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Post Info TOPIC: Bridge Shanty


The Forum Celestial Advisor

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Bridge Shanty
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In 1983 I bid back to Everett GREB qualified as an operator and the first place they sent me was Bridge 10. I'd been out there as a clerk

delivering supplies in the early 70's and noticed it still had "levers" in the tiny office the kind that takes a little muscle to align switches/etc. 

So to get to Bridge 10 you had to pass the Weyerhauser security guard and then crossover Delta Yard to a tiny 3-car gravel parking lot right

next to Weyerhauser Kraft Mill. The Weyerhauser Kraft Mill was the "source of stink" that plagued the Everett area since it was built and my

"Bridge Shanty" was 500ft away from the tall stack with stink flowing from it. Then from the employee parking lot it was about a city block

long walk out onto the bridge using the walkway. So once you got there to the bridge shanty was an achievement already and you haven't

done anything yet. Back in late 70's BN closed/moved the Everett operator work to Bridge 10. So in this tiny Bridge Shanty was connections

to 3 different dispatchers, you controlled the Delta Jct interlocking and the Rogers and Bridge 10 controlled signals. Monitor 2-3 railroad radio

channels and the marine radio. Tugs pulling long rafts of logs and gravel barges and sawdust barges and Dagmars Marina that holds 1000's

of large pleasure craft that every weekend that "want by". Very crude working conditions. You had to bring your own water/food and the

only form of refrigeration was a bench outside the office door which worked for 9 months of the year. The "Incinolet toilet" dint get used much

by the male employees unless you wanted to add burning piss to Kraft Mill stench in the air. Dayshift you got to use the damn thing but after dark

its pee in the river. Bridge and shanty built in 1917 by the GN and it looks it. The tons of pigeon shit over the years. Breakdowns happen often and

you get a couple B&B and Electricians crammed in the tiny shanty trying figure out the problem while you are copying train orders.

Bridge 10 later was named Bridge 37 as its 37 miles north of King Street Station Seattle.



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Uke


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Interesting. Great pics K. Man! Hadda truck my ass up past that bridge when a lumber train stalled coming down from Sumas. Very old EMDs. The TM dispatched two Geeps up ta pull the train into Balmer. They ran outa fuel!

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I really enjoyed your pics, Mr. Krink.

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The Forum Celestial Advisor

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Well I have a few more pictures to add...the trains that came across. Every train going across the bridge feels/is like
an earthquake going on. Takes some getting used to. Rollbys from a foot away and hooping up orders. Thankfully
its 10mph across the bridge but when 125 car loaded coal train crossing the earthquake lasts a long time. The "Bridge Shanty"
lasted until 1995 when a new shanty was placed on top of the bridge. Yes I was the lucky one to be working when this transition
took place. So with the new shanty on top means climbing stairs to get there and to get down. The incinerator Mark X toilet down
trackside. Bridge inspections got to go down stairs. Also included with the new shanty was an auto control bridge swing to open
and close button. This feature opened the bridge to the proper spot and stopped and closed to proper spot. I can tell you that was
one great thing. Prior to that it was a lever with a knob that you moved one way to get the bridge opening and when you thought
it was time to stop you moved the lever to straight up which was brake. The brakes on the bridge you needed to test daily to see
how good/bad they were. Overswings very common and you dont want to go too far or .... But the test of your bridge swinging skills
is the alignment with the tracks and do you have it on target when you press the bridge lock button. I've seen others hit the bridge lock
button almost 2ft off target and a huge shake/shutter as the bridge lifts and locks into place. I got an hour of video of "bridge life" that
I hope I can share someday. So pictures of trains going across Bridge 37 might be kind of rare as only employees can be there.
After the BNSF merger in 1995 I dint take any pictures. The view from the top of bridge not good. Then the rumours...of eliminating
all clerks job on west coast. 15 years of working this bridge is enough I think.



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/download.spark?id=2231355&aBID=105367

Looks like trying to shake out a paper jam, We know its not seconds until the "Bounce" Test is administered.

How do we know that? The situation as depicted here involves non standard footware. The floor  is laced with

crumpled pieces of carpet to trip over. I'll bet it was just a pleasure to strap that co line wire headset on and

pull out the accordian handset, specially during a lightning storm.  Talk about "Becoming one with the bridge".

These are the kinds of pictures I like. People at work and their work environment. Thanks Krink for sharing,

and I'm always ready to see more. 





-- Edited by Calvin on Wednesday 24th of April 2019 09:02:17 AM

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The Forum Celestial Advisor

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One day at the bridge the typewriter went bad order. I think it was an IBM Seletric or something. Got to get a new/working
typewriter delivered to the bridge ASAP because we were still typing out train orders and line-ups. Everett depot found one and
got it out to the bridge right away to my delight/relief. So I called the Everett Terminal Manager to ask what to do with the B/O
typewriter and he said you can throw it in the river for all I care. So I planned a plan to freakout my relief just about the time
he was close to entering the office door. I ran out the office with the B/O typewriter over my head and yelling and tossed the typewriter
into the river. Made a big splash. I'm sure he thought I went nutzo which was the plan. He thought I was throwing a "perfectly good"
typewriter into the river. Not so Kimosabe. Plenty of broken office equipment tossed into the river and a few chairs. At one point in time
in the 80's the BN was experiencing a shortage of portable radios on the Bellingham Sub and the idea to have Bridge 37 hand-off and
receive portable radios lasted about 3 months. There is no training in handing off a portable radio to another person so to make a short
story shorter a lot of fumbled hand-offs/catches had the portable radio in the river. After 5 or 6 portable radios lost to the river the plan
changed. Stupid plan to begin with but it was just one of 100's.



-- Edited by The Krink on Thursday 25th of April 2019 01:41:53 AM

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