Abandoned railbridge over the Little Femme Osage Creek
The bridge is located in the Weldon Spring Wildlife Area January 2009
Photo taken by Sharon Spear
BH Photo #132984
The bridge has had the railroad tie decking removed, so now it has just steel i-beams and is cut off at each end by fence. Looking east across the bridge in winter you can see the tunnel of the Hamburg Trail which goes under Hwy 94.
I took these pictures in March, 2017.
The Department of Natural Resources converted the bridge and old railroad spur to a hiking-biking trail in late 2010. The rails were removed and the bridge made safe for use. It serves as a short-cut for eastbound rider son the Katy Trail to the Hamburg Trail (it is the hypotenuse of a right triangle). The only other remains of the Katy can be found along the Katy Trail itself--the bridges of course, but also telegraph poles, culverts, and an abandoned gravel silo.
I honestly don't know if there are any other old rail structures in the area. You might try searching through some of rail fan sites. Those sites might be a better source of information. If I come across another one, I'll let you know.
Oh yes, the vegetation around this bridge can make it difficult to find. Taking photos of it during the winter is really the best option. I got into a patch of "poison something" one time out there and had scratches on my lower leg. My leg, from my knee down through my foot, had swollen so bad that I had to go to the doctor about it.
You seem to know the area pretty well.. Other than this bridge and the tunnel, do you know if there is any other old railroad infrastructure im the area?
I did not know the grating was there already. This was my first visit to the bridge. You nailed it when you talk about the vegetation. I had been out there a couple times before during the summer and had totally over-looked the bridge. It wasnt until I came across this site and your posting that I knew it was there. Thanks!! :)
The first time I saw this bridge was in 2003. The fencing and the grating were already there at that time. This section of the trail is pretty much ignored concerning taking care of the trail.
During warmer weather, the vegetation around the bridge is very "lush" and not in a good way. In fact, if you didn't know the location of the bridge, you wouldn't even know it was there because the vegetation gets so thick.
I just paid a visit to this old bridge last week to take some pictures(feb/2010). They have fence/railing across the entire span on both sides of the bridge. They also have put down some kind of metal grating over the the old ties making it much easier to walk on with out the worry of loose ties. How ever there are a number of fallen trees and branches semi-blocking the entrance to the bridge on both sides. It does not make it impossible to get out on to the bridge just requires a little more effort is all.
Yes, you can but carefully. The railroad ties are not in the best of shape. Several years ago, I got half way across the bridge when I encountered a "species" that I'm phobic about. I headed back the way I came VERY quickly and managed to not fall of the bridge.
So can you walk across this bridge?
This was the Missouri-Kansas-Texas branch into the former armaments plant in Weldon Spring, MO. The trackage was shuttered when the plant shut down in the mid-1960s, although I'm unsure if Katy utilized the trackage to haul out low-level nuke waste during the cleanup in the mid-80s before the entire route was abandoned. More info on Weldon Spring:
As info, the rail from this branch was recycled. Much of it has been re-laid and is being used as a branch off the ex-Rock Island trackage in Maryland Heights, MO, to serve a plant that manufactures plastic containers off I-370.
This bridge and this tunnel are connected by the Hamburg Trail.
WHAT RR WAS THIS ?