3 votes

NS - Howellville Road Bridge


Howellville Road Bridge - May 13, 2007

Side View

Photo taken by Raymond Klein


BH Photo #134889


Street View 

Brief History 

Written by Raymond Klein

This bridge is on Howeville Road, Chester County, Pa just East of King of Prussia. There is a builders plate that says "NCRW 1879" and as best can be determended this stands for Northern Central Railway 1879.
The Northern Central Railway ran from Baltimore, Maryland to York and Sunbury, Pa and up into New York State. It eventually became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad.
The date on the builders plate is about 18 years earlier than the date this lines tracks were laid.
It appears this bridge had a previous life on the Northern Central Railway.
We have heard tales of bridges being stored at the Pennsylvania Railroad shops in Altona, Pa and perhaps this bridge became excess and was loaded up and moved to its current location here when this line was built.
Information about this was gathered from various Yahoo Railroad groups and the Tredyffrin Township Historical Society


Pony truss bridge over Norfolk Southern Railway on Howellville Road in Devon-Berwyn
Chester County, Pennsylvania
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Slated for replacement and relocation.
Built 1879; rehabilitated ca. 04
- Conrail (CR)
- Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)
- Penn Central Railroad (PC)
- Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR)
Warren pony truss with no verticals
Length of largest span: 88.9 ft.
Total length: 94.2 ft.
Deck width: 19.0 ft.
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.05695, -75.46157   (decimal degrees)
40°03'25" N, 75°27'42" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/460633/4434179 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Valley Forge
Average daily traffic (as of 2014)
Inventory numbers
PA 15 7236 0417 0001 (Pennsylvania Bridge Management System number)
PANBI 10821 (Pennsylvania BRKEY bridge number on the 2011 NBI)
BH 30666 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of October 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 12.8 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • February 10, 2020: Updated by Nathan Holth: This bridge is now doomed.
  • February 9, 2020: New Street View added by Geoff Hubbs
  • March 5, 2009: Essay added by Raymond Klein



NS - Howellville Road Bridge
Posted October 19, 2020, by Eric Marcussen (eric [dot] marcussen [at] outlook [dot] com)

forgot to add that this was double tracked and electrified. It's been a single track w/out the powerlines for a few decades now.

NS - Howellville Road Bridge
Posted October 19, 2020, by Eric Marcussen (eric [dot] marcussen [at] outlook [dot] com)

You are correct. This is a Norfolk Southern line only. It sees at least 2 freights a day (a local from Abrams to/from Coatsville) sometimes 4 if you add in the to/from run to Loparex in Malvern which happens a couple of times a week.

NS - Howellville Road Bridge
Posted February 9, 2020, by George A Oakley (Georgeoakley49 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

If i'm not mistaken it looked like the rail line was double tracked and electrified at one time.I guess SEPTA doesn't run any trains on this rail.