Monday, April 23, 2012

Where I Run: Abandoned Railroad Truss Bridge

This "through truss" bridge is about 3 miles from my home, crossing the Conococheague Creek.  It once carried the line of the Southern Pennsylvania Iron and Railway Company from near Marion, PA to Mercersburg and thence to Richmond Furnace, PA.  From the east:

And a bit closer....

[preceding photos by Gary]

This railroad through truss bridge was built around 1896 and abandoned around 1973, according to local bridge aficionado Jodi Christman:

Southern Pennsylvania Iron and Railway Company built this bridge as part of the railroad with a mission to connect to ore lands where new furnaces were built. Richmond Furnace, being one of the furnaces, unfortunately turned into an expensive disappointment. Later in the 1950s there was a surge on this railway as additional tunnels for the Pennsylvania Turnpike were built. I believe the railroad closed in 1973, but I am not certain. SOURCE-"Railroads of Western Franklin County" by Randy Watts

Jodi's site contains maps, coordinates, and many additional photos.

I've run across this bridge a few times, most recently about two years ago when PENNDOT was rebuilding the auto bridge 1/2 mile north and the creek was just too high to ford.


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