11 September 2011

Coalbaggie Creek

Its time to approach Eumungerie, so we can spend a few posts describing the epicentre of this blog.  

Approaching Eumungerie from the south, trains were required to cross Coalbaggie Creek.  It is a modest water course of only 57 kilometres, commencing to the east of the railway and working its way south west until it empties into the Macquarie River.

Despite the modest nature of the water course, the railway infrastructure required at this location was only second in size to that needed for the crosssing of the Talbragar River.  However, unlike the wooden truss bridge provided originally to cross the Talbragar River, the Coalbaggie Creek bridge's truss was placed under the rail line. 
The major part of the bridge's superstructure is a Howe iron truss, which supported by six timber piers. The following photograph, taken around 1987, shows one span of the structure.

The result is, at track level, an unobtrusive and understated structure.  A trespasser took this photograph from the bridge's southern approach to demonstrate a driver's view of the bridge.

While unobstrusive, the inherent strength of the Howe truss has meant that the bridge has survived over a century without major change, unlike the more substantial and now-replaced Talbragar River bridge.  That is, I suspect the iron truss is original - fabricated in 1903.  There was a major rebuild of the bridge in 1955, which probably involved the full replacement of the wooden piers.

Now, 108 years after its creation, the bridge is due for replacement.  Lets hope the Coalbaggie Bridge Mark II is just as enduring....

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