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  1. #1
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    Default Train Derailed on AT footbridge in Harpers Ferry

    A trail derailed at 3am this morning taking out the AT footbridge in Harpers Ferry
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
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    News article, but not much info. Happened at 3am this morning. No injuries. Looking at the pictures posted on Facebook it looks like the footbridge will be closed for quite some time. https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/l...b-25378fe8c425
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    Great. It will be quite a detour to get around that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Great. It will be quite a detour to get around that.
    I remember crossing the 340 bridge years ago (70's) but I can't recall how we got off the bridge and back down to the AT. I don't recall even hiking on the C&O back in those days. I guess you'd have to cross the 340 bridge into MD and get down to Sandy Hook Rd. You can defiantly get to the AT from Sandy Hook by crossing the Canal and tracks by the utility building just downstream from the bridge. I go that way to get to the HF Hostel on Sandy Hook Rd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don H View Post
    I remember crossing the 340 bridge years ago (70's) but I can't recall how we got off the bridge and back down to the AT. I don't recall even hiking on the C&O back in those days. I guess you'd have to cross the 340 bridge into MD and get down to Sandy Hook Rd. You can defiantly get to the AT from Sandy Hook by crossing the Canal and tracks by the utility building just downstream from the bridge. I go that way to get to the HF Hostel on Sandy Hook Rd.
    Back in 1976 I hiked SOBO using the railroad bridge pedestrian plank walkway. The guidebook said thru hikers use the bridge at your own risk. The 1973 map and 1974 guide show the trail bypassed Harpers Ferry following the ridge down to route 340 and crossing the Potomac using the 340 bridge. The guide describes an "alternate trail" if you wanted to visit Harpers Ferry.That trail used the Loudon Heights trail and Shenandoah River bridge into Harpers Ferry and the railroad bridge to cross the Potomac on the way out going NOBO.
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    does anyone have a working link? both of those posted are dead....
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    Both links work for me. The one is a Facebook post from the Appalachian Trail Section Hiker page the other is from WUSA channel 9.
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    Twitter feed with some good photos: https://twitter.com/vbagate/status/1208367541976027137
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    The pictures don't actually look too bad (except for the train cars in the river.) A small section of the footbridge near the West Virginia side is out, but it should be relatively easy to restore, since the main train bridge it's attached to seems to be intact. It will be closed for a while, but I suspect it will be reopened by the time most thruhikers hit the area in 2020. Thank goodness this all happened at 3am when no one was out there.
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    I agree on it being repaired fairly soon. No main supports or piers into the water were compromised, the pedestrian bridge is held up by angled supports to the train bridge. It's also used by way more tourists then thru hikers and is an attraction so I imagine they'd want to get on that pretty quick.
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    Just out of curiosity, if they do NOT get it fixed by this spring, what would be an alternative? Ahhh, I may see it, the hike back over the Shenandoah River, walk parallel to US340 east, then over the Sandy hook bridge? Can pedestrians cross that one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Just out of curiosity, if they do NOT get it fixed by this spring, what would be an alternative? Ahhh, I may see it, the hike back over the Shenandoah River, walk parallel to US340 east, then over the Sandy hook bridge? Can pedestrians cross that one?
    Not 100% sure, but I think that was the route when I walked by in 1983.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Just out of curiosity, if they do NOT get it fixed by this spring, what would be an alternative? Ahhh, I may see it, the hike back over the Shenandoah River, walk parallel to US340 east, then over the Sandy hook bridge? Can pedestrians cross that one?
    Canoe rides? (I think that it has been done up in Maine? )
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    Registered User soilman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atraildreamer View Post
    Canoe rides? (I think that it has been done up in Maine? )

    From 1936 to 1948 hikers "crossed the Shenandoah River in flat bottom punts poled by ferrymen." - from 1974 edition of Guide to the Appalachian Trail from the Susquehanna River to the Shenandoah National Park.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    Just out of curiosity, if they do NOT get it fixed by this spring, what would be an alternative? Ahhh, I may see it, the hike back over the Shenandoah River, walk parallel to US340 east, then over the Sandy hook bridge? Can pedestrians cross that one?
    I really hope they have it repiared by spring. The 340, sandy hook rd and bridge is very dangerous the bridge is 1 lane, very tight and dangerous. Considering the amount of folks that start pouring through here starting spring time, whew I don't want to think about that. Across the river and canal, bottom of the Maryland heights trail is a very small area for parking about 6 cars and 1/2 mile further is a small area for parking about cars that's it.

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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    I really hope they have it repiared by spring. The 340, sandy hook rd and bridge is very dangerous the bridge is 1 lane, very tight and dangerous. Considering the amount of folks that start pouring through here starting spring time, whew I don't want to think about that. Across the river and canal, bottom of the Maryland heights trail is a very small area for parking about 6 cars and 1/2 mile further is a small area for parking about cars that's it.
    So no space between the Jersey barrier and the bridge railing to walk?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    So no space between the Jersey barrier and the bridge railing to walk?
    No not at all, sandy hook rd itself is a very curvy, tight no room on the other side of yellow line for people dangerous kind of rd. The bridge is about 1/2 mile down and the bridge itself is curved, 1 lane and about 8' wide maybe. No Jersey barriers no railing just a little country rd & 1 lane bridge with stone walls. About another 1/2 mile is the c&o and AT trails.

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    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    No not at all, sandy hook rd itself is a very curvy, tight no room on the other side of yellow line for people dangerous kind of rd. The bridge is about 1/2 mile down and the bridge itself is curved, 1 lane and about 8' wide maybe. No Jersey barriers no railing just a little country rd & 1 lane bridge with stone walls. About another 1/2 mile is the c&o and AT trails.
    Very hard to see on Google Earth, but here is a Street View shot of 340 that made me think there was room to walk between the bridge rail and Jersey Barrier.

    3A5F1933-E451-49C5-B4E2-98C9DCD98267.jpeg

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    If my memory is correct the AT used to follow the Loudoun Heights trail and then cross the 340 bridge into Sandy Hook. The trail was relocated into Harpers Ferry about 35 years ago I think.

  20. #20

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    Could anyone who is local, supply us with close ups of the AT bridge? (When you can do so safely.) BTW, how do they clear up a mess like this? Lots of cranes or something else?

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