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Nickel Plate-St. Mary's River Bridge


Photo courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Natural Resource, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.


View more info about Indiana historic bridges from the SHAARD database

BH Photo #199553



Camelback through truss bridge over St Mary's River on Norfolk Southern Railway
Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana
Open to traffic
Built in 1895 by the Nickel Plate Railroad
- New York, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad (NKP)
- Norfolk & Western Railway (N&W)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
Seated upon cut stone abutments and wingwalls, this single-span pin-connected Camelback is divided into seven panels by verticals of reverse channels laced to one another. The heaviness of the structure is evident in the crafting of the channels and the cover plates used for the endposts and top chord. Heavy diagonals (reversed laced channels) pinned midway into the endposts stabilize the abutment panels which are of different size to adjust for off-setting the south truss by about 6' to the west. The use of cylindrical and die-forged eyebars as diagonals in the three center section panels is reversed in the opposite truss: Double die-forged eyebars are countered with cylindrical ones with turnbuckles (doubled in the most central panel). The top chord for each of the two side panels has a different slope. The typical and yet heavier double die-forged eyebars angle from the top pins downwards towards midspan, although the panel close to the center section also has an adjustable counter. The heavy girder floor beams are riveted to the vertical above the lower chord. They, in turn, have heavy girder stringers riveted to the floor beams.
The bridge carries two raillines.
Also called
N&W - St. Mary's River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.07932, -85.15375   (decimal degrees)
41°04'46" N, 85°09'14" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/655089/4549204 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Fort Wayne West
Inventory number
BH 48806 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 24, 2016: New photos from Steve Conro
  • August 10, 2012: Updated by J.P.: Added categories "Norfolk & Western Railroad", "Railroad"
  • December 17, 2011: Updated by J.P.: Added category "Pin-connected"
  • May 22, 2011: Added by J.P.


  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com