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Friday, 5 June 2015

South Gippsland Railway - Bridge over Bass River

South Gippsland Railway Bridge over Bass River. The Bass River cuts a fairly deep gorge through the countryside, so the bridges tend to be quite substantial, and this one is no exception. So also does the nearby bridge on the Wonthaggi Branch and also the Allsops Creek bridge, a short 300 Metres away. However unlike the bridge on the Wonthaggi Branch, these bridges have no timber deck, the sleepers, or more correctly transom timbers, are bolted directly to the upper side of the span girders and the track spiked to the timbers. There is no ballast on the bridge and being able to see into the river gorge between each timber is a bit scary. I imagine this makes repairs to the deck a bit more difficult, as rotten timbers would have to have the spikes drawn, then the securing bolts unscrewed or cut, and a new timber inserted from the side. Not the easiest task to perform. At the time, this section of the line is not being used, the SGR reports that running is suspended pending track and bridge works, and these bridges may be part of that.

An oblique view, showing the depth of the river gorge. Note the sleepers bolted to the span girders.

Side view of the bridge, taken from Up end, looking towards Loch.

View across the bridge, looking towards Loch.

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