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BN - Chariton River Bridge (Old Channel)


This bridge was located just northwest of the present day ghost town of Sedan. Sedan was once a busy junction of three different railroad lines, all of which had come under control of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad. At one time in the early 1900s, Sedan hosted upwards of 17 trains a day. The town once boasted a depot, hotel, and saloon, along with a few shops and some stables, stockyards, and silos. All that is left today are some foundations and the remnants of the railroad right-of-ways.

The Chariton River was straightened in several places throughout southern Iowa and northern Missouri, including this area. This bridge actually crossed over the original channel and is listed in the CB&Q track charts as crossing the Chariton River. Two miles to the southeast, another bridge crossed over the new Chariton River channel, which is listed as the Chariton River Drainage Ditch in the track chart.

The straightening and bypassing may have taken some time, which could account for the railroad's nomenclature in the track chart. It was also common at the time to refer to a newly straightened river channel as a 'ditch.' Whether by natural or man-made causes, after it was bypassed the old channel slowly filled in, leaving the original bridge to span a large backwater area on the swampy Sedan Bottoms.

Note: Total length is approximate, estimating 18' per panel on the wooden approach trestle.


Lost Through truss bridge over old Chariton River channel on former Burlington Northern (ex-CB&Q) railroad.
Appanoose County, Iowa
Abandoned and removed ca. 1981
- Burlington Northern Railroad (BN)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
1 x 132' Through truss
16 Panel Pile Trestle
Length of largest span: 132.0 ft.
Total length: 420.0 ft.
Also called
BN - Sedan Bottoms Bridge
CB&Q - Chariton River Bridge
CB&Q Br. 82.75
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.65922, -92.77023   (decimal degrees)
40°39'33" N, 92°46'13" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/519422/4500954 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Centerville East
Inventory number
BH 73425 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 31, 2016: Added by Dylan VanAntwerp


  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com