditionally slow with mostly the long distance trains plying the rails here. Photo 3/5/17.
Chris Ness posted
P.R.R. Bridge at Havre de Grace, Maryland
A reminder that ships were built and sailors embarked at Port Deposit, a mile up the Susquehanna River. From here south, it is the Chesapeake Bay.
Behind, the US Route 40 bridge is visible. And further up is the old Baltimore and Ohio mainline to Philadelphia and over the Reading and Jersey Central railroads, the path to Hoboken, NJ and the ferry to New York City.
(As usual best viewed at full size. So click on it.)

M'ke Helbing shared a Metrotrails photo
View of the railroad bridge over the Susquehanna at the mouth of the Chesepeake, looking from Perryville to Havre de Grace, Maryland along Mason Dixon Trail.

Four of the nine photos posted by Wayne Ciampaglia with the comment: "Amtrak Acela races across the Susquehanna River into Havre de Grace, MD 3-3-17"



Penny Polakoff Photography posted
"Susquehanna Railroad Bridge" - When I head to Virginia, I always see a few bridges as I travel down 95. I marvel at their beauty. On Thursday the clouds were exceptional, and I was determined to find one of them to photograph up close. This is known as the Amtrak Susquehanna River Bridge. It carries two tracks of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line across the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, Maryland.
Willa Orshan Rudzin: Are you shooting in HDR or post processing the HDR?
Penny Polakoff: Willa Orshan Rudzin The answer is no to both questions. However, in all of my Sony camera bodies I have a setting called DRO (Dynamic Range Optimizer). This is always set in my camera. This function analyzes the contrast and produces an image with optimal brightness and recovered shadow detail. Hope that helps. Once in a while I do bracket my photos, but I did not do it for this photo.

MDOT received $22 million for preliminary engineering and an environmental impact study  to replace the 111-year old (1906), two-track bridge with a high-level, four-track bridge. The finding was "no impact."  [Amtrak]  The replacement would take 10 years and $1.1 billion. [BaltimoreSun-billion]

Northbound Acela Express
susrailbridge April 2016
Selected Bridge Type Design: Girder Approach / Arch Main Span
susrailbridge April 2016

susrailbridge March 2017
(new window)  Hopefully passenger trains can go a lot faster over that bridge!

Screenshot, Walter Dorsett Photography

I do hope that the video link remains permanent. The speed of the video is 2x.

This Pennsy bridge is now owned by Amtrak and trains run over it at 90mph. To support that speed, each end of each of the four rails is fastened with bolts through two joint bars and the rail. Also, the centenary wires must be disconnected. And workers have to have foremen watching them work. So it takes 25-30 Amtrak employees for a bridge opening. Not only are employees standing on the edge of each pier end, there are people standing on the edges of the moving span. I wonder if all of them are wearing harnesses and safety ropes. Especially the ones on the moving span. The sailboat had to contact Amtrak at least 24 hours before the needed opening, and, if he wasn't there at the agreed upon time, they would not wait for him. It opens about 3-4 times a year from April to October. They won't open it in the winter because the rail is cold and and it contracts, which puts the joints under stress. Even if they could get the bolts out, they would not be able to get the bolt holes to line up again. Some of the comments are worth quoting verbatim.

Shaun Hagy This bridge will be replaced in the coming years. They are close to the end of the planning phase. It was finished in 1906. I believe that in another 10 years, this bridge will no longer be used.

Walter Dorsett Photography Are they building a new one in its place and demolishing it or building one to the right?

Shaun Hagy I could be wrong on exact details but from what I've heard floating around is that they plan on building a new bridge next to the current one, put the new bridge into service and pull the old one from service and either build a new one in its place or rehab the old one. But they eventually want 4 tracks across the Susquehanna. It's a major bottle neck currently for the Amtrak's passenger trains running up and down the North East Corridor.

Charles V. Heitz Sr. What a lot of people don't know is that every department on the railroad has people on that bridge to open it, electric traction disconnects the catenary wires, maintenance of way removes the rail, bridges and buildings has men in a boat in case someone falls off of the bridge and operates the controls to rotate the bridge, communications and signals ensures that the signals are working before and after the opening and closure, and the repair department has a mechanic in the engine house in case something brakes down if for some reason one of these departments don't show up the opening is canceled ( not a good thing ) these are the people that open the bridge. Also all the above is departments must have a supervised on duty in case of a problem. This is all completed in a very short period of time and if a boat is late arriving to go out or come in they must wait till the next opening as the bridge opens and closes at designated times and can't wait for anyone.

Joyce Goodman I do remember them opening it for the tubes for the tunnel, that were manufactured at Wileys Shipyard. Back in the day, I've seen it open a few times. Once from the river.

Trisha Treml Mike Warner was you up there

Mike Warner Yeah at 2:30 I'm on the right side of the part that swung open. [People commented about workers being on the side. Looking again, I see them when the span is open up by the cabin.]

Marian Argentino commented on the above posting
Great video. It just happens a friend of mine sent me a picture that hung in a library somewhere in a Delaware of the original railroad bridge. All we see now are the support structures.
So the piers I see in the satellite views and below must be remnants of this bridge rather than construction for the new bridge.

Tim Johnson commented on the above posting
M'ke Helbing shared a Metrotrails photo
Havre de Grace, Maryland rail bridge...note the piers of the original bridge over the Susquehanna River immediately in front of the present structure. The first bridge here was 1866, the second 1880. Replaced by current structure.
Jen Gamble posted
View from my boat at Perryville, MD of the PRR bridge that is now Amtrak on the NEC. The last I heard the bridge had been welded shut. The bridge on the Bush river was still being opened on weekends.

Metrotrails posted
A view of the railroad bridge over the Susquehanna River between Havre De Grace and Perryville MD.
The official Mason Dixon Trail says to seek a ride across the bridge between Havre de Grace, Maryland and Perryville, Maryland, but we didn't like that idea one bit. Instead, we chartered a boat to ferry us across to continue our backpacking trip! There are good docks at either side. This is from our ride.

M'ke Helbing shared

Worldwide Railfan Productions posted
Was lucky to get runs of the old Amtrak Acela's as this day would the last day before switching over to the new train sets made by Alstom. ~drawbar
Location: Harve de Grace, Maryland
[A comment indicates that the new equipment won't start running. They are just tweaking the schedule.]

(new window)  Includes several different drone views. Considering the size of the work crew (40 workers) needed to unlock and lock it, no wonder it seldom opens. It also takes an hour of track outage for the Northeast Corridor to open the span. It does appear that it has a rather high clearance.

Walter Hipkins our boat is 60' tall. Clearance for the bridge at low tide is 50' I think. needed repairs at Havre de Grace Marine Center. They call for the opening.

A Norfolk Southern freight using the bridge during off hours.

A long exposure photo so that the passage of an Amtrak train left a streak of light on the bridge by Marc Glucksman.

A video (source)  The bridge has just twelve openings a year. $1.7 billion is needed.

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