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Tunnel Vision: 1910

Tunnel Vision: 1910

Detroit circa 1910. "Michigan Central Railroad tunnel." Another view of the electrified tracks going under the Detroit River. View full size.


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Dental Work

Brace yourself. Not only do we have the route canal going into the cavity under the river, but this image is crowned with bridge work going on a bit right of center. At least the debris and powder that was gumming up the tracks below the crest in a previous Shorpy post has been cleaned up. About the only thing missing are canines.


The standard tell-tale design had ropes on 3" centers for a width of 8 feet over the track, the bottoms of the ropes 6" lower than the height of the obstruction and placed 100 feet before the obstruction. Today trains do not have walkways on top of the cars or means to get to the roof.

Mystery pipes

Does anyone know for sure what those vertical "pipes" were, that hang from either side of the bridge from the overhead cable? My guess would be that it is some sort of "low clearance" warning system to protect obstructions on the bridge from high trucks or trains.

[The obstructions don't need protecting. The telltales are there to protect you, if you're a brakeman, from the obstructions. -Dave]

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