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Happy 75th Anniversary

August 13, 2011

Pretty much every railfan knows that locomotives have a “builders plate” that memorializes the manufacturer, model, date of manufacture, etc.

Here’s a shot of the builders plate on UP SD70M 3805.

builders plate on UP SD70M 3805
Builders Plate on UP SD70M 3805

Little did I know that bridges had builders plates. When we visited Fort Worth recently, we had occasion to traverse the East Vickery Street underpass of the UP and BNSF tracks just south of Tower 55.

UP / BNSF overpass of East Vickery Street in Fort Worth
UP / BNSF overpass of East Vickery Street in Fort Worth

Just by looking at the bridge I knew that it was fairly old, but it wasn’t until I walked around under the bridge that I was able to put a date on the construction. I found this plate on the south end of the west side of the overpass.

Builders Plate on the railroad bridge over East Vickery Street in Fort Worth

75 years old and  still in service every day, not to mention bearing the weight of trains dramatically heavier than those in 1936. What a great memento of when we actually built stuff in our country.

The U.S. was in the midst of The Great Depression in 1936. I’m guessing that this overpass, and others in this neighborhood, were part of the New Deal / WPA public works projects that brought much-needed jobs to a desperate-for-work populace.

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