Friday, March 19, 2010

Great Northern's Bridge 4

Great Northern 350A. Bridge 4, Seattle, July 15, 1961. It took a while, but I finally figured out how to traverse a trail through prolific indigenous blackberry bushes, to get a shot of Great Northern traffic crossing the Lake Washington Ship Canal, connecting Lakes Union and Washington to Puget Sound, at "Bridge 4."

Here is a full accounting of Bridge 4, a bascule bridge with an interesting history!

This post card rendering by Frank H. Norwell predates the construction of the U.S. Government Locks in 1917, which would have been in the background.  Indeed, looking carefully between the left and second pillars, (toward the east) you can see a web of steel which was probably the Northern Pacific bridge, which had to be relocated further to the east when the locks were constructed.

Great Northern 350A is bringing the International #357 down to Seattle from Vancouver. She left Vancouver at 8 am, and is running a little late – supposed to have been at King Street at 12:10. Here she is crossing Bridge 4 at 12:35 pm!

In its heyday, Great Northern ran two Internationals a day, a morning and late afternoon each way between Seattle and Vancouver, from 1950 through 1969. And the fare? $11.25 First Class, $8.90 coach, round trip!

It was a beautiful trip along the Puget Sound, which recalled the term “POSH,” from the days of the cruise ships from England to the Mediterranean. Book your cabin “Port (left) Outbound – Starboard (right) Home,” to avoid the blistering sun. On the train; to enjoy the waterfront view.

Bridge 4 is just to the west of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Hiram Chittenden locks. (Select the fifth virtual panorama in the menu, and you can see the bridge in the background.)

Forty-eight years later, in September 2009, while writing the three part "Alaska Railbelt Marine" story, I rode Western Towboat's "Alaska Titan" through the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Locks. That's Bridge 4 just beyond the Locks. (View looking west)

Here we are leaving the Hiram Chittenden Locks, with Bridge 4 just ahead.  By the way. Back in 1961, I returned six months later to shoot some freighters, and the shot was gone, totally obscured by the indigenous blackberry bushes!


Railroad Stuff: Great Northern 350A. Born EMC 350A, F3, 1350 hp, November 1947, sn: 4673. Wrecked and subsequently rebuilt in June 1952, as 1500 hp F7A. Mercifully, she was spared the indignity of the  “Big Sky Blue” paint scheme, and retired out to EMD in 1966.

See also:  NP Bridge 14

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