Title: Tower Bridge (Sacramento, California) Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1944-1946
Collection number: MS 38
Extent: 1 document box
California State Railroad Museum Library
Sacramento, California 95814
Shelf location: Big Four Building or off-site storage. Please contact
the Library in advance of your visit.
Gift of Earl Wendricks, 1981
Copyright has not been assigned to the California State Railroad Museum. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Senior
Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the CSRM as the owner of the
physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder,
which must also be obtained by the reader.
[Identification of item], Tower Bridge (Sacramento, California) Collection, MS 38, California State Railroad Museum Library,
One bound ledger records maintenance to the bridge between March 1, 1944 to March 30, 1946. Colorful ink drawings embellish
the endpapers. There are also a few clippings regarding the bridge's history. A few photographs have been filed with the Museum's
The Tower Bridge, which spans the Sacramento River from the foot of Capitol Mall (M Street) to West Sacramento replaced an
earlier swing-span bridge. Rails were first laid across that bridge in 1912 to carry the trains of the Sacramento & Woodland
and the Oakland, Antioch & Eastern Railroads (which were later merged into the Sacramento Northern Railroad). During the sixteen-month
construction period, automobile traffic was routed across the M Street Bridge, while the Sacramento Northern electric trains
operated across a temporary wood bridge, located just adjacent upstream. The new bridge was dedicated December 15, 1935. The
last Sacramento Northern train over the Tower Bridge operated on November 15, 1962.
The Tower Bridge is the only lift draw bridge on the Sacramento River. The clearance between the towers is 186 feet and the
lift span weighs 500 tons. Two rows of 12 cables attach each corner of the lift span to the balancing counterweights on each
tower. Those 96 heavy cables pass over grooved wheels which are 12 feet in diameter set near the top of each tower. A 100
horsepower motor raises and lowers the bridge. It can be raised to its full height of 100 feet in one and one-half minutes.