The upper chord of the through trusses were a single cast-iron tube, large enough that it would "permit the passage of a small man through from end to end". The end posts were Keystone columns with wrought-iron heads and feet.
The floor beams are 12 inch channel, sandwich with and forming part of the lower chord. The ties are attached directly to these floor beams without any lengthwise stringers.
1868. Construction started in August.
1871. Bridge opens May 29th and is the second railroad bridge to span the Missouri River (after the 1869 Hannibal Bridge in Kansas City).
1879. Nov. 8, the west trellis span of the bridge gave way while an eastbound livestock train was crossing the bridge. Eighteen cars fell into the river and three men were killed and 4 injured. The railroad concluded it was caused by derailment. The coroner's report pointed out lack of maintenance as indicated by the rotting deck planks.
1880. Western trellis truss replaced
1881. Dec 8, a westbound livestock and freight train enters the east span. It collapses with the engine on it. 18 cattle and 13 freight cars join the engine in the river. The engineer was the only fatality. The railroad again claimed it was caused by derailment. Critics blame poor design.
1882. Other two trellis trusses replaced.
1883,1884. The Fink deck truss spans are replaced with Whipple through truss spans and the girder approach spans are replaced. No cast iron was used in any of the 1880-1884 upgrade.
By 1884, virtually the entire bridge superstructure had been replaced and upgraded. See https://bridgehunter.com/mo/st-charles/first-wabash-rr/ for info on the upgraded bridge.
Sources include: Missouri Railroad and Warehouse Commission, Annual Report 1884 Railroad Gazette, Volume 3, January 1, 1871
I dug a bit deeper and now retract my earlier suggestion to remove this entry. I found that between 1880 and 1884 the entire superstructure was replaced or upgraded. The Fink trusses were replaced with Whipple, and the Trellis were replaced, apparently with new Trellis spans.
Already the bridge is cluttered with whipple and trellis, to have fink too... I choose to make this entry represent the original bridge, with the Fink deck trusses. The other one has details about the newer Whipple spans.
I can't move the photos, but I would suggest that any of them that have the deck truss spans be put on this page leaving only the Whipple on the other page.
I don't know it was the _right_ choice - but it seems to be a logical one.
I think this is the same bridge as
Both are in about the same location. Both were built in 1868. Both suffered a collapsed span causing a train to end up in the river in 1879. North Missouri Railroad was absorbed by the Wabash Railroad. And the image on this page sure looks like the same bridge with regard to span size, style, height, etc.
I was going to comment on the "fink" category - but since I think this is a duplicate entry - with less information, it should be deleted and any pertinent information shifted over to the First Wabash page.
Then, regarding the railroad. Should each of the owners be listed? St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railway was the successor to North Missouri Railroad - but only lasted from 1872 to 1879 before becoming part of Wabash. For now I'm NOT listing St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern Railway.
And then there is the "Trellis" through trusses. Looks kinda like a double intersecting Warren with half struts/half tension rods.
Fink Deck trusses are amazing sights!
Thats an important question that needs additional research!
Was it completely destroyed during that derailment?
Waddell's text suggests it only lasted 11 years until a derailment wrecked it? Bottom of page 1541. https://books.google.com/books?id=bxAkAAAAMAAJ&dq=St.%20Char...
All bridges should look like this one... the pinnacle of awesome. Bridges like this are why I laugh when people think cable-stayed bridges are nice-looking "signature" bridges.