6 votes

CBQ - Republican River Bridge


Side view

Photo taken by Robert L Elder

BH Photo #103049

Street View 


Build date comes from the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Collection located at the Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois.

A record of American Engineering 

Written by Robert Elder

This abandoned Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad bridge spans the Republican River within sight of the Republican River Pegram Truss Bridge. While the Pegram Truss has been converted to vehicular traffic and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this bridge has yet to be recognized. Unlike the Pegram truss, it does not recieve maintenance.

Consequently, the future of this bridge must be considered to be uncertain. This is of particular concern since another abandoned Republican River railroad bridge at Clyde disappeared recently. Although we may not be able to save every historic bridge in the United States, this bridge is worthy of preservation. I base my judgement on several factors.

1. The Builder:
This bridge was constructed by a relatively obscure company; The Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Ilinois. This is one of perhaps only a very small number of extant truss bridges that appears to have been built exclusively by the LB&IW. Another is located in King County, Washington. http://www.trainmuseum.org/Bridge35.asp
The other five extant LB&IW spans documented on Bridgehunter are either deck plate girders, or are truss bridges erected by a variety of companies.

2. Age and Size:
The bridge was constructed pre-1900 when several companies, including the LB&IW were consolidated into the American Bridge Co. Additionally, most pre-1895 bridges have less than three through spans.

3. Specific features:
The bridge has a unique substructure which features massive girders as well as diagonal eyebars. These members can be seen in photograph 11 on this page.

4. Integrity:
This bridge does not appear to have been altered significantly, with the possible exception of the replacement of the pylons. Thus, the bridge may provide good examples of many characteristics of a LB&IW span. Three plaques remain on the bridge, although two have been damaged.

5. Its proximity to other truss bridges:
There are two triple span bridges at this location, the other being the afforementioned 1893 Pegram Truss, which also features two Lattice trusses. This is a site of great importance for any bridgehunter. Several other truss bridges of various designs, including two bowstrings are also located in Cloud County and nearby Republic County. This is a collection of structures that effectively constitutes an open air bridge museum.

6. Its appreciation by locals:
The presence and use of a small parking area is indicative of the appreciation of this bridge by local residents.

The loss of this bridge,through either demolition or neglect would remove an important part of the history of American bridge engineering.


Three-span through truss bridge over Republican River on the former Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, northeast of Concordia
Cloud County, Kansas
Closed to railroad traffic with rails removed
Built 1894 at an unknown location, relocated here 1908
- Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois
- Burlington & Missouri River Railroad (B&MR)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
Three pin-connected, 6-panel Pratt through trusses
Length of largest span: 132.0 ft.
Total length: 396.0 ft.
Also called
CBQ - Bridge 66.66
CBQ - "UP Crossing" Bridge (Former Local Appeasement Name)
UP Crossing (Local Misnomer)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.60060, -97.57364   (decimal degrees)
39°36'02" N, 97°34'25" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/622462/4384400 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 17602 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 25, 2022: Updated by John Marvig: added build date
  • January 6, 2020: Updated by John Marvig: added dimensions
  • December 23, 2014: New photo from Randy Gordon-Gilmore
  • December 1, 2014: New Street View added by Robert Elder
  • April 14, 2014: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited name (again) to reflect its most popular name (again).
  • April 14, 2014: Updated by Brian Parkinson: Name corrected. History/description added. Category updated.
  • September 26, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Union Pacific Railroad"
  • April 30, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: This is an example of what I would call the pretty good naming of a railroad bridge, until a local gives us a local term for the bridge or until we discover an official name for the bridge.
  • April 30, 2012: Updated by Robert Elder: Changed name.
  • June 23, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Essay
  • June 22, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Name to avoid confusion with the nearby Pegram truss, which is also a former railroad bridge.
  • April 18, 2010: Essay added by Robert Elder
  • March 4, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Adjusted GPS Coordinates - moved balloon to the correct bridge.
  • July 1, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder
  • June 25, 2009: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Builders
  • November 24, 2008: New photos from Robert Elder
  • October 2, 2006: Posted photos from Robert L Elder


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


CB&Q - Republican River Bridge
Posted January 6, 2020, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is one of those bridges that truly has to be seen in person to fully appreciate. It has a lot of really interesting details as John mentioned. I really hope this one does not get demolished.

CB&Q - Republican River Bridge
Posted January 6, 2020, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is an absolutely stunning example of a standard through truss design for the CB&Q railroad. It's unfortunate this one will likely never be opened to pedestrians, as the location would make it an excellent spot for an overlook on the river. It is apparent that the bridge is also a local gathering spot, with beat down trails and trash scattered everywhere on both sides. The bridge features the "double pinned" lower connections typically seen on 1880s and early 1890s railroad bridges. The use of concrete for substructures is highly unusual for this time period, although not completely unheard of.

CB&Q - "U.P. Crossing" Bridge
Posted August 22, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I field visited this bridge this afternoon (08/22/2017). It is still the same awesome bridge. I didn't stop for photos as locals were having a gathering on the bridge.

This one is becoming even more overgrown than it used to be. I would recommend visiting in the winter - or at least not in the summer.

CB&Q - "U.P. Crossing" Bridge
Posted December 31, 2015, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Mr. Marsh is correct. The webmaster did state his preference after we punted the football to him. It looks like the entry has been changed back to his preference - the local name in scare quotes.

CB&Q "U.P. Crossing" works for me.

CB&Q - Republican River Bridge
Posted December 30, 2015, by Arch E. Marsh (What's [at] email?)

I insist that there be a hyphen after the "A"!

Didn't the owner of the site state his preference for the name in the comments below?

CB&Q - Republican River Bridge
Posted December 30, 2015, by Anonymous

This bridge may have set a record for number of name changes. I would like to suggest that we call it the abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz - Republican River Bridge.

Republican River "U.P. Crossing" Bridge
Posted December 23, 2014, by Randy Gordon-Gilmore (randy [dot] gordon [dot] gilmore [at] gmail [dot] com)

The same plan was used for a single span over Salt Creek in Ashland, Nebraska (abanonded 1982, removed 1984) on the former CB&Q Schuyler branch, and three spans of the Platte River bridge on the same branch just south of Schuyler (abandoned 1941, removed 1942 when the branch was shortened to end at Prague).

Republican River U.P. Crossing
Posted April 14, 2014, by Robert Elder

I think that is probably the best way to handle it. Good thought.

Republican River "U.P. Crossing" Bridge
Posted April 14, 2014, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

When in doubt, I always choose the most commonly used local name. Recognizing that the name is a misnomer, though, I've changed it to use scare-quotes, like this: Republican River "U.P. Crossing" Bridge

Republican River U.P. Crossing
Posted April 14, 2014, by Robert Elder

Why don't we compromise and just punt this one to the webmaster?

UP Crossing
Posted April 14, 2014, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I realize that UP did not build the bridge, but locals call it the UP Crossing.

I am very much against using reporting marks on bridge names because they are not going to turn up in most keyword searches.

Put yourself in the shoes of a researcher for a minute. Most researchers (save for true rail fans) will not know the reporting marks nor use them as keywords. They will however know the river crossed, the local name, and other information.

Technical details can be put in the appropriate categories. But, let's use the common name even if it is not technically correct.

CB&Q Republican River Bridge
Posted April 14, 2014, by Brian Parkinson (railstoruin [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Hi, everyone. Just a note about the name debate. Indeed, this bridge was neither owned nor operated by the Union Pacific Railroad at any time. It was in fact the bridge just to the south of this one, known locally as the 'Republican River Pegram Truss', which was built for the Junction City and Fort Kearney Railroad in 1893, acquired by the Union Pacific in 1899 and operated by the UPRR until the line was abandoned in 1933. Hope this helps! :)


1. http://www.abandonedrails.com/Junction_City_and_Fort_Kearney...

2. http://skyways.lib.ks.us/orgs/svha/history/ref_com_theme/07_...

3. http://historicaerials.com/

U.P. Crossing
Posted April 30, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)


We are in complete agreement about this except I think that U.P Crossing should remain as the main name. Republican River Bridge is already listed as an alternate name.

I have been wanting standarized categories for years on here, but I have been content to let the railfans determine exactly what the name should be.

U.P. Crossing
Posted April 30, 2012, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Regardless of which railroad ran where, this bridge is known locally as the U.P. Crossing or U.P. Bridge. I have changed the name of this bridge back to reflect that. Even if the local term is not exact, it needs to be reflected in the name on this site.

Republican River UPRR Bridge
Posted November 24, 2008, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

I am not certain if this bridge (1894) is constructed of wrought iron or steel. The metal shows surprisingly little section loss, which is remarkable considering that the bridge is over 110 years old and has been abandoned for many years.

Republican River UPRR Bridge
Posted July 8, 2008, by Smarkflea (none)

I was just getting off of it a few years ago and a deputy told me you're not supposed to go on it...so be careful and feign ignorance.

Republican River UPRR Bridge
Posted October 18, 2006, by Robert Elder (bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

Oops, I guess you had mentioned when the bridge was abandoned. I did not read carefully enough, sorry.

Republican River UPRR Bridge
Posted October 18, 2006, by Robert Elder (bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

Interesting, this bridge is often simply referred to as the "UP Crossing", even an old sign refers to it as such. Perhaps this is a misnomer. Thanks for mentioning the easy access. There is even a small "parking area" at the east end of the bridge. Does anybody know aproximately when this bridge was abandoned?


Republican River UPRR Bridge
Posted October 18, 2006, by Todd E. Frye (thefryeguy (at) yahoo (dot) com)

This bridge was actually a CB&Q railroad bridge, not UP. It was on the branch line that left the main west of Odell, Nebraska and ended at Concordia, Kansas. This bridge saw activity until 1983-1984. I was young at the time but remember driving across the Pelgram Truss Bridge (only about a quarter mile away) to see trains go across this one. There is excellent easy access from the road.