The Beauty of Railroad Bridges In North America - Then and Now

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The story of the railroad bridge in North America is also a part of the history of the development of the railroad in the United States and Canada. The expansion of railroads across the continent was reflected in the necessity for improvements in bridge design. This volume is a pictorial salute to the designers and builders of these beautiful, utilitarian and often monumental railroad engineering structures.

Technically, a bridge is a structure over a river, ravine or other opening in the earth’s crust, for the purpose of sustaining a moving load. This,in the case of the railroad bridge, consists of a heavy locomotive and train coming on at one end, rushing rapidly over the bridge, and off at the other end.

Railroad bridges are divided into classes:

  1. The beam or girder
  2. The framed truss
  3. The arch
  4. The suspension bridge
  5. Or any combination of any of these classes

The form used the most for the purpose of of railway bridges in North America is the framed truss which can be built either stationary, swing, lift or raised. Bridges are built of stone, wood, iron, steel, brick and concrete. All of these classes and types are fully described and illustrated in this volume.

The Beauty of Railroad Bridges by Richard J. Cook was designed for those who, like the author, find bridges a fascinating subject, especially those designed for railroads. This is a book for the layman, written by a non-professional who loves trains and all things connected with railroads, such as bridges, and who does not profess to have technical knowledge of bridge engineering or design.

Come celebrate the beauty of railroad bridges and their ability to combine that symmetry with a necessary practicability: the movement of restless trains.

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Golden West Books; 1st edition (June 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870950975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870950971
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Hardbound, 208 pages, 300 illustrations, plans, bibliography, and index.


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