Abandoned railway trestle near Paisley, Ontario

I spotted this railway bridge flying near Paisley, Ontario.
This was July 2002. The leaves on the trees hid most of the detail, but it looked interesting.

On the Victoria day weekend, 2003, I drove out that way with my brother Markus

This bridge turned out to be much more interesting than it looked like from the air! Part of the bridge, between the road and the river, is actually a wooden railway trestle!

The whole trestle seemed to have three different styles of construction for different sections. My guess is that it has been modified from when it was originally built. Surprisingly, the wooden portion of the trestle does NOT appear to be part of the original construction. Between the wooden supports of the wooden trestle, there was some concrete foundations, which the trestle did not utilize for support.

Because the bridge is very close to a village, there are some barriers to prevent you from actually walking over the bridge. These could be crawled under, or climbed around. However, we choose not to trespass, seeing that the bridge was within view of the village.

The main span is a large steel girder, on concrete pillars. Its quite high up above the river

The far end of the structure was mostly constructed from welded together I-beams. This is much more modern than the riveted trusses elsewhere. From the utilitarian style of construction, I would guess that it was built in the 60's or later, but that's only a guess. We reached the other end of the bridge by walking two kilometers along the track from another intersection. We walked that way anyway to get to another bridge on the same line that we wanted to check out.

An interesting clue about the history of the bridge was various cast iron supports that were either cut off, or didn't support anything. The pillars are made of four section riveted together cast iron to make a hollow column. I'm guessing that this was the original supports for much of the bridge. Certainly, cast iron as a material for bridges fell out of favour in the 1800's already - breing too susceptible to metal fatigue. Probably the use of heavier trains required the bridge to be upgraded, but I imagine it was upgrade in different phases at different times, based on the styles of construction.

Karen Kimpel who lives in Paisley and owns the Elora Soap Comapny emailed me about this page. She was able to dig up a few historical details about the bridge:

Garret Lamb sent me an Email in January 2010 telling me that the bridge in Paisley has been opened to the public as part of the rail trail. The rail trail map shows the Paisley section as closed, maybe because the second trestle is not open to the public.

He attached a few phtos. The concrete block in the third phot is to keep ATV's from driving over the bridge.