February 15, 2009, the day this photo was taken, was almost exactly 35 years after demolition of Detroit's Fort Street Union Depot was completed. The Romanesque railroad station located on the southwest corner of Fort and Third Street opened January 21, 1893.
The railroad track in the photo was one of three elevated tracks connecting FSUD with Union Belt of Detroit's mainline at 18th Street. UBD was a partnership of several railroads, which also partnered in the FSUD Company.
The UBD mainline ran west to Delray Interlocking Tower, where passenger trains were switched to and from different rail lines, individually-owned by the UBD-FSUD partners. The Pere Marquette (later Chesapeake & Ohio) Railway curved north-northwestward from Delray, on its way to Plymouth, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Wabash Railway extended west-southwestward from Delray, across the Rouge River, to Ecorse Junction. Pennsylvania Railroad's "Lincoln Secondary" line diverged southwestward from Ecorse Junction, through today's Lincoln Park, toward Carleton MI.
PRR trains, including the Detroit-New York "Red Arrow" overnight Pullman express, continued south from Carleton, sharing PM-C&O tracks to Toledo. Wabash trains, including the famous "Wabash Cannon Ball", continued westward from Ecorse Junction, through Milan MI and Fort Wayne IN, on their way to St. Louis.
East of 15th Street, the FSUD line ascended a filled-in, concrete-encased ramp, which ended at the west abutment of the Fort Street Union Depot Viaduct. This photo was taken on top of the ramp. The west abutment, and the filled-in ramp, still stand along the southern edge of West Jefferson Avenue, west of 12th Street.
Eleven blocks long, Fort Street Union Depot Viaduct was the longest railroad bridge ever built in Detroit. The reason for the length was the need for grade-separation, between the new (1892) FSUD line, and the old (after 1846) ten-track-wide Michigan Central Railroad Third Street Yard, which curved northwesterly from the riverfront, under the viaduct, near 11th Street.
Far below where these two lines once crossed, Canadian Pacific freight trains still run through the Michigan Central Railroad Detroit River Tunnel, completed in 1910. Detroit River Tunnel Company's construction engineers took special precautions, to avoid disturbing the 1892 bridgework.
The original 1892 length of the Fort Street Union Depot Viaduct was 3,187 feet. It was shortened over the years to 2,513 feet, when the east and west ends were filled-in, to reduce maintenance expense. When the Viaduct was demolished in 1974, workers reported finding "buried bridges".
The existing west abutment, west of 12th Street, is NOT original. The steel bridgework originally extended west to 13th Street (aka Vermont Street). It's likely that original, c. 1892, steel bridgework still lies buried, right where the photographer was standing.
Možná tam někdo bydlí, nebo to někdo chtěl odnést?
Nailhead, we need your help! Google wants to close Panoramio - eeek!
Petition to save panoramio!
Cool shot. It does look like it could have been from an aircraft :)
Pelee Passage Lighthouse :)
Unfortunately these signs no longer exist
The last day of production of Packards or Studebakers was in 1964 at this location?
Thank you elakramine greetings from Asbury Park, New Jersey.