Wyman Bridge location?

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Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:44 pm

This Fall will be the 110th Anniversary of the Wyman Bridge disaster on Oct. 7, 1902.

A loco and 3 heavy gondola cars ended up in the creek after the Wyman Bridge collapsed as the train was crossing the bridge. Pics can be found in the Lewis A&A book.

http://binged.it/GNTPXZ

Where pushpin #1 is, I was told this was the BA&A row so the Clear Creek bridge crossing must be at pushpin #2.

I'm not too sure about this anymore.

Does anyone have more information?

Thanks,

Chris
Last edited by thebigham on Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby howie729 » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:46 pm

Its somewhere in that area. My dad owns a house right there. He told me about old remains of a bridge when I was younger. I though he was just bsing me. I migh thave to go see if I can see where that is sometime and I will GPS it.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:13 pm

^Wish I was closer. We should walk the creek and try to find any abutments that are left.

At pushpin 2, there are concrete pieces against the creek bank to prevent erosion so it may be hard to differentiate between the two.

I asked Pat C. to look at this thread so hopefully he will know more.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:03 pm

I just went through my A&A files and found a print out of a discussion we had on Railroad.Net in Nov. 2001 on the Wyman Bridge.

Pat Connors wrote:

"The BA&A crossed the creek at the Wyman Bridge on the Wyman Farm nearer the county line.

The BA&A operated to Sandusky and the gravel pit along Rt 98 up until 1902.

After the Wyman Bridge disaster that killed one crew member, the tracks were abandoned shortly thereafter.

The property where this happened still has part of an abutment just south of Arcade... unfortunately it is on private property and not easy to get to."
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby BSOR Patarak » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:48 pm

I think I'd like to walk in from the creek as well....It appears that the creek has changed it's path greatly through the area...may not be much left. Also, most of the structure was wood, so there will be little remaining.

Image
Here is the 2nd map that the Tonawanda Valley and Cuba narrow gauge filed with Cattaraugus County in June 1882. This is as close to the actual route as I can tell. I assume that the BA&A utilized the same route, only because they purchased parts of that property as far as Sandusky. The TV&C's original route filing in 1881 kept the tracks on the west side of the State Road, much more as the later B&S did through that section. It is a guess, but perhaps the TV&C chose the above route, closer to the creek due to cost of acquiring the property? They wouldn't have cut through any productive farm fields at that point. Not the best choice for a solid road bed though. The map shows the creek path fairly straight for a long stretch. The solid red lines are just the reference points for the curves for the profile part of the filing with the county. I made a dotted line to show the track location. Unfortunately the original maps on file are poor to begin with, so the photo copy doesn't show up that well.

Image
This is a photograph of the wreck. The photographer is looking south towards Sandusky. You can see that the structure was very long and composed of wood. Given the length of the structure, the creek must have shifted or filled up quickly through that curve at times of high water. Compared to the pins on Chris's map, the route of the creek has changed significantly. You can also make out the concrete work of the abutment. Should anything be remaining in the creek today, it could be compared to this to see if it is a newer retaining wall of some kind.

I have copies of newspaper accounts of the wreck. My Great Grandfather, John Henry Connors was head end brakeman on that train. The engineer had called for brakes, so he was out ahead on the gravel cars setting brakes. Otherwise he would have been in the cab seated next to the fireman that passed away in the wreck. He only remembered waking up in the field next to the creek surround by locals. Shortly thereafter he changed careers as he had a young family and wished to stay alive for them. (He also had a close call with a plow derailment near the Knitting Mill previously).

Pat
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:18 pm

^Thanks for the narrow gauge map!

I remember you showing it to me once and it was hard to read.

I guess I do have the right location for the Wyman Bridge.

If you can, can you do the rest of the BA&A route to the gravel pit? Thanks.

Did they have a station in Sandusky?

I just wish some of the row could still be seen today. The original construction was poor so we should not be surprised it's hard to find.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby howie729 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:50 am

After talking to my dad he said it is almost directly behind his house. Chris and Pat I will let you know when I am planning on going back there and you are both welcome to come.

Howie
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:34 am

On the narrow gauge map, the road on the right of the map must be Sparks Road.

The row would also cross present day Jones Rd and Eagle St.

As Pat said, if the row was built near the Clear Creek, most of it would been washed away the past 110 years.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:53 pm

Here's the BA&A row before it crosses Rt 98:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117115

The row after it crosses Rt 98:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117117

Clear Creek photos:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117119
http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117120

This is probably the location of Pat's photo above:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117121
Last edited by thebigham on Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby ctclark1 » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:00 pm

This is probably the location of Pat's photo above:

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=11712

The concrete in the pic is not from the bridge.

http://photos.greatrails.net/s/?p=117121

Thy that instead, otherwise you'll end very confused like me when looking at an MBTA work train lol.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:53 am

^LOL. Thanks!
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby RussNelson » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:45 am

Hrm. I assumed that the TV&C used the exact same railbed as the BA&A, at least north of where they came together near the intersection of NY98 and NY243. Apparently this is not the case. Does anybody have the details of the TV&C routing? I'd like to continue this northwards: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/50714983

Here's my best guess from the map above: http://www.openstreetmap.org/browse/way/156816098
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby pumpers » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:28 am

BSOR Patarak wrote: ... Here is the 2nd map that the Tonawanda Valley and Cuba narrow gauge filed with Cattaraugus County in June 1882. This is as close to the actual route as I can tell. I assume that the BA&A utilized the same route, only because they purchased parts of that property as far as Sandusky. The TV&C's original route filing in 1881 kept the tracks on the west side of the State Road, much more as the later B&S did through that section. It is a guess, but perhaps the TV&C chose the above route, closer to the creek due to cost of acquiring the property? They wouldn't have cut through any productive farm fields at that point. Not the best choice for a solid road bed though. The map shows the creek path fairly straight for a long stretch. The solid red lines are just the reference points for the curves for the profile part of the filing with the county. I made a dotted line to show the track location. Unfortunately the original maps on file are poor to begin with, so the photo copy doesn't show up that well.
Pat


I am trying to reconcile your old map with modern times. It seem Brown School House Rd now runs at a different direction now than in the map posted above. Did it change? Or is it just a map error?

Also, I found an 1895 atlas of Cattaraugus county online. Not as detailed as the maps above, but you can see that Brown School House Rd always had the alignment it does today, and that the TV&C did cross what is now Route 98 right near that corner with Brown S.H Rd. So to answer Russ's question, I guess it is clear that the B&S and the TV&C had different routes from that crossing point south down to Sandusky (where the TV&C ends on the map), but they may have had the same route from there north to where the BA&A line to the engine house split from the B&S (near the southern end of today's Haskell Ave).
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/servlet/detail/RUMSEY~8~1~26309~1110072:Chautauqua-and-Cattaraugus-counties?sort=Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No&qvq=w4s:/what/Atlas%20Map/where/Cattaraugus%20County%20(N.Y.);sort:Pub_List_No_InitialSort%2CPub_Date%2CPub_List_No%2CSeries_No;lc:RUMSEY~8~1&mi=0&trs=2

If we assume that Brown SH rd is going in the wrong direction on the old TVC map posted above, then maybe we shouldn't take the curves on the creek that accurately either - more of an "artist's conception"....
Even in the map I just linked, it shows the PRR entering Wyoming county exactly at its southwest corner, when it really enters a little east of the corner.

Would be great to find a close-up map that has individual houses labelled, much like those posted in the beginning of the thread, to find "Wyman".

JS
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby thebigham » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:11 pm

^Cool map! Thanks.
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Re: Wyman Bridge location?

Postby pumpers » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:54 pm

One piece of evidence probably too good to be true -- http://historicaerials.com has a 1963 map which covers Arcade to Sandusky. If you look just east of Clear Creek just north of Eagle St. in Sandusky, there is a little creek running to the east. There is a pair of abutments clear as day there over that creek, and some trace of a path south of them. - TV&C perhaps? Of course they could have been for a bridge for a farmer to get to a field, and to be honest they look too big for a narrow gauage RR or for a farmer's bridge. Who knows..

If you go south from the abutments across Eagle ST, there is a line of trees (former ROW?) which then goes down to join the B&S ROW just after it crosses, coming from Arcade, to the east of of Rte 98. Hmmm.

Comparing the 1963 aerial photo to modern ones, it is clear that Clear Creek north of Sandusky has wandered around. Perhaps exactly why the B&S north of Sandusky chose slightly higher ground and farther from the creek. JS
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