4 votes

Nickel Plate Trail - Wabash River Bridge



Photo taken by Tom Hall in October 2006


BH Photo #136821


Street View 

Brief History 

Written by James Norwood

This former "Peru and Indianapolis" railroad line was one of the first in Indiana connecting Indianapolis to Peru via Noblesville, Tipton, and Kokomo for a connection with the Wabash and Erie Canal which lay just past the North side of this bridge. Later another rail line was constructed from Michigan City to Peru via Plymouth and Rochester and both lines were merged to form one continuous connection. Later acquired by the Lake Erie and Western Railroad, and later Nickel Plate Road, it was called the IMC division. IMC=Indy to Michigan City. Norfolk and Western later acquired Nickel Plate, and later became Norfolk Southern. In 1989, line was leased to Central Railroad of Indianapolis (CERA), a division of Railtex, and was used little. After CERA and Railtex was bought out by another parent company named Railamerica, Norfolk Southern took back the line and never used it again. It was abandoned in 1999, but Railbanked. Railbanking assures the right of way is left intact in case future transportation needs require it to be reactivated. Sometimes utilities can also use the right of way via the Railbanking clause. The Indiana Trails Fund immediately took possesion of the line form Rochester to Cassville(just North of Kokomo)via a Surface Transportation Board ruling after abandonment was granted and are building the Nickel Plate Trail along this line which includes this bridge. Part of the trail is finished in different areas, but this bridge requires extra safety requirements to protect trail users that have not been completed as of 2009. Bridge is easily viewed from the OLD US 31 Through Truss bridge which is just downstream from the Nickel Plate bridge.

Link to Nickel Plate Trail Inc. website.

Written by James Norwood



Through truss bridge over Wabash River on abandoned Norfolk Southern Railway, soon Nickel Plate Trail in Peru
Peru, Miami County, Indiana
Open to pedestrians on Nickle Plate Trail
one of the oldest rail lines in Indiana, this bridge was built by Nickel Plate Road(later Norfolk & Western, Norfolk Southern). Last used by Central Railroad of Indy, Now Railbanked and property of Indiana Trails Fund
- Lake Erie & Western Railroad (LE&W)
- New York, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad (NKP)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- Rail-to-trail
Through truss with limestone block piers and gangways along sides for railroad crewman to get off to side of passing trains. 3 133 Foot through Trusses, 2 67 foot deck girders, 1 20 foot and 1 33 foot spans as well. Possible built by King Bridge Company.
Length of largest span: 133.0 ft.
Total length: 587.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.74207, -86.09564   (decimal degrees)
40°44'31" N, 86°05'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/576354/4510518 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bunker Hill
Inventory number
BH 42275 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 10, 2018: New photos from Mike Daffron
  • June 20, 2014: Updated by James Norwood: updated bridge, now open for pedestrians
  • October 10, 2013: New Street View added by J.P.
  • September 5, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Changed name
  • April 6, 2011: New photos from James Norwood
  • April 28, 2010: New photos from James Norwood
  • April 28, 2009: Essay added by James Norwood
  • April 27, 2009: Updated by James Norwood
  • April 9, 2009: New photos from Tom Hall
  • April 9, 2009: Essay added by James Norwood


  • James Norwood
  • Nickel Plate Trail groups homepage
  • Tom Hall - thomas [dot] hall [at] ffni [dot] com
  • Luke
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com


Nickel Plate Road IMC Wabash River Bridge
Posted July 16, 2012, by Todd (waycool67 [at] rocketmail [dot] com)

I went to Indiana Beach, Monticello, Indiana. On my drive back to Ohio I decided to go bridge hunting. I whipped out my Nikon and snapped a series of the newly completed Nickel Plate Road Wabash River Bridge. It is a gem alright.

Nickel Plate Road IMC Wabash River Bridge
Posted March 4, 2012, by James Norwood

It appears the remake into a pedestrian bridge is complete. There are no pavement markings and a makeshift blockade is erected next to West Main Street ala old US 24, but I imagine it will be removed when this section is officially opened despite the fact some are already using the bridge. There is a really neat sign with some history erected on the North side which also features a picture of the former Nickel Plate Road steam locomotive 587 crossing this very bridge. It is probably from one of the Indiana Transportation Museum's trips to the Circus City Days festival back in the late 80's or early 90's. 587 is currently undergoing restoration at ITM's facility in Noblesville along a remaining portion of this line.

Nickel Plate Road IMC Wabash River Bridge
Posted August 22, 2011, by Steven J. Suiter (sjsuiter [at] yahoo [dot] com)

A big thumbs up to those people dedicated to saving the old bridges of just not Indiana but all over this great nation. This trail was recently in the news where it reported a 70 year old Scout master who was on the trail with two of his scouts got attacked and killed. My prayers go out to his family.

Nickel Plate Road IMC Wabash River Bridge
Posted March 26, 2011, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Good to hear James!

Nickel Plate Road IMC Wabash River Bridge
Posted March 26, 2011, by James Norwood

Work has begun to make this bridge pedestrian friendly. Crews appear to have been removing all the ties from the deck with many stacked on the North side approach. Two construction trailers, a bobcat, and other assorted equipment are nearby. Alot of vegetation beside and under the bridge has been removed as well. Paperwork on one trailer states it is a state funded construction project for the Nickel Plate Trail group. I will stop by on a better day to get some pictures to share.