A Southern Indiana Railway Landmark

Back in college, I heard about this giant train track called the Tulip Trestle not too terribly far from the Indiana University campus. So one day, I grabbed my medium format film camera and drove out to investigate this local wonder.

Fast forward several years and a woman named Laura came into my life. Even though we met in Indianapolis, she grew up in the shadows of this magnificent steam structure.

So when we recently went to do a reshoot of her son’s senior photos this past weekend, the Viaduct (as the locals call it) was a natural choice for a backdrop. I took advantage of the opportunity to take some new photos of the structure.

 

The Tulip Trestle sits outside Bloomfield, Indiana and is the largest working rail structure of its kind in the world.
The Tulip Trestle sits outside Bloomfield, Indiana and is the largest working rail structure of its kind in the world.

Some History

Tulip Trestle is 2,307 feet long and stands 157 feet in the air. It is the longest type of this bridge that is still in use in the world! That is even more remarkable when you consider this bridge was built in 1906 making it 112 years old this year.

When constructed, it cost $246,504. Translate that into today’s dollars and you’re looking at more than $20 million!

Still standing strong after all these years!
Still standing strong after all these years!

A Local Attraction

Over the years, locals have covered the steel structure in colorful graffiti. Everything from marriage proposals to high school senior brags covers the beams.

I love the majesty and artistry of the lines formed by the girders. Although I was a bit short on time this trip, I do hope to get back to the Tulip Trestle and spend more time exploring and photographing this landmark.

Intersecting lines fade into the distance underneath the structure.
Intersecting lines fade into the distance underneath the structure.

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