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Neodesha Rail Bridge (East)

Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Verdigris River
Neodesha, Wilson County, Kansas

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Name Neodesha Rail Bridge (East)
Built By St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad
Contractor King Bridge Company of Cleveland
Currently Owned By South Kansas & Oklahoma Railroad
Length 296 Feet Total, 165 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1905
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
SKOL Bridge Number 400.50
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1872, the Memphis, Carthage & Northwestern Railroad began construction of a line between Pierce City and Carthage, Missouri.
The next year, the line would be continued to Carl Junction (north of Joplin).

By 1877, the railroad would see a name change to the Missouri & Western Railway. An extension of 27 miles would be constructed to Oswego, Kansas.
The Missouri & Western Railway would be deeded to the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway in 1879. Commonly known as the Frisco, the Frisco system covered much of states such as Missouri and Arkansas.

Another railroad, the St. Louis, Wichita & Western Railway would continue building west. Another segment opened to Severy, located in Greenwood County; by 1879.
The following year, the line would be opened to Wichita. By 1882, the route became a part of the Frisco as well.

While the line continued west, the Frisco was reorganized as the St. Louis and San Francisco Railroad in 1896. By 1916, the route would again be renamed to the St. Louis-San Fransisco Railway.

While the line was critical to the Frisco, the railroad was merged into Burlington Northern in 1980. Because of this, the route became quite disused. Much of the Frisco trackage paralleled additional BN lines.
By 1996, the Burlington Northern merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe to form BNSF Railway. Because the Frisco and Santa Fe routes often paralleled one another, a sale in 1997 sold a large segment from Columbus, Kansas to Severy to the Kansas Eastern Railroad.
In 2000, this segment was sold to the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad (SKOL).
Another segment was sold in 1998 to the Missouri & North Arkansas. The 6 mile line included trackage south of Carthage, Missouri.

Because of the parallel lines, major abandonments occurred in 2000; which included a segment from Wichita to Severy, and another in 2000 which removed the Carthage-Columbus segment from service.

In 2017, BNSF operates a segment from Pierce City to near Carthage as the Pierce City Industrial Lead. From that point to Carthage is operated by the MN&A.
In addition, SKOL operates a segment from Columbus to Fredonia. A portion of the line from Fredonia to Severy was abandoned in 2004. This segment is planned to become part of a rail to trail.
06/30/18


In 1905, the Frisco Railroad constructed a number of highly detailed Pratt Through Trusses.
Teaming up with King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio, these new trusses were heavily built but contained ornate features more common on 1880s bridges.
Of these details, the portal bracing is the most striking. It is beautiful cutout design.
The main span of the bridge is a large 7-panel pin connected Pratt Through Truss. It is approached by a series of 4 deck girder spans on the east end.
The truss is identical to a nearby bridge in Wilson County, as well as another in Labette County.
Despite the 1905 build date, the structure is set onto purely concrete substructures.

Because of the detailed and intricate design, the author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant.
The photo above is looking east along the bridge. One can access the bridge from 4175 Road.

Verdigris River Railroad Bridges
Upstream UP Verdigris River Bridge (Neodesha)
Downstream Independence Rail Bridge (S)

Citations

Source Type

Source

Build Date King Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Contractor King Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele



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