Dahinda Rail Bridge

Parker Through Truss Bridge over Spoon River
Dahinda, Knox County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Dahinda Rail Bridge
Built By Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 440 Feet Total, 230 Foot Main Span
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Parker Through Truss and Through Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1910
Traffic Count 75 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 163.10
Significance Regional 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 near the town od Dahinda, this massive truss bridge crosses the Spoon River.
Built in 1910 to replace an older single track bridge, this structure features a massive 9-panel pin connected Parker Through Truss. In addition, it is approached by a pair of through girders on either side. The entire bridge sits on concrete substructures.
The truss of this bridge is rather unique. Railroads had mainly stopped using pin connected trusses by 1910. However, the long length of this span required a Parker design with pin connections.
In addition, the through girder approaches are 105 feet long each, unsually long for the time period.
Unfortunately, BNSF has recently been upgrading trusses along this route.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. The future is uncertain for this bridge, due to the large amount of traffic it carries.

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

Spoon River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Spoon River Trail Bridge
Downstream BNSF Spoon River Bridge


Source Type


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

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