5 votes

KCS - Kansas River Bridge


View from north

Photo taken by James Baughn

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BH Photo #103264

Street Views 


Abandoned three-span through truss bridge over Kansas River on the former Kansas City Southern Railway, south of James Street
Kansas City, Wyandotte County, Kansas
Closed to all traffic
Built 1916; abandoned 1983
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas
- Waddell & Son of Kansas City, Missouri (Consulting Engineers)
- Kansas City Belt Railway
- Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)
From west to east:
One riveted, skewed, 9-panel Pratt through truss
Two riveted, 11-panel Parker through trusses
Length of largest span: 310.0 ft.
Total length: 810.0 ft.
Also called
Kansas City Southern Bridge (official name)
Belt Line Bridge (name shown on 1907 map)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.10647, -94.61740   (decimal degrees)
39°06'23" N, 94°37'03" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/360152/4329837 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Kansas City
Inventory number
BH 18696 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 19, 2017: Updated by John Marvig: Corrected Build Date
  • October 11, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 16, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added builder
  • September 12, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • September 5, 2016: Updated by John Marvig: Added information
  • July 9, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • December 22, 2013: Updated by Chris Knight: Added a alt name as shown on a 1907 map of the area I found.
  • October 26, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Kansas City Belt Railway"
  • August 22, 2011: Updated by Robert Elder: Edited Location - bridge does not cross the state line.
  • March 9, 2010: Updated by Robert Elder: Added Street View link
  • April 25, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson
  • April 24, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson
  • April 23, 2008: Updated by Max Johnson: Changed "Name" "Year Built" and "Categories"
  • July 6, 2006: Posted new photos



KCS - Kansas River Bridge
Posted May 21, 2021, by Spencer Ward (spenrob [at] k-state [dot] edu)

Figured I would go check out this cool abandoned bridge. Didnít venture too far out at the ties were pretty worn.

Abandoned KCS - Kansas River Bridge
Posted September 17, 2016, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The aerial view clearly shows the curved track on the west end.

Abandoned KCS - Kansas River Bridge
Posted July 9, 2014, by Mark Milat (mmilat2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Just an FYI. The west truss section is wider then the other two sections. Each of the other two carried only a single track, the west section was only built to carry a single track, but, it is a curved track to meet with the trackage entering the bridge. There are several truss bridges in this area that that have curved trackage and they are quite unusual.

Hope that answers your question.

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted May 20, 2008, by Max Johnson

To answer Kyle,

I do believe (on a guess) there may have been two sets of tracks on the bridge.

According to this site, the bridge was built in 1905, but the west pratt span may have been built earlier than that.

I am thinking (again, on a guess) that the great 1903 flood may have destroyed a previous bridge that was here that may have had two tracks, leaving only the west span from the first bridge.

I do not know for sure...........................

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted May 16, 2008, by Kyle

I have seen this bridge before, it almost appears that the west span is twice as wide as the center and east span. The west span is a pratt truss and the center and east spans are parker. Why did they use 2 different designs, and why is 1 span wider than the other 2?

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted January 27, 2008, by Local

I was out at this bridge today 1/27/2008 at 4:40PM, and took this picture.

It is still there, still not in use, but still looks good.

The dashboard of my van got in the photo, but you can still clearly see the bridge.

Enjoy the photo!

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted December 21, 2007, by Max (maxwelljrdn [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Correction to my last comment Nov. 28.

It was not this bridge that was Rock Island's, it was Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 4

Sorry about that mixup.

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted November 28, 2007, by Max (maxwelljrdn [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I have read in a book that this bridge was somtimes called

The Kansas City Rock Island Railroad Bridge

in a book that came out not long ago

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted August 3, 2007, by Dylan

From old maps I've looked at, I would guess that this bridge was probably built around 1904 or 1905. It was clearly there as of 1906 but probably did not precede the Flood of 1903.

Kansas River Railroad Bridge No. 2
Posted December 31, 2006, by Bob Franke (glad6813 [at] netzero [dot] net)

This bridge was part of the Kansas City Southern.