Saturday, July 4, 2015

All's quiet ...& Happy July 4 to my USA readers!

Things have been so quiet lately, and there have been so few chances for Mandy to get out and about, that this July 4 I've dug into my archives again...ferroequinologists may enjoy this one.

From a trip to Nicholson PA (Wyoming County) back in 1989, here is a picture of Tunkhannock (Creek) Viaduct, sometimes referred to as the 9th Wonder of the World. 

This reinforced concrete structure was the largest of its kind ever built when it was created in 1915 on the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad. The bridge, 2,375 feet long and rising 240 feet above Tunkhannock Creek, was the focal point of a 39.6-mile relocation between Clarks Summit and Hallstead, and remains in use today.

Does it still look like this?  The videos on You-Tube say yes...and this picture proves the lower bar on the K in Lackawanna fell off some time prior to 1989.  Maybe someday I'll get there to check it out again myself...and hopefully this time, in a dress!


  1. There really are some wonders around if you know where to look.

    1. There's another railroad "wonder bridge" out there - Kinzua Bridge. Or rather, what's left of it, after it was hit broadside by an F-1 tornado roaring up the valley in 2003.

      Wikipedia says: The Kinzua Bridge (or the Kinzua Viaduct) was a railroad trestle that spanned Kinzua Creek in McKean County in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. Before its collapse in 2003, the bridge was 301 feet (92 m) tall and 2,052 feet (625 m) long, and was ranked as the fourth-tallest railway bridge in the United States. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977 and as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 1982.

      When originally built of iron (1882) it was the tallest railroad bridge in the world, and was billed as the "Eighth Wonder of the World", holding that record (as the tallest railroad bridge in the world) for two years. In 1900, the bridge was dismantled and simultaneously rebuilt out of steel to allow it to accommodate heavier trains. It stayed in commercial service until 1959 and was sold to the Government of Pennsylvania in 1963, becoming the centerpiece of a state park, with rail excursions and walkers allowed to use it until it was deemed unsafe due to corrosion in 2002.

      What's really scary is that just several years before its collapse, my wife, our son and I rode one of the rail excursions across that spidery trestlework. And somewhere, I have a few pictures.... A steam engine with heavy passenger cars crossing the bridge was an impressive sight. If/when I find them, I'll post them.

      You can go to Wikipedia for some immediate pictures of the bridge. And if you're in the area, it's worth your time to visit the remains. What's left has been stabilized, and you can walk out on the remaining part of the trestle, to a glass-bottom observation platform...and see the destruction spread out in the valley below.

      But if you spot a tornado heading your way....