Northwestern Pacific Railroad Network

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New Haystack Bridge Is On Mare Island

It's being stripped down and having metal work done and then being coated. It's going to be shipped in pieces to Petaluma and then put together on site. Shimmick Construction was said to be the contractor for this phase of work.


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Comment by Emilio Galo on May 7, 2015 at 9:02am

Why Mare Island?

Comment by Tim McNeil on July 24, 2014 at 7:41pm

Very cool, I'd hate to see something like one of these simple "idlercars" get scrapped. Does anyone know their origin(railroad or builder)? I love the character of those old riveted cars((being as riveting has become a lost art). 

Comment by Bob Cleek on July 24, 2014 at 3:46pm

Given that they are at Mare island, and may well have been there from the time it was an active Naval Shipyard, and that there is a lot of track set in pavement there, they easily could have been around from WWII or earlier and used for moving heavy objects from the shops to the docks. (The shops had overhead tracked lifting rigs and the docks had cranes, so loading and unloading would be easily accomplished at either end.)  , in which case they could be pulled or pushed by just about anything, such as a dock "mule," a tractor, or truck.  (That might account for the lack of standardized couplers.)  Maybe somebody in here knows somebody who worked at Mare Island and remembers them.

Comment by Jennifer on July 24, 2014 at 10:33am

Very interesting! :D

Comment by Bob Cleek on July 24, 2014 at 10:16am

"Idlers..."  That's it.  Thanks!

Comment by Joseph Muller on July 24, 2014 at 1:35am
@bob I've seen them called "idler" cars.

I'm curious to know how they move them around - maybe with some sort of trailer hitch?
Comment by Bob Cleek on July 24, 2014 at 12:33am

Might they be left-over "pushers" (they have a name, which I can't remember) for loading rail car ferries.  I know  there were a few parked down near the Caltrain terminal in the City as recently as a couple of years ago.  Those were from the old State Belt Line and quite old.  Their purpose was to allow the switch engines to push the cars onto the ferry without the ferry having to bear the weight of the engine.  They'd then pull them back off the ferry.  I don't know if they had a train ferry slip at Mare Island or not, but they'd be the sort of thing that would be laying around a port, I'd suppose.

Comment by Tim McNeil on July 23, 2014 at 11:10pm

It'd be interesting to know the history on that particular flatcar. obviously it's very old.

Comment by Jennifer on July 23, 2014 at 12:47pm

Tim:  It looks that way and link and pin couplers and poling pockets.

Comment by Steve Atnip on June 26, 2014 at 6:47pm

I believe it starts with a new (physical) approach which involves loading dirt on the RoW so it compacts over a significant time period.Then grading it down to the final level..  It was in the documents somewhere. The bridge is nowhere near installation.

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