Trestle Hunting in Mississippi

Give us a run down of what you saw, post pictures if you'd like...any info is welcome.

Trestle Hunting in Mississippi

Unread postby markvz » Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:45 am

One day I was tracing an abandonned line last operated by the Columbus and Greenville railroad on Microsoft Terraserver. When I reached the portion that crossed the Tenessee-Tombigbee manmade Waterway, I noticed something interesting. It appeared that a few spans of the old trestle still remained.

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The line had been abandonned in the early 80's. A barge broke free from its towbat, and crashed into the eastern approach to the trestle, rendering the bridge unuseable. At the same time, the Tennessee-Tombigbe waterway was being created as a passageway for barges to reach Mobile Bay and the gulf coast. The line was in disrepair, and the trestle was now out of service. It was decided to abandon the line and obtain trackage rights over the nearby KCS bridge, which was rebuilt during the construction of the waterway.

I decided to go out and try to find this bridge span. However, the satellite image posted above is nearly 10 years old. Would the bridge span still remain to this day?

When I arrived at the nearby boat launch I was disappointed as there was no sign of the trestle. Clearly it should be in plain view of the boat ramps, as the satellite picture would suggest. I made my way up a small hill and past the tree-line and I was susprised to see the handsome, dilapidated old swing bridge still standing in front of me.

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It was still evident that this bridge had been struck, as the approach on the east end was all but missing.

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I wanted to get a closer look at the bridge, but the river was very high as a result of recent downpours. This rendered what looked to be the path to the bridge completely underwater. I hiked about a half mile around the raised water areas until I found the tracks approaching the trestle, which had been untouched for over 20 years.

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I was surprised at how fast nature had reclaimed this line. Surely this line was already in a state of disrepair before it was abandonned.

I pushed through the brush and made my way to the bridge abutments. Looking at the trestle, I could almost imagine the old lazy local freights crossing this bridge years ago. It appears that the swinging mechanisms had been long locked, as is the case on many bridges around here.

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However, appearances can be deceiving. This trestle which appears almost useable would doom anybody attempting to cross it.

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Satisfied that I had found what I was looking for, I headed home. On my way, I came across a small KCS train parked near the West Point depot.

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Is this a MOW weed spraying train? It appears that the tank cars are connected to the Asplundh boxcar.

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That concludes my backwoods Mississippi railroad archaeology trip report.
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markvz
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