Rating:
No votes cast

PRR - Shenango River Bridge

Photos 

East Approach

Photo taken by Sherman Cahal in February 2017

Enlarge

View this photo at bridgestunnels.com

BH Photo #378687

Map 

Video 

Shenango River Bridge - February 2017

Crossing the Shenango River Bridge.

Sherman Cahal

Brief History 

Written by Sherman Cahal

The Shenango River Bridge formerly carried the Pennsylvania Railroad over the Shenango River in New Castle, Pennsylvania. The Pratt through truss bridge connected its Erie & Pittsburgh Division mainline at West Washington Street and its Oil City Division near Furnace Street, cutting through the Republic Iron & Steel Company and American Steel & Wire Company factories.

The Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad (E&P), begun in 1860, was completed between Erie and New Castle on June 15, 1864. The E&P was leased to the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in April 1870, becoming the PRR Erie & Pittsburgh Branch.

An 1899 Sanborn Insurance Company map indicates a 260-foot frame bridge over the Shenango River. No date of construction or abandonment can be found, although significant portions of the E&P was placed out-of-service after Conrail was formed in 1976.

Facts 

Overview
Through truss bridge over Shenago River on Pennsylvania Railroad
Location
New Castle, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania
Status
Abandoned
Railroads
- Erie & Pittsburgh Railroad (EP)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Design
Pratt through truss
Dimensions
Total length: 250.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.99598, -80.35214   (decimal degrees)
40°59'46" N, 80°21'08" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/554489/4538512 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New Castle South
Inventory number
BH 61097 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 13, 2017: Updated by Sherman Cahal: Added cat
  • February 12, 2017: Updated by Sherman Cahal: Updated length per 1888 Sanborn
  • May 29, 2014: Added by Luke Harden

Sources 

Comments 

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Sherman: Most certainly you are correct, an 1860s metal railroad bridge would have cast iron details and other unique features that would immediately place it in that period. Further, we do know that this style of bridge (despite it being somewhat late for pin connections) was being built around the turn of the century. This Michigan example was dated 1898. http://historicbridges.org/bridges/browser/?bridgebrowser=tr...

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by Sherman Cahal (shermancahal [at] gmail [dot] com)

I was leaning on that. The other issue I have with this bridge is that the E&P rebuilt many of their bridges at the turn of the century, like at Wheatland (which itself was rebuilt for two tracks).

The original bridge at Wheatland was wood. I am assuming that this one isn't original to the 1860's but early 1900's.

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by Nathan Holth (nathan [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The bridge is likely the design of the railroad not a builder. The distinctive portal bracing can be found on a number of Pennsylvania Railroad lines, including the Grand Rapids and Indiana line.

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 15, 2017, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Sherman,i would love to see this bridge used for a rail-trail but i think it would have to be moved due to where it's located.I don't know who the designer or manufacturer is offhand.By the way,there is an abandoned r.r. bridge over Neshannock creek.Did you know about that one and is that one on Bridgehunter?

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 13, 2017, by Sherman Cahal (shermancahal [at] gmail [dot] com)

Not sure. It connects to a very active concrete casting factory, so it would need to be relocated to another location. I'd love to see this fitted on a rail-trail!

--

Could this be a Penn Bridge Company or Morse Bridge Company design?

PRR - Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 13, 2017, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Sherman,what i meant to ask is anything going to be done with this bridge?From what i see on the satellite imagery it doesn't look like too much can be done besides maybe removal for a trail somewhere.The only other alternative is scrapping the bridge which alot of people on this site would like to see avoided if at all possible and i also agree.Hopefully both spans can be saved instead of ending up on the scrap pile.

Shenango River Bridge
Posted February 12, 2017, by Sherman Cahal (shermancahal [at] gmail [dot] com)

Very much abandoned. It's a former PRR, connecting their Erie & Pittsburg Division at West Washington Street to their Oil City Division near Furnace Street. It cut through two steel plants.

KRL - Shenango River Bridge (N)
Posted September 16, 2014, by george oakley (georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

does anybody know the current status if this abandoned r.r. bridge?