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Cape Coral, Florida, United States

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cape Cod Railroad Bridge at Buzzards Bay

I love anything that has to do with a railroad.  There is something magical about trains and rails.  As a child I used to runaway to the local railroad station and be enchanted by the sights, sounds and smells of the railroad yard.  At  that time it was steam trains with massive  locomotives huffing and puffing. That gives away my age however, it is a sight that my children Chris and Matt and now my grandaughter Zoey will never expereince unless they visit a train museum.  So on this photo shoot I wanted to concentrate of this railroad bridge built in 1933. The bridge has a 544-foot  main span, with a 135-foot clearance when raised  It was a rail connection between Cape Cod and the rest of Massachusetts spanning the Cape Cod Canal.  It is still operational today by the  Cape Cod Railway  running narrated train excursions  from Hyannis to Buzzards Bay with an Elegant Dinner Train running on weekends.

Tower Detail Cape Cod Railroad Bridge
 I wanted to capture the bridge not just as a bridge rather as a work of art.  Look at the girder crossbeams and the patterns they make in this architectual style. The top towers have intricate patterns of geometric design sometimes looking rather gothic.   It  is a marvelous work of art designed by a engineering firm at the time located in New York.  What stories the ironworkers must have collected working on this bridge during those two years of construction.  This was a Public Works Administration project so many of these ironworkers were probably in their glory since work was not plentiful during that period.  The Great Depression was still lingering.  Imagine the workers on those dizzy heights constructing this bridge girder by girder with tools that today would seem somewhat primative; however 70+ years later here it stands in all its glory. 

Cape Cod Railroad Bridge Spanning the Cape Cod Canal
 In 2002 the bridge went through a major rehab to include new cables, machinery and electrical systems.  Chances are that it will still be here 70+ years from now.   It will be an iconic symbol of engineering and art as well as a tribute to the ironworkers that walked the  high girders at a time when riding the rails was the ultimate mode of transportation on a magic carpet made of steel!

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