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Erie - SR15 Overpass (Westbound Track)

Photos 

SR15 bridges

The taller bridge is the westbound line. This appears to be soon after track removal in the early 1980s.

Thanks to "Wabash Memories" on Facebook for the photo.

BH Photo #308291

Map 

Street View 

Description 

Chicago and Atlantic Railroad was originally a single track railroad across most of its Western end of the line's Chicago to New Jersey line. In time (1911 to 1916), many sections were double tracked such as in this location, but the newer grade was built at a higher elevation in many places necessitating odd arrangements such as this "double" set of bridges over a rural Indiana highway. Railroad was abandoned and torn out in the 1980's, and at some point this set of bridges was also removed and part of the railroad grade fill was used to level out this location where today one might not notice that a railroad passed through here, much less the magnificent sight these structures would have given the many passing motorists of yesteryear as they dipped below them.

Photo link 

Written by James Norwood

Be sure to check out the photo at the Link at the bottom of this page to view these bridges.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Concrete rigid frame bridge over State Road 15 on Formerly Erie Lackawanna Railroad(nee Erie, Chicago and Atlantic Railroads)
Location
Wabash County, Indiana
Status
Lost
History
Erie Railroad was double tracked in this area. Two Structures side by side, but at different elevations. Westbound track was at a higher grade. Line abandoned and pulled up in the 1980's. Chicago and Indiana Railroad was the last operator (1979)
Railroads
- Erie Lackawanna Railroad (EL)
- Erie Railroad (ERIE)
Design
Westbound track span has 4 piers at a higher elevation than the Eastbound(Southern) track which features a simple frame. Highway underpass undercut both bridges.
Dimensions
Total length: 80.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.98429, -85.89195   (decimal degrees)
40°59'03" N, 85°53'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/593211/4537604 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Roann
Inventory number
BH 44597 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

Continuous (2,278)
Erie Lackawanna Railroad (211)
Erie Railroad (173)
Have street view (25,065)
Indiana (4,596)
Lost (21,308)
Railroad (14,228)
Rigid frame (615)
Total length 75-100 feet (6,300)
Wabash County, Indiana (52)

Update Log 

  • July 5, 2019: New photos from Jen Savage
  • November 14, 2014: New photo from Owen Fishback
  • March 25, 2010: Essay added by James Norwood

Sources 

Comments 

Erie - SR15 Overpass (Westbound Track)
Posted July 5, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

It is definitely visible on the west side where the westbound part of this bridge went...

Erie - SR15 Overpass (Westbound Track)
Posted July 5, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

You can still see evidence where the railroad approached the bridge

Erie - SR15 Overpass (Westbound Track)
Posted June 29, 2019, by Jen Savage (reoracer [at] gmail [dot] com)

I do pass through the area where this was located periodically, and you can still tell where the railroad lines were leading up to this bridge. I will try to get pictures next time I go through there. Too bad this lovely set of bridges is no longer there.

Erie Railroad SR 15 Westbound Track underpass
Posted April 3, 2010, by James Norwood

Thanks Ed. The Erie is quite magnificent in the degree of engineering they accomplished. Just today I took my family up to the Tippecanoe River Bridge so they could marvel at that great structure. My sister lives a stone's throw from the old line in Uniondale, and my in-laws live close in Western Fulton County so I get many chances to explore those areas. I haven't had a chance to get a good look at the line between Rochester and Huntington, or West of Monterey and hope soon to do so. What a sight this must have been here at SR 15 back in the day, I am sad I didn't get a chance to make a trip up there before all was removed. Many railfans agree that the abandonment of this line was a mistake, as it would have fit into today's world of intermodel trains with it's long tangents of track without the problems of passing through larger towns and great profile. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. Take care, James

Erie Railroad SR 15 Westbound Track underpass
Posted April 3, 2010, by Ed Hollowell (erhollowell [at] aol [dot] com)

This separation of height in the east and westbound tracks was typical of the Erie in Indiana. The railroad was graded so that the ascending trains would have an easier climb. The train going the opposite direction would be descending and would not have any problems with a steeper grade and so it was not given as much consideration in having its grade reduced. The east and west bound tracks on this line sometimes differed in height by 60 feet though they always remained parallel. This was done to save the chronically cash strapped Erie money. Most other railroads kept their parallel tracks at the same grade level so that trains could be switched to the left or right track for traffic, track work or other reasons. They lost flexibility with a track built like the Erie was. Maybe this was one of the reasons that Conrail abandoned this line in 1979.