• Kinzua Bridge just before the tornado

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in Pennsylvania

Moderator: bwparker1

  by SST
I'm finally catching up on pictures I've wanted to post. While digging for other photo's I came across these. It was a great ride across. Has anybody gone down to the state park and checked out the new observation deck on the remaining bridge? That's on my list.


Good pictures of Kinzua Bridge and its railway - which should be posted in the "Pennsylvania
Railfan" Forum because of its location in McKean County,PA's Kinzua Bridge State Park...

Hard to believe that the tornado that wrecked most of the bridge occurred on July 21,2003 which
is now 14 years ago - and for that matter occurred before the current incarnation of Railroad.net
began on the internet in early 2004. I found this topic from 2004 about Kinzua Bridge:
viewtopic.php?f=130&t=1322" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"State won't rebuild Kinzua Bridge"

I had wanted to visit Kinzua Bridge State Park to see the Bridge but never got the chance and was
as shocked as anyone when the news broke about the tornado causing a majority of the bridge to
collapse - I remember that there was call to possibly rebuild or replace the bridge but the price tag
was too high for anything of that sort. I wonder what the current view there looks like...

  by BR&P

Good pictures of Kinzua Bridge and its railway - which should be posted in the "Pennsylvania
Railfan" Forum because of its location in McKean County,PA's Kinzua Bridge State Park...

Technically correct but I vote to keep it here because so many NY fans are familiar with the structure.

What got me was the bridge was being renovated, and the sections they had completed withstood the tornado. If the darn storm had held off a few months, maybe the damage would have been enough less that it could have been rebuilt.

A reasonable compromise is placing this topic into -both- PA and NY Railfan categories.
A local news article and topic about the Knox & Kane RR and Kinzua Bridge from 2007:
viewtopic.php?f=130&t=42861" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

A description about the damage to Kinzua Bridge mentions that 11 of 20 tower supports were
knocked down by the tornado - was the fallen steel wreckage removed or is it still laying down
at the bottom of the gorge where it fell? Any photos available from the "viewing platform"?

  by SST
I debated on whether to post here in NY or in PA. In my user experience, the PA forum is too quiet. I think NY is much more active and I wanted to make sure someone would view this and not sit there. If this were deep into PA, then I'd agree with you.

I was wondering if anybody has walked out on the Sky walk which is the remaining portion of the bridge on the south side.

http://visitanf.com/kinzua-state-park-sky-walk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Noting that Otto is moderator of the NY Railfan Forum it will be his call about where this topic
should eventually end up. Both the K&K RR and Kinzua Bridge itself have interesting histories...

Thanks for the link for Kinzua Bridge State Park - after watching all three video links I noted that
it looked like the damaged bridge remains were left there in the gorge - and it would cost added
expense to remove the steel from where it now rests - which also adds to showing visitors what
happened back in July 2003 along with the renovated truncated viewing platform.

The K&K Railroad had a somewhat short but interesting history - I recognized that the old coaches
used came from two sources: first-former DL&W MU cars and trailers and second-former LIRR 20s
era "Ping-Pong" coaches which were retired back in the early to mid 70s. One of these cars was
purchased in the liquidation auction by the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum and brought back to LI
as part of the OBRM rolling stock collection which is stored along with the G5s 39 remnants there.
See: http://www.obrm.org" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

  by SST
I woke up yesterday to a sunny sky so I decided to rush down and take a look. I had planned on stopping at the BFD airport for lunch but it was closed. I watched the Cessna Caravan depart with one passenger requiring 3 TSA agents. Tough job I tell ya. So, then I headed over to the Kinzua Bridge State Park. I was really impressed. Their exhibits were really good and I learned a thing or two. I'll revisit soon. It's worth the drive.

This picture is one of the exhibits discussing the roller bearings. I never knew that but it makes sense...when they are taken care of.

This view is at the end of the bridge looking straight down. In the central left you'll see a pedestal with roller bearings still attached. I'm pretty sure that each set of roller bearings are still in place all they way across.

This exhibit was really cool making a comparison in height between the bridge and the Statue of Liberty. I will never look at Lady Liberty the same way again. I believe it said the statue was 5 feet taller.

This photo was taken half way down into the valley. The first "tier" of the path was really steep. If I had worn my sneakers, I wouldn't have even done that with the 1/2 inch of snow. Plus I wasn't really prepared to hike it anyways. But I will the next time.

After I left I drove through the small town of Mt Jewett. Not much to see but somebody had a track speeder out front. I didn't stop to investigate. The K&K rails are still in place all the way up to the bridge.

The mini road trip was really worth the run.
  by SST
I forgot to mention that while looking over the wreckage from the deck, I followed the rails along the floor of the valley. I'm pretty sure that most, if not all of the rails from the creek to the top of the bridge on the other side are still bolted together. I scanned it several times and I didn't see a single rail out of "alignment." The other funny thing is that as stiff as rails are, they sure like to bend.
Everyone - 20 years have passed since the Kinzua Bridge tornado back on July 21, 2003...
This was before the current version of Railroad.Net began in 2004...

From Accuweather: 121-year old landmark destroyed in seconds -
https://accuweather.com/en/severe-weath ... ds/1513285
This is a good explanation on how and why the bridge failed from the tornadic strength winds encountered...

The collapsed portion of Kinzua Bridge will likely never be rebuilt or the scrap steel recovered...
It is unfortunately far too expensive to attempt either at that location and will remain as an example
of what the power of extreme weather can do to a man-made structure...MACTRAXX
  by colorado
How things come around full circle.....

I have a good friend who had a camping cabin in Mt Jewitt back about 81 or 82, my then girlfriend (now wife) and I went there with my pal and spend a weekend about labor day. We hiked a few miles ffom his cabin down the then abandonned right of way to Kinzua and walked across it and back. Several years later my wife and I went down in the fall of 1990 or there abouts and rode the K&K from Marysville over the bridge and back. Now the bridge and tracks are essentially gone and so is the K&K and the abandooned roadbed we hiked over 40 years back is once again abandonned. I need to dig around, I am pretty sur I have slides and maybe movies of the 1990 trip on the K&K