A bridge too mysterious

19 02 2011

The only thing rarer than a riding day in February, is two consecutive riding days in February.

But with the sun still shining, I managed to squeeze in another late afternoon 51 km dash.

Well, it was hardly a dash. A headwind from the west made the ride out seem interminable. It also made it feel a lot colder than yesterday.

That sun and bright blue sky means it's cold.

But the molasses-like outbound speed was redeemed on the homeward leg with the wind now at my back.

Since I started taking the river route, I have been mystified and intrigued by the old railroad swing bridge that spans the river. It’s a relic from another era, with creosote timber trestles approaching at each end. It’s still operational, as I’ve seen trains in the area before, but it’s always open when I ride past it.

The old railway swing bridge on the way home.

Which is what mystifies me. The control office seems to be in the middle of the bridge, high in the superstructure. But if the bridge is always open by default, how does the operator get up into the office when the bridge needs to be closed for an approaching train?

If the bridge is open, how does the operator get to his perch?