• More "Rebuild Kinzua Bridge" rumors?

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

Moderator: bwparker1

  by Aa3rt
I happened to check to the Warren (PA) Times-Observer website and saw an article concerning another discussion on rebuilding the Kinzua Bridge. As I don't subscribe to the website, I couldn't read the entire article. Can someone from northwest PA fill us in on what's transpiring?
  by Matt Langworthy
I did a Google search and it was inconclusive. The websites that discuss Kinzua haven't been updated since 2003. It should be rebuilt, because of the tourism dollars it would bring in.

  by pugsley720
Only items I have seen recently about the Kinzua Viaduct or the Knox and Kane have already been documented on this or other threads. Last I saw/heard, DCNR is stabilizing what is left and planning on reopening the area to tourists, to see the wreckage and power of nature as opposed to the original majesty of the bridge.

I believe a private non-profit group still exists with the hopes of a rebuild, but I doubt it will happen, such a project would be very expensive. Anything built today would have to meet modern structutral codes, and there simply is not enough tourist business to justify the expense of a full rebuild. The intial repairs were topic of debate before the tornado, due to high cost vs. actual value and use. Another argument against a rebuild is that the historical value of the structure is already diminished. It has been taken off the list of historical landmarks, making grant opportunities even harder to come by. K&K has already sold off some of its passenger equipment, so there is little pressing need for Harrisburg to fund a full scale rebuild.

Estimates of the cost of rebuilding that I can recall were in the 40 million dollar range, and I doubt the state can let alone will throw that much for the project, seeing that the Commonwealth is not in the greatest financial shape as it is. It would take a huge combination of state and federal political pork dollars to pull this job off. Both governments have done such projects in the past, but I doubt Northcentral PA has the political clout to get such a deal put together. Trees and deer don't vote.

  by Aa3rt
Thanks for the updates gentlemen-as a native of northwest PA (26 years removed) I'm painfully aware of the economic drawbacks of the area.


  by thebigham
Around $8 million dollars have been earmarked for the state park.


  by SST
Shortly after the bridge collapsed I flew down from Akron, NY and checked it out. Pretty awesome from the air. When I flew over it it looked like they were logging all the tree out of the area. Boy was I wrong.

Late last winter I flew into Bradford with my friend for an expensive bite to eat. Before arriving we flew over it again. This time with the snow on the ground and the low sun, I could clearly see that a tornado hit this bridge. Looking at the trees surrounding the fallen bridge, it doesn't surprise me at all why the bridge collapsed. All the trees form a giant cirle around the bridge with at least a 1/2 mile radius. Thre are several other areas near the bridge that show evidence of either smaller tornados or smaller microburst. This was a bad storm.

Personally, I think that they should do exactly what they are doing. Leave the bridge there. Stabilize it and then build walkways so that you can walk through the wreckage. I would love to do that. How many of us explore RR related ruins trying to put the pieces back together again of what it was like "back then?" I do it all the time up here.

Why not find a way to build a chair lift from the end of the line at the gorge and take it all the way to the bottom. People can ride the train, get off at the end, take the chairlift to the bottom, walk among the wreckage, get back on the chair to the top and return by train. And it wouldn't even be tresspassing.

A chairlift sure won't cost 40milliion. The ride up and down the lift would be amazing especially in the fall. So, what do you think? Never happen?
  by Aa3rt
Warning: Dormant topic being revived!!!

No, not more "Rebuild Kinzua Bridge" rumors, this time there's a proposed glass-bottomed overlook being planned to look down into the valley.

Details from the KDKA (Pittsburgh) website:

http://kdka.com/local/Kinzua.Bridge.ove ... 47686.html
  by SST
This sounds interesting. Something similar to the Grand Canyon glass overlook. Can't say I would drive down from Buffalo for this though. I really would rather walk among the wreckage. I'll just fly over it instead.

Isn't the K&K out of business?
  by EMTRailfan
SST wrote:Isn't the K&K out of business?
Yes. They had a liquidation auction back in October. Kovalchiks own the property, and everything has been slowly leaving, either from purchase to use/rehab or to scrap.

The rumormill at first had said that the line might stay for a while in hopes of GE building a repair plant in Knox and another line side customer opening in Kane. Haven't heard anything as of late.
  by thebigham
^Really in Knox?

As you know the tracks are gone between Knox and Clarion Junction along with a few bridges.
  by EMTRailfan
Like I said, rumors..rumors...rumors.

I live within spitting distance of the Northern Sub. I usually railfan the abandoned Knox section, but I seem to never see any movement :wink:
  by SST
I haven't been down there for years. 3 to 5 years at least. My dad and I took the K&K and crossed the bridge. Pretty neat I must say. Shame to see it gone.
  by Schaffner
Hey, I loved Kinzua Viaduct. Rode across it a few times, and walked across it many times. However, aside from stabilizing the remains, I doubt much money will be thrown at it in our lifetimes. One reason was brought up already: the area is sparsely populated, and there aren't a lot of other attractions in the local area. Therefore, besides the people coming to the region to camp and tourist traveling Route 6 taking a bit of a detour for a look, I can't picture people coming from far and wide to see a wrecked bridge.
  by SST
Well, I agree with you in that not many people will come just for the bridge. I was hoping the K&K was still running and combine them as an attraction in conjunction with the park. All three together I think it would have been successful. As a stand alone.....probably not. But there must be some expectation in regards to the wrecked bridge as they are considering the glass bottom overlook. This is probably the least expensive way to include it other than just leaving it.
  by EMTRailfan
I'm going to take this time to invite anyone into the new Knox&Kane Railroad Yahoo group. I just started this group about a week ago, so membership, data, and other info is still pretty light. To start, I only invited people that I knew that had an interest and info to share to the group to build it up some first. Since I don't know everyone out there that may have anything to share or just have an interest in preserving the history of the Knox&Kane, the time has come to announce the group as open for membership. I would even like to expand the group to include the PVM, GETY, JWKI etc, if anyone has info to share on those RRs under the Cornell's time of operation.