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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

High Bridge Depot: 1907

High Bridge Depot: 1907

Circa 1907. "High Bridge station, High Bridge, Kentucky." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Two names

This station has two names. When the agent communicates with the dispatcher or other stations using Morse or voice, his station name is "KR". KR would also be used on train orders, clearance cards, and anything else affecting train movements.

What's that short post with the number 103.2 on it? A mile post with a cross arm and insulators on it?

Re: Signal smorgasbord

The white signal posing as Mr. Hat's brilliant idea is in fact a Hall or Banjo signal. Another can be seen on the other end of the bridge. Most likely this is part of a block signal system or possibly a block protecting only the bridge. The signal to the left appears to be part of an interlocking plant, rods for the switch and a point lock can be seen to the left. And of course the signal on the station is in fact a train order signal. The mishmash of train control here is great and typical of the time.

Re: Pedestrians Welcome

It wasn't unheard of for pedestrians to legally cross on railroad bridges. If there wasn't a nearby road or footbridge then the railroad would allow it. They'd often provide a walkway alongside the tracks for this purpose. In fact in some they still do. The CPR bridge here in Saskatoon has a pedestrian walkway that's used by university students to cross the South Saskatchewan River. It was designed for that purpose back in 1909.

Pedestrians Welcome?

There's a gent who appears to be heading onto the span. If not a RR employee, I wonder if the bridge was open to pedestrians to cross. My gut tells me the RR wouldn't allow it, but the deck seems wider than need be, and could those be pedestrian hand ropes on the left edge?

High Bridge Sign

What are the two numbers on the sides of the High Bridge sign? One reads "CIN 100.3" and the other reads "CHA 234.8." Thanks.

[Distances to Cincinnati, Ohio and Chattanooga, Tennessee.]

The towers

As you might have guessed, originally this was planned to be a Roebling suspension bridge. But that project got cancelled by the Civil War. (And that's probably a good thing, since I don't think suspension bridges of that era were very good for railroads.)

[More here.]

Stay behind the yellow line!

As an Amtrak agent for 23 years, I can say with certainty that standing as close to the track as possible while a train approaches is an obsession with the public. I've had several hundred people standing on a platform while a train was bearing down, all pressing each other as close to the tracks as they could. It scares employees to death, especially engineers. They would not be able to stop if someone fell off the curb, and then everybody would get to see how sausage is made. You just hope and pray that if it ever happens, it won't be a child.

Why the Name

Built to cross Stating the Obvious Creek.

Signal smorgasbord

A train crew would have to be alert to the various signals on display here. On the depot, above the bay window are the signals that alert the crew that train orders from the dispatcher need to be received. Across the tracks between the depot and turnout is a block signal that informs a train crew about what is ahead of them, or possibly informs them if they are to take siding here. And just to the right of the bridge is a Ball type of signal that may be part of the regular block signal system or one that assures the train crew that all is well on the bridge, or it is one that stops all trains if activated by a maintenance crew that would have work to perform on the bridge.

Never Saw This Before

If you go to High Bridge, KY on Google Earth, there is a full three dimensional rendition of the present-day bridge. No station, though.

Mr. White Hat

Just had a brilliant idea.

High on High Bridge

One of the barely remembered memories I have of University of Kentucky college life in the early 70s was walking out on High Bridge at night while, well, pretty darn high. Apparently, this was a popular stunt. Four or five of us thought this would be a good idea at the time. Until the train lights and whistle kicked in.

Thanks to Shorpy for getting me thinking of how a God knows how many car freight train blowing past you at night and close enough to reach out and touch feels like from the late winter of early 1973.

The spur best not taken

Don't think I want to be switched onto that spur to the left. I wonder if there was originally an incline to move materials up the mountain?

 
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