Watercolor…. Rockville Bridge… Marysville Bridge… it really depends in which of the two abutment towns along the Susquehanna River you’re standing or living in. Rockville Bridge, the first, was a single-track, Howe type wooden truss, built at the Dauphin Narrows of the Susquehanna River by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1849. The Northern Central Railway (NCRY) built an adjacent Marysville Bridge in 1858. However, the Pennsylvania took over Northern Central in 1875 and the Northern Central’s bridge was abandoned. The third (the second PRR bridge), a double track replacement of wood and iron, was also a Howe truss structure, built over stone piers in 1877. The Pennsylvania’s third and the existing bridge (the 4th at the Narrows), was a massive four track, stone arch span, consisting of 48 arches, stretching an impressive 3,820 feet in length… designed and built by the Philadelphia firms of Drake & Stratton, Co. and H.S. Kerbaugh, Inc. between 1900 and 1902. It was and may still be the longest stone, railroad bridge in the world. Today the roadbed is down to three tracks and the bridge is owned by Norfolk Southern Railway (NS). It still carries heavy freight traffic and is an integral link for AMTRACK (AMTK) routes west of Harrisburg, connecting the Keystone Corridor with the Northeast Corridor. The Rockville Bridge was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Norfolk Southern’s Enola Yard is a few miles downstream, on the west bank of the Susquehanna.
I didn’t keep track of all the train numbers that I saw cross this bridge on my visit. There were many. I chose to illustrate a closing pass between a hot AMTRAK Regional led by a “Genesis” GE P42DC, engine #120 and a pair of Norfolk Southern GE C40-9W’s… #9167 & #9417, sandwiching EMD GP40-2 #3030, as they powered a westbound unit train of mostly Reading & Northern (RBMN) anthracite hopper cars. This is sometime before eleven in the morning of July 20, 2016.