Osage County Places: Melvern’s old bridge now only carries railroad buffs and walkers

View of Melvern’s Pine Street Bridge from Railroad Park; staghorn sumac in foreground.

The Pine Street Bridge, also known as Fifth Street Bridge, in Melvern, Kan., was constructed between May and August of 1909. It spans 148 feet and has a 15-foot wide wooden deck over a main double track line of the BNSF railroad.

It may have been constructed from materials from an earlier railroad bridge dating back to 1884. The only marking is the word “Cambria” stamped on some of the beams. This indicates it was manufactured by the Cambria Steel Co. of Johnstown, Penn.

The bridge was designed for vehicular traffic originally, but is now open only for pedestrian crossings.

The BNSF railroad was originally chartered as The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad in 1859. By the time this bridge was built over the double track, AT&SF had more than 9,000 miles of rail.

Melvern is a great town to safely view trains passing from this bridge or from a viewing stand in Railroad Park.

The Pine Street Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Source: Kansas State Historical Society and kshs.org

Photos and information thanks to Paul Schmidt.

Bridge approach showing deck and truss structure.

See related article and photos: Explore Osage: Railroad Park, Melvern


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