Monday, February 4, 2019

CN/B&LE 4-track Swing Bridge over Conneaut Creek in Conneaut, OH

(Bridge Hunter, no Historic Bridges? Satellite)

B&LE = Bessemer & Lake Erie

The only other 4-track swing bridge I have seen carried the route to Grand Central Station over Harlem River in NYC.

While researching the Ashtabula Bridge disaster, I discovered this bridge. And it still exists! But one of the tracks has been replaced by an access road. The Bridge Hunter description indicates that it is still operable.

Public Domain, from Bridge Hunters
[Note the Hulett unloader next to the Laker on the left. Hulett was from Conneaut, and this shows the technology he replaced.]

Both of these photos are from the Cleveland State University Library Photograph Collection and they show the Hulett unloaders as well as the 4-track swing bridge.

Street View
[The truss across the top carries a conveyor belt from their coal stockpile.]
The red rectangle highlights the bridge. Compare this satellite image with the above two aerial photos to see how iron ore storage has changed. Instead of the Hulett unloaders, the blue rectangle shows the hopper into which the self-unloading Lakers dump the ore. The ore then goes east on the conveyor between the two long storage piles. The green rectangle shows the device that moves the ore from the conveyor to create the piles. Obviously, it can swing either way. The two purple rectangles show the bucket wheel loaders. The ore from the top loader goes all the way east where it is transferred to the bottom conveyor belt that takes it back east to the train loading silo indicated by the yellow rectangle.

Tony Caruso posted
Ted Gregory: Wow. What a cool shot. Any idea what year?
Jeff Lewis: I'd say 1920s, or earlier. The rail cars are all short. Arch bar trucks, big journal boxes. And that contraption in the background could be an early Hulett.

Dennis DeBruler commented on Jeff's comment
I think the contraption is a coal loader. The river bends to the left at the left side of the photo, and we can see the corner of the railroad swing bridge. The Huletts would be out-of-frame to the left. This photo from the Cleveland State University Library Photograph Collection shows a more modern version of the coal loading dock. I see in a satellite image that the ore unloading dock still has a hopper for self-unloading ships and the coal loading dock still appears to be operational.

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