Bridge was first built by the Saint Cloud, Saint Paul, and Pacific Railroad
for its Minneapolis to Moorhead line. The Railroad became the Saint Paul,
Minneapolis, and Manitoba in 1878, later to become the Great Northern
Railroad. The GN became part of the Burlington Northern in 1970, and
is now part of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe. The BNSF sold the
bridge and track west of Saint Cloud to a short line named Northern Lines
Railway which is part of the Anacostia & Pacific Company. The A&P
specializes in taking over older rail lines and creating short line
The bridge has some extra steel bracing hanging down under the main
bridge structure. This was added in 1922 to increase the load carrying
capacity of the bridge as ever larger railroad equipment became available.
The strengthening project project also included adding a third truss down
the middle of the bridge structure. This bridge saw traffic of 20 or
more trains a day as recently as the early 1990s. With the BNSF merger
and this line being sold off to a short line, rail traffic is down to
one or two trains a day.
The photo above is looking west from the Veterans Bridge, which is located
two blocks downriver from the railroad bridge.
The photo above is a view of the BNSF Bridge as seen from the nearby
Veterans Bridge located two city blocks downriver from the railroad
bridge. The view is looking directly west. Note that the pier on
the right is an original pier, while the pier on the left has been
reinforced by encasing it in a concrete wrapper. The photo below is
a view looking east from a park locate upriver on the west bank of the
These two photos are views of the bridge from the level of the railroad
tracks. The photo above is looking southwest towards downtown Saint Cloud
from the northeast side of the river. The photo below is looking northeast
from the southwest end of the bridge.