Wednesday, December 26, 2018

1908 Amtrak+CSX/NYNH&H Bridge over Bronx River in NYC

(Bridge Hunter; BridgeSync; no Historic Bridges; 3D Satellite)

NYNH&H = New York, New Haven & Hartford
The railroad's name for this bridge was "bridge number 3.40".
The common name is "Bronx River Bascules."

Gregory Grice posted
Amtrak Northeast Regional 147 heads east over NYNH&H RR Bridge #3.40 also known as the "Bronx River Bascules" on Amtrak's Hell Gate Line. The bridge was built by the Pennsylvania Steel Company for the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad in 1908 and originally carried 6 tracks over the Bronx River. Today the Bridge carries 3 tracks, 2 Amtrak and 1 CSX and is permanently locked shut after the huge decline in boat traffic in the area. Due to the location of the Bridge, this is the only full view of the span. This was made possible by work being done on a piece of land that was reclaimed by the City of New York in a $40 million Bronx River Greenway expansion that will connect Starlight Park and Concrete Plant Park. Once this project is complete, the bridge will be forever be blocked by a new pedestrian bridge.
eBook, p220

When new, the bridge averaged five openings in the winter months and twelve in the summer months. [eBook]
Copyright: Bronx Historical Society from BridgeSync

When the spans used to open, I wonder how the catenary wires on the span were joined with the stationary wires on each side so that the span wires could move when the bridge opened. The only railroad electrified in the Chicago was the passenger tracks of the Illinois Central. Since the IC tracks were originally built in the lake (Michigan Avenue was the original lake shore), the IC didn't have to build any movable bridges. (Update: please read RikRak's comment below.)


  1. Movable bridge spans for overhead catenary use a "catenary sled", a large frame that extends from the movable span to overlap on the approach fixed span that supports the catenary wire. This frame often has some motorized mechanism that retracts prior to opening of the movable span. When the span closes, the sled contact blades overlap to provide a smooth path of electrical continuity for the train’s pantograph(s) to follow.