Mississippi River Crossings

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  • Member since
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  • From: South Central,Ks
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Posted by samfp1943 on Saturday, September 29, 2018 12:47 PM

Overmod

Since this thread has been 'bumped', I have a note (that requires some amplification or confirmation from someone like Johnny Degges who knows the full details).

It was noted early on that the bridge crossings from St. Louis south are at high level.  Something I would note is that, in the Memphis area, when ferry crossings were used prior to 1892, railroads terminated to the northwest of the city, where the approach is low-grade almost right to the river (indeed, right to the river at its right 'stage') whereas the present bridges are at the top of the 'bluffs' considerably south, near the elevation of both Central Station and the site of Union Station, where the high-level crossing involves little elevation change on the east bank.  Several of the ROWs to the ferries still survive, either in truncated operation or as visible traces of track or grading.

 

 

         The 'original' postings By Dale, Nanaimo73 was quite the work, and a real source for documentation.  I had printed off the original thread, and have it for a 'reference'. I have held my breath that it would not get lost as the Forum goes through some of the 'updates'.... It is certainly, nice to see it "Bumped' back to a relevent area.  

  Just for a little note, and to add to the aspects of some of the History of the Mississippi River, in its middle course.   There is a still operational ferry, at the area of St. Genevieve, Mo and Modoc, Il.  [auto/truck traffic]

  And also, in the area of Hickman, Tn to Dorena, Mo [auto/truck traffic]

 The site of the M&IMRR Ferry Crossing, and later, Rock Island Crossing between the area of Memphis, Tn. and West Memphis. Ar.(?) is still visible under the east abutments of the Mem/Ark Bridge[Brdg.50], Harahan Brdg[Brdg.51] And in part is used by a local River Tug Boat replensihment operator. and the next is the Frisco Br., orig. was KCFS&M[Brdg52]now BNSF.   Currently, there is the latest Bridge crossing which is it I-40 Interstate crossing, located about 2 mi.(?) north of the other bridges.

 

 

Sam

 

 


 

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Posted by arkrail on Saturday, September 29, 2018 7:02 PM

samfp1943
Reaching back, at one time, the original(?) M&NA RR had track from area of Joplin,Mo. to Neosho,Mo. [via KCS trackage rights] then Eastward to Calico Rock,Ar. and Harrison, Ar.. Eventually, to Helena,Ar. [ there was a Miss. River Ferry connection from the Helena area to Friars, Pt. Ms., and connection to the IC RR [both N&S] in area of Friar's Point. I think that was,in part, the Pullman and RPO connections, mentioned.

The Pullman and RPO connections that I discussed had nothing to do with the considerably later river crossing which IC predecessors established between Trotters Point MS and Helena AR.  The Pullman and RPO operated via a rail ferry which briefly operated between Arkansas City AR and Huntington MS - Huntington being on a short LNO&T branch northwest from Leland MS.  This ferry crossing was long abandoned before the M&NA ever arrived in Helena.  I am not sure about possible Pullman service into Helena on the Y&MV/IC ferry, although there was at one time parlor car service between Helena and Memphis over the Y&MV.  I am not aware of any RPO service which operated into Helena over the IC ferry.

Bill Pollard

(PS - the M&NA didn't pass through Calico Rock, that was the Missouri Pacific's White River Division. The M&NA passed through St. Joe, Leslie and Marshall, about 40 miles west southwest of Calico Rock.)

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, September 30, 2018 9:01 PM

samfp1943
The site of the M&IMRR Ferry Crossing, and later, Rock Island Crossing between the area of Memphis, Tn. and West Memphis. Ar.(?) is still visible under the east abutments of the Mem/Ark Bridge[Brdg.50], Harahan Brdg[Brdg.51] And in part is used by a local River Tug Boat replenishment operator...

There are not 'two' bridges with those names at this site; there is only the Harahan Bridge (now enhanced with the Big River Crossing walkway on the north side) and it is highly unlikely that there is anything except ruins at the east abutment of that bridge as the current is very fast and shifting at that location. 

Due north is the Hernando DeSoto highway bridge, which as noted carries the I-40 part of the I40/55 crossing in the Memphis area.  (See below for the 'other')  Is this the bridge that had the tugboat provisioning nearby (perhaps technically in the Wolf River 'mouth' part east of Mud Island?)

and the next is the Frisco Br., orig. was KCFS&M[Brdg52]now BNSF.

Almost immediately south of the Harahan bridge is the old Frisco bridge, built 1892, which is currently in the throes of a tremendous rebuilding (the long approach up to the river from the west being rebuilt with THREE-track sized piers, room each side of the current structure and pier line, so there will be little problem enhancing this crossing's capacity in future).  It will be sad to see the existing structure taken down, but the promise of multiple tracks is great especially with the 'crossing' at Central Station rebuilt from 5mph with stop signs as it was years ago.

Not far south of the Frisco bridge is a cramped steel cantilever bridge from the late '40s, which is the whole crossing provided for Interstate 55 traffic to the south (and connection to the 240 loop, many distribution-center locations, and presumably much of the I-69 south feeder when that route is built out, as the diversion around through Millington and then 385 is likely to be much longer for vehicles going south).  Back in the Clinton years there were all sorts of discussion what the routing for I-69 would be, with Shreveport(!) and Springhill (!!!) being in contention at one point in the early-middle Nineties.  But there is little hope at this point of a Mississippi crossing to 'relieve' the decidedly unpleasant situation with the old bridge, particularly as TNDOT does incompetent 'maintenance' on it presumably with their usual inflated schedule and slipshod engineering.  It is wise to be a passenger if watching trains from this crossing in either direction...

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