1 vote

GSM - Tuckasegee River Bridge (Ela)


Main span

Photo taken by Matthew Ridpath


BH Photo #150262



Warren through truss bridge over Tuckasegee River on Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Swain County, North Carolina
Open to traffic
Built 1900 by Edge Moor Bridge Works
- Edge Moor Bridge Works of Wilmington, Delaware
- Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (GSM)
- Southern Railway (SOU)
Six-panel, riveted and pin-connected Warren through truss with plate girder and timber stringer approaches
Approximate latitude, longitude
+35.44796, -83.40039   (decimal degrees)
35°26'53" N, 83°24'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/282140/3925370 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Bryson City
Inventory number
BH 43691 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 8, 2015: New photo from Joseph Hinson
  • July 14, 2013: Updated by Luke Harden: Added category "Railroad"
  • December 1, 2009: Added by Matthew Ridpath


  • Matthew Ridpath
  • Joseph Hinson - joethephotog [at] yahoo [dot] com


GSM - Tuckasegee River Bridge (Ela)
Posted November 12, 2014, by ArtS (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)
Ela Railroad Bridge
Posted January 18, 2010, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Actually, the Rockford Railroad Bridge http://www.historicbridges.org/truss/rockford/index.htm in Michigan comes to my mind... not because of the truss config (which is different) but because of striking similarities to the portal bracing. I seem to remember someone telling me the Rockford Railroad Bridge (and its distinctive portal) had roots with the Pennsylvania(?) Railroad. I have no idea if this explains anything about this Ela Railroad Bridge.

Ela Railroad Bridge
Posted January 18, 2010, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

This bridge resembles a bridge in Griffin, Georgia:


The Georgia bridge has all pinned joints, but has the same unusual arrangement of diagonal members.

Also, here's an interesting bridge in Missouri (a Kingpost) that has a riveted upper joint but pinned lower joints:


Ela Railroad Bridge
Posted January 18, 2010, by Anthony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

It appears that the center 2 panels are riveted together, with the adjoining diagonals from the outer panels being pinned to them and the lower chord. I'm not as adept with railroad spans, but I've not seen anything like this before.

Ela Railroad Bridge
Posted January 18, 2010, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Photograph # 5 reveals an interesting feature of this bridge. That lower chord joint features both a pin connection and what appears to be a riveted gusset plate. The bridge appears to indicate that both systems were being used by the Edge Moor Brige works at the time.