view from the conductor’s car

Yesterday we went out to the Lake Shore Railway Association on State Route 18 in Wellington for a special photo opportunity.
We took a fall foliage ride on the Lorain & West Virginia Railway and got to ride in the caboose!

Chuck was sitting in the cupola for this shot of the floating bridge over the Black River.  It was built in 1907.
It doesn’t really float on the water. The car attendant wasn’t sure why it was called a floating bridge.
I couldn’t find an explanation online. It probably has to do with the way it is constructed.
fall foliage train ride Wellington 101015-04

I was standing outside on the caboose platform for this view as we crossed the Black River.
If my memory serves me correctly, we were 60+ feet above the Black River at this point.
fall foliage train ride Wellington 101015-03

7 thoughts on “view from the conductor’s car

  1. Normally the upper level projects farther out than the lower level that supports it, thus giving the appearance that it is floating, hence the term “floating bridge.” They normally construct them over water ways and if I’m not mistaken, in earlier times built them over rivers, moats, ponds, etc.

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    • Welcome to Lorain 365, Mr. Mason! Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of “floating bridge” construction. Everything I found online involved pontoons and water. I shot as we went along the length of the bridge and only saw two supports [one on each side of the river]. Looking down on the bridge in Google Maps, it looks longer than it seems when you’re on it.

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      • It is actually two separate structures resting on a center pier and end abutments. The construction is that of a standard deck girder railroad bridge. Of historic interest are the abutments of the former Lorain Ashland & Southern bridge directly east. You can follow the abandoned right of way from the train.
        In addition the rail you are riding on was produced at the Lorain Steel Plant while most of the rail hardware was produced at their subsidiary plant in Johnstown PA.

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        • Thanks for stopping by, Dennis! My husband got a shot of the bridge abutments you mentioned, but we didn’t know what kind of bridge they were for. So, I’m guessing by your description that this RR bridge is not a “floating bridge” after all?

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          • Since that bridge has been through several super storms (1913 and 1969) and is still firmly seated where it was placed (1906,7) I would say that it didn’t float. As the gentleman above mentioned the fact that the ties overhang the steel by several feet on each side it does give you that impression from the top or when riding.

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