CSX - Southern Avenue Overpass
Photo taken by Rattrak
License: Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)
View this photo at landmarkhunter.com
BH Photo #461457
A railroad bridge owned, operated and maintained by CSXT Railroad should probably NOT have its name headed by “NS” – the initials of rival Norfolk Southern Railway. “C&O” doesn’t work very well, either – Chesapeake & Ohio Railway hasn’t existed since the early 1970s.
Factually, the bridge currently carries three tracks (out of a possible four) of CSX Transportation over Norfolk Southern Railway and Southern Street.
Historically, this bridge was built to carry Pere Marquette Railway’s Oak-Delray Cutoff over Michigan Central Railroad’s Detroit-Chicago Mainline. Built in 1930, the bridge replaced an earlier structure.
The entire length of the Oak-Delray Cutoff, including the previous bridge, went into service during the early 1890s. Delray Tower funneled trains from several different railroads into the shared Union Belt of Detroit trackage, on their way east toward Fort Street Union Depot in downtown Detroit. FSUD opened in January, 1893, and closed April 30, 1971 – the day before the Amtrak takeover.
Take a good look at the massive horizontal girder over Southern Street – the PERE MARQUETTE lettering is faded, but still readable – not bad for a railroad whose history ended in 1947, when PM disappeared into C&O. The lettering on the west elevation is also decipherable, but 84 years of afternoon sunlight has done its work.
I recommend calling this bridge Southern Street Railroad Overpass – a title that is immune from corporate name-changing. Another complication is the National Registry; I think that list still uses the C&O jargon.