Monday, January 10, 2022

1939 (UP+BNSF)/Rock Island Bridge over Cimarron River

(Bridger Hunter; no Historic Bridges; Satellite)

It's called "The Samson of the Cimarron!"

I was going to pass up another trestle bridge until I noticed the size of that embankment.
Jack Robertson posted and BridgeHunter
CRI&P train, engine number 4046, engine type 4-8-2
Perry, Otto, 1894-1970
Train #3, Golden State Limited; 14 cars. Photographed: on Cimarron River bridge near Liberal, Kan., May 26, 1940.

The bridge is 1,268' long. This bridge was part of a reroute of Rock Island's 1888 line to avoid the flooding they experienced at their original Cimarron River crossing. They lost many trestle bridges at the old crossing because they kept being wiped out by floods. The new route also removed many curves including a hairpin turn at the approach of the old bridge. And it reduced the grades since the tracks stayed 100' above the bed of the river. [KansasSampler]

Bruce Evans commented on Jack's post
Would be a great model.

You can tell that there is more moisture down by the river because trees block the view of the bridge. But in this case I was after the embankment anyhow. This is the south embankment.
Street View

I was able to see some of the bridge.
Street View

The north embankment is so long that the bridge is very small long before you get to the start of the embankment. (The bridge is the black smudge on the left side of this extract.)
Street View

This topo map taught me that the south embankment was short compared to the north embankment.

A BridgeHunter comment pointed out that the cuts are also impressive. (A small portion of the eastern cut


  1. Hi Dennis, do you have an e-mail address where we might be able to get in touch? I am a researcher working at the Railroad Museum of PA. I have published an article on the story of William Kelly, and his relationship to the steel industry throughout his lifetime. Your post on Kelly garnered my interest, wondered if you might be willing to chat via e-mail.