1985 Highlights: A Return Trip to the Collapsed Bridge

An eastbound Conrail train crosses the Swanville trestle on Norfolk Southern.

On Friday April 5, 1985, Robert Surdky and I ventured back out to the reroute area for more action and also to see if we could explore the actual damaged Conrail bridge at Lake City, Pennsylvania.

We initially headed for the Swanville trestle with the hopes of getting Amtrak 49 in enough daylight.

We thought we would since on March 20th Amtrak 49 had appeared in enough morning light since it was lined up in the parade of Conrail trains to be rerouted in between regular NS trains. However, on this day Amtrak 49 was getting through close to on time.

It appeared at Swanville just at daybreak and came out fuzzy because of the film I used.

We were fascinated with the Swanville trestle because for photography it was wide open on both the east and west end and easy to get to without being on railroad property.

We kept the location on our list for an event that was to happen that summer.

When we investigated the bridge collapse we saw that it was stone blocks at the south end that had collapsed.

We heard that it was from years of repeated freezing and thawing.

Article and Photographs by Edward Ribinskas

When we needed Amtrak 49 to be late it was running close to on time when it reached the Swanville trestle.

Another eastbound Conrail train crosses the Swanville trestle.

A Conrail westbound comes off the connection from Conrail to Norfolk Southern at Manchester Road.

The damaged Conrail bridge at Lake City, Pennsylvania, over Elk Creek in a view made from the north side.

An eastbound Conrail intermodal train passes the NS yard office in Conneaut that is still lettered for Norfolk & Western.

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