Mile 1.0: Thames Bridge

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The L&PS tracks spanned the south branch of the Thames River on a 176 foot deck girder bridge. Constructed by the Canadian Bridge Co of Walkerville Ontario, the bridge was installed in 1905 by the Pere Marquette who were at that time leasing the L&PS.

At some time after 1914, the bridge was raised about 3 feet to ease the grade out of London. Evidence of this is visible in the extensions added on top of the bridge abutments and piers.

(MSTS)

 

In 1927 the official city limits extended only to the river, but even by then industries and homes were overflowing that boundary and were springing up in Westminster township to the south. With no other convenient access, many workers used the L&PS tracks to cross the river and reach work. At some point, to reduce the safety hazard of this practice, the railway hung a pedestrian walkway from the east side of the bridge. This must have been done at some expense as it included a concrete subway at the north end to allow workers to cross safely under the tracks.

It was surely a daunting experience to be on the walkway, suspended 30 feet above the river, with a massive locomotive rumbling overhead!

(MSTS)

 

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