10 votes

BNSF - Atchison Swing Bridge


Photo taken by Robert Elder


BH Photo #110254

Street Views 


Through truss swing bridge over the Missouri River on the BNSF Railway at Atchison
Atchison, Atchison County, Kansas, and Buchanan County, Missouri
Open to traffic
Built 1901, Deck Girders Added 1915
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Lassig Branch)
- George S. Morison of New Bedford, Massachusetts
- Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (ATSF)
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Missouri Pacific Railroad (MP)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Swing Cantilevered through truss with three truss approach spans
Length of largest span: 362.0 ft.
Total length: 1,220.0 ft.
Also called
ATSF - Atchison Swing Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.56024, -95.11222   (decimal degrees)
39°33'37" N, 95°06'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/318542/4381080 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Atchison East
Inventory number
BH 17350 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 7, 2022: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • November 25, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: added builder and engineer
  • September 26, 2020: New photo from Neil Krout
  • August 19, 2017: New Street View added by Dana and Kay Klein
  • December 3, 2016: New photos from Nick Schmiedeler
  • September 6, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 5, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • October 3, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway", "Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway"
  • October 3, 2012: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Bridge listed as Out of Service since flooding in 2011
  • October 8, 2011: Photos imported by Luke Harden
  • October 8, 2011: New photos from Ben Tate
  • August 18, 2011: New photos from James Baughn
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • February 15, 2009: New photos from Mark Frazier
  • July 15, 2008: Updated by Robert Elder: Updated categories
  • April 29, 2008: New photos from David B. Haun
  • April 25, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson
  • August 20, 2005: Posted new photos

Related Bridges 



BNSF - Atchison Swing Bridge
Posted September 4, 2019, by Greg Albers (gjalbers777 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Photos 70 and 71 appear to be of the St. Joseph swing bridge further up river. Note the double decked I-229 bridge in the background and the permanent pier in the middle of the river, as the St. Joseph bridge is usually kept in the open position.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted December 18, 2010, by Greg (gbh2000 [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Bridge as seen on 9/11/06. Images of the BNSF local making its run into and out of Atchison, Kansas. Photographs from both Kansas and Missouri sides. Images Greg Hurt.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted April 27, 2008, by Gordon Hall

No, the 1875 bridge was replaced by the current one in 1900.

This bridge can not be the orignal for two reasons,

1. The Chouteau bridge in Kansas City, Missouri was built in 1887, according to the Kansas City Star in 2001 (at the time of its replacment) it was the oldest bridge spanning the Missouri River.

Had the orignal 1875 bridge been here, the Chouteau bridge would be the second oldest.

2. A 1875 bridge probably would not have spans like this, but more of a round design.

I hope this can answer your question

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted April 25, 2008, by Dylan (dylanlmurray [at] gmail [dot] com)

Was the entire bridge replaced in 1900 such that none of the original spans remain today? The locals have told me differently, saying that one or more of the original spans is still in place.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted April 2, 2008, by David B. Haun (dbhaun [at] gmail [dot] com)

Some Photo show it with a barge and tow boat passing.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted April 2, 2008, by David B. Haun (dbhaun [at] gmail [dot] com)

Show swing span on Atchison RailRoad Bridge open or moving.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted February 9, 2008, by Art Peterson (humbledepot [at] embarqmail [dot] com)

The current Atchison Railroad Bridge is not the 1875 bridge, but the 1900 replacement done by George S Morison.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted August 4, 2007, by Dylan Edwards (kswx29 [at] cox [dot] net)

Here is a picture i took of it while traveling across the road bridge between Kansas and Missouri.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted August 3, 2007, by Dylan

Is the current Atchison Railroad Bridge the same bridge as the original Atchison Railroad Bridge that opened in 1875? I can't seem to pin that down. If so, then I believe this bridge is the oldest existing bridge over the Missouri River in any state.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted March 2, 2007, by Marty (conductor_mtm [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge is still in use by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad on a daily basis.

Atchison Railroad Bridge
Posted February 11, 2007, by Robert L. Elder (bass-tbn [at] ku [dot] edu)

Correction. The photo was taken in November 2002, not October, 2004