Steubenville Railroad Bridge

    Steubenville Railroad Bridge

    The Steubenville Railroad Bridge carries Norfolk Southern Railway’s Weirton Secondary across the Ohio River between Steubenville, Ohio and Weirton, West Virginia.


    In March 1849, the Steubenville & Indiana Railroad (S&I) was chartered to build a railroad between Steubenville and the Indiana state line. It also included authorization to build a bridge over the Ohio River to connect to Pittsburgh. The S&I opened between Steubenville and Unionport in 1853, Newark by 1855, and Columbus by 1857. The Pittsburgh & Steubenville Railroad (P&S) was chartered around the same time as the S&I with the coal of building a line between Steubenville and Pittsburgh.

    To connect the S&I and the P&S, a bridge over the Ohio River at Steubenville was constructed between 1857-65 for the Pittsburgh, Columbus & Cincinnati Railroad (PC&C), 1 opening on October 9, 1865.

    In April 1868, the S&I, P&S, and Holiday’s Cove Railroad merged to form the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati & St. Louis Railway’s (PC&StL) Panhandle Line. In September 1890, the PC&StL was merged with the Cincinnati & Richmond Railroad and the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis Railroad to form the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway (PCC&StL), which was then leased by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1921, forming their Panhandle mainline.

    In 1909, the approaches to the Steubenville Railroad Bridge were rebuilt to accommodate heavier locomotives and cars. 2 The main spans were replaced in an extravagant construction project on September 29, 1936. 1 Reusing just one c. 1865 pier, the project entailed constructing new concrete piers and fabricating new trusses over the existing spans. Traffic was delayed for only seven hours as the new superstructure was lifted into place by 10 powerful jacks.

    Steubenville Railroad Bridge

    The PRR merged the PCC&StL into their Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington Railroad (PB&W) subsidiary in April 1956. In 1968, PRR merged with the New York Central Railroad to form Penn Central Transportation (PC), which failed in 1976 and eventually became Conrail. In the mid-1980s, Conrail made attempts to abandon segments of the Panhandle Line between Columbus and Pittsburgh, and in 1992, Conrail was able to abandon the Panhandle Line between Weirton and Pittsburgh. The section west of Weirton to Columbus, including the Steubenville Railroad Bridge, is operated by the Columbus & Ohio Railroad.



    • State: Ohio, West Virginia
    • Route: Norfolk Southern Railway
    • Type: Warren Deck Truss, Baltimore Through Truss
    • Status: Active - Railroad
    • Total Length: 2,011 feet
    • Main Span Length: 571 feet


    1. Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, Steubenville.” Ohio History Connection.
    2. Holth, Nathan. “Steubenville Railroad Bridge.”, Aug. 2010.

    Leave a Reply