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CSX and Amtrak Railroad Overpass

   


CSX and Amtrak Railroad Overpass

Primary Photographer(s): Randy Mulder

Bridge Documented: May 16, 2011
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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (CSX) Over Railroad (Amtrak)
Location
Rural: Berrien County, Michigan
Structure Type
Metal Through Girder, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
Not Available
Roadway Width
Not Available
Spans
1 Main Span(s) and 2 Approach Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)

Bridge Documentation

Located a short distance east of a township park, this is an uncommon railroad over railroad grade separation. This structurally unusual bridge is heavily  skewed and as a result it has specially shaped triangular bents. The bridge is a crossing of two Amtrak passenger routes. The lower railway is owned by Amtrak (from Porter IN to Kalamazoo MI, the longest segment it owns outside its Northeast Corridor) and carries the Detroit and Port Huron trains to Chicago, while the upper CSX railroad line carries the Amtrak train from Grand Rapids. These routes run about a mile or two apart from here southwest 25 miles to Porter Indiana before joining together. Because of this separation, when the city of New Buffalo (1.5 miles southwest of this crossing) in 2009 moved its Amtrak station 7 blocks north from the CSX tracks to a new facility on the Amtrak line, they gained passenger access to Detroit and Port Huron, but caused the Grand Rapids train to end 15 years of stops at New Buffalo. The Amtrak line can run up to 95 mph, and they hope to boost it to 110.

An additional lower rail line obviously present when the bridge was built is now gone. The lower line was originally built as the Michigan Central (1849), and the upper line was built no earlier than 1870 (Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore). The grade separation bridge seen today would not be original to either railroad line.

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