Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What's a Wye?

Last month I posted this photo on the Times-Union's web site, and noted that I saw the trains come just this far onto the bridge, and then reverse and back off again. I thought perhaps they were turning around. [Click images to enlarge.]

Rich was kind enough to post a comment confirming that was probably correct, as there is a track configuration called a "wye" at the east end of the bridge, which lets the train do a 3-point turn to go back down to NYC. You can see the wye on the east side of the river if you search for "livingston avenue bridge, rensselaer, ny" here on Google Maps - it looks very cool with Satellite view turned on too.

Wikipedia has a good article about the "wye" in rail terminology here, as well as a little blurb on the century-old Livingston Ave. Bridge here.

This is a rotating swing bridge owned by CSX Transportation. Here is a really nice video on YouTube, showing the bridge in action.

Here is one more view of the Livingston Avenue Bridge, taken Oct. 10 from the Corning Preserve on the Albany side of the Hudson River.