2 votes

SOU - Deep River Bridge


Abandoned Deep River Bridge

barrel view, from the west

Photo taken by Bob Morgan in February 2010


BH Photo #155251


Abandoned railroad bridge adjacent to Norfolk Southern Deep River Bridge. Rails removed.


Abandoned through truss bridge over Deep River
Chatham County, North Carolina, and Lee County, North Carolina
- Southern Railway (SOU)
Two riveted subdivided Warren through truss spans with timber stringer approaches.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.55857, -79.24314   (decimal degrees)
35°33'31" N, 79°14'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/659227/3936408 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 44134 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 24, 2016: New photos from Royce and Bobette Haley
  • February 17, 2010: Updated by Matthew Ridpath: This is a subdivided Warren through truss.
  • February 15, 2010: New photo from Bob Morgan
  • February 14, 2010: Added by Bob Morgan


  • Bob Morgan - morgans212 [at] att [dot] net
  • Matthew Ridpath
  • Royce and Bobette Haley - roycehaley111 [at] yahoo [dot] com


Old Deep River Railroad Bridge
Posted July 12, 2010, by Craig Zeni (clzeni [at] gmail [dot] com)

The abandoned bridge was originally the Southern Railway's bridge on its line from Greensboro to Sanford. Bear with me here as this will get confusing...probably.

The Southern was originally the Atlantic & Yadkin (A&Y), envisioned to run from Wilmington to Greensboro to Mt Airy and into the coalfields of Virginia and West Virginia. It fails (or is helped to fail by two other competing railroads) and gets divided at Sanford...eastern Sanford-Wilmington half becomes part of the Atlantic Coast Line; the Sanford-Mt Airy becomes part of the Southern and uses the now abandoned bridge to get to Sanford.

There was another railroad called the Norfolk Southern...it existed until 1974 when it was purchased by the Southern. The old NS had red then grey diesels and ran from Norfolk to Charlotte by way of Elizabeth City, Greenville, Wilson, Zebulon, Raleigh, Fuquay-Varina, Cumnock, Robbins, Star etc and on to Charlotte. The old NS built the other bridge at Cumnock as part of its main line. The Southern bought the old NS to gain direct access to Norfolk via Raleigh. Sometime after this purchase, the Southern realizes keeping two bridges over the river is kind of expensive, looks at both bridges, and decides the NS bridge is the better bridge. The Southern builds several hundred yards of track, shifts its old A&Y line over to the old NS bridge, and abandons the original Southern bridge.

And in 1982, the Norfolk & Western merges with the Southern, creating the NS that we know today...which causes a lot of the confusion, because the old NS ended up being part of the new NS.

Western RR - could be one of two things - the A&Y/ACL from Sanford, or perhaps the old Norfolk Southern's branch from Fuquay-Varina to Fayetteville. I have some books at home that might help clarify this...

Bridge dates - I don't them off the top of my head and I'm not certain I could find that info anyplace.

Old Deep River Railroad Bridge
Posted March 18, 2010, by Stephen Drake (StephenD13 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Anyone know how old this bridge is? What RR used it, and what was it's earliest date of use? Also wondering if this may be part of the Western Railroad of NC which brought coal from the mines in this area to Fayetteville....

Any historical information would be much appreciated.