Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sheldon Junction Bridge

Richford Local crossing Missisquoi River, John Krause photo
It's been a number of years since I've bought bridge kits. The scenic highlight of the new layout, as on the prototype, will be the crossing of the Missisquoi River at Sheldon Junction. The railroad crossed the river on three through truss bridges. At least it was three until June 29, 1984. On that date the last four cars on a B&M/CP detour train derailed, and in the process destroyed one of the spans beyond repair. 
Ian Stronach photo
That derailment was really the end of the Richford branch as a railroad line - as the tracks were abandoned east of that point and the damaged span removed. 
I've seen photos of the bridge - such as John Krause's photo above and Ian Stronach's photo shown to the right. 
I figured the bridge looks close enough to the Central Valley Truss bridge that I'd simply order three of them and build them up. 
But in the years since I've bought a bridge - or seriously looked at bridge kits - Central Valley has added to their product line by offering their "classic" bridge as an Eastern Gusseted or Punch Plate bridge. Great, knowing my luck I'll pick one of the three, guess wrong and find out only after it's installed on the railroad!
Google to the rescue. 
Even the railroad tracks are long gone the Richford Branch right-of-way is still there - as a bike trail. And Google Maps
Google Street View of the Sheldon Springs bridge. 
offers a street view from the bike trail taken from the bridge. 

A few quick clicks and I was able to determine the original Central Valley Pratt Truss bridge is the closest to the prototype. I was also able to use the map
to determine the length of the span - the Central Valley bridge is 150 feet long, meaning three spans measure 450 feet. Google Maps indicates the river is about 370 feet or so across - but that's today's bike trail - as shown in the John Krause photo above, the abutments weren't located on the edge of the river, meaning 450 feet or so should be close enough, and ought to make for an impressive scene. 
Naturally, guess which version was nowhere to be found at Timomium last weekend!


Anonymous said...

Has the missing bridge span been replaced for use in the bike trail, or is this where it ends?

-Jack Shall

CVSNE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CVSNE said...

Short answer is yes - my understanding is the bike path extends the entire route of the branch.
See today's Wordless Wednesday for a view of the bridge from a distance showing the "replacement" span.

Anonymous said...

I've gone on the trail there's a lot of old bridges that are off in the woods and Hard to find that are from the original railroad It's nice to find them and imagine the history behind it all