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From my understanding, Arnold has the only photos on this site taken in the U.S, and could be contested as 'Canadian' pictures. Both of which included these two bridges, the Michigan Central bridge, and the Whirlpool Rapids bridge behind it. Nonetheless, here's my own borderline shot. Here, Amtrak 64 crosses the Whirlpool Rapids bridge with Phase IV Heritage 184 leading the way. The train has just departed Niagara Falls, Ontario station, and will soon be at the New York stop, or the ghetto version of what the Canadian side has. Sorry Americans... Much has changed since Arnold's shots were taken, as the Michigan Central bridge has been train free for nearly 15 years, when Niagara Falls paid CP $39 million to get out of town. Run through operations were diverted over CN to Fort Erie, which in all honestly is a much more efficient route to Buffalo, and likely helped persuade CP. CN also lost interest in the Whirlpool Rapids bridge with the Whirlpool Rapids bridge already a decent connection point from Fort Erie to Buffalo. Just prior to the Michigan Central bridge closing, freight loads were banned over the Whirlpool Rapids bridge. Since then, it is to my understanding only a few freights have crossed this bridge, the most recent in 2012 when a juvenile released the handbrake on a boxcar in the American Niagara Falls, and it rolled right over the bridge. I'm guessing CSX hauled it back? Nonetheless, it had been CN's intention to abandon their rights over the bridge for years. Unlike the other sad tales in the area, and many other railway bridges, CN did not own the bridge itself, but simply the top deck, as the lower deck has automobile traffic. Therefore, Amtrak assumed responsibility for maintenance of the upper deck a few years back, and it still goes today. With hope for significantly improved intercity passenger rail service in the next 20-30 years, perhaps this bridge will be used to it's full potential again. Oh, and the Whirlpool Rapids bridge is 28 years older than the Michigan Central bridge. Looks can be deceiving...
Copyright Notice: This image ©Daniel Odette all rights reserved.



Caption: From my understanding, Arnold has the only photos on this site taken in the U.S, and could be contested as 'Canadian' pictures. Both of which included these two bridges, the Michigan Central bridge, and the Whirlpool Rapids bridge behind it. Nonetheless, here's my own borderline shot. Here, Amtrak 64 crosses the Whirlpool Rapids bridge with Phase IV Heritage 184 leading the way. The train has just departed Niagara Falls, Ontario station, and will soon be at the New York stop, or the ghetto version of what the Canadian side has. Sorry Americans... Much has changed since Arnold's shots were taken, as the Michigan Central bridge has been train free for nearly 15 years, when Niagara Falls paid CP $39 million to get out of town. Run through operations were diverted over CN to Fort Erie, which in all honestly is a much more efficient route to Buffalo, and likely helped persuade CP. CN also lost interest in the Whirlpool Rapids bridge with the Whirlpool Rapids bridge already a decent connection point from Fort Erie to Buffalo. Just prior to the Michigan Central bridge closing, freight loads were banned over the Whirlpool Rapids bridge. Since then, it is to my understanding only a few freights have crossed this bridge, the most recent in 2012 when a juvenile released the handbrake on a boxcar in the American Niagara Falls, and it rolled right over the bridge. I'm guessing CSX hauled it back? Nonetheless, it had been CN's intention to abandon their rights over the bridge for years. Unlike the other sad tales in the area, and many other railway bridges, CN did not own the bridge itself, but simply the top deck, as the lower deck has automobile traffic. Therefore, Amtrak assumed responsibility for maintenance of the upper deck a few years back, and it still goes today. With hope for significantly improved intercity passenger rail service in the next 20-30 years, perhaps this bridge will be used to it's full potential again. Oh, and the Whirlpool Rapids bridge is 28 years older than the Michigan Central bridge. Looks can be deceiving...

Photographer:
Daniel Odette [132] (more) (contact)
Date: 05/22/2016 (search)
Railway: Amtrak (search)
Reporting Marks: AMTK 184 (search)
Train Symbol: AMTK P064 (search)
Subdivision/SNS: Mile 0.3 CN Grimsby Subdivision (search)
City/Town: Niagara Falls (search)
Province: Ontario (search)
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8 Comments
  1. I heard a couple freights had to take the Whirlpool bridge in the very late 90′s due to a derailment on the Stamford

  2. Last time I recall freight ‘action’ to any degree on the whirlpool bridge was back in Mar/Apr of 1993 when the International Br in Fort Erie was shut down in order to shore up one of the supports. In Oct 1994 CP used the Whirlpool briefly while work was being done on Hamilton’s Hunter St tunnel. But it is rare to see freight on the Whirlpool any more. I am not a fan of drone photography, but this marvellous shot is an exception!!

  3. Daniel, You are absolutely right about VIA.

    Roads don’t pay property taxes.

    And does the Niagara District Airport in St. Catharines – financially supported by its three surrounding municipalities & only used by private aircraft – pay property taxes?
    (http://www.niagaradistrictairport.ca/airport-commission.php)
    Small aircraft don’t even pay landing fees there:
    http://www.niagaradistrictairport.ca/airfield-information.php
    Not only that, the airport has also been given federal Infrastructure Stimulus Funds to the tune of 11.6 million dollars since 2010 for things like runway rehabilitation and additional parking spaces:
    http://www.niagaradistrictairport.ca/airport-commission.php

    We have to wonder why are our various levels of government not only subsidizing road & air transport while leaving the NFBC to charge trains an exorbitant amount just to cross a bridge, but also taxing train stations – while roads & airports get a free ride.

    VIA, to their credit, is starting to dispute the idea of having to pay property taxes on stations:
    http://www.ottawasun.com/2015/12/03/10-via-rail-station-could-cost-city-123gs

    And St. Catharines Councillor Bruce Williamson & others are pushing to have VIA Rail services in the Niagara Peninsula reinstated:(http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/6251254-williamson-calls-for-increase-to-via-rail-service/ )

    Lets hope they win & VIA is recognized for the valuable public service that it is.

  4. Yeah, I didn’t think of that. Just trying to give credit for what we have left as I’m usually moaning about how Canada’s railroads have been imploded. Lol. I don’t understand why Amtrak would have to pay any fees at all, considering they are a public corporation as much as the bridge commission is. And the fact Via Rail has to pay property taxes to city for the station. Personally, I think all public railroads should be exempt from property taxes and fees by other public corporations. And private railroads on potentially threatened lines. The way the government works though, it seems you need a leader who’s a railfan to be able to see any significant positive changes.

  5. To their credit, the Americans have 3 trains per day going to Niagara Falls NY, I would rather have that than a nice station and hardly any train service. Evidently the remaining train over the bridge is being used by the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission as a cash cow, with VIA & Amtrak having to pay extremely high per train fees to use the bridge ( http://www.canadianrailwayobservations.com/2011/Sept11/Sept%2011%20Web/sept11via.htm ), Transport Action Canada is aware of this and hopefully they can convince the local authorities to act to ensure the train is charged a fair access fee and hopefully more trains will be added on the Canadian side to help spread out the high cost of station property taxes among more trains while increasing revenue. Not to mention that it would also bring more year round train service to the falls.

  6. customs issues and paperwork *

  7. Thanks! I would guess the reason CSX didn’t just come pick it up is in regards to customs issues paperwork for the crews.

  8. Nice shot! That run-away rack was taken to Port Rob by a CN local and went back to CSX via normal interchange at Buffalo.

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