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Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE
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Author:  wesp [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE: TOPIC DRI

TOPIC DRIFT WARNING...
The restoration of Battery 519 at Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park is pretty amazing. A dedicating group of volunteers continues to partner with the Delaware State Parks to bring the main bunker back to life. Presently a 12" Army gun stands in for the 16" gun that was originally in place. The bunker now has an HVAC system and improved lighting, and the group is working on permanent exhibits.

Wesley

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Kelly Anderson wrote:
Years ago we were approached by a contractor that was working to rebuild a hand powered railroad swing bridge somewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula. Could it be the same one?


This bridge is, as far as I know, the only hand-cranked drawbridge left on the Delmarva Peninsula, and for all we really know the last still in any kind of active rail service in the U.S. or North America. The only other draw spans I can think of on the Peninsula are at Seaford/Blades and at Pocomoke City, both powered draw mechanisms, and the big lift bridge over the C&D Canal. There was one on the old Baltimore & Eastern to Ocean City, and some others on now-long-gone routes.

This bridge, recently destroyed in a derailment, was the last survivor of an earlier manually-moved drawbridge design popular in southern New Jersey; it had been converted to motorized and then automatic operation before the derailment: http://bridgehunter.com/nj/gloucester/p ... -railroad/

At the risk of thread drift, anyone know of other manually-operated rail draw spans in North America?

Author:  wesp [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

The swing span at Denton, MD is still in place, visible from the MD route 404 bypass. I do not know of its operation system.

Wesley

Author:  sbhunterca [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Quote:
At the risk of thread drift, anyone know of other manually-operated rail draw spans in North America?


There is at least one other

While not in service, the Canadian Northern/ Canadian National Sherzer Rolling lift bascule bridge in Smiths Falls, Ontario, still stands over the Rideau Canal.

http://www.rideau-info.com/canal/images ... erzer.html

This bridge was built with DC electric power, but a few years later, when the local electric utility switched to AC, the motor was removed and replaced with a simple hand crank that lasted through its entire service life.

The last train over this bridge ran on 29 April, 1979.

Without the railway to generate revenue to support the expense, RMEO has no interest in taking over the bridge, which is a National Historic Site... note, this does not mean there is any federal financial support to encourage its owners (who are historically sympathetic) to maintain the bridge.

Steve Hunter

Author:  boilerwash [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Quote:
At the risk of thread drift, anyone know of other manually-operated rail draw spans in North America?


Not quite sure where it was filmed but there is this godawful kids film called "Trainmaster" which featured a hand crank swing bridge as part of a gag.

Author:  JimBoylan [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Kelly Anderson wrote:
Years ago we were approached by a contractor that was working to rebuild a hand powered railroad swing bridge somewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula. ... the Babbitting contractor he had hired backed out upon seeing the physical size of the job. We billed him for $5,000. the previous contractor that had backed out, had bid the job at $20,000!
The additional $15,000 in the high bid from the ex-subcontractor probably included removal and reinstallation, transportation to and from your shop, and overhead, markup, taxes, permits, regulatory fees, supervision, and profit.

Author:  JimBoylan [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Raritan River RR in New Jersey had a manually cranked swing bridge in the early 1980s, but I don't know the present situation.

Author:  beacon_joe [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

There is a swing bridge still in operation at Walt Disney world.

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Author:  Kelly Anderson [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 11:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

JimBoylan wrote:
The additional $15,000 in the high bid from the ex-subcontractor probably included removal and reinstallation, transportation to and from your shop, and overhead, markup, taxes, permits, regulatory fees, supervision, and profit.

Nope, that was for the previous ReBabbitting sub-contractor to do just the work we did.

Author:  wilkinsd [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
At the risk of thread drift, anyone know of other manually-operated rail draw spans in North America?


The Kentucky & Indiana Terminal RR bridge in Louisville still has a manually-operated swing span, though inactive since the 1950s.

It is on the Indiana side of the river, so to use it, one would have to have gone over the Falls of the Ohio, instead of transiting the Louisville & Portland canal and the McAlpine Locks. Must have only been usable during high water.

Still, an impressive swing span, double track to boot.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bill_alden/6468950215/

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

wilkinsd wrote:
The Kentucky & Indiana Terminal RR bridge in Louisville still has a manually-operated swing span, though inactive since the 1950s.


http://bridgehunter.com/ky/jefferson/kirr/

According to this rather expert "wiki" bridge database, it was only opened twice.

And I would challenge the assertion that it was manually opened and closed.

Author:  wilkinsd [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Alexander D. Mitchell IV wrote:
wilkinsd wrote:
The Kentucky & Indiana Terminal RR bridge in Louisville still has a manually-operated swing span, though inactive since the 1950s.


http://bridgehunter.com/ky/jefferson/kirr/

According to this rather expert "wiki" bridge database, it was only opened twice.

And I would challenge the assertion that it was manually opened and closed.



Just going to have to take my word on the manual nature of the span's operation. I have seen photos from the K&ITs offices which are not avaiable to the general public.

It wasn't located in the main river channel, so it was more of a "wouldn't it be nice" type of operation, when the river was very high that one could go over the Falls of the Ohio without being torn to shreds.

Author:  Mark Jordan [ Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Quote:
The easternmost concrete abutment had shifted, and was too close to the end of the bridge in it's closed position.

Quote:
Years ago we were approached by a contractor that was working to rebuild a hand powered railroad swing bridge somewhere on the Delmarva Peninsula.


Here is a fairly recent photo I scarfed from the Internet. It shows the rebuilt bridge with the swivel foundation recast, etc., new paint, and a completely new eastern abutment.

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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Fri Oct 14, 2016 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

Update:

The Lewes bridge, and the entire line as a result, has been taken out of service account a sinking center pier.

Estimated repair time by the state is three years:

http://www.capegazette.com/article/swin ... air/116980

Author:  WVNorthern [ Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Neat Old Manual Crank Swing Bridge, Lewes, DE

I was fortunate enough to ride the spring 1994 excursion over the entire railroad including the swing bridge. Here are a few photos from that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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