Barge Has The Right of Way         
Old Trestle Open For Barge Traffic Columbia Ala. Sept. 1972
Date: 10/23/2011 Location: Columbia, AL   Map Show Columbia on a rail map Views: 442 Collection Of:   Thomas Kinney
Author:  Thomas Kinney
Barge Has The Right of Way
Picture Categories: Bridge,Action This picture is part of album:  Central of Georgia/Southern RR Crossing the Chattahoochee River At Columbia Alabama
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User Comments
Name Type Comments Date
Bryan Smith General Words can't describe the scene recorded here other than just amazing. I can remember seeing this trestle turned this way once when I was very young. I am very glad Mr. Kinney had the foresight to record this image for history's sake. 10/23/2011 7:26:49 PM
David Barrentine General Very nice, I have heard that there are some boxcars etc. in the river next to (I'm assuming the old trestle) from a derailment long ago. 10/23/2011 7:55:11 PM
Bryan Smith General The accident you refer to occured on February 20, 1905. The riverboat Queen City had just passed through and the bridge was turned as seen in the photo. A westbound passenger train (ironically train #13) left Hilton enroute to Dothan and failed to stop as required and the locomotive and tender ran off the trestle and into the river. In the photo above, the right side of the photo shows the Georgia side. The photographer is standing in Alabama. The train would have been coming from Georgia crossing into Alabama. Three crewmen on the train died and a combination baggage/coach dangled partially off the bridge. Nopassengers were killed although some in the combine were shaken up. The cause remains a mystery. The engineer was regarded as highly competant and had just met an eastbound passenger train at Hilton where the engineer on the eastbound said he warned the engineer on #13 about the riverboat and possible open drawbridge. Perhaps the combination of air brakes being in their 10/23/2011 8:53:53 PM
Bryan Smith General My dad continues to offer insights to these photos. He quickly noticed what appears to be a person standing on the trestle right at the mid point of the part that is turned. He said this would have been the person that actually turned the bridge. He said there was a "T" bar with long handles that fit a slot in the bridge. Inserting the "T" bar into this slot and turning it made the bridge turn. He said one person could easily operate it. That is amazing to me. That supposedly in the primitive times close to 100 years ago, someone had the intellect to build a bridge that could be turned by a single person. It must have been balanced perfectly. Amazing. 10/25/2011 8:00:49 PM
Bryan Smith General I asked my dad what would have happened if the person turning the bridge got it turned as you see it now but then had trouble getting it turned back for railroad use. While expecting a reply that would indicate this possibility was foreseen and a remedy had been put in place he simply said "Hell I don't know 'cause they d*mned sure didn't have cell phones back then." 10/25/2011 8:05:06 PM

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