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Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 166 (International)
Posted by: Espee99 ()
Date: August 24, 2015 05:34PM

Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 166 (International) - 08/24/15

This day in Railroad History

August 24, 1951
Noted soil engineer Dr. Ralph Brazelton Peck conducted a test boring as part of a project to stabilize movement of the then-70-year-old Northern Pacific Railroad bridge over the Missouri River at Bismarck, North Dakota. Although original bridge architect George S. Morison properly designed his bridge to withstand the force of ice jams and high water, he did not foresee was that slope instability above the bank would create decades of problems and almost lead to abandonment of his bridge. Shortly after the railroad bridge was completed, the east pier began sliding towards the river. For the next 68 years, Northern Pacific engineers applied a variety of slope stabilization techniques in an attempt to stop the pier from moving. Peck used the results of the test bores to determine the factor of safety for the slope above the pier. At Peck's direction, the NP removed a considerable amount of the hillside above the east pier to reduce the slope to the factor of safety. Finally, after all of those years, Peck's efforts resulted in relative stability of the slope above the east bridge pier, and the bridge stands today. (link is to a 7Mb .PDF with diagrams and photos, both vintage and current.)

Tonight's Photo - Please send photos to


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Trainnews - volume 8 - issue 166 (International)432 Espee99 08/24/2015 05:34PM

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