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Hoosier Railroad Ghosts

Finding the reflections of what once was in what is.

  Jamestown Interurban Bridge
Location: Just south of Jamestown on the Hendricks County side of the county line. From Indianapolis, take US 136 northwest to just before Jamestown. The road parallels the CSX (former NYC) track to Crawfordsville. The Terre Haute Indianapolis & Eastern grade parallels the tracks and is marked by power lines. The bridge is hard to miss if you're looking to the north side of the road. An alternative to driving is to take Amtrak's Cardinal; even in the early morning, the white concrete bridge is easy to spot. Other bridges and culverts along the line also still exist from Brownsburg on north, but this one is apparently the largest and definitely most accessible.
  History: Coming soon.
  What's left: The entire bridge, with some 100 years of aging.
  Map: 2001 aerial (from Hendricks County); 1958 aerial showing area (from EACI). Notice that the bridges are probably the most constant structures in the photos.

Photos: Taken 12/21/02

The bridge from the southwest side, the side next to the CSX tracks. Same side, looking closer The detailing on the bridge is an example of the craf The shady side of the bridge. The concrete on this side is in poorer condition than the other. Another view of that side. Typical for bridge piers, upriver side is angled to keep debris from piling up.
The year. I can't tell quite what it is, possibly 1903 or 1908. Either case makes the bridge younger than the line. This bridge probably is a replacement for a temporary one. The end of the bridge. It's easy to see the structure of the deck. Unlike the railroad bridge next to it, this was a ballasted deck. Looking southeast along the grade across the bridge. There are some puddles of standing water on the deck. The view to the northwest. The power line is just next to the old grade. US 136 is to the left of the CSX tracks. A cut wooden pole on the north side of the bridge, possibly one of the line poles. Or it could be a fence pole, but it's only a few feet from the water's edge and there are no others along the river.
The same pole, looking toward the river. My fiancée acting like a pole on a possible pole location on the top of the bridge. There are what look like bolt holes under her feet, but I'm not sure exactly what they were for. The CSX tracks are still very active with traffic between the old Monon at Crawfordsville and Indianapolis. The THI&E track was only a short distance away from the NYC. An old telegraph crossbar is bolted to the underside of the north side, parallel to the river. Another bar is in the debris under the bridge. I'm not sure why it was there.