Paisley Trestle Plans

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The Paisley Trestle, June 20, 1948.

The Paisley Trestle was considered one of the improvements made to the Chicago to Monon section of the Monon mainline following the 1897 reorganization. The McDoel improvements included straightening the line north of Lowell, Indiana which required building through a bog south of Cedar Lake. The original intention was to use solid fill. The bog proved to be "bottomless" resulting in the fill material sinking endlessly. The decision was made to span the bog with a floating structure, called the Paisley Trestle. It was first considered quite an engineering feat. Over time it became a liability. Towards the end of its life, the trestle, became a standing menace to the railroad. Any locomotive or equipment that derailed and went into the bog would be virtually impossible to recover.

When John Barriger came to power, he called for the removal of the trestle by relocation the line away from the west shore of Cedar Lake. In 1948 he undertook the project, called the Cedar Lake cutoff. It circumvented both the lakeshore and the bog south of the lake. It thus eliminated the 963 foot floating trestle. The new cutoff opened on November 30, 1948. While it made for faster travel, it did remove one scenic feature of the railroad.

Presented below are two original mechanical drawings of the Paisley Trestle. They are courtesy of Robert Wheeler, Archives Director, Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society. Click on image to enlarge to full size.








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