Cary Rail Bridge

Warren Deck Truss Bridge over Fox River
Fox River Grove, McHenry County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Cary Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Union Pacific Railroad
Currently Primary Operator Metra
Length 250 Feet Total, 125 Foot Spans
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Warren Deck Truss
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built 1927
Traffic Count 55 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
UP Bridge Number 37.50
C&NW Bridge Number 1375
Significance Moderate Significance
Documentation Date July 2015
In 1854, the Illinois & Wisconsin Railroad opened a line between Chicago & Cary. The line opened up many possibilities for future expansion.

The next expansion came the following year, when the Chicago St. Paul & Fond Du Lac Railroad opened the line up to Janesville.

This is where the line ended, and it was not extended for years. The line had become part of the Chicago & Northwestern in 1855.

A chunk of the line between Chicago and Des Plaines was double tracked in 1882.

In 1886, a connector line was built between Evansville and Janesville, which created a possible opening to Madison.

The line on its southern end, between Harvard and Chicago was heavily used, while its northern end was not quite as heavily used.

The Chicago & Northwestern was purchased by Union Pacific in 1995, who has let the line north of Janesville fall into disrepair, and rarely accesses Evansville.

Today, the line is used by the METRA from Harvard to Chicago, and north of Janesville is not used as much. The whole line is known as the Harvard Subdivision.

Located along US-14 between Fox River Grove and Cary, this large truss bridge crosses the Fox River.
Built in 1927 to replace an older truss bridge, likely a lattice style truss, the bridge features a pair of 8-panel riveted Warren Deck Trusses with alternating vertical members. The bridge sits on stone and steel substructures.
Large deck trusses like this are not common on Chicago area railroads anymore. Many were replaced with deck girders prior to World War II.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition, with no serious deterioration found.

The author has ranked the bridge as being moderately significant, due to the common design.
The picture above is an overview from the park.

Fox River Railroad Bridges

Upstream Fox Lake Rail Bridge (N)
Upstream Fox Lake Rail Bridge (S)
Downstream Algonquin Trail Bridge


Source Type


Build Date Chicago & North Western Railway Historical Society Archives
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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