Rail Drawbridge over the Duwamish

This drawbridge carries the rail traffic from terminal 5 on the west bank of the Duwamish to the main rail corridors.  This picture was taken from the foot path on the Spokane Street Swing Bridge.  You see it almost always in the up position, and and because it looks old and rusted you might conclude that it has been abandoned like this bridge ...

... but the map tells a different story, see placemark.

  

Below is another view of this bridge and you can zoom to a high resolution version here.   I managed to  wander up on the bridge to the small two story  control house where i had brief  conversation with the bridge tender which went something like this:
Me: Hello
Tender: Yeah.
Me: I'm just curious when do they put the bridge down?
Tender:
When a train comes.
Me: I figured that but how often does it happen?
Tender: whenever ... whenever thers trains ... there's no set schedule
Me: what's it like once a week, once a month?
Tender: We have five ten trains a day.
Me: When do you think it will go down next?
Tender: I have no idea ... when a train comes, then it goes down
Me: Thanks a lot.
After which he warned that i was on private property and that i had better get off or he would call security and something about "With the added security, you don't get a lawyer".  It's interesting to slowly become aware that freight trains don't run of schedules.   Me thinks that 5-10 trains a day is a bit of an exaggeration.  Well, maybe some day i'll manage to find it down and show you some more pictures.

(More pictures in comments bleow)


Tags

  1. bridges
  2. railroad
  3. duwamish
  4. ports
  5. drawbridges
  6. placemark
  7. my photos
  8. maps
  9. port of seattle
  10. item 7793

Comments


Seth says
Here is a view that shows more of the workings of the bridge.  If anyone can figure out where the motors are and how it works, let me know ...



Mark de LA says
A large part of the engine must be housed behind the big grey structure at the bottom of the crane.  Usually such things work with large pulleys like the big cranes at the loading docks.

Seth says
M 2007-07-10 13:42:11 7793
A large part of the engine must be housed behind the big grey structure at the bottom of the crane.  Usually such things work with large pulleys like the big cranes at the loading docks.



if you mean the two story control tower, I don't think there is anything on the other side of that structure except the rail. 

I think that the whole bridge is balanced by the large concrete block and pivots around the central hub when the two  weights (marked with a red X below) steel beams on either side of the structure are slid twards the center of the hub.

That's my guess.




Seth says
Actually the machinery must be housed in a structure behind the Northern Pacific sign ...




Seth says
A view down the tracks from the other side of the river ...




Seth says
My current theory is that the platform holding the Northern Pacific structure rides relative to the traverse bars ...




Seth says
A view showing the giant concrete block that counterbalances the weight of the bridge.  Compare the size with the height of the door in the control tower.




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