Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

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Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:34 pm

I'm curious as to the oldest surviving Railroad bridge in New York State. There is an arch bridge over Oneida Creek, in the city of Oneida predating the New York Central Water Level Route. It is engraved S.&U. RR (Syracuse & Utica) 1851! That's pretty old. It was used until 1965, when the NYC moved the tracks north of downtown due to numerous accidents.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97630304@N02/9067259835/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97630304@N02/9067254443/

Seen at upper right in this postcard view

https://www.flickr.com/photos/97630304@ ... ed-public/
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Re: Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby Wayside » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:25 pm

That's really cool.
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Re: Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:30 pm

Isn't it! Abraham Lincoln went over this bridge, and more than once, including his funeral train. It was used for 115 years, and still in good shape.
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Re: Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby SST » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:43 pm

That's a pretty cool bridge. I'd love to have that in my backyard.

I thought maybe the Int'l RR Bridge over the Niagara River may have been the oldest but according to Wikipedia, it was 1873. Proposals started in 1856.
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Re: Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby lvrr325 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:08 am

The current Finger Lakes route from Syracuse to Canandaigua was built in stages completed in 1839 and 1841. They were bypassed by the route of the current main line from Syracuse to Rochester in 1851, and as such remained branches that never saw much in the way of realignments, expansion or other improvement.

This route has several stone bridges that appear to be original construction -

At Martisco the line passes over Nine Mile Creek on a high embankment with a very ancient stone culvert at the bottom the creek passes through. There's no obvious indication it's ever been replaced. The highway tunnel here itself is concrete and I would imagine has been enlarged much more recently.

Behind Finger Lakes Mall and further west at Half-Acre Rd. are stone overpasses of the roads, both narrow to a single lane with like a 9 foot clearance. The one behind the mall crosses an abandoned section of Webster Road. These too show no obvious indication of replacement, where at a couple of other locations a steel bridge replaced whatever had been there before. The one behind the mall can be seen poorly in Street View, the other cannot.

A third stone lined overpass exists in Seneca Falls, just south of the Route 5/20 crossing, where a road once went into the now flooded over lower town. You can see this one somewhat in Street View, although it's shaded.

Further west, crossings of Flint Creek in Phelps and Sulfur Creek in Clifton Springs could potentially be original, but I've never looked at them.

In any case, those first three would likely be the oldest if they can be verified as original, as the Syracuse to Auburn side was completed first. Certainly they are likely to be the oldest remaining in service. There could be other small culverts and so forth which may count as well.
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Re: Oldest Surviving Railroad Bridge, Oneida?

Postby NYCUticaSyracuse81 » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:25 pm

Thanks for the info LV325. I'll definitely have to check those bridges out if I'm ever close by. Just wanted to add that there is a very old bridge/culvert behind the Rome Polish home that probably predates the NYC Main. To the best of my knowledge that bridge hasn't been used since January 1913 when they completed the Martin St bypass during constructionn of the NYS Barge Canal. It's looks old even for 1913, so it could be another possibility.
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