After dropping my boat off for winter storage, I headed over to Letchworth State Park. A relatively nice day even though leaves are a bit past peak.
Of course I headed up to the RR bridge as I haven't had a close up view since its been built. My first reaction was how many people were walking on it. More than the old bridge in my opinion. The interesting thing I noticed, is that there is no "walking platform" on the bridge. Just rails and ballast. People were either walking on the ballast, in-between the rails or on the rails......or just sitting on them. Does NS and its crews take this into consideration as to what speed to cross?
This picture also includes a small rock slide at the far left of the pic. Just below the Middle Falls, a large slide is evident almost all the way to the top. This looks "new" as compared to when I crossed it 15 years ago [no pic].
Having already walked across the old bridge and also the Steam Locomotive a few years ago, I decided not to walk on the new one. To many people on it plus no smooth area to walk. So I walked the original ROW of the old bridge. The new bridge appears to be quite a sturdy build. Something like giant oak trees as compared to match sticks.
What's really funny about this set up in regards to keeping people off the bridge, did anybody really think that the current fencing [just like it was before] would stop people from walking around it? They should have included a walking platform in the design of the bridge and collected an access fee for people who want to walk on it. Which there are a lot.
The bike path out of Ridgeway, Pa, the Western Maryland Railway in Cumberland, MD and Jim Thorpe Railway ALL have paths that butt up against the active rail. I've rode my bike on all three. Why couldn't they foresee this. People are so interested in this that the parking lot is WAY to small for all the cars parking there. 30 cars were parked on the side of the road just so they could walk on the bridge.
Not incorporating a walkway in the original design for people to walk on safely was a mistake. But we all know that stupid people are stupid no matter what and someone is going to get hurt whether the walkway is there or not.
On a more positive note, this picture is my favorite. I was able to catch a colorful scene before the clouds blocked the sun.