LS&MS - Ashtabula River Bridge
BH Photo #185637
The center deck truss span collapsed at 7:28 p.m. on December 29th 1876 during a blizzard, while a passenger train was crossing, killing about 92 people. It was the worst train accident in the U.S. prior to 1918.
The center span was rebuilt, but was destroyed by fire September 1895. (Photos #16,17)
Rebuilt again with a "fishbelly" inverted deck truss, and the west stone arch approach span was replaced with a Pratt deck truss span. (Photo #18)
Finally, the whole bridge was replaced in 1904.
Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster
Source: Wikipedia Excerpt
On December 29, 1876, A train of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway carrying about 160 passengers passed over the bridge as it failed. All but the lead locomotive plunged into the river. The train's oil lanterns and coal-fired heating stoves set the wooden cars alight. Firefighters declined to extinguish the flames, leaving individuals to try to pull survivors from the wreck. Many who survived the crash burned to death. The accident killed approximately 92 people. It was the worst rail accident in the U.S. in the 19th century and the worst rail accident in U.S. history until the Great Train Wreck of 1918.
- Lost Deck truss bridge over Ashtabula River on Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway in Ashtabula
- Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio
- Collapsed, rebuilt, then replaced by a new bridge
- Built 1864-65, main span collapsed on December 29, 1876; then rebuilt but new span destroyed by fire September 1895; rebuilt again, then whole bridge replaced 1904
- - Amasa Stone (railroad president)
- Charles Collins (railroad president)
- D.H. Lockhart (masonry)
- - Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad (LS&MS)
- Main span: Iron Howe deck truss
Approaches: Stone arch
Length of largest span: 150.0 ft.
- Approximate latitude, longitude
- +41.87850, -80.78940 (decimal degrees)
41°52'43" N, 80°47'22" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
- Approximate UTM coordinates
- 17/517474/4636307 (zone/easting/northing)
- Quadrangle map:
- Ashtabula North
- Inventory number
- BH 46889 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
- January 7, 2022: Updated by Roger Deschner: Add history of rebuilt bridge after collapse disaster
- December 1, 2021: Essay added by Nathan Holth
- November 26, 2016: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
- December 5, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Railroad", "Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad"
- December 16, 2011: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
- November 10, 2010: Added by Eric Root