3 votes

MKT - Marmaton River Bridge


Photographed from a distance using a zoom. This image has been cropped considerably.

Photo taken by Robert Elder in April 2005


BH Photo #127409



This 'Polygonal Warren Though-Truss' bridge was built in 1910 by King Bridge Company for the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad to carry their main track across the Marmaton River. During its peak years, The line connected Dallas, TX and points south, to St. Louis and Hannibal, MO, through the busy Junction at Parsons, KS. After years of declining use after the MKT's demise in 1988, and as rail service in the area faded, the rail line and bridge were closed in 1997. The following year, the track was severed from its connecting railroad at Ft. Scott, KS, and the bridge has since been isolated.


Parker through truss bridge over Marmaton River on Abandoned Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
Fort Scott, Bourbon County, Kansas
Closed to all traffic
Future prospects
Likely to be reused on a pedestrian trail
Built 1910, Abandoned 1997
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
- Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (MKT)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Parker through truss
Length of largest span: 195.0 ft.
Total length: 290.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+37.84548, -94.71045   (decimal degrees)
37°50'44" N, 94°42'38" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/349506/4190049 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Fort Scott
Land survey
T. 25 S., R. 25 E., Sec. 30
790 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 36319 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 9, 2017: New photos from John Marvig
  • June 18, 2016: New photos from bill wade
  • April 18, 2011: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited multiple categories to reflect that this is a Polygonal Warren through truss. Edited description to reflect this update.
  • April 18, 2011: Updated by Brian Parkinson: Description Created
  • November 10, 2008: New photo from Robert Elder
  • February 26, 2008: Added by Robert Elder


  • Robert Elder - robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Brian Parkinson - railstoruin [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • bill wade - themissouriredneckstormchaser [at] gmail [dot] com
  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com


MKT - Marmaton River Bridge
Posted April 2, 2019, by Darrell Powers (systemofadown311 [at] outlook [dot] com)

You can still walk across just don't look down

MKT - Marmaton River Bridge
Posted April 2, 2019, by Darrell Powers (systemofadown311 [at] outlook [dot] com)

Pretty easy and neat find

Marmaton River Bridge
Posted October 27, 2011, by Julie Bowers\ (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This bridge will be part of the Riverfront Park in Fort Scott eventually. It doesn't need much work to become a pedestrian bridge, approaches, decking and guardrail mostly. They are looking at getting the rights from the RR company at this point.

There are also 3 King Bowstrings in one crossing about 4 miles up the river which will also be part of the system.

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 1,950,409 bytes)

Marmaton River Bridge
Posted October 25, 2011, by Jim Riley (jriley01 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

I see from satellite and aerial photos, about a mile of track may still be in place as far as in the vicinity of Limestone Rd and 19th street. It disappears in tree cover and is hard to tell how close it gets to that corner. I am a railroad and a bridge preservationist and would like to see a partnership formed with the trail organization on this one. Perhaps the group www.heartlandstrainclub.org. with the motor car group they work with could be brought into play here. Preserving a small example for generations to come would be invaluable & could be enjoyed by trail groups and railroad enthusiasts of all ages. Similar actions have happened elsewhere and is not that far fetched.

Marmaton River Bridge
Posted October 11, 2011, by jUlie BOWERS (jbowerz1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

We estimated this bridge as part of Fort Scott Riverfront trail system. Some interesting fixes...but thought about decking leaving tracks in place. Or scrapping the track for restoration money. Big dump site back there. We have written the grant to pull Long Shoals and they have requested permission from NRHP to do just that.

Robert, coming to Texas to film Piano Bridge. Hope to meet you and will do some reverse bridge spotting on the way.


Marmaton River Bridge
Posted October 10, 2011, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

As far as I know, the rails have been removed. The only existing rails I know of are the ones in the photograph near the bridge itself.

Marmaton River Bridge
Posted October 10, 2011, by Jim Riley (jriley01 [at] sbcglobal [dot] net)

Is any of the track still in place along this abbandoned route into Ft. Scott?