3 votes

Air Line Blue River bridge


View looking south

Signs indicate Kansas City Southern ownership.

Photo taken by Clark Vance July 2010


BH Photo #170128


Street View 


Bridge over Big Blue River on abandoned KCS Air Line, just west of I-435
Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri
Rails removed and decked with boards. Open to railroad company street vehicles.
The route of the Air Line between Kansas City and Independence
- Kansas City Southern Railway (KCS)
Pratt through truss
Also called
KCS - Blue River bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.11805, -94.49195   (decimal degrees)
39°07'05" N, 94°29'31" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/371021/4330936 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 50 N., R. 32 W., Sec. 31
740 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 44513 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 10, 2012: Updated by Clark Vance: Added category "Kansas City Southern Railway"
  • December 23, 2011: Updated by Clark Vance: Removed from Mystery catagory and added "Air Line" information
  • July 24, 2010: New photos from Clark Vance
  • March 20, 2010: Added by James Baughn


  • Clark Vance - cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com


Air Line Blue River bridge
Posted March 8, 2017, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The Air Line opened between Jan 1891 and Mar 1892. It was built by the man who later founded the Kansas City Southern RR, Arthur Stillwell. http://www.arthurstilwell.com/timeline.html

Air Line Blue River bridge
Posted December 27, 2011, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Based on the design of the built-up beams, the existing bridge appears to be mid-20th Century.

Mystery Railroad Bridge 2
Posted July 22, 2010, by C. Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] co)

Looking at the Independence quad topo map, this might be the crossing for the "Air Line" that ran from downtown Kansas City, near 2nd and Wyandotte, out to Fairmount Park in Independence. Just NW of the bridge there is a label of "Air Line Junction". Few traces of the line are still there but the grade can be seen running along the dam of the lake NW of the intersection of Truman Road and Sterling. The line was a light duty car line that ended a few blocks east of Fairmount Park at what is now a city maintenance facility at Truman Road and Forest. The Kansas City Southern owned the RoW as of the mid '60s when the current topo was drawn up. Info on Fairmount Park and the Air Line here: http://www.oldfairmountpark.com/1893.html

If this is the old Air Line bridge, a lot of people rode across it 100 years ago.