Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 16, 2011

Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge

More pics of the train bridge that lowers to let trains cross the Canal to get on and off Cape, taken on two different days.
Cape Cod Canal

The solid cement wall looking thing in the center is one of the counterweights that moves up the tower to let the deck down and up.

The bridge stays up to allow ship traffic to pass unimpeded, as there are way more boats than trains.

The gold emblem is the Army Corp of Engineers, who maintain the Canal and its bridges.

I checked the schedule for the Scenic Tour Train and discovered that the Bridge would be lowered around 11:30 in the morning, so I headed back down there to watch.  There goes the engineer, into the Bridge to start the process.

While I waited, I checked out the informational plaque.

I had no idea that there was a bridge that preceded this one, when the Canal was much narrower.

Finally, the warning horns sounded to alert ship traffic that the Bridge would begin it's descent to track level.  Here's a slideshow of the Bridge being lowered and then lifted.  Incidentally, no trains ever showed up in either direction so I didn't get to shoot a train crossing the Canal.  


  1. that is very cool. but don't the bridge guys have any communication with the train guys? why lower the bridge if there isn't any train? i guess the bridge doesn't stay down long enough to walk across, does it?

  2. You always take great photos. I miss being touristy. It's getting a bit chilly here so it is not good. Sigh. Oh well... keep them photos coming.

    A Ladybug's Life


  3. Anonymous2:10 PM


  4. Looks a bit scary to me! Don't think I'd like to be approaching it, or crossing it, on a train.

  5. You aren't allowed on the tracks at all or to cross by foot. They close the gates and there's no access to the bridge deck when it's down. I would like to cross it by train though; the canal's not that wide.

  6. Anonymous7:16 PM

    Really cool. How ingenious that someone came up with that idea.

  7. Wow, how cool is that? It sure gets low to the water! Does it take long for the whole process to complete? I don't think I've ever seen this before.