BNSF Sugar Creek Bridge (Dahinda)

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over Sugar Creek
Dahinda, Knox County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF Sugar Creek Bridge (Dahinda)
Built By Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Contractor (1897 Span) American Bridge Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 65 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 10 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Fabricated (One Span) 1897
Original Location (One Span) Bridge #421 over Bridge Creek; Baring, Missouri
Date Built 1910
Traffic Count 75 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 163.32
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date April 2017
In 1873, the Chicago, Pekin & Southwestern Railroad constructed a line from Streator, Illinois to Ancona, Illinois, a short distance.
The line would be extended to Pequot in 1876. By 1881, the railroad would become part of the Chicago, St. Louis and Western Railroad.
By 1885, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway would purchase the C&StL as part of a project to connect Kansas City to Chicago.
It would be merged into the subsidiary Chicago, Santa Fe and California Railway.

The line would be extended to Chicago by 1885, using the B&O Depot.
In 1888, the line would be extended from Ancona to Fort Madison, Iowa. This also included a new crossing of the Mississippi River at Fort Madison; and crossing of the Illinois River at Chillicothe.

In 1900, the subsidiary was fully merged into the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway. The ATSF system expanded to the west and southwest United States.
Between 1905 and 1911, the line would be double tracked from Chicago heading westward. The new line was important for freight heading from Iowa and Missouri to Chicago.

While the line provided a solid freight base, ATSF began to struggle. Through the era of mergers, there were a few attempted mergers.
Finally, the line merged with Burlington Northern Railway to form BNSF Railway in 1996. Today, this line is owned by BNSF and known as the Chillicothe Subdivision.

Located west of Dahinda, this deck girder bridge crosses Sugar Creek next to Pumping Station Road.
Built in 1910 during a double tracking project, this bridge features a single deck girder span, set onto concrete substructures.
One of the two tracks was reportedly relocated from a bridge near Baring, Missouri in 1907 and stored before finally being placed. That span was built in 1897.
It is surprising that a secondhand span would be used for a mainline. However, the railroad believed that there was more life in a 10 year old girder span.
Girders were oftentimes used for small spans, due to the ease of construction.
While the bridge lies along Pumping Station Road, the road is closed immediately west of Sugar Creek and posted with no trespassing signs.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


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

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