News & Reviews News Wire Norfolk Southern working to repair lift bridge in Alabama

Norfolk Southern working to repair lift bridge in Alabama

By Bill Stephens | January 18, 2023

Railroad investigating incident that shut flow of traffic to and from Memphis

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ATLANTA – Norfolk Southern’s lift bridge across the Tennessee River at Decatur, Ala., will be out of service for up to five days after it was struck by a vessel, the railroad said in a service advisory on Tuesday.

“A bridge strike was reported at Decatur Junction on the Memphis East Division disrupting service between Chattanooga, TN and Sheffield, AL. Our Engineering and Maintenance of Way teams have conducted initial inspections and early estimates are that the bridge will be out of service up to 5 days, with a restoration of service estimated for Saturday, January 21st,” the advisory says.

It was unclear what struck the bridge. An NS spokesman says the railroad received an initial report indicating a possible bridge strike and is investigating while bridges and engineering teams are planning repairs.

The railroad was working on plans to detour or annul trains scheduled through the area. Meanwhile, it warned customers to expect delays of 24 to 72 hours for freight moving between the Southeast and Memphis, the Northeast and Memphis, as well as all points on Norfolk Southern to and from BNSF Railway and Union Pacific interchange at Memphis.

CSX Transportation also uses the single-track bridge.

Decatur is about 25 miles southwest of Huntsville, Ala.

4 thoughts on “Norfolk Southern working to repair lift bridge in Alabama

  1. For some historic perspective, this bridge was crossed by Southern Railway’s Washington – Memphis streamlined “Tennessean” and L&N Railroad’s Cincinnati – New Orleans “Pan American”.

    Installing a double-track bridge would connect CSX’s double track line across the Tennessee River. It would also benefit Norfolk Southern’s potential double tracking of its single track line between Sheffield and Stevenson, Alabama. NS uses trackage rights over CSX from Stevenson to Chattanooga.

  2. Time to look into building a new double track bridge then…or build another single track bridge within the same vicinity.

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