Why are railroad trestles called trestles and not bridges?

Update:

All good answers......can't really pick a best one....I'm gonna let it go to a vote....thank you all ....Iearned what I wanted to know

Update 2:

Thank you Skagg......I know i said I'd let it go to a bote but.....

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    In typical bridge construction, you will have piers or bents that support the longitudinal, moment carrying members which are usually called beams, girders, joists or stringers depending on the layout and material used. The piers and bents will typically be constructed only in the plane transverse to traffic and will not have connection from one substructure (pier) unit to the next.

    A railroad trestle will be comprised entirely of wood and one bent or pier will be dependent on the next with longitudinal and diagonal bracing to support the longitudinal loads. There will be no clear spans between piers.

    In other words, in a trestle, all of the piers work together while in typical bridge construction, each of the piers will carry load independently.

    Source(s): Railway Engineer
  • kirk
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Railroad Trestle

  • wooton
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Trestle Definition

  • 1 decade ago

    Because a trestle is not a bridge. Bridges have a distinct span supported by abutments or piers. Trestles are more-or-less continuously supported by many bents.

    If a bridge pier fails, the bridge falls down. If a trestle bent fails, there are enough other nearby supports that the trestle is likely to remain standing.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Because a bridge generally has a solid top surface (like a road) where a train's trestles will be an open structure, usually with gaps between the railway sleepers, and no continuous surface on top.

    Hope that helps, although some will call them trestle bridges, just to confuse matters.

  • 1 decade ago

    because of the "leg" supports under it. A trestle is a frame or support to hold something else.... i.e. - railroad tracks.

    a trestle is a bridge, but it is a trestle bridge. i imagine people have just shortened it to be known as a trestle.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A railway bridge anywhere but the US looks like a bridge but especially in the rural areas they made bridges out of wooden trestles because 1/ wood was readily available,2/it is a relatively quick way to construct a bridge,3/you can do it with relatively unskilled labor whereas other types of bridges require skilled workers.

  • 1 decade ago

    If the railroad is supported by large braced frames, then it is called a "trestle." Any other type is called a "bridge."

    The word trestle means "a braced frame serving as support."

    (Technically, an automotive bridge could be a trestle, depending on its design.)

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    A trestle sounds stronger than a bridge.

    Actually pickle's answer says it well, short and to the point.

  • Tara
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

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    It is there because it was one of the few ways to get to Three River Stadium. It has served as a milestone to the city for years. It was thought to have been the reason that the Steeler Teams of the '70's were able to win Super Bowls (that by tearing it down, they would have jinxed the teams). The city left it as a historical marker to remember things by (the Pittsburgh Pirates <fish that saved Pittsburgh> and Steelers).

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