May 18, 2014

A bridge too far?

Only you military historians will know what the caption refers to but I needed a Subject line that worked. 
Great Northern's most important bridge in Eastern Washington was the Fort Wright Bridge in West Spokane. I could count on getting my Western Star passenger photos if I got there at 3 pm and waited a few minutes for it to arrive. It didn't survive the track realignment after the BN merger.
This one is the ex-NP Irvin Bridge where shots can be taken of the north side of the bridge in the summer months such as this one of a local going back to Spokane from Trentwood Industrial Park. It was a navy base during World War 2. The stone abutment is the original main line for the NP Railroad.
For a number of years I would venture into Marias Pass when they put on the Altmont Railfans gathering in October at the Izaac Walton Inn in Essex, Montana. Back in the good old days the F units were used as helpers and this set is pushing a mixed freight east over one of many bridges going to the summit.
The bridge south of Wenatchee is a a one-of-a-kind GN bridge because it is 2 bridges in one: Instead of closing traffic to install a heavier bridge they built a bridge around the existing one and kept things moving. Pretty clever engineers (the kind who don't have horns to blow).
Here's another example of "two bridges in one" at a place called the Keddie Wye on the Feather River in Northern California. The tracks to the right go to Reno, Nevada and the tracks to the left go north to the SP&S line on the Columbia River in Washington State.
The bridge that changed it all in Spokane is the Latah Bridge where all traffic now flows across including Union Pacific freights from Canada.  Phil Hastings shot many NP trains from this location on the tracks to the bottom of this photo in the early 50's.

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