Black Maria
Black Maria

Photos courtesy of Pat Durand

The new stub track at the Old Palmer Highway that I reported on earlier, is in regular service while the Knik River Bridge is being rebuilt. The side loading ramp is being used to drive loaded cement trucks onto a flat car. The locomotive crane (LC) then tows the car about two miles north to the bridge site. The other day the pile driver and the LC were back to back on the bridge installing the new piling working through the deck of the bridge. On Thursday, the cement truck was there to fill the pile with crew working on scaffolds over the river ice.

Sorry about the photo quality but you can only get them working when the morning sun is behind the bridge. My telephoto only reaches so far and it is .5 mile between the highway bridge and the railroad bridge. At first glance it appears the truck is driving on the top of the bridge side trusses, it really is on a flat car.

Here you have an unusual load, a use for that Walthers LC and the Bole Cement mixer truck on your HO railroad. A unique operation as well because the crew has to jump back and forth from the stub track to clear up to 18 trains a day on the busiest section of track on the ARR main line. Actually that is why they are trying to get the job done in the middle of the winter when traffic is way down.

From the bridge job site the LC and flat cars shuttle to and from the new stub track installed to provide access and clearance for B&B equipment when the dispatcher needs the main line for trains

Knik River Bridge #1 Knik River Bridge #2


Knik River Bridge Rehabilitation
April 10, 2004 Update

The B&B gang has been working all winter installing the replacement concrete piling and caps for the upgrade on the Knik River crossing. These photos were taken April 10, 2004 as an update to the continuing report on this project. They will continue working here until the gravel trains start up and summer traffic eliminates any work window for the crew. When all the new piers are in place then one new 100 foot section of bridge will be installed and the older 80 footers will be moved onto the new piers in stages. This will all happen while scheduled trains are routed over the work site between work windows.

This activity is an excellent example for modelers and operators to emulate and add some B&B action on their railroads while a bridge is undergoing rehabilitation.