|Ragnar's HO Model Trains Weeb Site|
This Scherzer Rolling Lift bascule bridge is an outstanding early example of a novel concept in movable bridges, developed by William Scherzer, an American engineer. If combines the balanced counterweight of a conventional bascule bridge, with a unique rolling lift motion that all but eliminates friction. Erected in 1912-1913 to carry the Canadian Northern Railway main line across the Rideau Canal, a busy steamboat navigation system, the bridge was renowned for its ease and speed of operation, proving the efficacy of the concept.
|Although declared an historic site many years before, in August 2002 the government finally mounted this plaque declaring the bridge an historic site. I was invited to the unveiling, but could not go because of Pennsic. Got there in October and couldn't find the plaque. So I asked at the railway museum and they told me it's directly across the canal from the lock master's house. That's were you'll find it, I was looking near the bridge. It's placed so you can see the bridge above the plaque. Once I found the thing I got a couple of pictures.|
This beautiful bridge, was built in 1914 by the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) it crosses the Rideau Canal at Locks 31, in Smith's Falls, Ontario. The bridge was declared a National historic site, though there is no plaque. Privately owned and in a bad state of disrepair, there is a danger the bridge may be torn down. It is my hope that this never happens and the bridge is even restored. It doesn't look good though because the tracks on either end of the bridge have been torn up and the roadbed and embankment on the east end has even been dug up. I consider this an act of vandalism.
I am told that a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge is being refurbished and is still in operation for CP Rail in Thunder Bay, Ontario. This bridge is owned by CP Rail is a Bascule Bridge in Thunder Bay which is the largest of its type in the world.
|Maps of Smiths Falls, where you can find this Scherzer Bridge.|
If you'd like to see the bridge for yourself,get yourself to Smith's Falls, Ontario, Canada. The bridge is about 3 km South of the Smith's Falls Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. Turn left out of the Museum parking lot, going south, once you cross the Rideau River, but not the canal, turn right into the parking lot for the Rideau Canal Smiths Falls locks, the bridge is at the west end of the parking lot. You'll see it as you drive in, it's the big black beautiful bridge looking thing, like that one up there :o)
Do you want to scratch build your own model of a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge? Well there was an article in Model Railroader Magazine in November 1967 which deals with that very thing. And I've taken it upon myself to make that article available. So consider scratch building a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge and have a look at this article from Model Railroader about how to Scratch Building a Scherzer Bridge
Links to other Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge sites
| © Ragnar Torfason|
2006 March 28