Hi-Line Bridge
Valley City Trestle

Deck Girder High Trestle over Sheyenne River
Karnak, Griggs County, North Dakota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Hi-Line Bridge
Built By Northern Pacific Railroad
Contractor American Bridge Company of New York
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 3,860 Feet Total, 100 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track, Expandable to 2
Height Above Ground 162 Feet
Superstructure Type Deck Girder Viaduct
Substructure Type Concrete and Steel Tower
Date Built 1908
Traffic Count 20 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Significance Regional Significance
Documentation Date July 2016 and May 2017
In 1871, the Northern Pacific Railroad continued building west from Dilworth, reaching Jamestown, North Dakota by 1872.
The line would eventually be double tracked. By 1909, the line was completely double tracked; and a bypass of Valley City provided for a direct route to the Pacific Coast.
The line connected several other lines, and served as the primary mainline through North Dakota.

By 1970, Northern Pacific merged with rival Great Northern; as well as the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy to form Burlington Northern, who began operations of this line.

By 1996, BN would merge with Atchsion, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad to form BNSF Railway. BNSF is the current owner of this line, naming it the Jamestown Subdivision.
The eastern end is still considered the K.O. Subdivision, another rather important line.

This massive high trestle crosses the Sheyenne River and its massive valley at Valley City.
Because of the nature of the area, the Sheyenne River carved a deep valley at this location. THe Northern Pacific built this bridge to bypass the steep grades of going through Valley City.
The bridge is a massive high trestle, with the main spans resting on steel bents. In addition, the towers and other substructures are made of concrete.
Of the large bridges in North Dakota, this structure is the second highest and the longest. It is longer and taller than the Gassman Coulee Trestle near Minot, but shorter in height than the Karnak Bridge to the north at Karnak.
The structure contains a total of 27 towers, meaning there are 55 spans in the bridge. The bridge is easily seen from the west side. The east side is harder to access, because it crosses an active Canadian Pacific line.
The bridge was built as a single track bridge, but it appears that it can be converted to double track with relative ease.
Overall, it appears that the bridge remains in relatively good condition.

Historic Photo
Historic photo of the bridge

The author has ranked this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the lack of notable railroad bridges in Western Minnesota and North Dakota.
The photo above is an overview.


Source Type


Build Date Northern Pacific Bridge Book, provided by Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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