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PRR - Ronks Haupt Bridge


PRR - Ronks Haupt Bridge

Bridge being loaded for movement in May 2002

RR Museum of Penna.

View this photo at rrmuseumpa.org

BH Photo #360050



The bridge was designed by Pennsylvania Railroad assistant engineer Herman Haupt in 1851, built of cast and wrought iron in Altoona, and probably installed on the Philadelphia and Columbia branch sometime in the 1850s, where it carried trains over a creek or similar obstacle.

It was removed from the Main line some time after the Civil War when the engines became too large and heavy for its 60 ton weight limit. It was installed sometime in the 1870's or 80's as a vehicular bridge connecting two halves of a farmer's field just west of Ronks, PA, where it remained in service until May 2002.

Amtrak removed the bridge and installed a new one May 5-7, 2002 and set the two main trusses in an adjacent farmer's field for donation to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in nearby Strasburg. Each truss weighed in at just over 13 tons.

The bridge structure is one of the oldest surviving iron railroad bridges in the United States, and the only complete example of its design with the shoes, Pratt trusses and cast iron arch intact. There is reportedly only one other bridge surviving of this type, a 90 foot incomplete example in the Altoona Railroaders Memorial Museum in Altoona, Pa. A similar bridge, the Church Street Bridge in Ardmore, Pa. that was missing its arch was removed in 2007.



Haupt through truss bridge over Amtrak (former PRR) on Private farm road
Ronks, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
In storage or disassembled
Future prospects
Stored disassembled into two main truss sections at nearby RR Museum of Pa., Strasburg
Built 1851
- Herman Haupt of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Designer)
Haupt through truss with arch
Also called
Ronks Overpass
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.02834, -76.17330   (decimal degrees)
40°01'42" N, 76°10'24" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/399887/4431562 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 73100 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 9, 2016: New photo from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • August 7, 2016: Added by Alexander D. Mitchell IV