Cover Painting, Watercolor by Ted Rose
Dan Cupper Discusses His Publication
As Presented by the Noted Author at the Museum's 2002 Pennsy Days:
Railroad Historian Dan Cupper discussed his book Rockville Bridge: Rails Across the Susquehanna during the Museum's Pennsy Days program. Cupper is an accomplished author and consultant on railroad and highway history. His works include Crossroads of Commerce--The Pennsylvania Railroad Calendar Art of Grif Teller.
This is the centennial year of the stone bridge, which was opened for traffic on March 30, 1902, Easter Sunday morning, with the first train being the Atlantic Express, No. 20, with D16a 4-4-0 engine No. 30 doing the honors. Construction took two years, having started in March 1900.
The bridge is built of sandstone from western Pennsylvania, primarily from quarries in Johnstown and Curwensville. Total weight is 440 million pounds (220,000 tons). Length is 3,823 feet between back walls of the abutments at the springing line. The bridge is made up of two abutments, 47 piers, and 48 arches. Each arch is 70 feet long.
(Photo of T1 Locomotive on the bridge: Ted Xaras.)
The book details all three bridges at the site, the single-track wooden 1849 bridge, the double-track iron 1877 bridge, and the present four-track (as built) 1902 stone-and-concrete bridge. It is currently not available, but may be consulted in libraries.
|Dan Cupper is the grandson and great-grandson of PRR men, and the son of a former employee of Standard Steel (once owned by Baldwin Locomotive Works). He has written or consulted for Amtrak, Conrail, Norfolk Southern, Santa Fe Railway, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. Currently, he is managing editor of the bimonthly locomotive news magazine Diesel Era, and edits railroad books issued by Withers Publishing. He has written articles for American Heritage, Pennsylvania Heritage, Progressive Railroading, TRAINS, Railfan & Railroad, Passenger Train Journal, Railway & Locomotive Preservation, and The Keystone magazines.