Help us cross the bridge again.
A grassroots movement to improve the communities we serve by returning full tourist train service between Waterville, Ohio and Grand Rapids, Ohio. The Toledo, Lake Erie and Western Railway once attracted over 25,000 people to the area, and will again with your help.
Our goal is to raise $90,000 within our specific goal of four years in order to have the bridge inspected and have 350 bridge timbers replaced for its 100 year birthday.
It’s been a long time since the Bluebird has proudly crossed the Maumee and entered Grand Rapids due to multiple issues the railroad has faced; fortunately there are some ideas in place that will help facilitate the reconstruction of the culvert and pay for bridge timbers which are essential in the process of restoring service to Grand Rapids. Check this website often for updates on our progress.
The beautiful Maumee River bridge was built in 1916 by the Toledo Bridge Company for the Toledo, St. Louis and Western Railroad. As you happen by it you can’t help but wonder why it’s there, or who owns it, and what are they doing with it. You might even think to yourself is it worth fixing? Let us answer those questions for you.
Who owns it? The bridge is owned by the Toledo, Lake Erie and Western Railway Museum
What is the matter? Structurally the bridge is sound, however after being out of service for so long it is necessary to have the bridge inspected by a professional engineer, and then most of the ties must be replaced. Specifically the ties are what secure the track to the bridge.
What are you planning to do with the bridge once fixed? Our number one goal is to operate trains once again across the bridge to support the local community and continue operations into the future – stronger and better than ever. Also we are awaiting response from the National Register of Historic Places, as it is our secondary goal to register it as a national historic landmark.
Is it worth fixing? Of course! The bridge is one of the strongest bridges you will find around. In 1916 they built this bridge to last not for a hundred years but for hundreds of years.
How can I help? There are several levels we suggest you donate at, but your continued support can come in many forms, and we appreciate each and every donation.
“It may come as a surprise to someone hearing that tourist railroads have an economic impact of $42 a person when in operation and it doesn’t take that person long to realize that the TLE&W is a very good organization to support.”