Saturday, February 2, 2019

1933 Cape Cod Canal (Buzzards Bay) RR Bridge

(Bridge Hunter, the last four images are postcards from the Boston Public Library; no Historic Bridges; HAER; US Army Corps of Engineers3D Satellite, 174+ photos)

This 1935 bridge replaced a 1910 Strauss heel trunnion bascule bridge. "Second longest lift bridge in the world, after the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge in Staten Island, NY." [Bridge Hunter] When it was constructed, it was the longest lift bridge in the world with a span of 544', which can be lowered in 2.5 minutes. The vertical clearance is 135'. The original cost was $1.56m. [CapeCodOnline]

By United States Navy, Kevin Burke - Navy NewsStand Photo ID: 060613-N-9999B-001Navy NewsStand Home, Public Domain, Link
Cape Cod Photography posted
The Cape Cod Canal in 1934
Bridges Now and Then posted
Massachusetts' Cape Cod Canal and Railroad Bridge c. 1934. (Bourne Police Department)
Howard Swanson: What is interesting is that the new truss was constructed on falsework in two halves. When the channel was shut down, the two halves were connected at the middle joints and the counterweight ropes were attached. This required the new towers to have a big enough opening to allow the ends of the lift span to slide through. This is an alternative method of erecting a lift span. Typically the span is constructed on barges and floated in. I assume that the method used in this location was due to a shallow channel that wasn’t deep enough for barges.

The bridge is owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the railroad is owned by the state. It was closed for refurbishing 2002-03 at a cost of $30m. The railroad is used by trash and seasonal passenger trains. [Wikipedia, CapeCodOnline]

Stew Baker posted
My view crossing the cape cod canal on the vertical lift bridge
Eric Augatis Be careful, personal electronic devices & all.
Stew Baker That was years back.

safe_image for Built In The 1900s, The Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge In Massachusetts Was Once The Longest Lift Bridge In The World
Now, Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge is the second longest lift bridge in the country. The longest being the Arthur Kill Vertical Lift Bridge, which connects Staten Island to New Jersey."

David StGermain posted
Scenic Buzzards Bay
Karen Fitzgerald
David Albert Thatcher posted
Cape cod main line.
Francis Otterbein posted
Cape Cod Canal railroad bridge, Bourne, Ma.

Duane DeGowin commented on Kenneth's share
Cape cod canal railroad bridge

Bob Perreault posted
Cape Cod canal bridge. Still in use today. Buzzards Bay Massachusetts
Erich Hanke: Ex New Haven trackage.
James Milton: I've never seen it in the down position.
Bob Perreault: James Milton there is a scenic train that runs seasonality and a trash train that runs daily. I live about 20 minutes from it so I get to see go up and down a lot.

River Rail Photo posted
Energy On The Bridge. Due to some recent mechanical problems with processing the “contents”, an unusual Saturday Mass Coastal “Energy Train” was operated on August 20, 2022, seen crossing the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge from Buzzards Bay to Bourne, Massachusetts with MC 2007 GP9u née-ATSF 701 leading. After unloading, the train waited at Buttermilk to follow the MBTA Cape Flyer, sparing the passengers the privilege of following the train down the Cape.
Full resolution and prints at:
Jonathan Konopka posted
Cape Cod Canal Lift Bridge in Bourne, MA. Photo by Vincent Colombo.

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While taking a ride came to Buzzards Bay and got to watch the Canal Bridge in action - my Dad worked on engines in Southie when it was New Haven Railroad, then Penn Central and Conrail when it relocated to Brighton - enjoy

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[After the train passed, was he expecting the bridge to go back up? It never did.]

An elevation view from the river
A nautical view of the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Lift Bridge.
The span wights about 2200 tons; counterbalanced by weights in the towers.
Thanks for the add!

John DiPietro shared a YouTube link of it going down. Unfortunately, it is titled "Biggest rail bridge in World." It is not even the biggest lift bridge.
Philip M. Goldstein Keeping comparisons within type of bridge: Vertical Lift (not trestles or viaducts); the longest Vertical Lift Bridge for railroad traffic is the Arthur Kill VLB, a/k/a AK Bridge between Elizabeth, NJ & Arlington, Staten Island, NY. Built by Baltimore & Ohio in 1959, and has a 558 foot lift span. It was refurbished in the 1990's and sees daily use for waste container & intermodal traffic interchange between CSAO ExpressRail facility and New York Container Terminal.
AK has 215 foot towers, and vertical clearance of 135 feet.
Cape Cod Canal VLB is 544 feet long, 271 foot towers, with a vertical clearance of 135 feet. Keep in mind, Cape Cod Canal Bridge has ornamental tower tops, not of importance to functioning design.

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