4 votes

KJRY - Spoon River Bridge


Peoria & Western F unit crossing the bridge in 2011

Photo taken by Jason Leverton

View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #234331


Lost Pratt through truss bridge over Spoon River on Peoria & Western Railway
Seville, Fulton County, Illinois
Collapsed under the weight of a train
Built 1890; collapsed Sept. 16, 2013; replaced with deck girder spans and reopened May 21, 2014
- Detroit Bridge & Iron Works of Detroit, Michigan
- Keokuk Junction Railway (KJRY)
- Peoria & Western Railway (PWRY)
Pinned Pratt Through Truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.48546, -90.34247   (decimal degrees)
40°29'08" N, 90°20'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/725243/4485034 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 49865 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 29, 2016: New photos from Steve Conro
  • May 25, 2014: Collapsed through truss has been replaced with relocated deck girder spans and reopened
  • September 17, 2013: New photo from Dylan VanAntwerp
  • September 17, 2013: Updated by Jason Smith: Changed the info based on forum posting- bridge has collapsed
  • July 13, 2012: Updated by Fmiser: Captioned photos
  • July 11, 2012: Updated by Daniel Hopkins: Added category "Railroad"
  • July 10, 2012: New photos from Fmiser
  • June 29, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added build date & builder
  • May 24, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Peoria & Western Railway", "Keokuk Junction Railway"
  • October 18, 2011: Added by J.P.

Related Bridges 


  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Railpictures - picture of bridge here
  • Flickr - Another picture here
  • Flickr - Image
  • RailPictures.net - Image
  • Flickr - Image
  • Luke
  • Fmiser - fmiser [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Dylan VanAntwerp - dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com
  • Peoria Station - New KJRY Bridge Opens!
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com


KJRY - Spoon River Bridge
Posted January 13, 2022, by Luke

Photo 8 appears to show a predecessor road truss.

KJRY - Spoon River Bridge
Posted November 11, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Don't know if there is any truth to it but the comment after the article is interesting:


KJRY - Spoon River Bridge
Posted November 11, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
KJRY - Spoon River Bridge
Posted November 11, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)


The railroad bridge replacements I have seen are mostly deteriorated timber trestles and corroded out girders. Railroads don't mind trusses (BNSF even has some pin connected ones on their mainlines


)and for the most part, the major class 1 and 2 railroads just keep making repairs to the trusses. Class 3 railroads are having a harder time, but still make sure they keep them updated. A lot of mainline trusses could be around for years (and I do mean years) to come.

This UP mainline bridge (90 to 110 trains/day) was likely built in 1900. If that date is correct, that's 113 years old. And it still serves traffic with some repairs and altercations over the years.


No witch hunt of bridges is coming up in my opinion

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

I am not a railroad expert and so will not comment about the different class railroads. Maybe some bridges on certain class railroad lines are not at risk. My concern about the potential loss of pin-connected railroad bridges is simply based on my experience with highway bridges following the I-35W Bridge collapse. Additionally, I have noted a massive increase in railroad bridge demolitions and replacements in the past five years. Maybe these are on different class railroads, so maybe we don't need to worry about some railroad lines. However, in general, railroads are replacing their bridges at a rapid rate, and I can't see how the collapse of this bridge will do anything but accelerate that pattern. My experience has always shown that maintaining existing bridges is always the best use of money, but perhaps due to fears of fracture critical bridges and perhaps increasing loads on bridges, railroads seem to be finding reasons to replace bridges. Worse, as private bridges, there is no way to prevent the demolition of historic railroad bridges.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

Nathan, you are really jumping the gun there. Railroads aren't simply going to go on a rampage against their own bridges because of one incident. The collapse of a delapidated old bridge on a low margin shortline is a very small blip on the radar to BNSF or UP.

Jason nailed it. There are so many trusses out there that railroads can't get rid of them all at once even if they wanted to. Taking out a RR bridge is a huge undertaking and not something the companies go into lightly. Considering that the new bridge has to last another century and anticpate future needs, it takes a lot of time and planning. Then throw in the cost of construction, not to mention getting government approval in the first place, and you see why it's a long drawn out process.

The big RRs have the time and money to keep an eye on their bridges and fix them or replace them when necessary. As long as a truss serves their needs and isn't falling apart, it's not going anywhere. What this does is shine the spotlight on Class III railroads and the problems they face. Maintaining infrastructure is hugely expensive, and many shortlines simply don't have the money to do so adequately. As the bridges on these shortlines continue to age and degrade, we will probably see more episodes of bridge failure. These shortlines don't have millions of dollars laying around to build new bridges.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 18, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Highly doubtful that this collapse will trigger such a purge for there are way too many of these bridges on the railroads today, the RRs maintain and inspect them regularly, and they are normally heavier than those that carry cars. However it will with no doubt will raise questions about the safety of these railroads, esp. if they are owned by smaller railroad companies that are barely making ends meet financially....

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Luke Harden (lukemh9 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Some railfans suspect that a derailment was the cause.

Considering that Keokuk Junction is a class III shortline, it could be either one, because it's highly likely that most of their profits went into operating costs and payroll, with not much left over for track maintenance.

But that's just a guess.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Do we know for sure if this collapse was due to a problem in the superstructure or if it was abutment failure? Wouldn't be surprised if it were the latter given flooding earlier in the year...

...Not that the railroad would be forthcoming with their findings.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting to hear the official explanation for why a non-deficient UCEB from 1977 collapsed near Mount Vernon, IL. That collapse is far scarier than this one.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

A devastating loss of a beautiful Detroit Bridge and Iron Works Bridge. This bridge will undoubtedly be used (even if unjustly) by all railroads in the United States as an excuse to demolish as many pin-connected truss bridges as possible as soon as possible. Not good.

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Dylan VanAntwerp (dylan_vanantwerp [at] live [dot] com)

Here is a link to a discussion in trainorders.com forums involving the collapse:


This a link to a news story about the collapse:


I hope this isn't fatal to the railroad...

KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

Has been done. Here's the link: http://www.pjstar.com/news/x1868838752/Sheriffs-Dept-Train-f...

Thanks for the information.


KJRY Spoon River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2013, by Phil Hammond (phillip_hammond [at] att [dot] net)

Change the status of this bridge to collapsed under the weight of a train on Monday at 4:50pm. Reported by the Peoria Journal Star.

Spoon River Railroad Bridge
Posted June 29, 2012, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

Information came from an image of the plaque on this forum which also catalouges other bridges in central Illinois: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=18734012