Wednesday, August 5, 2009

High Bridge Update

I had a little free time this evening and so I made a mad dash over to the Boone area to check on the progress UP has made on the new Kate Shelley High Bridge. It looked to me like they are nearing completion. The track is in place on the bridge and the approaches have been laid on each side. I wasn't able to get a shot of the bridge from the west, just the approach area.

From the east, you can get into position for a long telephoto shot of the bridge deck, which of course results in poor quality. However, you can see that trains have been out on the deck dumping ballast.

Obviously, the existing bridge is on the left, or south. The new bridge is north of the existing alignment and it looks like trains will have to swing north to gain access to the new bridge.

Rumor has it that the existing bridge will be used for maintenance vehicles once the new bridge is in service. I suppose it is cheaper to use it than to attempt to dismantle it. You really have to see the area to appreciate how huge these bridges are. It is just jaw-dropping to think that the longest and highest double track railroad bridge in the country is in...Iowa? But supposedly, it is.

UP blessed me with a couple of trains while I was investigating the area. The best shot I got was of a westbound coal empty, just after he rounded the curve leaving the bridge behind. Looks like this one has had a wing clipped.

The only other decent shot I got was of a couple of GP's in the Boone yard as I left town. What the heck, they are yellow and that's a change.

Traffic was pretty good, as there were two other trains through the area while I was there. The Boone and Scenic Valley also has their headquarters in Boone, with some interesting vintage equipment. Quite a "railroady" area, with a couple of former CNW cabooses also on display in different parts of town. But, it could never replace the Staples Sub for me.

Maybe I will get a couple of more shots this week. Check back and see how my look for trains turns out.


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