Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge


Don Lee <donlee48@...>
 

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips




From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]

 

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.



Begin forwarded message:

 

From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>

Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges

Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT

Resent-From: msirt@...

 

Hello members,

 

Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).

 

Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.

 

“Jumbo”:

 

Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):

 

As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:

 

 

 

External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
 

Hi Don,

Yes, I kind have figured that out after watching the YouTube video I linked to, which shows the complete operation of closing the bridge, raising the smash boards, the passage of 2 trains plus a returning dead-head, then taking all steps to re-open it for boats.

One of those steps involves the crewman walking in circles with a giant wrench at the North end, obviously stabilizing the deck once it was over the abutment (and the reverse operation when opening the bridge). News articles claim that before the dispatcher was contacted about the signal, the crew inspected the apparently closed bridge, meaning they probably saw the rail locks in place. But, as you say, there would have been no way for them to know of the situation of the deck stabilizer. The engines and 2 tankers made it across, but that could have caused enough vibrations to displace the alignment more than a flange width a-kilter. I theorize the derailment occurred at the pivot end of the deck.

What puzzles me is the automation story. My understanding is, in order to eliminate the bridgeman, the process of opening and closing the bridge was an upgrade made so that train crews could initiate and perform the process from their cabs. After seeing that video, I can’t imagine the servo-robotics that can perform all the tasks shown done by that guy, i. e. throwing all the levers for the rail locks and locking down the giant stabilizing wedges for the deck, in addition to operating the winches (I theorize they probably eliminated the smashboards).

I don’t quite understand what you mean by the “dropping mitre rails”. The vid doesn’t show anything “dropping” in the manual operation. Was this a different rail locking process employed by the automation than the sliding horizontal rail stabilizers?

In case you didn’t receive my email with that video link, here it is again. Let me know if you still can’t see it.:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG7CjTDoLd8

On Sep 30, 2022, at 7:08 AM, Don Lee <donlee48@...> wrote:

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below. This isn't the first time that that has happened.

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement. Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point. When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground. On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment. Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel. When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge. This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails. As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement. At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place. The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure. The red signal did its job. The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear. The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.
From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips


From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]

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.


Begin forwarded message:

From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
To: "Members@..." <members@...>
Resent-From: msirt@...

Hello members,

Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).

Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.

“Jumbo”:
<image001.png>

Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
<image002.png>

As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vG7CjTDoLd8



External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


John Peters <boomerjdpeters@...>
 

Old memories...............When approaching the draw southbound there were no distant signals. The Engineer had one chance to see through the reeds in the swamp to catch site of the smashboard............If you missed it you had to be down on your hands and knees prepared to stop. The speed limit over the draw was 6 mph. In 1959 only two freights operated...........WY-841 and WY-843 turnarounds to Deepwater and Plant 1 Duponts. Both were long jobs, sometimes 16 hrs. Francis McIntyre and Andy Woodward were engineers. Don Lee, you father was on one job. 6022 & 6023 were regularly assigned locomotives. Extras sometime on Sunday when both engines were MU ed. Amazing how one Baldwin was all that was needed to haul these trains. WY-841 handling the anti-knock tanks for Westville Texaco via Bulson St......................real railroading of the past ! 5 man crews, no radios

Boomer


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Lee <donlee48@...>
To: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>; PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 7:08 am
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips



From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]
 
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.


Begin forwarded message:
 
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
Resent-From: msirt@...
 
Hello members,
 
Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).
 
Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.
 
“Jumbo”:
 
Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
 
As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
 
 
 
External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


Don Lee <donlee48@...>
 

Good memories for sure, John.  Yes, Dad was on whichever job worked days.  I rode with him once.  I had to have been 7 years old.  I don't remember all that much, but do remember shoving cars into AC Electric at Deepwater and having to be shut into the short hood end so that the DuPont security didn't see me in the engine.  I later learned by looking at one of my father's time books that the engine that day was 6022.  Although in its last days, the 6022 was the dog of the PRSL, it remained my favorite because it was the first engine I ever rode.  Your son John now has one of the builders plates from that engine.  My first two years on the PRSL were before radios.  If you needed to talk to a crew, you would flash a signal in their face a few times and someone would come to the phone.

From: John Peters <boomerjdpeters@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 11:54 AM
To: donlee48@... <donlee48@...>; bradford.phillips@... <bradford.phillips@...>; members@... <members@...>
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Old memories...............When approaching the draw southbound there were no distant signals. The Engineer had one chance to see through the reeds in the swamp to catch site of the smashboard............If you missed it you had to be down on your hands and knees prepared to stop. The speed limit over the draw was 6 mph. In 1959 only two freights operated...........WY-841 and WY-843 turnarounds to Deepwater and Plant 1 Duponts. Both were long jobs, sometimes 16 hrs. Francis McIntyre and Andy Woodward were engineers. Don Lee, you father was on one job. 6022 & 6023 were regularly assigned locomotives. Extras sometime on Sunday when both engines were MU ed. Amazing how one Baldwin was all that was needed to haul these trains. WY-841 handling the anti-knock tanks for Westville Texaco via Bulson St......................real railroading of the past ! 5 man crews, no radios

Boomer


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Lee <donlee48@...>
To: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>; PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 7:08 am
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips



From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]
 
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.


Begin forwarded message:
 
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
Resent-From: msirt@...
 
Hello members,
 
Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).
 
Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.
 
“Jumbo”:
 
Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
 
As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
 
 
 
External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
 

In 1964, I had temporarily dropped out of college and got a job at Chambers Works (DuPont) in Deepwater. I worked there for 3 years in the Petroleum laboratory, testing additives both chemically and on engine dynamometers. Do people here realize the plant had an extensive internal narrow gauge rail system? 

I’ve been looking for evidence of this. GPS is no help. DuPont is long gone and the property seems to be largely a bunch of small chemical operations, with most of the infrastructure ripped up. No evidence of that narrow gauge system from the satellite view. Only some standard gauge trackage accessing the few remaining industries in there.

On Sep 30, 2022, at 11:54 AM, John Peters <boomerjdpeters@...> wrote:

Old memories...............When approaching the draw southbound there were no distant signals. The Engineer had one chance to see through the reeds in the swamp to catch site of the smashboard............If you missed it you had to be down on your hands and knees prepared to stop. The speed limit over the draw was 6 mph. In 1959 only two freights operated...........WY-841 and WY-843 turnarounds to Deepwater and Plant 1 Duponts. Both were long jobs, sometimes 16 hrs. Francis McIntyre and Andy Woodward were engineers. Don Lee, you father was on one job. 6022 & 6023 were regularly assigned locomotives. Extras sometime on Sunday when both engines were MU ed. Amazing how one Baldwin was all that was needed to haul these trains. WY-841 handling the anti-knock tanks for Westville Texaco via Bulson St......................real railroading of the past ! 5 man crews, no radios

Boomer


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Lee <donlee48@...>
To: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>; PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 7:08 am
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips



From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...> 
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]
 
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.


Begin forwarded message:
 
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
Resent-From: msirt@...
 
Hello members,
 
Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).
 
Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.
 
“Jumbo”:
<image001.png>
 
Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
<image002.png>
 
As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
 
 
 
External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.

<image002.png><image001.png>


John Peters <boomerjdpeters@...>
 

Interesting story....................I read somewhere that circus Gypsies lived near the drawbridge in Pedricktown and had a pet elephant named "Jumbo".  hence the name adopted to the railroad bridge !

Boomer


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Lee <donlee48@...>
To: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>; PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 7:08 am
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips



From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]
 
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.


Begin forwarded message:
 
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
Resent-From: msirt@...
 
Hello members,
 
Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).
 
Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.
 
“Jumbo”:
 
Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
 
As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
 
 
 
External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


Don Lee <donlee48@...>
 

Never heard that before, John, but it makes sense.

From: John Peters <boomerjdpeters@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:11 PM
To: donlee48@... <donlee48@...>; bradford.phillips@... <bradford.phillips@...>; members@... <members@...>
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Interesting story....................I read somewhere that circus Gypsies lived near the drawbridge in Pedricktown and had a pet elephant named "Jumbo".  hence the name adopted to the railroad bridge !

Boomer


-----Original Message-----
From: Don Lee <donlee48@...>
To: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>; PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Sent: Fri, Sep 30, 2022 7:08 am
Subject: Re: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge

I don't know what's going on with PRSLHS email and/or my computer, but I am not getting all communications within the group. I have Brad's response here, but never received the original emails below.  This isn't the first time that that has happened.  

As to Michael's question about the cause of the Paulsboro bridge derailment, the bridge was not seated properly resulting in the bridge moving under the train movement.  Operationally, when the bridge is capable of moving it is attached to the ground only at the pivot point.  When closed for train movement it has to be firmly seated on the ground.  On each of the four corners under the bridge itself are steel seats attached to the bridge abutment.  Welded to the bottom of the bridge beams are tapered pieces of steel.  When closed a steel wedge is forced between the seat and the bottom of the bridge.  This wedge is connected mechanically to the miter rails.  As the miter rails are dropped into place the wedges are simultaneously forced into place to secure all four corners for train movement.  At the time of the derailment one or more of the mechanical linkages to the wedges failed to drive them in place.  The miter rails dropped, but the bridge was not secure.  The red signal did its job.  The bridge was not secure, therefore the signal would not clear.  The only way to visibly check the wedges was to get under the bridge which is something that train crews would not be trained to do and as I recall could not be done by anyone at high tide.  

From: Bradford Phillips <bradford.phillips@...>
Sent: Friday, September 30, 2022 12:43 AM
To: PRSLHS Members <members@...>
Subject: Fw: Paulsboro "A" Frame Moveable Bridge
 
Attached from my October 1967 drive through town.

Brad Phillips



From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2022 11:01 AM
To: members@...
Subject: Fwd: "A" frame Moveable Bridges [correction]
 
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.


Begin forwarded message:
 
From: Michael Sirotta <msirt@...>
Subject: "A" frame Moveable Bridges
Date: September 29, 2022 at 12:57:22 PM EDT
Resent-From: msirt@...
 
Hello members,
 
Some of you may remember an inquiry I posted last week about the former “A” frame swing bridge over Oldman’s Creek in Pedricktown on the Pennsgrove branch. I learned from a response it was called “Jumbo”. I was interesred because I grew up in Paulsboro, where we had one of those (well, we did, until a boat accident wiped it out).
 
Well, waddya’ know. Brian Yates’ link to the station photos has a picture of it. The caption (not visible - pic was oversized and I had to crop it) seems to call that operator’s shack a station. I doubt that. The bridge is in the middle of marshland. And there’s a picture of another one outside of wildwood.
 
“Jumbo”:
 
Grassy Sound station (Wildwood):
 
As I said, Paulsboro’s movable swing bridge was destroyed and has been replaced by a vertical lift bridge, but here is a wonderful YouTube showing a complete closing for Conrail traffic and then opening it up again for boat traffic. I love the smashboards:
 
 
 
External E-mail --- CAUTION: This email originated from outside of SIMCO.
Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.