Tuesday, May 29, 2018

A WELL LOVED BRIDGE

   In the days of railroads everything came and went on the railroad so the railway went through the center of town. It was handy for passengers to catch a train or get off. Freight was loaded and unloaded. Towns grew up around the railroad.

    Slowly the moving of freight changed. Roads were improved and so trucks began hauling freight. Trucking was more flexible as the truck could pick up and unload closer to the source of the freight.

   So there came a time when rail roads were taken out of the downtown or in our case the railroad was taken right out of town. I wonder if any freight is received or sent out of our town. The grain terminals are about 20 km away.

   So since the movement of freight changed the railroads had to change. Railroads became a nuisance in town because of all the crossings. The large amount of land railways had became a valuable asset for other development. 

   Railroads were torn up and the land set up for redevelopment. This process was costly even though the land was valuable. 

    This is where my bridge comes into the story. If the railway didn't have to take a bridge out it saved them money. So find a use for the bridge in the community and sell it for a dollar  and the railway is free of a costly asset.

   Now people have a bridge . This bridge was refurbished for lots of money and incorporated into the large trail system we have. 

   This bridge give an excellent connection to both sides of the city. The morning I took this photo many people were riding or walking to work.

   When I took the photos I could imagine that huge steamer slowly crossing the bridge. How many trains have crossed that bridge? How many times have I crossed the bridge?

   


25 comments:

  1. That is nice to see an old railway bridge refurbished for walkers and bicycles. I've always loved the old style bridges.

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    1. Even though it's old, it's still a very solid bridge.

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  2. I think it is sad that railroad travel is not readily available, I would love taking the train...I think we missed the boat so to speak on Train travel:)

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    1. Yes, I would like the times when roads were not kept up or open in the winter and you had to take the train. I took the train from Montreal to Saskatoon. Great trip.

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  3. Replies
    1. Bicycle as well. Oh I forgot skaters too!

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  4. What an interesting piece!
    My client has lived 94 years in Smiths Falls. It was a big railway town. Her father worked for them at one point. She moved to the farm with her husband 75 years ago. She speaks of the time the men would hop off the train and come to their farm for sandwiches, as they were hungry. The train tracks were removed, and it is a walking trail, now.

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    1. Yes the right of way makes for excellent walking trails.

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  5. That's a substantial bridge, all right. I'm glad it didn't get torn down. :-)

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    1. They can make excellent walking bridges now. We have two bridges that cross the river for the trails.

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  6. It's great that they were able to repurpose the bridge rather than tearing it down. Turning "rails to trails" is a popular practice all over North America, it seems. We had similar walking trails in Florida.

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    1. Rails to trails! I like that one.

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  7. A lot of old tracks here have ended up as walking trails. There was once a rail line in Algonquin Park for the timber, and you can still see elements of it, as it is incorporated into walking trails.

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    1. It's good that the right of way wasn't sold to someone.

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  8. To tear something so pretty would have been a shame.I take trains every month and I do love it and the history that has travelled the same track I do. B

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  9. There is a lot of powerful memories standing on these bridges. One I fished from as a kid made so much noise I often wondered if it was going to fall in.

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    1. Like your metaphor ...powerful memories. If you really want to freak out be under a bridge while the train crosses.

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  10. Glad the bridge did not get torn down. I've always had a fear of crossing bridges, but I think bridges are beautiful.

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    1. Now if you really want to freak out sit under a bride when the train crosses.

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  11. What a good way to make use of the bridge. Sometimes people DO use their common sense!

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  12. I like the reflection of the girders in the water.
    Many small towns in Minnesota have saved their railroad bridges in the same way. It's a nice boon for walkers and bikers. I always loved happening along one on a bike trail. As for train travel, I too regret that it's not available anymore.

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  13. I really like these old bridges. I've run across quite a few here in Ontario. They're nice to walk or bike through. And to photograph!

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  14. TRAINS = 147 (often it was the same train that had crossed the day before)
    YOU = 1,304 including the time you got halfway across and then turned back because you had forgotten your wallet.

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  15. Hi Red, This is an interesting story. I think it may be more common than expected, though. I know of at least 3 bridges that were abandoned by the Chicago Milwaukee and St Paul Railway that are still in use today as part of a trail system in Washington and Idaho. Just for fun I looked up Red Deer on Google Maps and I see some RR tracks around the edges of town but nothing that looks like a Depot. So Via Rail doesn't have any service there?

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