Huntingburg Rail Bridge

Huntingburg, IN

38.298117,-86.927032

On 10 September 2012 a group from the UIUC AREMA Student Chapter had an opportunity to observe the span replacement of a trestle crossing Bruner Creek just to the west of Huntingburg, IN. The bridge is at milepost 200.3 West in Southern East district of the Norfolk Southern Illinois Division.

The existing bridge contained separate deck spans for the mainline and siding tracks. The entire structure was 186 feet long with a 70-foot span and probably dated from sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's.

The approaches were reconstructed under the active line in the months prior to the span replacement. The replacement span was constructed just to the north of the existing span. On the replacement day, the track was shut down from 8am to 6pm. The old track and spans were removed in the morning. The new span was rolled into place on casters, lifted on jacks to remove the casters, and then lowered onto four corner bearings. The contractor was Cooper Rail Service

While the line was shut down, some repair work was done on a smaller bridge just to the East over Hunley Creek. Standing water had corroded some H-beam piers at the waterline and new metal was welded over the corroded area.

The bridge workers estimated that the Hunley Creek bridge also dated from the late 1960's, which was a difficult period for the railroads as they faced declining traffic due to highway competition while still dealing with a cumbersome regulatory regime dating from a time when railroads had a monopoly on freight traffic. The infrastructure of this period seemed to suffer, with bridge crews making do with whatever capital and materials were available. Accordingly, the substructure of the Hunley Creek bridge had a haphazard quality, especially in comparison to the better-capitalized reconstruction of the new bridge over Bruner Creek.

We build for our descendants. Our job is to be good ancestors.

Special thanks to Howard Swanson and Randy Ziliak of the Norfolk Southern Railroad for their invitation and hospitality, and to Brennan Caughron, president of the UIUC AREMA Student Chapter, for organizing the field trip.

09/10/2012
Bridge Move Video
09/10/2012 04:03:32
The railroad is the enemy of sleep
09/10/2012 07:56:16
Southern Indiana
09/10/2012 07:59:10
Southern Indiana
09/10/2012 08:26:26
St. Joseph's Church, Jasper
09/10/2012 12:37:56
Huntingburg Terminal
09/10/2012 08:45:14
Arriving
09/10/2012 08:47:02
Driving to the job site
09/10/2012 08:52:34
Service road
09/10/2012 09:02:44
Ariving at the job site
09/10/2012 09:04:38
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 09:05:56
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 09:20:00
Removing the old span
09/10/2012 09:20:24
Removing the old span
09/10/2012 09:25:26
Removing the old span
09/10/2012 09:41:52
Riser block
09/10/2012 09:49:38
Vacuuming holes in riser block for grouting
09/10/2012 09:50:30
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 09:52:10
West approach
09/10/2012 09:52:22
New span
09/10/2012 09:52:26
Ready for the new span
09/10/2012 09:55:18
Guideway and falsework
09/10/2012 09:56:22
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 09:57:36
Discussing the reconstruction of the approaches
09/10/2012 09:59:10
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 10:02:20
Abutment at the West approach
09/10/2012 10:05:14
132-lb rail circa 1970
09/10/2012 10:09:36
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 10:14:14
Grouting epoxy
09/10/2012 10:14:28
Preparing for the move - north side of span
09/10/2012 10:14:46
Casters
09/10/2012 10:15:16
Construction falsework
09/10/2012 10:17:14
Under the new span
09/10/2012 10:57:52
The new span before movement
09/10/2012 10:58:16
Track hoes in place
09/10/2012 10:59:04
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:05:54
Cable
09/10/2012 11:07:22
Moving
09/10/2012 11:07:38
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:07:58
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:10:22
First person to cross the bridge
09/10/2012 11:11:12
Mr. Cooper?
09/10/2012 11:13:02
Track hoes
09/10/2012 11:13:14
Track hoes
09/10/2012 11:14:28
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:16:00
New span
09/10/2012 11:17:32
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:20:06
Final 1/8 inch
09/10/2012 11:27:06
Southeast jack
09/10/2012 11:28:42
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:29:16
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:30:24
Detritus from old bridge
09/10/2012 11:33:32
Jack
09/10/2012 11:36:24
Jack
09/10/2012 11:37:42
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:38:08
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:53:22
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 11:57:28
Caster
09/10/2012 12:07:58
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 12:08:58
In place
09/10/2012 12:09:10
SW bearing
09/10/2012 12:11:56
Huntingburg Rail Bridge
09/10/2012 12:48:28
Lunch
09/10/2012 13:12:34
High rail dump truck
09/10/2012 13:15:40
Handbrake sign at yard
09/10/2012 13:21:48
The New Bridge!
09/10/2012 13:27:32
Walking to the Hunley Creek job site
09/10/2012 13:31:22
Northeast side of the span
09/10/2012 13:31:50
Under the boardwalk
09/10/2012 13:32:32
Piers
09/10/2012 13:33:56
Corrosion
09/10/2012 13:34:54
Welding
09/10/2012 13:46:46
Haphazard steelwork
09/10/2012 14:08:16
Northeast side of the span
09/10/2012 14:08:56
Hunley Creek looking north at Hwy 64
09/10/2012 14:09:10
Hunley Creek looking south
09/10/2012 14:10:04
Leaving the job site
09/10/2012 14:15:22
High rail truck
09/10/2012 16:32:14
Dairy Queen
09/10/2012 17:36:08
Steam heat
09/10/2012 18:32:10
Done