Author Topic: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County  (Read 1942 times)

indrr

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THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« on: January 17, 2006, 08:36:53 AM »
Went on a little road trip this weekend along US 40.  Here are a few photos of the old Terre Haute Indianapolis and Eastern's underpass under the Pennsylvania's tracks in Wayne County.  It is located between East Germantown and Centerville, just east of the old PRR crossing of US 40 at Swallow Road and west of Greensfork Creek.  For those looking it up on topo maps, it is also just west of "Miser".

West of here, the interurban paralleled US 40 on the south side of the road.  When it hit the elevated PRR crossing of the highway here, it turned and crossed the highway to parallel the PRR on its north side for a short distance.  Just before crossing a minor creek, the interurban made a sharp corner to duck into the underpass at a right angle to the railroad.  Now on the south side of the railroad, but the north side of the highway, the interurban made a more gentle curve back to the east to parallel the highway again.  I believe it then stayed on the north side of the highway for at least part of the way towards Richmond (I think when it entered Richmond, it was back on the south side of the highway).

It is interesting that this underpass is actually made of cut stone.  I would guess that the interurban probably used an existing culvert, possibly rerouting the above-mentioned creek.  Furthermore, it is my guess that, when the interurban was built, the PRR grade was lower than it is now (one can see two distinct levels to the embankment), and the highway crossed the railroad at grade rather than a later underpass.  So in order to avoid a level crossing with the mighty PRR, the interurban was forced to find an alternative route to get across the railroad...thus leading to the interesting arrangement.  Can anyone confirm my guesses?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 02:12:54 PM by indrr »
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indrr

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2006, 08:37:40 AM »
Another, closer view of the south portal.  The north side is apparently completely gone.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 02:13:10 PM by indrr »
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indrr

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2006, 08:38:25 AM »
A view of the adjacent PRR bridge over the big creek.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 02:13:24 PM by indrr »
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indrr

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2006, 08:41:09 AM »
Lastly, here is a parcel map of the site showing that the interurban's right-of-way still exists on the books.

It is intriguing to note too that these two former ROW's are now listed as being owned by Wayne County.  The north side is obviously farmed over, but the south is apparently mowed and maintained.  I guess by the county.  I wonder how they wound up with the honor of owning old interurban ROW?

This is from the Wayne County online GIS, http://gisweb2.co.wayne.in.us/
« Last Edit: December 31, 2006, 02:13:39 PM by indrr »
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Gary(Guest)

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 07:33:29 PM »
Nathan, that is a very good explanation!!  I do think the roadbed was raised over time and as such, led to the present arrangement.   Hard to believe that is all that is left of one of the mighty PRR's main lines!!  Have you ever come across any historic pics of the bridge over US 40??  I remember seeing the bridge as a child, but..........time passes!!

blue2golf

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2006, 07:47:29 PM »
Outstanding shots.  To see the workmanship that must have gone into that stone entrance, and to see it's current sad state, makes me wonder what it was like in it's heyday.  Those old timers really put some sweat into what they built.
No train expert here fellas, just your average history buff...

CSX_CO

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2006, 05:09:58 PM »
To echo what the previous poster said, I offer my own examples.

I grew up in Roscoe, Illinois on a former CN&W line.  From recent readings, it turns this lowly 'branch' hosted the original 400's before a more direct route was created.

Anyway, the line had several cut stone portals under the elevated ROW to allow passage of cows between fields.  They were just wide enough for a bike, and absolutely beautiful to ride through.  The 'crown jewel' was the cut stone bridge on the outskirts of town.  It was a 2 arch bridge, and made of cut limestone blocks.  It was probably 60 ft tall, and the inside was filled with 'rubble'.  Water drained down through the top of the bridge (the top was about 10-15 ft of dirt and rocks in the shape of a berm), and was directed out of tubes at the bottom.  Bridge was constructed shortly after the Great Chicago Fire as S. Beloit sand quarries supplied sand to rebuilt the city in concrete and brick, rather then wood.

Truely impressive structure that will survive for the ages.  The town got the bridge designated a national historic structure.  Good thing too, there was talk of some developers building a 4 lane highway through the area and destroying the bridge.  The ROW is a now a nice trail from S. Beloit to the other side of the Boone County line near Harvard, Il.

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blue2golf

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Re: THI&E/PRR underpass, Wayne County
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2006, 08:56:43 PM »
Quote
Truely impressive structure that will survive for the ages.  The town got the bridge designated a national historic structure.  Good thing too, there was talk of some developers building a 4 lane highway through the area and destroying the bridge.  The ROW is a now a nice trail from S. Beloit to the other side of the Boone County line near Harvard, Il.


Just what the world would've needed, another highway [smiley=rolleyes.gif].  I'm glad it worked out Okay.  Those folks have a solid piece of history they can use and enjoy, not just look at, and get fit at the same time.

No train expert here fellas, just your average history buff...