Schererville Rail Crossing

Lost Pennsylvania Through Truss over Norfolk Southern Railway
Schererville, Lake County, Indiana

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Schererville Rail Crossing
Built By Chicago, Indiana & Southern Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Last Owned By Norfolk Southern Railway
Length 215 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pennsylvania Through Truss
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1905
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge Has Been Removed)
Current Status Removed but Not Replaced
NS Bridge Number 10.97
Significance Regional Significance
In 1906, the Danville and Indiana Harbor Railroad began construction of a line from Danville, Illinois to the Illinois/Indiana Border.
At the same time, the Indiana Harbor Railroad was beginning construction of 100 miles of additional mainline between Osborn, Indiana and the State Line. This coincided with the construction of the line between Indiana Harbor and Osborn in 1903.

By the end of 1906, both railroads became part of the Chicago, Indiana and Southern Railroad.

The CI&S used this line as a mainline, because of the double track standards. It became nicknamed the "Egyptian Line" because of the connections to Cairo, Illinois.

By 1914, the CI&S became one of several railroads combined to form the modern New York Central Railroad.

The railroad also had many connections to eastern railroads, as well as western railroads.
By 1968, the railroad merged with rival Pennsylvania Railroad to form Penn Central, one of the most disastrous mergers of the merger era.

The Penn Central quickly became unprofitable, and began expelling lines. By 1970, the railroad would be bankrupt.
By 1976, Penn Central quickly declined to the point of splitting up the railroads. In another effort to keep the system alive, the U.S. Government created Conrail to hold together numerous failing systems.

However, Conrail did not fare better. The section between Schneider and Danville was abandoned, but never removed in 1994.

By 1998, Conrail was split between Norfolk Southern and CSX. This line would go to to Norfolk Southern, as a connection to the other ex CI&S line to Kankakee.

Today, Norfolk Southern owns the entire Indiana Harbor-Danville Line; however only the Schneider to Indiana Harbor section is active.
It is known as the Kankakee Line. There is a possibility of returning service someday soon.

This large bridge once crossed over the Pennsylvania Railroad's mainline to Cincinnati.
However, this line would be abandoned and the bridge above would ultimately be abandoned.

This large bridge was a pin connected, 7 Panel Pennsylvania Through Truss. It rested on concrete abutments.

While standing next to this bridge, a sense of awe came over myself. The bridge was absolutely massive.
An absolutely beautiful structure, it was not without it's flaws. A Norfolk Southern employee below the bridge allowed me to take pictures, but also let me know the structure had several micro fractures in the steel, which is why it was to be replaced.
Unfortunately, the structure was removed in November of 2015. The loss of bridges in Lake County, Indiana in 2015 should be alarming. Not only was this significant truss demolished, but the Monon Bridge over the Grand Calumet River was illegally removed by a private individual, seeking monetary gain from the scrap.
This large scale destruction should be approached with caution, as it has made Lake County a less attractive place to visit bridges.

The author ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the large scale design of a rather uncommon structure.
Overall, while unfortunate, this bridge did have serious defects. It was restricted with a speed limit of 10 Miles/Hour at the end of it's life.

The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Firsthand interview with replacement contractor
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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