We can't confirm the speed of the day for Wreck Lead Bridge, but we can add some insight.
Like most movable bridges, the Lead Draw is a maintenance nightmare. Even the slightest misalignment causes an inability to properly display signals. There are several limit switches which prove the draw's closure and alignment. If any are slightly open (normally more than 1/8") signals cannot be displayed and a train will be held awaiting a qualified person to assure the span is closed an locked. Normal wear and tear of wooden ties makes this more prevalent.
The bridge also has an inherent defect: It's bent. Either undetected in its LIRR pre-purchase survey or damaged in its move up from Florida, the entire steel structure is wracked. That causes one corner when closing - one rail - to seat before the other. The higher rail, and the higher bridge members, must then be twisted and powered down by the motor, causing strain on the mechanism.
Often the bridge must be manually locked when switches fail to indicate that it is closed. This requires a B & B Supervisor, Signalman or mechanically qualified Transportation supervisor to possess the proper tool and crank in the locking bars. It causes delay, conflicts over authority and qualification and exorbitant overtime costs as these folks are called out.
Like most recurring maintenance problems, the blame gets volleyed back and forth between departments: Track, B & B, C & S and Transportation. Transportation, being among the politically weak, usually becomes saddled with the blame and found responsible for the remediation. That translates to allegations of excessive speed and the solutions of reducing the allowable speed. Thus, as the thing deteriorates physically and mechanically the speed is reduced until it gets so bad that an investment is made in rehabilitation. Then the budgeting of that work is debated between departments.
Speed restrictions and failures of the former 1880 wooden trestle and shear-pole swing span were a similar recurring "challenge", delaying commuters and enhancing workers' paychecks.
Another factor is the low yard speed due to a civil condition in the yard. There is a long-standing known defect in a portion of the yard's alignment, with one particular s-curve "encouraging" repeated derailments. The condition presented itself upon the arrival of the M-1s in 1968 and a subsequent derailment. After 54 years, multiple derailments and multiple realignment attempts, the problem has not been rectified and continues to result in speed restrictions in the yard.
We hope this sheds some light on Wreck Lead and Long Beach Yard speed restrictions and their history.
Last edited by Kelly&Kelly on Fri Jan 21, 2022 3:52 pm, edited 2 times in total.