6 votes

Conrail - Clifty Creek Bridge


Photo taken by Nick in January 2012


BH Photo #223066



Library of Congress Indiana RR map shows the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago & St. Louis RR, Madison Branch, following the line from Columbus SE through Elizabethtown where it crossed the Evansville and Richmond before heading on to Madison.


Abandoned through truss bridge over Clifty Creek on former Madison railroad
Bartholomew County, Indiana
Abandoned with deck missing
Built ca.1890
- Conrail (CR)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
- Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad (PCC&StL)
Pinned 10-panel Pratt through truss.
Also called
PC - Clifty Creek Bridge
PRR - Clifty Creek Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.17803, -85.88025   (decimal degrees)
39°10'41" N, 85°52'49" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/596718/4337130 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 9 N., R. 6 E., Sec. 32
600 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 50351 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 10, 2015: New photos from cory coffey
  • October 3, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad", "Pennsylvania Railroad", "Penn Central Railroad"
  • August 10, 2012: Updated by J.P.: Added categories "Railroad", "Pin-connected", "Missing deck"
  • January 8, 2012: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added truss type and circa date
  • January 8, 2012: New photos from Nick
  • November 28, 2011: Updated by Clark Vance: Added railroad name
  • November 28, 2011: Added by J.P.


  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com
  • Nick
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Cory A Coffey


Conrail - Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted December 26, 2018, by Anonymous

Is there now track laid all of the way back to the bridge?

Conrail - Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted September 30, 2018, by Bill Starr (bill [dot] starr [at] spamex [dot] com)

The west approach from Marr Road in Columbus has been all cleared out over the last year or two and a second siding added back to this bridge. Looks like it's used by someone for parking railroad cars when needed.

Conrail - Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted May 18, 2016, by Billy Danforth (billyD50 [at] hotmail [dot] co,)

The pictures posted by Cory Coffey on July 2015, I notice caution tape been put in place and looks like heavy equipment been working on the road bed. Does anybody know what kind of work is being done around the bridge?


M&I - Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted July 10, 2015, by cory coffey

I would love to see this bridge used as a pedestrian bridge on a trail and see it all restored too

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted November 1, 2013, by Jeff Wieland (jjwieland [at] gmail [dot] com)

The Madison & Indianapolis completed its original trackage as far as Columbus on July 3, 1844 - remember that the M&I was building from Madison to Indianpolis. I wonder what bridged this creek earlier?

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted April 27, 2013, by Bill Starr (bill [dot] starr [dot] bh [at] spamex [dot] com)

I visited this bridge for the first time today and posted some of my cell phone photos on Facebook here.


Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted October 25, 2012, by corwin oats (coriwoa [at] comcast [dot] net)

Sounds like a false rumor. I doubt it will be removed any time soon. Looks pretty tough to get at. I wonder what a bridge like that weighs in scrap iron. Would it even pay for the expensive demolition?

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted October 3, 2012, by Matt Lohry

"I've heard that a contractor is slated to remove the bridge in the near future."

Yeah, it's easy to see that this bridge is such a threat, being out in the middle of nowhere, and standing in its present state probably for decades with no injury reports, that it's a prudent idea to waste tax money removing it.

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted October 3, 2012, by jerry davis (jrdavis1 [at] tds [dot] net)

I've heard that a contractor is slated to remove the bridge in the near future.

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted October 3, 2012, by jerry davis (jrdavis1 [at] tds [dot] net)

The bridge is located on the Columbus-Madison branch of the former Pennsylvania Railroad (line abandoned later by Penn Central). The line was famous for the very steep grade (>5%) down to Madison, IN. Also originally was one of the first (1850's) railroads (JM&I) built in Indiana.

Google aerial view of bridge: http://goo.gl/maps/Mjt6w

Clifty Creek Madison Railroad Bridge
Posted January 9, 2012, by Nick (i_nick_2005_i [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I follow old railroads and creeks, etc. around on Google Maps looking for iron bridges when I have free time. Then when I have a lot more free time, my girlfriend and I go finding them. Granted, trespassing is always occurring, but to me it is worth it. I love documenting the history, as they are disappearing every day :( ...along with old barns and abandoned houses... And, yes, I put alot of editing into the one picture to create an HDR affect.

Clifty Creek Madison Ralroad Bridge
Posted January 9, 2012, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

My friend Rick Bray that grew up in Columbus had told me about an abandoned bridge Southeast of town back in the 1990's...and I had completely forgotten about it! I'm pretty sure this is the one he was speaking about.

The portals resemble this bridge in Dearborn County:


This bridge could date back into the 1880's and may be attributed to the Union Bridge Company which started out as Kellogg & Maurice.

Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted November 28, 2011, by David Backlin (us71 [at] cox [dot] net)

Bing has an Aerial view here: http://binged.it/srm3HX

Clifty Creek Bridge
Posted November 28, 2011, by J.P.

Bridge looks to be on a abandoned spur. Not sure of the ex owner. But any info would be great.