Kinzua Bridge State Park, Mount Jewett, Pennsylvania

John Cowgill: Stories of the Railroad


It was one of the highest train trestles in the world.  Built in 1900, it was an engineering marvel spanning a huge valley with Kinzua Creek below.  Since its construction, freight trains and passenger trains rolled across the bridge.  When the tracks were decommissioned, the Knox and Kane Railroad ran passenger excursions across the bridge giving passengers one of the most incredible views in America.  For train enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts, it was a ride to remember.

On the afternoon of July 21, 2003, everything changed.

The Knox and Kane Railroad had temporarily suspended excursions across the bridge for bridge maintenance.  On that day an F-1 tornado touched down in the state park, and it struck the bridge tearing a good chunk of it into twisted steel.  From that day on, the bridge was decommissioned for train travel, and it was never repaired.  The days of the Kinzua Bridge were over.

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