Visit Map

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Bridge over Diamond Creek at Eltham

In something of a break with tradition, I decided to cover this bridge even though it is on a fully operational line, and not abandoned. My reasoning is that the bridge is something of a dinosaur, being almost entirely wood in its construction and being used by high-frequency suburban trains. 

I figure it is only a matter of time before someone shrieks out in horror that 'the public is in great danger as long as Metro allows this ancient and unsafe bridge to be used'.

Of course those among us know that a properly maintained, and well constucted wooden bridge is perfectly adequate for the relatively light loads of suburban electric stock, but that probably won't stop a full-blown outbreak of ignorant hysteria. 

The bridge is entirely wooden for its full length of 195 Metres, except for two steel sections supporting the spans across Diamond Creek itself. There are 34 x 15 foot spans, plus 4 x 30 foot spans in the bridge. The remaining spans have wooden beams with transverse decking, and classic gravel beams with tie rods, wooden sleepers and ballasted rail. In several places, the piers have steel I beam crossheads, replacing the original wooden ones. 

The refuges are now all-steel construction with scaffold pipe style hand-rails along the full length of both sides.

I was able to get some aerial footage of the bridge, which was a little difficult due to the high number of potential drone snags. There are many trees close to the line, plus many cables and wires, such that is it not easy to get lower angle shots, therefore most of the footage is shot from an altitude that does not fully reveal the structure of the bridge. You may notice, in viewing the footage, that the aircraft comes perilously close to tree branches at times.

Shot from the North side of the bridge, nearest the sports oval. Showing the piers including the opening for the road into the sports ground. One span is devoted to each side of the road.

Looking back from the same spot as the previous photo, towards Diamond Creek.

Also in the same area, but underneath the bridge.

And a shot exposed to show the detail on the underneath of the bridge, showing the transverse decking. A slightly disturbing sight is one of the lock-nuts holding the railing bracket to the crosshead, in upper left, has unwound itself back to the start of the thread. Hello maintenance!!

Again the same area, now on the South side of the bridge.

View across Diamond Creek, unfortunately obscured by some errant scrub.

Again looking across the creek, underneath the bridge.

Reverse shot, from the walking track, back towards Eltham Station.

Closer to the station again, showing example of steel crossheads, just under the refuge.

Bridge crossing the access road to the sports ground. There is a sign on the bridge asking people to report any impact with the bridge to Metro.


  1. Ha! You were only about 5km away from my place on Sunday! If I'd known I'd have dropped by to say hello. Anyway, I've really enjoyed your blog, so thanks. But keep going!

    You might already be aware of them. but here's a couple of sites that may be helpful re old bridges. First one is a rail trail site, with each trail having a photo section which often include bridges - eg Timboon has at least two old by-passed bridges, aside from Curdies Creek:

    Second is a link on the Cudgewa line, with several bridges you don't have on your map. If you go to "Home" and then the Cudgewa section, there are more pages, too.

    Hope these might be helpful!


  2. Thanks Ant, I will look into those links, I am always looking for bridges that have not been identified for exploration.

    1. You're welcome.

      I've just read that there are 5 trestle bridges in the last 10km to Timboon, plus or including Curdies Creek bridge.

      Oh, and the bridge at Eltham is under threat, as there are plans to duplicate the line to Eltham and they might put in a new dual-track bridge.

      Anyway, take care.