3 votes

PRR - Wabash River Bridge


Looking West along River on North Bank

This is all I could find. Two rows of limestone blocks where the approach was. Bridge has been gone for at least 110 years so there is little to see except this.

Photo taken by James Norwood


BH Photo #159554


This was the first Pennsylvania Railroad related bridge over the Wabash in Logansport. Little known, little remains, but this predates the 18th Street Bridges. I am guessing it was wooden construction, early drawings show a lattice truss type, but again little is known. Some of the North side bridge approach is all that I have found left. Simply a short wingwall of Limestone Blocks probably 30 feet wide and today only about 2 blocks high is all that is visible.

Detailed History 

Written by James Norwood

This bridge was built in September 1861 to link the Cincinnati and Chicago Air-Line(nee New Castle and Richmond Railroad) to the Chicago and Cincinnati Railroad(chartered to build from Logansport to Chicago 4 years earlier). These of course became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad later.
The New Castle and Richmond originally came into Logansport via the South side of the Wabash River, running from 18th Street to Burlington Avenue(about where the Dutch Mill Bar and Slusser's Green Thumb are today located). There was only a wooden road bridge over the Wabash River at the line's terminus. That bridge carried the first steam locomotive across the Wabash River via oxen after it's delivery via the former "Wabash and Erie Canal" from Toledo, Ohio. When this 'first' railroad bridge was built it connected with the original railroad line behind present day's Moose Lodge, and Bullshipper's Cafe/Stoney Pike Livestock Auction and curved towards the river before crossing it and making a Northwest curve to cross over the (later)Wabash Railroad tracks. I don't presently know when this bridge was replaced, but I believe it was in the 1885-1895 time frame. A new single track through truss metal bridge was built upstream closer to present day 18th Street's bridge and it was probably not long after that the older structure was either torn down or perhaps damaged and washed away in one of the many floods the Wabash River has engulfed Logansport with in years past. The original railroad line along the South side of the river then became simply an industrial spur which over the years was cut shorter and shorter until it too was gone. It's meeting place with the new railroad alignment for the new bridge had a tower called RACE which many oldtimers can remember standing to the West of 18th Street and Yard A. Later the second bridge was replaced with the present day deck plate girder double track abled bridge that still gets regular use by Toledo Peoria and Western Railroad via the remaining single track. All that remains of the second bridge is one lone pier in the river. These bridges can be found elsewhere on the Cass County site here on Bridgehunter.com.


Lost Through truss bridge over Wabash River on former Pennylvania Railroad at Logansport
Logansport, Cass County, Indiana
Built 1861
- Cincinnati & Chicago Air-Line Railroad
- Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago, & St. Louis Railroad (PCC&StL)
Probably wooden Lattice through truss
Total length: 465.0 ft.
Also called
Panhandle - Wabash River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.74759, -86.35579   (decimal degrees)
40°44'51" N, 86°21'21" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/554385/4510937 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
600 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 44642 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 15, 2012: Updated by J.P.: Added category "Railroad"
  • March 28, 2010: Essay added by James Norwood


  • James Norwood


Chicago and Cincinnatti Air Line Railroad Wabash River Bridge
Posted July 14, 2010, by Jerry


I have wondered what that was for years.I had been on the other of the side river but could never find anything so i gave up on the bridge idea and figured it was for one of the homes that used to be in that area.

Great information.