Morell River swing bridge pictures

I found these pictures on the Picturing the Past website:

click on the image to visit the Picturing the Past website

Click on the image to visit the Picturing the Past website

Click on the image to visit the Picturing the Past website

Allan Graham’s book includes a reference to this bridge and it describes a wooden truss bridge. The one pictured above is clearly iron and quite sharp looking. If I recall Allan’s book also includes a photo of the wood bridge.

What I found so interesting about this photograph is the pier used to support the pivot point for the bridge. The photo itself is a great one with lots of detailed images. What intrigued me so much was seeing what is a wood structure yet the same pier that I photographed last Sunday is stone:

I assume that the older shots that I opened this post with are from the very earliest part of the twentieth century and were taken around the time when CN was assuming control of the line. Maybe they are older and are dated from Swinyard’s report on the railway? Any ideas? In this direction I assume that CN later rebuilt the bridge and replaced the wood piling/pier with a stone one. Not that I need anything else to distract myself with, and I really don’t(!), but I am really thinking about how great a model of this bridge would be if built as a module to set into a club layout. Either in standard gauge to use with our local UMG club layout or in something like On30 (yup, can’t shake that temptation either) for use in something like the modules the guys in Nova Scotia are working on.

Categories: PEIR Souris Subdivision

Tags: , , ,

4 replies

  1. The older photos were taken in 1916, as part of an engineering study by leading up to the standard- gauging project of the 1920s.This survey included every bridge on the PEIR at the time, and there are literally dozens of photos from this survey in the CSTM collection. I’ve examined the album personally and it is fascinating. . Many were not much more than culverts.

    This lightly built bridge would have been disappeared as standard gauge track extended along the Souris Subdivision in the 1920s.

    The round stone pier is much farther out into the river than the original bridge’s pivot, very possibly dating to the 20s although one might expect to see concrete.

    You will see an arc of old pilings in the river, near the east shore, that once supported the original span as it opened.

    Hope this helps!


  2. One further note…the clump of pilings near the round stone pier is the original location of the pivot for the first bridge.

    The PEIR obviously replaced the original wooden bridge with a very similar wooden span at some point prior to 1916. I’m guessing it was in the 1895-1910 period when so much of the original PEIR construction was upgraded.

    The original wooden span is detailed in a PEIR blueprint in the National Archives collection.


    • I saw the pilings when we were there on Sunday. So if I understand correctly they shifted the pivot to the other end when the bridge was rebuilt? That’s interesting.

      I’ve never looked through the National Archives before. Is it tricky? I’d like to see those plans.

  3. Typo.. should read “replaced the wooden span with a very similar IRON span”… how embarrassing, oops.



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