The original bridge on this site was a pre-Civil War era, five-span timber arch truss bridge on tall masonry piers. Built by the Philadelphia, Baltimore & Washington Railroad (PW&B RR), and later acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, the arch trusses used were very common in American railroads of the late 19th century, but had very limited life spans and were subject to spectacular failures.
In 1895 the Central Division of the PW&B RR ordered a replacement steel viaduct, and the line was electrified by the Pennsylvania Railroad in the late 1920s. The bridge passed through the hands of Amtrak and Conrail before SEPTA took over the line in 1983. An inspection of the viaduct revealed steel corrosion so severe that the bridge was immediately closed to traffic. An extensive program of steel repair, footing repairs and abutment wingwall repairs was completed in 1983.Despite additional repairs performed in 2002, 2013 and 2014, the Crum Creek Viaduct has reached the end of its useful life. As a result, SEPTA has determined the viaduct requires replacement to ensure continued safe and efficient rail service well into the future.