Saturday, November 20, 2021

CSX/C&O James River Viaduct and Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond, VA

(Bridge Hunter; Satellite, this is the western side; Satellite, on the eastern side it follows Dock Street to the Fulton Yard)

This is the west end of the C&O viaduct along the north side of the James River and I included the Tredegar Iron Works buildings which now house the American Civil War Museum. The 9th Street Bridge is in the background.
Street View

Stanley Short posted
Westbound Chesapeake & Ohio manifest No. 91 is at the west end of the James River Viaduct in Richmond, VA on May 15, 1983, led by GP30 No. 3024. It is taken from the old Lee Bridge (U.S. 1), which has since been replaced. Thankfully, it is still possible to shoot from the new bridge. That said, the scene has changed dramatically. The Federal Reserve Bank in the upper left and the James Monroe Building, to its right, remain. The brick building on the left is the old Tredegar Iron Works, which predates the Civil War. It has since been restored as a museum. The area in the lower center and right of the image is now a beautiful public park, with plenty of parking. The smoke stacks are gone, and much of the center and background are occupied by high rise buildings. Photo by Stan Short.

J.B. Rail Photog shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on J.B.'s share
I knew CSX/C&O was the top level of the triple crossing. Now I better understand how it got so high.
CSX/Seaboard Air Line is the middle level and NS/Southern is the ground level.

Looking East from the 9th Street Bridge. The I-95 Bridge is in the background.
Street View

Looking West from a I-95 ramp.  The Triple Crossing is along the right side. I caught a MoW truck on the CSX/SAL route.
Street View

Looking East from another I-95 ramp. The tracks curving under the bridge is the James River Viaduct. The tracks continuing along the flood wall go to the Main Street Station. The canal is a topic for another day.
Street View

Once we get east of the jog in the flood wall, I can use Dock Street to get views of the viaduct, which is good because there are no more road bridges across the river. In the foreground below is the route to the Main Street Station and behind it is the route that continues along the river shore. Note the steel door that would close the hole in the flood wall that allows Dock Street to go through the wall.
Street View

But of particular interest is the spindly trestle under the current trestle. The spindly trestle is obviously now a trestle to nowhere. I wrote a couple of theories as to the purpose of that trestle. But I have deleted them because I agree with PRJ's comment: "The under-trestle looks like protection for the bike/walking trail from potential falling debris (spikes, track bolts, etc) from the trestle." If you look at the following street views, the spindly trestle exists only where the trail is below the railroad trestle.
Street View

This is the same location as above, but looking Southeast to show more of the spindly trestle under the current trestle.
Street View

Looking Northwest from where Dock Street leaves the side of the James River Viaduct. 
Street View

The spindly trestle ends as Dock Street and the trail leave the James River Viaduct.
Street View

The James River Viaduct gradually becomes lower to get back to ground level. I picked this sample of the descending viaduct to catch a movable bridge across the canal for the NS/Southern route.
Street View

The viaduct ends at Nicholson Street where the tracks use an embankment.
Satellite

Stanley Short posted
We are on CSX's former-C&O James River Viaduct at Rivanna Junction in Richmond, VA on March 6, 1994. Two SD40-2's have brought a unit coal train down the Rivanna Subdivision and is waiting for a fresh crew to take the train to Newport News. Rivanna Junction interlocking connects the Rivanna, Piedmont and Peninsula Subdivisions. Photo by Stan Short.

Randall Hampton shared

Dennis DeBruler commented on Randall's share
And the train is on the top level of the triple crossing that is on the other side of I-95..

Stanley Short posted
An eastbound CSX unit grain train rolls down the James River Viaduct in Richmond, VA on Nov. 23, 1996 with two SD40-2's bracketing an SD50. We are standing on the bridge abutment for the old Atlantic Coast Line bridge into Richmond. This area is now a city park and easily accessible. The tall building on the left houses the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank. Photo by Stan Short.

Randall Hampton shared
E.V. Welton: Did the line run through a tunnel through downtown?
Randall Hampton: No, there's been some grading work done for the highway. The only tunnel I've heard about in Richmond is on the east side of town, abandoned. The city was quite old when the railroads arrived, so there was a lot of street running in the early days, and single tracks in grassy medians. It took a lot of time and money to get everything out of the street and double track the most important lines.


That abutment is now a free climbing wall.
Andrew Blake, Sep 2020












2 comments:

  1. The under-trestle looks like protection for the bike/walking trail from potential falling debris (spikes, track bolts, etc) from the trestle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks. That makes a lot of sense. I have updated my notes accordingly.

      Delete