NW-Mailing-List Digest, Vol 86, Issue 29

NW Mailing List nw-mailing-list at nwhs.org
Sat Sep 22 17:39:01 EDT 2012


> Re: East River Bridge


I have a page online that displays an article from the March 15, 1907
edition of "The Railroad Gazette" entitled "The Tidewater and Deepwater
Railways" which provides a good bit of information on the construction of
the lines that became the Virginian Railway. The article has a photo
showing the fill work where the East River Bridge was to be built and there
is a map showing the section of the road between Princeton and New River as
well as elevation profiles, etc.

The page can be viewed here:

Quoting from the article, regarding the Virginian's crossing of East River
and New River:

"Alternate surveys and locations had made through all this country, in some
of which the was excessive, as must necessarily be the case wherever the
contour of the ground is followed as shown on the detail maps. But the way
was heavy and the demand for low grades imperative so between Ingleside at
milepost 345, and the crossing of the river at 331, there is some very bold
and heavy work. What it meant to build this practically straight line of 10
miles, with_heavy rock cuttings fine tunnels and a 2,100 ft bridge, can
best be appreciated from an examination of the sections of the profile
shown. Set well up on the hillside and crossing the flow of the streams
into the East River at right angles there is a constant succession of steep
rise and fall of the surface of the ground. And it is here that the most
spectacular piece of work on the line is to be found."

"Coming down the East River the first location followed the bank of the
stream below milepost 335, as shown by the light line, and on the same side
but well above the Norfolk & Western. The excessive curvature the
difiiculty of construction and the expense involved in doing the work so as
not to interfere with the traffic of the other road led to a radical
revision of the location. As first laid out the road would have followed
the East River to its mouth and then swung across the New river at an
elevation of about 45 ft on a bridge carrying a 6 deg curve after which it
would have followed up the right bank. Induced by these considerations of
location and difficulty of constructing close to the line of another road
in rock work that was apt to slide, together with the excessive amount of
curvature and the natural objections to crossing a broad river on a sharp
curve, the engineers took the bold step of leaving the East River at
milepost 335, and running almost on a tangent to the bluff on the up stream
side of the two rivers, and then by holding diagonally across the New
River, strike the face of the bluff on the bend beyond by means of a 2,100
ft bridge at an elevalines of 115 ft above low water and on a tangent for
the whole distance. Certainly this is one of the boldest grapplings of a
difficult problem that is recorded and required courage not only to propose
but to finance. But in its completed form it will stand as a piece of
engineering work justifiable and pre-eminently fine."

The map showing the section of the line described above can be viewed here:

I also have online the follow-up article from the August 23, 1907 edition
of "The Railroad Gazette" on the Tidewater and Deepwater Railways which
covers the subject of "Viaducts and Bridges". If you find the previous
article interesting you'll probably like this one as well. This article
covers construction techniques used and features several elevation drawings
of Virginian bridges, including the the Black Lick Creek Bridge near
Princeton, WV and the New River Bridge at Glen Lyn, VA.

The 2nd article can be viewed here:

Links are provided on both pages to the articles (at Google Books) from
where you can download the magazines as PDFs.

C. Lloyd in W.Va.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://six.pairlist.net/pipermail/nw-mailing-list/attachments/20120922/07753b06/attachment.htm>

More information about the NW-Mailing-List mailing list