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Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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   Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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   Author  Topic: Draw vs. swing vs. lift  (Read 2290 times)
Eddie M.
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #20 on: Jul 9th, 2007, 10:35am »
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Those bridge tendors must have a lot of open time on their hands.
on Jul 3rd, 2007, 4:07pm, Ranaldo20 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I know the tenbridge in Chattanooga is a lift, but I have never seen it raised.
 
 
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Mark_Foster
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #21 on: Aug 13th, 2007, 11:26am »
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As a generalization I would say that the initial costs of building and ongoing maintenance of a swing bridge are less than those of a vertical lift or draw (bascule) bridge. Swing spans are most prevalent on single track lines though I know some carry double tracks. If there are any with three or more tracks I am unaware of them and movable bridges on multi-track lines are generally of the lift or draw types. From a navigation standpoint swing bridges have the disadvantage of restricting the channel width due to their center pier. The flow of water around the center pier also creates eddys which can require tricky manuvering of a barge tow when traversing the bridge. This problem is exacerbated by high river levels and fast water flows that occur during flood or near flood conditions. Scouring (undermining of the center span by the flow of water) can also be a problem with swing spans. Of course these problems are minimal when the crosssing is over a tidal waterway. Swing bridges often require fenders made of wood pilings that extend both up and down stream to protect the center pier and the open swing span itself from being hit by watercraft. Lift or draw bridges do not have any of these drawbacks which are unique to swing spans.
 
Swing bridges have far fewer and less sophisticated moving components than either their lift or draw counterparts resulting in lower maintenance costs. The only ongoing maintenance of a swing span that I am aware of is the routine greasing of the center pier ring and pinion gears and pivot point. I don't know for sure but would expect this to the responsibility of the bridge tender who typically has plenty of idle time to perform the task.
 
Obviously fixed spans are preferable to moveable ones and will almost always be employed where there are relatively high river banks on both sides of the waterway. Even in flatter terrain where there is a high density of both rail and water traffic a fixed span is preferable and if ocean going vessels are encountered it is the only solution. Of course in flat terrain a fixed span requires long and costly approaches to attain the required height while keeping the rail graident to a workable mimimum. The best example of the latter that I can think of is the Hugey P. Long rail/highway bridge across the Mississippi at New Orleans.
 
Mark


« Last Edit: Aug 13th, 2007, 2:32pm by Mark_Foster » Logged
Mark_Foster
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #22 on: Aug 13th, 2007, 8:52pm »
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Just an added vignette about swing spans. Both the ACL and SAL had  similar bridges across the mile wide Manatee River that separates Bradenton and Palmetto in Florida. These were typical of many tidal water crossings found on these two and other roads as well.  I'll describe the ACL bridge because it's the one I'm most familiar with. The swing span was a pony girder type and was located about a third of the way out onto the bridge closest to its Bradenton end. Approaches on both sides of the swing were on wooden trestles and the rail tops were as I recall about 10 feet above mean water level. Semaphore home signals were located on each side of the swing span and were controlled by the bridge tender. The bridge tender and his family actually lived in an ACL owned frame house built over the water on pilings that extended from the approach trestle where it met the swing span. I recall hearing they had a hand car which they placed on the rails and pumped by hand to the station in Bradenton when they made trips to town. I never saw it myself so I can't vouch for the accuracy of that mode of transport - maybe they just walked the trestle.  
 
Rail traffic was minimal on this Tampa - Sarasota branch of the ACL - two passenger trains a day, the northbound section of the West Coast Champion from Sarasota in mid morning and its southbound counterpart late in the afternoon. Freight traffic consisted of no more than three locals in each direction six days a week. Traffic density on the parallel SAL line to Sarasota and on to Venice was about the same. There was no commercial water traffic on the Manatee so bridge openings were few and confined mostly to pleasure boaters on either masted crafts or cabin cruisers. This meant the bridge tender had lots of idle time which was often spent fishing from the porch of his house.  
 
I had the pleasure of riding the Champion on trips to and from Chicago and Florida several times during the late 1940's to the mid-50's. Each time the northbound train would depart from Bradenton and slowly move onto the bridge stopping with its two Pullmans adjacent to the bridge tender's house. He'd hand up fresh caught Gulf seafood wrapped in newspaper to the porters and the the train would proceed on its journey northward. Two evenings later those fish would grace the dinner table at a home in Harlem and another on Chicago's south side.  
 
I seem to recall that company owned bridge tender houses located adjacent to the swing spans were also common at the many tidewater crossings on the L&N's Gulf coast line between New Orleans and Chattahoochee. Perhaps George Harris will confirm this.
 
The wooden approach trestles to the swing span on the old ACL Manatee River crossing were replaced with concrete pilings and deck members if I recall correctly in the early 1960's. The swing span was left intact but it's been a long time since I've been down that way and I don't know if the bridge tender's house was left standing. The merger which formed the SCL made the former Seaboard line redundant and it was severed by the demolition of their Manatee River bridge. The CSX either sold or leased the portion of the former ACL between Oneco (just south of Bradenton) and Sarasota to the Seminole Gulf shortline which today still operates that segment. Had it not been for the juice trains CSX would probably have sold, leased or abandoned all of the line south of Port Manatee, a busy phosphate shipping point. They have rennovated and held onto that portion of the line only because of the juice trains which originate at the Tropicana plant in Oneco.
 
Mark


« Last Edit: Aug 13th, 2007, 8:59pm by Mark_Foster » Logged
Hawko
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #23 on: Mar 9th, 2008, 8:13pm »
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This railroad bridge, owned by the BNSF, crosses the Mississippi River at Prescott, WI on March 6, 2008.  To the right of the picture, stands the U.S. Highway 10 Bridge.  Just North of these two bridges, lies the St. Croix River.

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« Last Edit: Mar 9th, 2008, 8:18pm by Hawko » Logged
ClydeDET
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #24 on: Mar 10th, 2008, 9:45pm »
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Unless my memory is gone, the SP (which ran parallel to Texas 146 from Texas City toward Houston in those days - most of the line is now abandoned) had a swing bridge at Kemah - and so did the highway. Shrimp boats mostly, but also some pleasure boats. Last time I was along there, the two lane highway was four and had a bridge with enough clearance to allow navigation - and it looked like all high-buck pleasure boats west of the highway. Railroad bridge was gone, as were the tracks.
 
Other Texas lift bridges I can think of include the one on the Burlington-Rock Island Line where it crossed Buffalo Bayou north of downtown. Crossed that one more than a few times when we rode the Sam Houston Zephyr or Twin Star Rocket between Houston and Dallas. Lift bridge, I think a Scherzer Rolling Lift, but not nearly as massive as the one on the Galveston BAy Causeway between Virginia Point and Galveston (that one was three tracks plus two lanes of highway, replaced some years ago with a single track and much lighter version). I rode across it a few times.
 
Then there was the MoPAc (actually, I-GN I think) swing bridge across the Trinity at Riverside. Bridge is still there, but was been rendered incapable of opening. Since the Trinity never did get regular commercial traffic, I think it was exercised  a couple of times from the day completed early in the last century until welded in the crossing position.
 
KCS has a big vertical lift bridge across the Neches at Beaumont. It is seldom opened as the port is downstream and not much water traffic runs north of the Port of Beaumont. I suspect there is one across the Sabine at Orange, but couldn't prove it. There may be others, but that's the only ones i can think of.  


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Hawko
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #25 on: Jul 25th, 2009, 8:06am »
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The CP (former MILW) swing bridge in La Crosse, WI in June 2009.  It crosses the Mississippi River.

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« Last Edit: Jul 25th, 2009, 8:09am by Hawko » Logged
Hawko
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #26 on: Jul 25th, 2009, 8:19am »
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The CP (former MILW) drawbridge in La Crosse, WI.

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Lfire83
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #27 on: May 12th, 2010, 1:26pm »
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KCS swing bridge in Shreveport, LA

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Lfire83
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #28 on: May 12th, 2010, 1:34pm »
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Combo vertical lift and swing span in the background, over the Arkansas River. Ft Smith, AR

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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #29 on: Jun 8th, 2010, 9:04am »
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on Jul 2nd, 2007, 3:27pm, CAR FLOATER wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
The Erie did not have a drawbridge in Hackensack, but on the Hackensack River...I belive this HX Draw.
The only drawbridge in the town of Hackensack was the NYS&W's.  
Yet again, this is the problem of the internet, the land of where things are too often mis-labled.
 
CF

 
I don't think that bridge is HX. HX is a bascule bridge, not a swing bridge. The bridge shown in the photo is DB Draw. It does cross the Hackensack River, but further downstream from HX. THe DL&W's Upper Hack is between the two bridges. It was located on the Erie's Greenwood Lake Branch; which became the Boonton Line under the EL. It was essentially abandoned when the Montclair Connection was built.
 
DAW


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George_Harris
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #30 on: Jun 14th, 2010, 11:29pm »
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on May 12th, 2010, 1:34pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Combo vertical lift and swing span in the background, over the Arkansas River. Ft Smith, AR

This is the Frisco bridge.  This bridge is a conversion from a swing span to a lift span.  Do not understand the statement that iit is a combo.  It was a swing bridge, but converted to a lift bridge.  The swing portion is gone and the lift portion is in its place.  The change was done as part of the Arkansas River navigation Project of the 1960's (I think).  Before that time, there were two draw spans across the Arkansas River at Ft. Smith.  The other was a MoPac brdge further upstream.  It was abandoned and removed as part of the project and the MoPac given trackage rights over the Frisco bridge.  
 
Looking in Bridgehunter, it says that the older part of the bridge was built in 1913 to 1915, replacing an older bridge that opened in 1886.  The lift span was insttalled in 1976.  Th MoPac bridge was opened in 1891 and taken out in 1969.  It was commonly referred to as the Iron Mountain bridge for the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern (SLIMS), which was the original company taken over by the MoPac.  


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ClydeDET
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #31 on: Jun 15th, 2010, 4:26pm »
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on Jun 14th, 2010, 11:29pm, George_Harris wrote:       (Click here for original message)

This is the Frisco bridge.  This bridge is a conversion from a swing span to a lift span.  Do not understand the statement that iit is a combo.  It was a swing bridge, but converted to a lift bridge.  The swing portion is gone and the lift portion is in its place.  The change was done as part of the Arkansas River navigation Project of the 1960's (I think).  Before that time, there were two draw spans across the Arkansas River at Ft. Smith.  The other was a MoPac brdge further upstream.  It was abandoned and removed as part of the project and the MoPac given trackage rights over the Frisco bridge.  
 
Looking in Bridgehunter, it says that the older part of the bridge was built in 1913 to 1915, replacing an older bridge that opened in 1886.  The lift span was insttalled in 1976.  Th MoPac bridge was opened in 1891 and taken out in 1969.  It was commonly referred to as the Iron Mountain bridge for the St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern (SLIMS), which was the original company taken over by the MoPac.  

 
Wonder if it was to the same design as the Trinity River Bridge at Riverside, also a swing bridge, built in expectation of navigation at never happened. Also built by a MoPac predecessor - I'd have to look to see which one, maybe I-GN.


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Lfire83
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #32 on: Jun 15th, 2010, 11:55pm »
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They are both still there, although it seems the swing span is out of service for maritime traffic

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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #33 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 6:00pm »
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Hmmm - I don't see the pivot for the swing span - is it just blending into the backgrownd rock and vegetation, being of similar color? Or what?

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George_Harris
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #34 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 7:36pm »
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on Jun 15th, 2010, 11:55pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
They are both still there, although it seems the swing span is out of service for maritime traffic

Ah Ha!!
 
OK, I get to eat my words.  the swing span is still there, although no longer over the channel.  Two sources checked:  The Arkansas River navigation maps, which can be found at www.swt.isace.army.mil/navigation/navcharts.cfm  Then click on chart 25 for the location of this bridge, and a look at mapquest aerial view as close as I could zoom in.  
 
Based on the navchart and the map:  the channel was toward the north side of the river at this location at the time the bridge was built.  As part of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation Project it appears that the channel was straightened and shifted south through the area that includes the bridge.  The lift span we see was built over the new channel and the swing span left in place, but no longer over the channel.  The swing span is now near lost in the brush when viewed from the south bank of the river.  I would suspect that it is no longer functional.  Again, based on the map, the first picture of the bridge appears to be taken from Fort Smith Park and the second from the vicinity of the south end of the US 64 bridge.


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George_Harris
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #35 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 7:47pm »
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on May 12th, 2010, 1:26pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)
KCS swing bridge in Shreveport, LA

And while looking at the Ft. Smith bridge on the map, decided to take a peek at this one.
 
In mapquest there is a train going across it.
 
This is the ex-Illinois Central bridge.  What is most interesting about this one is that the pivot pier is at or even on the bank on the Shreveport side of the river, so half of the swing span is over dry land in the closed position, and it looks like all of it would be in the open position.   This is what you see in Lfire83's picture.   In Mapquest's aerial view you also see two through truss spans on the Shreveport side that are over dry land.  Would make me suspect that the river has moved after the bridge was built.    
 
Wow!  when you follow thte railroad on west on the Mapquest aerial view, the passenger station site is clearly visible.  Look at the area between the tracks, Louisiana Avenue and Snow Street.  Looks like that at one time there were 8 platform tracks.  
 
All we would need to service the Crescent Star would be put back a couple of tracks and a building of some sort.  Let's have a Southern Belle while we are at it.


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Lfire83
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #36 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 9:40pm »
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That was how I came up with "combo" bridge, although I should have worded it better. The first shot was from the Ft Smith Park. I had planned on getting closer to the bridge to get better resolution shots, but there was a creepy old guy drinking liqour over near it, and when he saw I was taking pics, he started over towards me. I wasn't about to deal with that, as Louisiana drunks usually have an implement of injury on them. The other shot is from a hotel near the highway crossing. I have some shots from the other side of the bridge, but the vegetation blocks a clear shot of the whole span. There is a detailed history of the IC bridge in Shreveport somewhere on this forum about why it is only half-painted and how the river shifted course leaving only half the swing bridge over water.  
 
Here is the bridge at the Shreveport end looking toward Bossier City  
 
Shreveport is pretty neat as far as railroad infrastructure goes. It also hosts KCS' main engine facility, and several yards.


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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #37 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 10:49pm »
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on Jun 16th, 2010, 9:40pm, Lfire83 wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Here is the bridge at the Shreveport end looking toward Bossier City.

Is the swing span still used?  That is ever opened for river traffic?  Is there any river traffic?


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Lfire83
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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
 
« Reply #38 on: Jun 16th, 2010, 11:04pm »
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All the gears and equipment to operate it appear to be intact, however the gear teeth still have paint on them, so I guess that answers that question. I took detail shots at that time to confirm it. The swing span is now over the edge of the river anyway, so unless there is a shallow draft 30 ft tall boat trolling around, I doubt there is a need for it.       I don't think the casino boats actually de-moor anyway.

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Re: Draw vs. swing vs. lift
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« Reply #39 on: Jun 17th, 2010, 11:04am »
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Sunday night I happened to chase CP train 247 from the ex-NYC Belt Line in Buffalo to the International Bridge from Black Rock to Ft. Erie in Canada.  
 
Here's a shot of the center pivot swing span over the I-190 and the Black Rock Canal taken at 9:38 PM. CP 9634 is just to the right of the bridge about to cross it. Not the best photo, but it was less than ideal conditions.
 
Henry


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