John Speller's Web Pages James Kirkwood (Missouri Pacific R.R.)

John Speller's Web Pages

James Kirkwood (Missouri Pacific R.R.)
James Pugh Kirkwood (1807-1877) was the Scottish-born Chief Engineer of the Pacific Railway of Missouri, and oversaw the construction of the line from St. Louis to Kansas City between 1850 and 1865. When he arrived in St. Louis in 1850 he had already achieved some fame as the builder of what was then the most expensive viaduct ever built in North America, the Starrucca Viaduct on the 6' 0" gauge Erie Railroad in Pennsylvania. The foundations were of concrete, perhaps the first use of that material in a major engineering project in the USA. After the completion of the Missouri Pacific Railroad in 1865, Kirkwood remained in St. Louis, and constructed one of the most advanced municipal water systems in the world between 1865 and 1867. The St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood (pop. 27,324) is named after him, as is the town of Kirkwood, New York (pop. 5,651) on a section of the Erie Railroad constructed by him before he came to Missouri.
The 345 yard Starrucca Viaduct in Pennsylvania, constructed by James P. Kirkwood in 1848. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress []
James Pugh Kirkwood (1807-1877)
Construction of the Pacific Railroad of Missouri. Photograph Courtesy of the Missouri State Archives. To enlarge, right click and select "view image"
West Barrett's Tunnel, built by James P. Kirkwood in 1851-1853, and surviving on the grounds of the St. Louis National Transportation Museum, was the first railroad tunnel west of the Mississippi River
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