Elmen Park Rail Bridge

Quadrangular Through Truss Bridge over Big Sioux River
Sioux Falls, Minnehaha County, South Dakota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Elmen Park Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago & North Western Railway
Contractor Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago
Currently Owned By Ellis & Eastern Railway
Length 325 Feet Total, 100 Foot Longest Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 12 Feet (Estimated)
Type Quadrangular Through Truss and Trestle
Date Built 1892
Traffic Count 1 Train/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Bridge Number P-131
In 1875, the Saint Paul & Sioux City Railway began feeling threatened by the competing Southern Minnesota Railway, which was beginning construction on building to Sioux Falls.

They formed the subsidiary Worthington & Sioux Falls Railway to construct the approximately 50 mile segment of main line from Agate Junction (near Worthington) to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

It opened to Adrian, Minnesota by 1875, Luverne, Minnesota in 1876 and Sioux Falls in 1878.

In 1879, it would be continued west by the Chicago, St. Paul Minneapolis & Omaha Railway, reaching Mitchell by 1882.

In 1882, the CStPM&O became a subsidiary of the Chicago & North Western Railway.

The Chicago & North Western operated this line as a branch line, until 1888, when it abandoned the whole Agate Junction to Mitchell segment.

The Buffalo Ridge Railroad Authority stepped in and purchased the line from Buffalo Ridge, through Sioux Falls to Agate the same year.

In 2015, the Minnesota Southern operates from Valley Junction to Agate, where it meets a Union Pacific mainline.

In addition, the Ellis & Eastern Railway serves from Brandon to Sioux Falls.

This bridge is one of a relatively few Quadrangular Lattice Through Trusses in South Dakota, and a still slim number of railroad bridges.

Compared to other states in the region (Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Nebraska), South Dakota had a very limited number of railroad bridges built.

According to Bridgehunter.com
South Dakota has 40 listed railroad trusses, past and present; with 39 surviving. Compare to:
Iowa with 128
Minnesota with 56
Nebraska has 22, most of which are significant structures
North Dakota has 8
Wisconsin has 86

This brief introduction to South Dakota railroad bridges being stated, this bridge carries a high level of significance on a local level, but not quite so much on a regional level.

The bridge is accessible by local trails. The photo above is an overview.

Big Sioux River Railroad Bridges

Upstream BNSF Big Sioux River Bridge
Downstream Sertoma Park Trail Bridge

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