The Missouri River begins at Three Forks, Montana, where the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers come together. It flows 2,341 miles before draining into the Mississippi River, just north of St. Louis. Currently a 9' deep navigation channel is maintained from Sioux City to the mouth, 700 miles in length. Bridges crossing over this channel must have sufficient clearance for barge traffic, which operates from March until November. I have numbered the bridges from 1 to 32, starting at the mouth. These are not official bridge numbers.
Openings-I've concerned myself with the opening year for each crossing, rather than that for the bridge existing at that location. Quite a few of these bridges have been replaced over the years, and their opening for service is of course more recent than what I have listed for each crossing. The first crossing was at Hannibal (#9), dating from 1869, and still in use by BNSF. This was followed two years later by the Wabash's St. Charles Bridge (#2) and the Rock Island's Fort Leavenworth Bridge (#11). Twenty crossings were constructed downriver from Sioux City, 17 of them opening during the 1800s. The newest of these is the Harry S Truman Bridge at Kansas City, from 1945. Upriver from Sioux City, only two of the ten crossings date from the 1800s, both on the Northern Pacific mainline. Sioux City is the location of the newest crossing, where Burlington Northern constructed a bridge in the 1980s, although this was basically a replacement for the adjacent C&NW bridge.
Passenger service-The Southwest Chief uses BNSF's Sibley Bridge (#5), while the California Zephyr crosses the river on BNSF's Plattsmouth Bridge (#16).Amtrak has used two other bridges since it began operating on May 1, 1971. The San Francisco Zephyr crossed over the Missouri on Union Pacific's Omaha Bridge (#17), while the North Coast Hiawatha used BNSF's Bismarck Bridge (#26).Passenger trains operating until May 1, 1971
Freight service-With each bridge site I have included "Traffic", and followed it with heavy, moderate, light, or abandoned. Heavy refers to the 7 bridges carrying over 60 million gross tons per year, moderate includes the 10 bridges carrying 5 to 60 GMT, and light refers to the 6 bridges carrying less than 5 GMT. A further 9 crossings have been abandoned, or are no longer used by railroads. I am using the tonnage figures from RRPicturearchives' traffic density map and other sources.Union Pacific's Omaha Bridge (#17) sees the heaviest traffic, about 143 GMTs per year. BNSF have 3 bridges which carry more than 100 GMT per year. These are Sibley (#5), Rulo (#14) and Plattsmouth (#16). Over 60 GMT is carried by BNSF's Hannibal (#9) and Bismarck (#26), as well as Union Pacific's Blair (#19).The moderate traffic bridges are led by BNSF's Bellefontaine (#1), which carries more than 40 gross mean tons per year. This is followed by Truman (#6), ASB (#8), Sioux City (#21) and Townsend (#31), all over 20 GMT. Other moderate tonnage bridges are St. Charles (#2), Glasgow (#4), Pierre (#24), Mobridge (#25) and Great Falls (#30). The bridges carrying a light level of traffic are Atchison (#12), St. Joseph (#13), Snowden (#27) and Rainbow (#28). CN's Omaha bridge (#18) and DSRC's Chamberlain bridge (#23) are rarely used.The crossings which are no longer used by railroads are Boonville (#3), Choteau (#7), Leavenworth (#10), Fort Leavenworth (#11), Nebraska City (#15), Sioux City (#20), Sioux City (#22), Great Falls (#28) and Lombard (#31).
Bridge type-At this time there are 23 active crossings of the Missouri River. 17 of these crossings are fixed, while 6 have moving spans for river navigation. The 6 movable bridges feature 2 with lift spans, Truman (#6) and ASB (#8). Four are fitted with swing spans, Hannibal (#9), Atchison (#12), St. Joseph (#13) and CN Omaha (#18). Another swing span, Pierre (#24) and a lift span, Snowden (#27), are now nonfunctionable. Both are located upriver of the navigation channel.The group of 8 abandoned railroad bridges had a lift span at Boonville (#3) and a swing span at Leavenworth (#10). Four others were fixed, Choteau (#7), Nebraska City (#15), Great Falls (#28) and Lombard (#31). This leaves Fort Leavenworth (#11) and Sioux City (#20), of which I've yet to learn of their type. .
Mississipi River to Kansas City1-BNSF Bellefontaine BridgeThe Chicago, Burlington and Quincy opened this bridge during 1893, linking St. Louis with Burlington, Iowa. Although constucted as a double-track bridge, it presently only carries a single track of the BNSF Railway. It was also used by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad until 1986.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Photos PhotosTraffic- medium (40 to 60 GMT) Bridge type- fixed
2-NS St. CharlesThe North Missouri Railroad opened their bridge over the Missouri River during 1871. After a name change to the St. Louis, Kansas City and Northern, it was merged into the Wabash Railroad in 1879. The current bridge was built in 1936, north of the old bridge. The Wabash was merged into the Norfolk and Western in 1964, and is now part of Norfolk Southern.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Photo Photo Photo Passenger- N&W operated the former Wabash St. Louis-Council Bluffs mixed trains 211 and 214 over this line during the mid 1960s.Traffic- medium (10 to 20 GMT) Bridge type- fixed
3-MKT BoonvilleThe Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad opened their bridge at Boonville during 1874, completing a route between Hannibal, MO, and Texas. This original bridge featured a swing span for river traffic. MKT reached St. Louis during 1896, and in that same year the spans were replaced creating a second bridge on the piers of the first bridge. The current lift bridge was constructed in 1932, and was used by the Missouri-Kansas-Texas until abandoned during 1986. Union Pacific acquired the MKT during 1988, and continues to own the bridge. Disposition of the bridge is before the courts, as to whether it will be removed or used for a recreational trail. WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Photo Photo WebsiteTraffic- abandoned Bridge type- moveable, lift span
4-KCS GlasgowThe Chicago and Alton opened the original bridge at Glasgow during 1879, creating the shortest route between Chicago and Kansas City. C&A upgraded the bridge in 1900, replacing the Whipple truss spans with Parker trusses. The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio absorbed the Chicago and Alton in 1947, and in turn the GM&O was merged into Illinois Central Gulf during 1972. The changes in ownership continued, to the newly created Chicago, Missouri and Western in 1987 and then to Gateway Western on January 10, 1990. Kansas City Southern acquired the GWWR in 1997, and remains the operator of this crossing of the Missouri River. WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter PhotosPassenger- service lasted until 1960 with a Gulf, Mobile and Ohio motor trainbetween Kansas City and Bloomington, Illinois. Traffic- medium (5 to 10 GMT) Bridge type- fixed
5-BNSF SibleyThe Sibley Bridge, and Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe's new route connecting Kansas City with Chicago, opened in 1888. Five other large spans were on the new line, crossing the Grand, Chariton, Des Moines, Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. As with several other railroad bridges built over the Missouri River during the 1800s, it was constucted with Whipple trusses and these were later replaced with Parkers. The Sibley Bridge remains one of the few single track sections on BNSF Railway's extraordinary busy Transcon route linking Chicago and Los Angeles.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Photos PhotoPassenger- Amtrak's Southwest Chief crosses over the Missouri on this bridge. Traffic- heavy (100+ GMT) Bridge type- fixed
6-Harry S. Truman BridgeThe Harry S. Truman Bridge was constructed by the USACE and opened during May 1945. It allowed the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad to abandon Choteau Bridge as it's entry into Kansas City. The bridge was also part of a new Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad line into the city, replacing trackage rights over the CB&Q. CMSP&P was acquired by the Soo Line Railroad during 1985, who sold their portion of the bridge to I&M Rail Link in 1997. I&MRL was acquired in 2002 by Iowa, Chicago and Eastern Railroad, one of the two current users of Harry S. Truman Bridge. The CRI&P share went to the Chicago and North Western in 1983, now part of Union Pacific.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Traffic- medium (20 to 40 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, lift span
7-CMSP&P Chouteau BridgeChouteau Bridge was built by the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (which became the CMSP&P), and opened during 1887. It made use of 3 Whipple trusses to cross the river channel. The Milwaukee Road used the bridge until the Truman bridge opened. From 1951 until 2001 the Choteau Bridge remained in use for automobile traffic. It was then removed and replaced by a second road bridge using the same name. WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Traffic- abandoned, and replaced Bridge type- fixed
8-ASB BridgeThe ASB (Armour Swift Burlington) Bridge was built with a lower railroad level and an upper road level. It operated in this fashion from 1911 until 1987, when road traffic was switched to a new bridge. The upper deck was then removed from the bridge, the bridge underwent needed repairs and renovations, and it was turned over to the Burlington Northern. The bridge is now owned by BNSF Railway, and sees a lot of traffic moving between BNSF and Kansas City Southern.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Bridgehunter Photos Photo Traffic- medium (20 to 40 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, lift span
9-Hannibal BridgeThe original Hannibal Bridge was the first permanent bridge to cross the Missouri River. It was built by the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad, and was completed in 1869. The H&SJ was acquired in 1883 by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, which built a replacement double-track bridge in 1917. This second Hannibal bridge is presently used by BNSF Railway and Norfolk Southern. WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Photos Traffic- heavy (60 to 100 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, swing span
Leavenworth to Sioux City.
10-C&NW / BN LeavenworthThe Union Bridge Company constructed this swing span for the Leavenworth Terminal Railway and Bridge Company during 1893. This bridge was on the mainline of the Chicago Great Western, which used trackage rights on Missouri Pacific south of Leavenworth to reach Kansas City. Other users of this crossing were the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. CGW purchased the bridge during 1910, and retained ownership until absorbed by the Chicago and North Western in 1968. C&NW bought the superior CRI&P line to Kansas City during 1983, allowing the abandonment of this bridge in the mid 1980s. WikiMapia Terraserver Bridgehunter PhotosPassenger- the CGW operated a Minneapolis-Kansas City passenger train over this bridge until 1962. Traffic- abandoned, and removed Bridge type- moveable, swing span.
11-CRI&P Fort LeavenworthThe Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad bridge at Fort Leavenworth opened in 1871, allowing entry into Leavenworth, Kansas. It was also used by the Chicago Great Western from 1890 until 1893, when the Terminal Bridge to the south opened. The bridge was rebuilt during 1926 to carry US Highway 92, which it did until replaced by Centenial Bridge in 1955. WikiMapia Terraserver WebsiteTraffic- abandoned Bridge type- ? .
12-BNSF AtchisonThis crossing dates from 1875, and was used by Chicago, Burlington and Quincy and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe gained trackage rights over the bridge to replace their abandoned route to St. Joseph during the 1970s, and acquired part of the CRI&P line after the Rock's demise. The CB&Q was merged into Burlington Northern during 1970, which merged with the ATSF in 1996 to form the current operator of this bridge, BNSF Railway.WikiMapia Terraserver Bridgehunter PhotoTraffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, swing span.
13-UP St. JosephFrom the Missouri History Website-The St. Joseph Bridge Building Company was incorporated in 1870. The bridge cost $716,000, to which St. Joseph subscribed $500,000. The structure was begun July 25, 1871, and by the 20th of May, 1873, the first locomotive was run over it by Edward Steppy, master mechanic of the St. Joseph & Denver City Railroad. The bridge consisted of six piers, to build which caissons were sunk to bed rock. The masonry proceeded upward as the caisson were sunk under pneumatic pressure. To build the caisson required 1,500,000 feet of lumber and 16,000 cubic feet of concrete. The piers contain 172,000 cubic feet of masonry. The superstructure consists of three fixed spans of the quadrangular Pratt truss, each 300 feet long, one fixed span eighty feet long at the east end, and a draw span 3654 feet long, making the entire length of the bridge 1,345 feet. On June 16, 1879 the control of the bridge was transferred to Jay Gould and associates. Ownership of the bridge went to Union Pacific's St. Joseph & Grand Island Railroad. The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe gained trackage rights over the bridge, as did the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific. Union Pacific sold the 108 mile line from St. Joseph to Upland, KS during February 1990 to Railtex, and this became the Northeast Kansas and Missouri. The line was repurchased in 1998, as Union Pacific needed the route between Hiawatha and Upland in Kansas for empty coal trains returning to the Powder River Basin. The bridge is now part of a Union Pacific 4 mile long spur line from St. Joseph to Elwood, KS. WikiMapia TerraserverTraffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, swing span.
14-BNSF RuloThe Chicago, Burlington and Quincy opened the bridge at Rulo during 1887, connecting the traffic hubs of Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska. The majority of the original bridge, including both of the 375' main spans, was replaced during July 1977. At present the bridge is heavily used by BNSF Railway for eastbound coal out of Wyoming.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Traffic- heavy (100+ GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
15-BN Nebraska CityFollowing the completion of the Plattsburg Bridge (1882) 25 miles to the north, and the Rulo Bridge (1887) 50 miles down river, a near duplicate was built by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy during 1888 east of Nebraska City. All three bridges used a pair of through trusses to cross the main river channel. Before 1888, a temporary Pontoon Bridge had been used crossing the river. The CB&Q was merged into Burlington Northern on March 2, 1970. These three bridges required upgrading for the heavier trains of the 1980s, and the Nebraska City bridge was deemed surplus and abandoned during 1982. On December 15, 1984, the bridge was blown up in a controlled demolition and removed. WikiMapia Terraserver Photos Traffic- abandoned, and removed Bridge type- fixed.
16-BNSF PlattsmouthThe Burlington and Missouri River Railroad, which was at the time backed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, reached the Missouri River across from Plattsmouth during 1869. A subsidiary, the Burlington and Missouri River Railroad in Nebraska, began building west from Plattsmouth. CB&Q leased the pair of railroads in 1872, and Denver was reached 1882. That year also saw the construction of a bridge over the Missouri at Plattsmouth. The original bridge was constructed with two through trusses. Replacement came during 1902, to a bridge with a single 402' through truss. Burlington Northern replaced the west end of the bridge in 1976 when they straightened the alignment to eliminate a 12 degree curve on the Nebraska side. This crossing is heavily used as part of the BNSF Railway line between Lincoln and Chicago.WikiMapia Terraserver PhotosPassenger- Amtrak's California Zephyr crosses over the Missouri on this bridge. Traffic- heavy (about 104 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
17-UP OmahaThe first Union Pacific bridge between Omaha and Council Bluffs opened during 1872, in some respects completing the Transcontinental Railroad. An increase in traffic led to replacement of the span with a double track bridge during 1887. This is turn was replaced by the present bridge during 1917. Union Pacific now operates mostly eastward traffic over the bridge, while westbound traffic is concentrated on the former C&NW Blair bridge to the north. The Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific had trackage rights over this line until 1980, and BNSF Railway currently operates over it on trackage rights.WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Photos Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Passenger- Amtrak's San Francisco Zephyr crossed over the Missouri on this bridge until April 25, 1982 Traffic- heavy (about 143 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
18-CN OmahaIllinois Central bridged the Missouri to reach Omaha during 1903, through subsidiary Omaha Bridge & Terminal Railway. The swing span turning mechanism was destroyed in 1988, and the bridge is left open during Navigation season. Canadian National acquired Illinois Central in 1998, and rarely uses this bridge.WikiMapia Terraserver Photo WebsiteTraffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- moveable, swing span.
19-UP BlairThe first permanent bridge over the Missouri River near Blair was completed in October 1883, and consisted of 3 330-foot Whipple trusses. These Whipple Truss spans were replaced during 1923 by the Chicago and North Western Railway, with the 3 Parker Trusses which are still in use. Union Pacific merged the C&NW during 1995, and the Blair Bridge is now paired with the Omaha bridge, handling mostly westbound traffic.WikiMapia Terraserver Photo Photo Website PhotosTraffic- heavy (about 91 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
20-C&NW Sioux City Sioux City and Nebraska were linked during December 1888, with a bridge built for the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railroad. The CStPM&O, under the control of the Chicago and North Western Railway, was building a line between St. Paul and Omaha. The Great Northern Railway was the second railroad to begin using the bridge. GN acquired 230 miles of line in Nebraska, which were transfered after 1900 to subsidiary Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, which became the third railroad using the bridge. By the early 1980s, C&NW owned the bridge, with GN and CB&Q's trackage rights held by Burlington Northern. Useage by the North Western had fallen, as this was no longer a through route for them. BN was now the main user of the bridge, particularly in grain traffic. After the passage of almost one hundred years, replacement was required to carry the heavier traffic.WikiMapia Terraserver WebsiteTraffic- abandoned, and removedBridge type- ?.
21-BNSF Sioux CityThe current bridge spanning the Missouri at Sioux City was constructed by the Burlington Northern Railroad around 1982. Trackage rights over the bridge were granted to the Chicago and North Western Railway, as their bridge was removed. Ownership is now in the hands of BNSF Railway, while C&NW's rights are used by Union Pacific.WikiMapia Terraserver Traffic- medium (about 28 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
22-Sioux City Combination BridgeThe second permanent bridge across the Missouri River at Sioux Falls opened in 1896. Constructed for foot, horse and light rail traffic and later automobiles, it was nicknamed the Combination Bridge because it carried various forms of traffic. Railroad use of the bridge was by the Great Northern Railway during the 1890s, which later recieved rights to use the C&NW bridge. Replacement came during 1981 by the new Veterans Memorial Bridge, due to structural issues.WikiMapia Terraserver Website Photos DemolitionTraffic- abandoned, and removedBridge type- moveable, swing span
Sioux City to Three Forks.
x-Yankton Meridian BridgeKnown as the Meridian Bridge, this crossing was constucted between 1920 and 1924. The lower deck was designed to facilitate a railroad, an option that remained open until 1953. Yankton's 3 railroads, the Great Northern, the Chicago and North Western, and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific, all decided against extending across the river into Nebraska. WikiMapia Terraserver Wikipedia Johnweeks.Meridian WebsiteTraffic- never used Bridge type- fixed, built as a lift bridge.
23-DSRC ChamberlainThe Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad built west from Chamberlain and on to Rapid City during 1906 and 1907. A floating pontoon bridge carried the railroad across the Missouri, similar to CMSP&P structures bridging the Mississippi at Prairie du Chien and Wabasha. This pontoon bridge was replaced in 1953 by the current bridge built by USACE as part of the Lake Francis Case project. The Milwaukee Road operated the line until March 1980, when the State of South Dakota (MRC Regional Railroad Authority) purchased it. The Dakota Southern Railway began operations across the bridge west to Kadoka during May 1987. DSRC has recently begun using the bridge again after a few years of inactivity. It is believed this was the longest bridge on the CMSP&P. WikiMapia Terraserver Johnweeks.Chamberlain Photo Photo YouTubeTraffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
24-DME Pierre1907 saw the Chicago and North Western complete this bridge as part of a line to Rapid City. The swing span is believed to be locked in the closed position, and unable to reopen. The Chicago & North Western sold this line on September 4, 1986 to the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad. Traffic should increase dramatically if DME's planned Powder River Basin Project is completed. WikiMapia Terraserver Johnweeks.Pierre Photo HistoryPassenger- the C&NW operated the Dakota 400 over this bridge until the end of October 1960. Traffic- medium (10 to 20 GMT) Bridge type- moveable (?), swing span.
25-BNSF MobridgeUntil November 1905, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad extended from Chicago to the Missouri River. The decision was made to reach out to the west coast, beginning at the end of the line in Evarts, SD. Mobridge (Missouri Bridge) was founded as the beginning of the Pacific Coast Extension, and a wooden temporary bridge was in place across the river by April 1907. Construction of a permanent steel bridge took place while the PCE headed west, and the second bridge was opened on March 19th, 1908. The third bridge at this site was built by the USACE during 1961 for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific, necessitated by the Oahe Dam project. CMSP&P operations in South Dakota came to an end during March 1982, resulting in the purchase of the line by the State, with Burlington Northern contracted to run the route. BNSF Railway now owns and operates the bridge. WikiMapia Terraserver Johnweeks.Mobridge PhotoPassenger- a truncated remnant of the Olympian Hiawatha operated over this bridge until January 1964. Traffic- medium (10 to 20 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
26-BNSF BismarckAlthough Northern Pacific Railway the reached Bismarck during 1873, construction of the bridge did not begin until 1881. Following completion during October 1882, the eastern pier has caused difficulties, due to shifting ground. The March 1970 merger of Northern Pacific into Burlington Northern resulted in a loss of traffic, shifted to the parallel former Great Northern line to the north. The last 20 years have seen a dramatic increase of tonnage crossing the Missouri here, in the form of eastbound coal from the Powder River Basin, and making this a key part of BNSF Railway. WikiMapia Terraserver Johnweeks.Bismarck Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo PhotosPassenger- Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha used this bridge until October 7, 1979. Traffic- heavy (60 to 100 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
27-YSVR SnowdenConstruction of the Snowden bridge, and a twin 10 miles to the south at Fairview crossing the Yellowstone River, began during 1912. These bridges were to be part of the Great Northern Railway's Montana Eastern Railway, which was never completed. The Missouri was deemed navigable at the time of constuction, resulting in a lift span as part of the structure. Last raised during 1935, it is now inoperable. The Great Northern was merged into Burlington Northern during 1970, which in turn became BNSF Railway. Watco's Yellowstone Valley Railroad began operating the line and the bridge on August 15, 2005 through a long term lease.WikiMapia Terraserver Johnweeks.Snowden Photo Photos Photos Traffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- moveable (?), lift span.
28-BNSF RainbowThe Great Northern Railway built through Montana during the 1880s, through Havre and Helena to Butte, reaching the State's most important city in 1887. This line did not cross the Missouri River, and passed by on the north and west sides of Great Falls. The bridge at Rainbow Falls was constructed during 1901 as part of a line change along the south side of the river travelling through the center of Great Falls. During 1983 Burlington Northern abandoned the line between Fort Benton and Big Sandy, leaving this bridge as part of BNSF Railway's branch line from Great Falls to Fort Benton. WikiMapia Terraserver Photo PhotoPassenger- Burlington Northern operated a connection from the Western Star at Havre to Great Falls until May 1971 on this line. Traffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
29-CMSP&P Great FallsThe Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific reached Great Falls from the east during 1914, as part of a planned second mainline across Montana. After crossing the Missouri, a further 65 miles were constructed to Agawam before World War II broke out. The Milwaukee Road used this bridge until operations were abandoned west of Miles City in March 1980. Currently the bridge is part of Great Falls' River Edge Trail.WikiMapia Terraserver Photo Photo Traffic- abandoned, now a foot bridge Bridge type- fixed.
30-BNSF Great FallsThe narrow gauge Great Falls & Canada Railway was built in the late 1880's from Lethbridge, Alberta to Great Falls. The Sweet Grass to Great Falls portion was purchased by the Great Northern during 1901 and widened to standard gauge in 1902-04. GN extended the line to Billings from Great Falls (under the corporate name of "Billings & Northern Railway") to connect with the CB&Q at Billings. The Great Northern was merged into Burlington Northern during 1970, and BN was merged into the current operator, BNSF Railway, during 1996.WikiMapia Terraserver Traffic- medium (10 to 20 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
31-MRL TownsendThe Northern Pacific Railway was completed between Minnesota and Oregon on September 8, 1883, crossing the Missouri River at Bismarck, ND, and here at Townsend, Montana. NP was merged into Burlington Northern on March 2, 1970, which reduced the long distance traffic on this route, shifting it to the former Great Northern line across northern Montana. BN management during the 1980s believed this secondary route did not have a future, and it was leased long term to Montana Rail Link, beginning on October 31, 1987.WikiMapia Terraserver Photo PhotoPassenger- Burlington Northern's Mainstreeter ran over this line until May 1971, and the Montana Daylight operated through here from 1994 until 2004.Traffic- medium (20 to 40 GMT)Bridge type- fixed.
32-CMSP&P LombardLombard was the location of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific mainline's second crossing of the Missouri River, approximately 625 miles west of the first crossing at Mobridge, SD. The route was completed during 1909 and lasted until March 1980 when the CMSP&P abandoned their western extension. Electric operations over the bridge came to an end during 1974. After crossing the Missouri, the Milwaukee Road traveled southward, upriver, until turning west to run through Butte on the way to the west coast.WikiMapia TerraserverPassenger- a truncated remnant of the Olympian Hiawatha operated over this bridge until January 1964. Traffic- abandoned Bridge type- fixed
Jefferson River CrossingsThe Missouri River begins in Three Forks, Montana, where the Jefferson and Madison Rivers join. The third fork is the Gallatin River, which meets the Missouri a short distance downriver. The Jefferson River is 207 miles long, beginning at Twin Bridges, MT, where the Big Hole and Beaverhead Rivers join.The Northern Pacific and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroads each built 2 bridges over the Jefferson. Both of the NP bridges remain in use.
1-CMSP&P Three ForksThe mainline of the Milwaukee Road crossed the Jefferson River twice, and was in service from 1909 until it was abandoned during March 1980.WikiMapia TerraserverPassenger- a truncated remnant of the Olympian Hiawatha operated over this bridge until January 1964. Traffic- abandoned Bridge type- fixed
2-MRL SappingtonAfter the Northern Pacific completed their mainline through Helena, a second line across the Continental Divide was opened during 1888 to serve Butte. Burlington Northern continued to operate the line after 1980 until it was mothballed during 1983. Montana Rail Link currently uses this bridge and runs west from here to Spire Rock, on the east slope of Homestake Pass. It is possible the line could reopen to Butte.WikiMapia TerraserverPassenger- Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha ran over this line until October 7, 1979.Traffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- fixed
3-CMSP&P Jefferson IslandThe second crossing of the Jefferson River by the electrified CMSP&P mainline was just west of Jefferson Island, Montana. June 1974 saw the end of the electric operations, and March 1980 saw the abandonment of the line.WikiMapia TerraserverPassenger- a truncated remnant of the Olympian Hiawatha operated over this bridge until January 1964.Traffic- abandoned Bridge type- fixed
4-MRL WaterlooNorthern Pacific reached Alder, Montana, with a line leaving the Homestake Pass route at Whitehall. This branch line is now owned by MRL, who operate it as far as Twin Bridges, crossing the Jefferson River near Waterloo, Montana.WikiMapia TerraserverTraffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
Madison River CrossingsThe Madison River begins in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. It runs 183 miles to Three Forks, Montana, where it joins the Jefferson River.Two railroad crossings over the river were built, by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific and the Northern Pacific. The Northern Pacific bridge survives, now used by Montana Rail Link.
1-CMSP&P BridgeThe Milwaukee Road served the Gallatin Valley with a branchline which left the mainline at Three Forks, and crossed the Madison River just east of town, just north of the Northern Pacific bridge. This CMSP&P branch was abandoned during 1980.WikiMapia TerraserverTraffic- abandoned and removed Bridge type- fixed
2-MRL BridgeThis bridge lies on Montana Rail Link's 5th subdivision, which runs between Logan and Twin Bridges. Originally it was part of Northern Pacific's secondary mainline through Butte.WikiMapia TerraserverPassenger- Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha ran over this line until October 7, 1979.Traffic- light (less than 5 GMT) Bridge type- fixed.
Gallatin River CrossingsThe third 'parent' of the Missouri is the Gallatin. The Gallatin River is 120 miles in length, and begins in Park county, Wyoming.Five crossings were built over the river, three by the Northern Pacific Railway and two by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific. Two remain in service, both of them former NP bridges operated by Montana Rail Link.
1-MRL LoganThe Northern Pacific split at Logan, with the mainline crossing the river heading for Mullan Pass and Helena. The second route stayed on the south bank of the Gallatin, crossed Homestake Pass and went through Butte. Burlington Northern closed the Homestake Pass line, and today Montana Rail Link uses the Mullan Pass line for through traffic. WikiMapia TerraServer PhotosPassenger- Burlington Northern's Mainstreeter ran over this line until May 1971, and the Montana Daylight operated through here from 1994 until 2004.Traffic- medium (20 to 40 GMT)Bridge type- fixed
2-NP Low Grade LineNorthern Pacific's line climbing the western slope of Bozeman Pass was operating near capacity, resulting in the construction a low grade line between Logan and Bozeman. This line was completed on November 16, 1919, and remained in operation until the end of December 1956. WikiMapia TerraServer WebsiteTraffic- abandoned and removedBridge type- fixed
3-MRL MainlineMontana Rail Link's second bridge over the Gallatin is nestled between the Interstate and old highway bridges. This was part of Northern Pacific's mainline running across the Treasure State.WikiMapia TerraServerPassenger- Amtrak's North Coast Hiawatha ran over this line until October 7, 1979, and the Montana Daylight operated through here from 1994 until 2004.Traffic- medium (20 to 40 GMT)Bridge type- fixed
4-CMSP&P Belgrade BranchThe town of Belgrade, Montana, was reached by the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad through a 5 mile brach line which came off of their Bozeman branch. The line, and this bridge, were abandoned during 1962.WikiMapia TerraServerTraffic- abandoned and removedBridge type- fixed
5-CMSP&P Bozeman BranchThe Milwaukee Road served Bozeman with a branch line beginning on the mainline at Three Forks. This line operated from 1918 until March 1980. On the east side of the bridge over the Gallatin was Bozeman Hot Springs. From there a short branch headed south to Gallatin Gateway, the CMSP&P's access to Yellowstone National Park.WikiMapia TerraServerTraffic- abandoned and removedBridge type- fixed
Dale's Trackside Guides #1-Mississippi River CrossingsThis is a study of the Railroad crossings over the Mississippi River. #2-Amtrak's Current Routes A detailed accounting of which railroad owns every mile of track used by Amtrak.
#3-Class 1 Railroads in the 1950s A summary of the 127 class 1 railroads in 1950.
#4-The Milwaukee Road MainlinePoints of interest on the CMSP&P mainline from Chicago to Seattle and Portland.
#5-Montana Rail Link, I&MRL and IC&E Rosters
#6-GP30 Ownership A simple rundown of the dozens of owners of GP30 locomotives.
#7-Amtrak's Original Routes A look at the routes used by Amtrak on May 1st, 1971.
#8-Continental Divide Crossings A summary of the railroad crossings of the Continental Divide in North America
#9-Iowa's Counties A listing of the railroads operating in Iowa's 99 Counties today and in 1985 and 1930.
#10-America's Regional Railroads A look at the 62 current and former Regional Railroads in the United States
#11-AC Ownership Owners of locomotives with AC traction motors
#12-Ohio's Counties A listing of the railroads operating in Ohio's 88 Counties today and in 1985 and 1930.
#13-1980 A look at the events that took place during 1980 affecting America's railroads.
#14-Pieces of the RockSurviving rail lines and locomotives of the Rock Island Railroad.
#15-Amtrak's Abandoned RoutesA State by State list of routes previously used by Amtrak.
#16-Missouri River CrossingsA study of the Railroad crossings over the Missouri River.
I thought it only fair that I cover the bridges on 'Iowa's west coast' as well.
Less to work with, and less ethusiasm on my part, so this will take awhile.
nanaimo73 wrote: Chamberlain to Three Forks
Chamberlain to Three Forks
Thanks to Chris / CopCarSS for my avatar. Otherwise I, too would be in the Lego Witness Protection Program
Murphy Siding wrote: nanaimo73 wrote: Chamberlain to Three Forks I'm not sure if I understand the thought process here? Chamberlain, S.D.?
Yes, Chamberlain, S.D.
This forum software can't handle really long posts as well as the Snitz forum did, so I decided to do this list in 4 parts. The first post will cover the 9 crossings from the mouth of the river to Kansas City. The second post runs from the 10th bridge at Leavenworth to the 19th at Sioux City. The third post will cover the 20th crossing (Chamberlain) to the head of the river, and the 4th post covers the 3 rivers that form the Missouri.
blhanel wrote:(ahem) "Missouri".
nanaimo73 wrote: Murphy Siding wrote: nanaimo73 wrote: Chamberlain to Three Forks I'm not sure if I understand the thought process here? Chamberlain, S.D.? Yes, Chamberlain, S.D.This forum software can't handle really long posts as well as the Snitz forum did, so I decided to do this list in 4 parts. The first post will cover the 9 crossings from the mouth of the river to Kansas City. The second post runs from the 10th bridge at Leavenworth to the 19th at Sioux City. The third post will cover the 20th crossing (Chamberlain) to the head of the river, and the 4th post covers the 3 rivers that form the Mississippi.
This forum software can't handle really long posts as well as the Snitz forum did, so I decided to do this list in 4 parts. The first post will cover the 9 crossings from the mouth of the river to Kansas City. The second post runs from the 10th bridge at Leavenworth to the 19th at Sioux City. The third post will cover the 20th crossing (Chamberlain) to the head of the river, and the 4th post covers the 3 rivers that form the Mississippi.
Fixed. Thanks Brian.
Murphy Siding wrote: Don't forget to include the "also ran" Meridian bridge at Yankton, in the honerable mention category.
I have enjoyed reading your trackside guides greatly. I have one question and a possible correction. Are all your crossings supposed to be railroad crossings? If so, then I think one error is at Nebraska City, NE. As far as I know, no railroad crosses the river there, just Highway 2. The Burlington Northern, or it's predecessor, The CB &Q, abandoned it's line into Nebraska City from Iowa, and the old steel bridge structure was torn down, possibly in the 1980's. Also, the adjacent highway bridge was replaced with a modern steel and concrete structure, about a mile downstream from the old bridges. The maps indicate this, but the photos are of old bridges which have been removed.
Keep up the good work!
I am listing past and present crossings. I believe the Nebraska City bridge was blown up (for removal) on December 15, 1984. I am planning on finishing the third post before working on the first two so I won't have to scroll down as much. I will also list #3 MKT, #7 Choteau and #10 Leavenworth as abandoned.