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Old 07-04-2010, 07:24 AM   #1
DeBandi OP
Exploring Alabama
 
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Thumb Exploring Alabama goes scouting for seven secluded trestles…

While scanning maps I ran across something that sparked my interest.






Further investigation showed several interesting rare old railroad trestles that I wanted to see if I could find to capture with a picture before they vanished forever.





This area of Alabama is full of mining operations and most of this old spur is located on mining property.



Some mapping detail of the area is in order.















Satellite imagery clearly shows several trestles still standing.






Would we be able to find the old RR spur?
Would we be able to access any of the trestles?
Are they even still standing?
How thick is the underbrush & kudzu this time of year?








My buddy Buzz enjoys this sort of thing. So, off we go scouting for seven secluded trestles.




More later.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:48 AM   #2
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Your explorations always look good

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Old 07-04-2010, 08:05 AM   #3
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This should be a good report.

Unfortunately, I know of one you won't be able to find in Gardendale, AL.

I'm sure I have some better pictures of it somewhere but I can't seem to find them. This is what it looked like in September 2005. This is less than half of it.




This is what it looked like in May 2006.

Some kid decided it would be a good idea to shoot fireworks off of it.

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Old 07-04-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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Keep it comin' DeBandi.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:20 PM   #5
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As we arrived at the first location I quickly began to realize that this would be a bigger challenge than I was prepared for.




The location is relatively close to a road but we have to get past the main gate of a coal mine.


As we pull up to the coal mine I look around and notice about five large coal trucks and several cars. This place is busy and these coal trucks are not looking for guys riding motorcyles on their haul road. We don’t stop, we keep rolling right in behind a coal truck. It's dusty. Real dusty. I start looking around, and I know I’m looking for a small gravel road to the left. We take the first road and get out of all the coal traffic. I check on my buddy, Buzz, and he just smiles back.




This is not what I had expected. But exploring usually includes some kind of adventure. I take a second to look around and make a mental note on the lay of the land and the satellite image in my head. I tell Buzz we’re not in the right place. Close, but not in the right place.



We get back out on the coal haul road and take the very next left onto a small gravel road. I know this could be the location and my adrenaline is pumping.








I know this is the place. I can feel it!








I see what I believe to be an old rr grade. We begin to follow it and start having to whack our way through the undergrowth on the bikes.




I think I see it.................





More later...
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:28 PM   #6
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This is fun. Waiting for more.
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Old 07-04-2010, 01:39 PM   #7
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Railroad content...I'm in.
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Old 07-04-2010, 02:28 PM   #8
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The heavy undergrowth opens up, and what I see in front of me is a sight to behold.









It's exactly what we we've been searching for!



The southern trestle on a spur that has been out of commission for years. Many years.






More later.
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Old 07-04-2010, 03:34 PM   #9
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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I'm in.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:40 PM   #11
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That there is some really cool shite. Well done !
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Old 07-05-2010, 05:23 AM   #12
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Normally, I would ride out on this and take a picture of our bikes. Something caught my attention.




(Buzz Photo)


These rr ties are rotten and in terrible shape.

(Buzz Photo)


Not even comfortable walking on them. I’ve never seen a rr trestle in such bad condition.













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Old 07-05-2010, 08:29 AM   #13
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:41 AM   #14
PinkPillion
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Great idea DeBandi!! We have several of these nearby in the Feather River Canyon--but they are still heavily used -the old beaten up ones are a lot more interesting! Thanks for sharing. I'm watching...
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:32 AM   #15
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We carefully make our way across the rickety old structure.






















When we get to the other side, we notice this.
















I've never seen a sign like this before.







We continue to admire the old bridge for a few more minutes.













We need to figure out what to do next.


Do we try to continue?
Do we get back to the main road and search for another access point?





Decisions.....
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