Fairview Rail Bridge

Warren Pony Truss Bridge over Big Sioux River
Rural Sioux County, Iowa
Fairview, Lincoln County, South Dakota

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Name Fairview Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By D&I Railroad
Length 570 Feet Total, 138 Foot Main Span
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 15 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Warren Pony Truss, Through Girder and Trestle
Substructure Type Concrete and Timber Pile
Date Built 1905, 1932 and 2014
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
D&I Bridge Number T-618
Significance Local Significance
In 1878, the Sioux City & Pembina Railway built a line from Elk Point, South Dakota to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

The line crossed across the Big Sioux a number of times, crossing between Iowa and South Dakota.

The line was merged into the Sioux City and Dakota Railroad in 1879.

By 1881, the line became a branch of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway, also known as the Milwaukee Road.

In 1913, following an escapade to the Pacific Ocean, the railroad became known as the Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railway.

Heading north out of Sioux Falls, the Milwaukee Road also operated a branch to North Dakota.

By 1981, with the Milwaukee Road falling to bankruptcy, the Dakota & Iowa (D&I) Railroad was formed as a joint coalition between Iowa and South Dakota to operate the former branch to Sioux City.

Today, D&I continues to operate the line from Sioux Falls to Sioux City, as well as the Dell Rapids branch.

One of the unique crossings of the Big Sioux River is this structure.
Located near the town of Fairview, this bridge features a main 8-panel riveted Warren Pony Truss. This truss is approached by through girder spans on either side, which are also approached by steel stringer trestle spans.
Originally, the bridge was built in 1905. In 1911, a series of large through girder spans were installed. The 1911 spans were replaced in 1932 with a standard pony truss span.
The 1932 truss has been seen in other locations. Another identical truss is in nearby Hudson, while others are in western Iowa, southern Minnesota and northern Missouri.
The entire bridge rests on concrete substructures, while the approach rests on timber pile piers.
In 2014, the bridge sustained some serious damage. The trestle approaches were upgraded at this time.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the newer age.

Big Sioux River Railroad Bridges
Upstream Canton Rail Bridge
Downstream Oak Ridge Rail Bridge


Source Type


Build Date (1905 Spans) Milwaukee Road Archives at the Milwaukee Central Library
Build Date (1932 Span) Dakota & Iowa Railroad bridge records
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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