Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
I misstated the cause of the Paulsboro collapse. It was a derailment that took down the bridge, plus a chemical spill.
There was some weirdness with the signaling, but the bridge looked “closed", so dispatch ordered crew to ignore a red signal. Somehow 2 engines and 2 cars got across, but then the collapse happened. Does anyone know the exact cause? One report said the crew had inspected things first - rail locks were in place, I guess, but there would be no way of knowing about the deck lock at the North end. Unlocked? Maybe that was cause of the red signal? If the deck was not locked down, I can see it’s traversal by some considerable weigh could knock it out of position, despite the rail locks.
I was always curious about the “automation upgrade” so that crews could operate the whole closing and opening process remotely. What was done? There would have had to be heavy duty servos on the rail locks as well as on the deck fastening screw at the north end of the swing. I suppose automation eliminated the mechanical smashboards at both ends in lieu of just a plain red signal light.
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