Young’s High Bridge

Young’s High Bridge, Louisville & Southern Railway Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division

Young’s High Bridge is a historic deck truss bridge that carried the Louisville Southern Railway across the Kentucky River in Kentucky.






Congress approved the construction of a bridge across the Kentucky River at Tyrone in 1888. 4 Substructure work began in February 1889 by Hopkins & Company while the superstructure was erected by the Union Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York, and Athens, Pennsylvania with steel sourced from the Detroit Bridge & Iron Works Company of Detroit, Michigan. The first train crossed the new bridge on August 21. 1

Upon opening, the crossing was named after William Bennett Henderson Young, president of the Louisville Southern Railroad (LS). 1 4 It was operated as a component of the LS Lexington to Lawrenceburg Division, serving industries in Versailles and Lawrenceburg, along with a power plant at Tyrone along the river. 2

The last regularly scheduled passenger train operated across Young’s High Bridge on December 27, 1937. 1 Freight traffic declined over the years, dropping considerably after a derailment at the Tyrone Power Station in 1979 that led to that spur’s closure. A runaway locomotive on the steep spur destroyed several coal cars, but no injuries were reported. 2

The Louisville Southern later became part of Norfolk & Western (N&W) and the line between the east side of Lawrenceburg and Versailles was closed to through traffic in November 1985 because of high expenses and low originating and through traffic. 1

Young’s High Bridge was notable for having never been strengthened, modified, or reconstructed. 1

In 2003, the Tyrone Bridge & Railroad Company, a nonprofit, tried to raise money to preserve the bridge as either a rail trail or as a westward extension of Bluegrass Railroad Museum’s excursion. 1 4 Immediately to the east of the bridge, the Bluegrass Railroad Museum operated over 5.5 miles of track from milepost 9 at Beasley Road to milepost 3.5 at Young’s High Bridge. The Tyrone Bridge & Railroad Company dissolved in 2011 without much action.

Norfolk Southern Railway, the successor to the N&W, donated the bridge to the Young’s High Bridge Historical Society in July 2008. 4

In October 2012, the bridge was purchased by Young’s Bridge Partners for $105,000. It was later in January 2013 announced that the bridge would be used as a base jumping center for Vertigo Bungee, and would be the highest platform bridge jump in North America. Today, Young’s High Bridge is used for jumps for four to ten weeks a year by Vertigo Bungee. 4







Further Reading


Sources

  1. Powell, Tim. “Young’s High Bridge, Tyrone, Kentucky.” WorldTimZone. 2006.
  2. “Track Rehabilitation.” Bluegrass Railroad Museum. 18 Sept. 2007.
  3. “Young’s High Bridge.” Bluegrass Railroad Museum. 18 Sept. 2007.
  4. Kocher, Greg. “Old Kentucky River railroad bridge will become bungee-jumping platform.” Herald-Leader [Lexington] 24 Feb. 2013.

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