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LS&MS - Ashtabula River Bridge

Photos 

Before disaster

BH Photo #185637

Map 

Description 

The center deck truss span collapsed at 7:28 p.m. on December 29th 1876 during a blizzard and while a passenger train was crossing.

Ashtabula River Railroad Disaster 

Source: Wikipedia Excerpt

On December 29, 1876, A train of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railway carrying about 160 passengers passed over the bridge as it failed. All but the lead locomotive plunged into the river. The train's oil lanterns and coal-fired heating stoves set the wooden cars alight. Firefighters declined to extinguish the flames, leaving individuals to try to pull survivors from the wreck. Many who survived the crash burned to death. The accident killed approximately 92 people. It was the worst rail accident in the U.S. in the 19th century and the worst rail accident in U.S. history until the Great Train Wreck of 1918.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Deck truss bridge over Ashtabula River on Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway in Ashtabula
Location
Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio
Status
Collapsed
History
Built 1864-65, main span collapsed on December 29, 1876
Builders
- Amasa Stone (railroad president)
- Charles Collins (railroad president)
- D.H. Lockhart (masonry)
Railroad
- Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad (LS&MS)
Design
Main span: Iron Howe deck truss
Approaches: Stone arch
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 150.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.87850, -80.78940   (decimal degrees)
41°52'43" N, 80°47'22" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/517474/4636307 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Ashtabula North
Inventory number
BH 46889 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 1, 2021: Essay added by Nathan Holth
  • November 26, 2016: New photos from Jacob P. Bernard
  • December 5, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Railroad", "Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad"
  • December 16, 2011: New photo from Jacob P. Bernard
  • November 10, 2010: Added by Eric Root

Sources 

  • Eric Root - ejort [at] att [dot] net
  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Nathan Holth