Sunday, March 5, 2017

PRR Bridge over Little Pipe Creek near Keymar, MD

(Bridge Hunter, Satellite)
I don't normally do bridges in the East because learning the railroads of the Midwest is complicated enough, but when I saw a picture of a Bollman truss span, I had to dig deeper.

Frederick & Pennsylvania Line Railroad Museum, Inc posted four pictures with the comment:
The 705' Little Pipe Creek Bridge. In 1871, the Frederick & Pennsylvania Line Railroad began construction of a bridge to cross Little Pipe Creek near Keymar, MD. The original structure, an iron suspension truss bridge, was designed and built by Wendel Bollman and his Patapsco Bridge & Iron Works of Baltimore, MD. In 1896, the Pennsylvania Railroad acquired ownership of the Frederick & Pennsylvania Line RR and began rebuilding this bridge. By 1903, the bridge was replaced with steel plate girder span which stands today. For complete history and additional photos, see Mike O'Connor's research here:…/Little_Pipe_Creek_bridge_and_via…
1: Photo during rebuild between 1896 & 1903. Exact date unknown. Photographer located on SE corner of bridge. Train is southbound to Woodsboro, Walkersville and Frederick.

2: PRR rebuild of Little Pipe Creek Bridge in the late 1890's. A portion of the original Bollman bridge is visible under the workers.
[Per a comment by ashcraft824, this is probably over Big Pipe Creek because the bents on the left side are on a steep canyon wall. I added a topo map below that shows that the south side of Big Pipe Creek is steep.]

3: 1915 ICC survey photo. Note photo is labeled YH&F Ry, (York, Hanover & Frederick Railway) A PRR subsidiary.

4: Arial view of bridge as it appears today. Maryland Midland Railroad (GWR) is the owner.

A comment on the above posting
Another photo of Little Pipe Creek bridge taken during the PRR rebuild in the late 1890's
1953 Union Bridge Quadrangle @ 1:24,000


  1. Hello - I believe the bridge in the historic photos is actually over Big Pipe Creek, not Little Pipe Creek. A friend and I were looking at the area today - next to the little community of Bruceville. There are steep sides to the valley of Big Pipe Creek and they require quite a high trestle.

    1. According to the topo map, the trestle over Little Pipe Creek is higher over the creek. But Big Pipe Creek has the steep canyon wall that we can see in the photo. I have updated the caption for Photo 2.