by D Alex
KevinD wrote:The water was flowing pretty good, which makes me think the arch is still intact (which bodes well for faster restoration), but I would put my money on something happening down stream, like a fallen tree dam, a beaver dam, etc, causing water to back up to the point the embankment became super-saturated until it slipped down. WNY is known for soil that does not hold up well when super-saturated. Very reminiscent of the maintenance issues with the Erie's River Line. As long as the ditches were cleared annually and the water allowed to run off properly, the soil comprising the cuts and fills of the River Line remained relatively stable. When Conrail came along and the "high maintenance" ditching/water runoff control stopped, within 2 years gravity had pretty much destroyed the River Line's track structure.I'd be that culvert is 150 years old. Looks like it was built by a crew of masons.
There is a stretch of the old LVRR mainline just east of Rt.65 that is practically a bog today. I imagine that the LVRR road crews needed to keep the ditches either side of the line clear when it was maintained. Water is indeed a destructive element when not properly managed..
BTW, in reports of old wrecks, you often read about the crew "bailing out" before a high-speed collision. Does that ever happen anymore? I assume that the main reason for jumping was to avoid being caught in a boiler explosion.