Hastings Lift Bridge

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Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby Leo_Ames » Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:23 am

What's the story on this one?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastings_Rail_Bridge

Can't find anything about this, except repeats of Wikipedia, besides a late 19th century postcard of an earlier bridge. What necessitated such an expensive investment for a company that was struggling? Old bridge damaged by a barge, perhaps? Just structurally wore out? Corps of Engineers wanting to widen the channel? I'd like to see a picture of the bridge that was replaced.

Even Trains has no coverage, making me wonder if the build date is even correct. I'd of thought this would've rated a news photo that year, since it's not like significant bridges like this are built every day.
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby JayBee » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:17 am

Leo_Ames wrote:What's the story on this one?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastings_Rail_Bridge

Can't find anything about this, except repeats of Wikipedia, besides a late 19th century postcard of an earlier bridge. What necessitated such an expensive investment for a company that was struggling? Old bridge damaged by a barge, perhaps? Just structurally wore out? Corps of Engineers wanting to widen the channel? I'd like to see a picture of the bridge that was replaced.

Even Trains has no coverage, making me wonder if the build date is even correct. I'd of thought this would've rated a news photo that year, since it's not like significant bridges like this are built every day.


Yes Leo, the build date is correct. The bridge it replaced was placed into service on December 9, 1871. It was a center-pivot swing span. Needless to say the Coast Guard wanted it gone as it is just downstream of Lock and Dam #1 and it was a hazard to Barge traffic. The MILW, with CG help, managed to get some money out of the Federal Government. It probably would not have been able to withstand a parade of 286k freight cars.
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby wjstix » Fri Oct 30, 2015 4:26 pm

I doubt the 1981 build date. It might have been overhauled at that time, but I'm sure the bridge has been there for much longer than that. That being said, it's on their Twin Cities - Chicago mainline, and the line has seen a considerable amount of freight and passenger traffic over the years, even now with CP and Amtrak. It certainly would have been worth a major investment to keep it up to snuff.
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby JayBee » Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:19 pm

wjstix wrote:I doubt the 1981 build date. It might have been overhauled at that time, but I'm sure the bridge has been there for much longer than that. That being said, it's on their Twin Cities - Chicago mainline, and the line has seen a considerable amount of freight and passenger traffic over the years, even now with CP and Amtrak. It certainly would have been worth a major investment to keep it up to snuff.


Why do you doubt the build date?

Here is a link to a TrainOrders discussion about the bridge and its predecessor with photographs of the original bridge from the Minnesota Historical Society showing the original bridge taken in 1930.

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/r ... 11,3555504
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby wjstix » Thu Nov 19, 2015 3:18 pm

Well if nothing else, it seemed odd that a railroad in bankruptcy, and in the process of being taken over by another railroad (Soo Line) would build a new bridge, let alone put a huge herald for their railroad on it. That being said, it does look like that ancient looking bridge was actually built in 1981.

http://johnweeks.com/bridges/pages/r01.html

BTW to answer a question asked in the link you posted, there are power poles with wires going to the bridge. I believe the bridge is electrically powered. You can see them if you look up Hastings on GoogleMaps and go to street level. BTW there's a signal / interlocking tower on the south side, not sure if one existed at one time on the north side. That might be the "shanties" the person asked about.
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby mtuandrew » Sun Nov 22, 2015 3:09 pm

I suspect (and vaguely recall hearing) that The Milwaukee Road got some significant support from the US Army Corps of Engineers on this new bridge. Also, with just having abandoned a huge chunk of their lines and cut back to the Midwest, the MILW needed to focus on its major moneymaking route: CHI-MSP. It made sense with that new corporate structure to invest millions in a new, long-lasting lift bridge. (A high-level fixed bridge isn't an option in that location.)
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Re: Hastings Lift Bridge

Postby JayBee » Mon Nov 30, 2015 2:35 am

wjstix wrote:Well if nothing else, it seemed odd that a railroad in bankruptcy, and in the process of being taken over by another railroad (Soo Line) would build a new bridge, let alone put a huge herald for their railroad on it. That being said, it does look like that ancient looking bridge was actually built in 1981.

http://johnweeks.com/bridges/pages/r01.html

BTW to answer a question asked in the link you posted, there are power poles with wires going to the bridge. I believe the bridge is electrically powered. You can see them if you look up Hastings on GoogleMaps and go to street level. BTW there's a signal / interlocking tower on the south side, not sure if one existed at one time on the north side. That might be the "shanties" the person asked about.


The tower on the south side is for the Bridgetender.
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