The Abandoned Cicero Creek Railroad Bridge, Noblesville, Indiana

The Abandoned Cicero Creek Railroad Bridge, Noblesville, Indiana

The Abandoned Cicero Creek Railroad Bridge, Noblesville, Indiana

This bridge was built in 1893 by the Union Bridge Company of Buffalo New York and Athens, Pennsylvania and was eventually used by the Central Indiana Railway Company. The single span steel through truss bridge is about 100 feet long and spans Cicero Creek just west of downtown Noblesville, Indiana.

According to a report from the Indiana Historical Society, The Central Indiana Railway Company had its origins as the Anderson, Lebanon and St. Louis Railroad, chartered in 1875. The line was mostly unprofitable from its beginnings. It was sold and reorganized as the Cleveland, Indiana and St. Louis Railway in 1882, and then reorganized as the Midland Railway Company in 1885. A Chicago attorney, Henry Crawford, acquired control of the line in 1891 and organized it as the Chicago and South Eastern Railway.

It was this line that was jointly acquired by the Pennsylvania and Big Four railroads in 1902, and which was incorporated March 16, 1903 as the Central Indiana Railway Company. The railroad ran a distance of 127 miles, from Muncie to Brazil, Indiana.

Ike Duffey, an Anderson, Ind., meat packer bought the line in 1951, serving as its president and attempting to revive it economically, with mixed success. The line became part of the Conrail system for ten years from 1976 to 1986.

However by 1986 only the nine-mile segment running from Anderson to Lapel, Ind., would survive as the Central Indiana and Western Railroad Company.

This section of the railroad where the bridge is located was abandoned in 1982 with the right of way purchased by the Indiana Transportation Museum. The museum had dreams to rebuild the line but those plans fell thru. In 1991 the City of Noblesville bought the right of way with the intent of opening it up as part of the Midland Trace Pedestrian Trail. However as we go into production with this film in January 2021 use of the bridge with the trail is still up in the air.

Who knows the fate of the bridge at this point but it will easily be standing for another 130 years even if it’s not incorporated into the hiking trail.