Winfield Rail Bridge #1

Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Walnut River
Winfield, Cowley County, Kansas

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Winfield Rail Bridge #1
Built By Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 357 Feet Total, 149 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track, Substructures Built for 2
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss, Deck Girder and Concrete Girder
Substructure Type Concrete and Concrete Pile
Date Built 1904, Approaches Rebuilt 1922 and Ca. 1995
Traffic Count 25 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 251.33
Significance Moderate Significance
In 1880, the Cowley, Sumner and Fort Smith Railroad began construction on a 51 mile route between Wichita, Kansas and Arkansas City, Kansas.
Completed later that year, it set the stage for a major mainline into Oklahoma. In 1882, it was reincorporated as the Wichita & Southwestern Railway.
By 1901, this route became another railroad that would be acquired by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.

ATSF would operate this as a secondary mainline, connecting Wichita to Winfield and Arkansas City.
The ATSF oftentimes found itself in financial troubles. In 1996, they merged with Burlington Northern Railroad to form BNSF Railway, the current operator of this route.
Today, the route runs between Wichita and Arkansas City, and is known as the Arkansas City Subdivision. It connects to the Red Rock Subdivision, which runs towards Dallas.

This large Pratt Through Truss is visible from US-77 just south of Winfield.
Built in 1904, this truss follows a standard design. It consists of a 6-panel, pin connected Pratt Through Truss Span. It was likely originally approached by wooden trestles.
By 1918, a road would be built under the south approach. This necessitated the installation of an I-Beam span, set onto a concrete abutment.
In 1919, a second parallel truss would be added for southbound (eastbound) track. This new truss included girder and concrete slab approaches.
By 1922/23 the original southbound trestle approaches would be replaced with deck girders and concrete slab spans. The original I-Beam span would be replaced around 1995 with modular spans.
Presently, only the northbound structure exists. It is unknown why the newer structure was removed, or if it was eventually reused at a new location.
Overall, the bridge remains in good condition. The bridge sits on concrete and concrete pile substructures. Along with Bridge #2, this is the most used bridge in Winfield.

The author has ranked this bridge as being moderately significant, due to the truss design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from the road it crosses.

Walnut River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Winfield Rail Bridge #2
Downstream Confluence with Arkansas River


Source Type


Build Date Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway 1937 Bridge Records
Contractor American Bridge Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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