Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Rail look


October 8, 2020

A crew from Koppers Railroad Structures of Madison, Wisc., inspects a trestle outside Hooper Sept. 26. Owned by the state Department of Transportation, the Palouse River and Coulee City Rail line is maintained by lessee Watco Companies of Pittsburg, Kan. The no-fee lease includes responsibility of maintenance. Wood trestles such as this were built in the 1880s-90s, with the deck, stringers and ties replaced in the following decades. "At this point in their lifespan, these bridges need continual maintenance," said Bob Westby, railway manager for the Palouse River and Coulee City line. "It continues to impress me how well these things hold up over time." A stringer is the surface of a bridge, which the ties are laid on.

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