|CN Third Welland Canal Railroad Bridge||Truss||Railroad (CN)||Niagara Region, ON||Rural||Third Welland Canal|
During my trip to the Niagara area I visited two swing bridges, this one and the railroad swing bridge in Welland. I was led to this bridge by a friendly man at Stone Church Winery, which I visited while in the area. This bridge is an interesting comparison to the Welland Railroad bridge. This bridge has one truss span sitting on the center support, whereas the Welland Railroad Bridge has two truss spans connected to a structure which is sitting on the center support. Neither of these two swing bridges swing any more, but trains still pass over this Welland Canal 2 Railroad Bridge frequently, as the very shiny tracks show. The bridge also shows signs of being repaired, including a few new i-beams under the deck, as well as additional steel on the portal bracing.
The configuration of this bridge is a camelback warren through truss. V-lacing and lattice are present on many members of the bridge. Supports and abutments for the bridge are stone. Connections on the bridge are riveted. The bridge carries two tracks on it, both well used.
This is a very impressive bridge to visit. It is a large bridge, and the camelback shape adds to the feeling of size. Water only flows under half of this bridge these days, the other half was all dirt. Old locks are visible to the south of this bridge.
Thanks to Fred Herriot, who emailed me the following additional information regarding the bridge:
The bridge itself carries two tracks of the
Canadian National Railway and VIA Rail between Saint Catharines [and from beyond
to Hamilton and Toronto] and Niagara Falls [and from beyond to Buffalo and New
York City]). These tracks were originally part of the Grand Trunk Railway
The section of the Welland Canal this bridge crosses is known historically as the "Third Welland Canal," operating from the 1880s to the 1930s. This version of the canal was shut down in 1932 when the "Fourth Canal" went into operation.
The bridge itself was built to take the place of a cut-stone tunnel, the Grand Trunk Railroad Tunnel, which is located about two hundred metres (600 feet) to the south-west of the bridge. The tunnel does leak, but it is still (I believe) passable.