Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bridges of Lyon, France: Perrache Viaduct across the Rhone River

September 2016 (45.7466, 4.8302) Perrache Viaduct
Continuing downstream past Pont Gallieni we arrive at Perrache Viaduct, a railroad bridge across the Rhone. The bridge was named after the nearby train station (and surrounding district), whose enormous yard can be seen in the Google earth photo in last week's blog. The bridge (and the station) were built in 1856. It is a five span cast iron arch bridge on pile foundations that have been repaired, widened, and strengthened several times. It was bombed twice (by the Allies and then by the Germans) during WWII but it was only partially damaged. After the liberation the U.S. Army used the bridge to carry convoys of heavy vehicles eastward after the retreating German Army.
When looking at the bridge, it isn't hard to identify the newer and older members. The exterior arch on the upstream face (above) appears to be riveted and it supports the deck with steel spandrel columns. The exterior arch on the downstream face (below) is reinforced concrete for two of the spans (as part of a later widening or repair) perhaps because steel was hard to obtain. All of the railroad bridges in this part of France have overhead lines to power the trains.
This is the second railroad bridge that we've studied (we looked at the Viaduc SNCF for the first posting on Lyon). We'll look at several more railroad bridges as we complete our circumnavigation of Lyon and head into the surrounding countryside. I noticed a blog on how to take a train from the Perrache Viaduct to the Millau Viaduct (6 hours and $84) in case anyone is interested. Other trains go to Paris and Rome.
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