Often travelled. Rarely seen.

I am taking part in the :

Daily Post Photo Challenge: BRIDGE

I grew up in Gosford on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. I must have taken the rail journey from Gosford to Sydney via the Hawkesbury River Railway Bridge dozens and dozens of times. Everyday thousands of commuters, travellers and hundreds of tons of freight make the journey over this bridge. But I wonder how many travelling this route have actually seen the bridge, apart from the limited view through the metal struts.

It took me till my fifties to get a real view of this familiar yet unfamiliar span. These pictures were taken from a motor boat just west of river town of Brooklyn (far from the New York borough) as a freight train trundled over the bridge.

I put a post-slate filter over these photos to accentuate the metallic struts.

Hawkesbury River Bridge slate

Hawkesbury River Rail Bridge 2

This is the second construction of the Hawkesbury River Bridge. The sandstone piers of the first bridge remain as historic markers. This first bridge was opened in 1889 as part of extension of the rail line to replace a three-hour long paddle-steamer service that took passengers from Brooklyn to Gosford. The bridge gave around fifty years of service before severe cracking was discovered in one of the piers.

A lone tree with million dollar views over the picturesque Hawkesbury river can just be seen poking out from the top of the old pillar.

Old pylon

Construction of the new bridge took place during the WW11 years starting in 1940 and finally finishing in 1946. The train trip from Brooklyn to Gosford via the bridge now takes a total of 25 mins. However, the current bridge has problems of its own. It appears the depth of sediment on the river bed (before penetrating bedrock) and heavy loads eventually take their toll. Last year an engineering report revealed that there was cracking in the concrete piers as well as defects in the steel frame. http://coastcommunitynews.com.au/2016/12/hawkesbury-river-bridge-freight-train-limitations-imposed/

Perhaps before this century is out a third set of piers will be sunk into the mud of the Hawkesbury River.

4 thoughts on “Often travelled. Rarely seen.

  1. Pingback: WPC: Bridges | Lillie-Put

  2. I am glad you waited for a train before you took the pictures.

    There was a plan here to bridge a river where the soils are silt and sand and there is no bedrock for at least a thousand metres or more. Thankfully a change in government will see this plan scrapped and the current tunnel enhanced and twinned.

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    • Wow a thousand metres – yes a tunnel it seems would be a better option although also would have to go very deep to tunnel though bedrock. I didn’t have to be quick with the shot – it was a very long train. The weight of two of these trains if passing would be enormous.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Bridge View | What's (in) the picture?

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