Elmer Trail Bridge

Deck Plate Girder Bridge over St. Louis River
Elmer, St. Louis County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Elmer Trail Bridge
Built By Duluth, Missabe & Northern Railway
Contractor W.F. King of Indianapolis
Currently Owned By St. Louis County
Length 290 Feet Total, 190 Foot Largest Span
Width 2 Tracks, 2 Trail Lanes
Height Above Ground 20 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Deck Plate Girder
Substructure Type Concrete
Date Built 1906
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Local Significance
In 1906, the Duluth, Missabe & Northern Railway Company constructed a line from their existing mainline at Coleraine Junction (Alborn) to the iron rich reaches of Pengilly and Coleraine, Minnesota.
The line served as a principle mainline between the iron range and the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superor.
Because of this, the entire line was heavily built with double tracked standards. While expensive, this ensured the best service would occur on the line.
The DM&N merged together with the Duluth & Iron Range Railroad to form the Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range Railroad in 1938.

The DM&IR continued to operate this line. Unfortunately, traffic took a significant fall after the Second World War, and the line was downgraded to a branch.
By 1977, the DM&IR abandoned the line. In the 1990s, the State of Minnesota took ownership of the line.
Currently, the line serves as the Alborn-Pengilly Rail Trail between the namesake towns.

Located near the ghost town of Elmer, this deck girder bridge crosses the St. Louis River.
Built in 1906, the bridge features three deck girder spans, set onto concrete substructures. The bridge was originally constructed for double tracks.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in good condition. The deck has been partially removed on the former southbound track, while the northbound track is a trail.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview.

St. Louis River Railroad Bridges
Upstream BNSF St. Louis River Bridge
Downstream Brookston Rail Bridge


Source Type


Build Date Date Stamp
Contractor Date Stamp
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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