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Five Across: 1910

Five Across: 1910

1910. "Grade separation under construction, probably upstate New York." Bring the family, and hold onto Junior! Maybe the rail historians out there can pinpoint where we are. 5x7 glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.


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More overpass

history can be found here.

They needed a poker

The problem with the concrete is simply, in my opinion, they did not have (1910 after all) or did not use properly, a vibrating poker when they poured the concrete in to the formwork. A poker settles the liquid concrete down by removing trapped air that is inevitably poured with the concrete. Thus they had air trapped inside that created the ugly and weakening pockets we see. There are probably others within. The structure may well have been weaker than planned due to this.

The overpass that "weren't"

We are near Prattsville, NY, looking at the new Schenectady & Margaretville RR overpass over Johnson Hollow Road. The logs seen here support narrow gauge construction tracks for carrying fill dirt.

The S&M failed after the bank financing it closed. The S&M, intending to link the Pennsylvania anthracite fields with New England via Albany, was never finished. This overpass survived as seen here for decades before being removed as a traffic hazard in recent years.

The only part of the scheme described above to actually see trains was the Delaware & Northern RR (Arkville to East Branch, NY), which folded in 1942.

Anyone wanting to know more can find "Rails Along the East Branch: The Delaware & Northern Railroad" by John Ham and Robert Bucenec (Stony Clove & Catskill Mountain Press, 2006) or "Delaware & Northern and the Towns It Served" by Gertrude Fitch Horton (Purple Mountain Press, 1989).


That view through the archway is like a painting.

Stir gently till all the lumps are gone.

I think they needed to mix their Concrete a little better.

What am I looking at?

Whoa, before location, can a rail historian please tell me what I'm looking at in the upper right area? I see logs instead of railway ties, all in the air, with rails banking like a roller coaster instead of a train.

[In the caption, note the crucial words "under construction." - Dave]

I still don't get it. Is this a rough draft? Why not wait till they have the landscaping done till they rough out the tracks? Or is it possible this was a temporary track actually used by real trains?

Dept. of Grave Misgivings

High anxiety.

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