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CP Sabula Bridge

An eastbound Canadian Pacific freight crosses the Mississippi River at Sabula, Iowa on a crisp March, 1997 afternoon. This ex-Milwaukee line is now operated by Iowa, Chicago & Eastern.
Interesting bridge, the three spans in this shot all look like they are of a different design. I like the reflection. Does the sun ever get around to this side of the bridge, definately worth doing in the right light.
My DeLorme Atlas shows this bridge oriented a very few
degrees southwest of due east-west, so I would expect good
lighting from this, the north (Sabula, Iowa) side of
the bridge on sunny summer afternoons. In addition,
trains turn north on the east side of the river, so
multiple sunlit angles are possible with a telephoto.
The problem is that IC&E only runs about four trains/day
across the bridge - and only one or two are possible
late afternoon candidates.

As for me, I'm happy with the backlit bridge scene
as long as the water is still enough to provide an
interesting reflection.

- Ed Kyle

A bit more info on this bridge. I didn't find it
when I was briefly there, but maps seem to show
accessible areas from which it might be possible
to view the south side of the bridge. A boat
would help too, of course!

The bridge itself dates from the 1880s, with a
major rebuild having occurred in 1906. It
consists of a through-truss swing-span (right
side of my photo) near the west (Sabula) shore
of this channel of the river (another channel,
which the railroad crosses on a fill, passes
west of Sabula - the only town in Iowa to reside
entirely on an island!) The next span to the
east, the center span of my photo, appears to
be a Parker "Camelback" (Pratt) through-truss.
East of it are a series of standard Pratt through-truss spans.

The swing-span was struck and damaged by a barge
tow during the late 1990s, but IMRL (the owner at
the time) was able to repair it quickly.

I took the photo from a pleasant riverside park
that extends along the riverfront in this
interesting town. If you like bridges, you'll
also have to drive across the Savanna-Sabula
Mississipi highway bridge that dates from the
1930s. It is a one of the longer truss bridges

- Ed Kyle

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