Monday, June 23, 2014

Third District Bridges-Morello Avenue

I decided to take the long way home from the BAPM meet and do a little rail fanning on my chosen prototype.  Although I model 1944, seventy years later, some of those same structures are still in place.  But they are disappearing fast.

One such place is the Morello Avenue overcrossing just outside Martinez.  In 1952, it was designated Bridge A1170, a 35foot Ballast Deck Deck Girder (BDDG) bridge on the main with a 37 foot BDDG on the passing siding.

Vine Hill 1952 Track Chart

By 1992, the bridge had not changed, although the track chart no longer depicts Vine Hill siding and the bridge had been redesignated as Bridge 1169.1 in accordance with then current ATSF and still current BNSF practice.

Vine Hill 1992 Track Chart

I first discovered this bridge on an expedition to the East Bay in June 2011,  Here’s how it looked from the north.

B1170/1169.1 North Face 11 June 2011

Note the Grand Canyon Line Bridge Slogan

B1170 South Face

Note the absence of a Slogan and the absence of the passing track bridge

Hoping to get a bit more detail, I swung by the location after trying to duplicate the view of the Muir trestle.

Bridge 1169.1 South Face, 21 Jun 2014

So much for any more 1944 era details.  I’m sure the replacement made good sense to the BNSF in terms of maintenance, as the 2011 photos showed a need for a repaint.  I’m glad I caught the water tank and A-frame signal bridge at Bellemont, AZ back in 1988, as it too is long gone.  The old stuff is fast disappearing, shoot as much as you can today, because it may not be there tonight as the Tehachapi Depot fire proved.  Unlike 98 when I was shooting a combination of slide and print film, photons are free and digital storage not much more expensive. 

John Barry
Cameron Park, CA
23 June 2014

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