Abandoned West Lyon Creek Bridge

Abandoned Pony Truss Bridge over West Lyon Creek
Near Woodbine, Dickinson County, Kansas

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Abandoned West Lyon Creek Bridge
Built By Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Private Owner
Length 59 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Double Intersection Warren Pony Truss
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built Ca. 1887
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is Abandoned)
Current Status Abandoned
RI Bridge Number 1792
Significance Regional Significance
In 1887, the Chicago, Kansas and Nebraska Railway constructed a 48 mile line from Herington, Kansas to Salina, Kansas. From Abilene to Salina, the Union Pacific (former Kansas Pacific) tracks would be used by the railroad.
To the south, this line connected with an existing extension between Horton and Herington.

By 1891, the line became a part of the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railway system. This system of lines included several thousand miles of trackage throughout the midwest.
This line was little more than a branch line throughout its entire existence. Another Rock Island line went north of this line, making this line a redundant spur.

In 1980, the Rock Island faced serious financial issues and would finally go bankrupt. As a result, the Herington-Salina line would be abandoned.
A small segment, from Abilene to Woodbine still exists as the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, a tourist railroad.

This beautiful pony truss bridge is hidden in the woods, and has not seen a train in quite some time.
It is believed that the bridge is privately owned. It was built in approximately 1887 during construction of the railroad through the region.
The design is also unique. Double Intersection Warren Pony Trusses are relatively common along former Rock Island and Chicago & North Western branch lines.
However, this structure is much more unique. At 59 feet long, it is one of the shortest spans of this design ever built.
The bridge contains only 5 panels, and riveted connections. It rests on stone abutments, a common trait of 19th century bridges.
It is believed that the bridge is privately owned. Despite this fact, at the March 2017 visit; there was no indications of any no trespassing signs or similar deterrents.

The author hopes that the bridge can be preserved. This bridge type is a dying design. Many of the original C&NW bridges of this design were converted to road use; while many of the RI bridges of this design have been removed.
Because of the high level of significance, the author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant. This ranking for a small bridge like this is rather uncommon.
The bridge remains in great condition, likely due to the materials it was constructed of (iron and stone). However, the wooden tie deck has deteriorated significantly since abandonedment.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Based on construction of rail line
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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