MPL Redwood River Bridge

Warren Through Truss Bridge over Redwood River
North Redwood, Redwood County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name MPL Redwood River Bridge
Built By Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By Minnesota Prairie Line Incorporated
Length 169 Feet Total, 140 Foot Truss
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Type Warren Through Truss and Trestle
Date Built 1898
Traffic Count 2 Trains/Week (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
M&StL Bridge Number 59
In 1879, the Minneapolis & St. Louis began construction on a new line which would exit Hopkins (and their existing mainline) leaving straight west, going through the Lake Minnetonka area on its way towards the Minnesota River.

By the end of 1879, it reached Wintrop. By the end of 1880, it reached Morton, on the Minnesota River.

In 1884, the Wisconsin, Minnesota & Pacific continued construction of the line towards Watertown, South Dakota.

By 1885, the WM&P was controlled by the M&StL. These two lines operated the secondary mainline and opened up other branch lines.

The lines were very unstable for a long time, being run with poor financial planning. The entire M&StL system would be purchased in 1960 by the Chicago & Northwestern, which was already a major player in Minnesota.

C&NW cut down the line to Watertown in 1970. Now it would dead end at Madison, Minnesota.
Since this line was excess for the C&NW, the next abandonment came in 1980, from Hopkins to the Milwaukee Road Connection at Norwood.

After that, the Madison to Norwood part was abandoned in 1983. Fortunately, the Minnesota Valley Rail Authority stepped in and purchased the line between Norwood and Hanley Falls.
Burlington Northern took hold of the line past Hanley Falls to Madison.

While Burlington Northern merged with Atchitson, Topeka & Santa Fe in 1996 to form BNSF and be able to turn a large profit off the spur, MNVA was forced to abandoned their tracks in 2000.

Fortunately, the Twin Cities & Western was offered (and took) the challange to operate the line. They opened operations as far as Morton in 2000, and began rehabilitating the line in 2008 to serve their customers better.

The Morton to Hanley Falls portion will be reopened in the coming years after rehabilitation. Currently, the subsidiary of the TC&W that operates the line is the Minnesota Prairie Line, which has been turning a decent profit.

The portion from Victoria to Hopkins currently serves as the Lake Minnetonka Regional Trail, which sees decent use as well.

This truss bridge lies in rural Redwood County, just south of Redwood Falls.

The bridge lies in the town of North Redwood, where James Sears was a station agent, who would eventually form the Chicago Based Sears & Roebuck Company.

The bridge is a 6 panel riveted Warren Through Truss, resting on a stone abutment, with a wooden pier and trestle approach.

The bridge runs at a decent skew, and does have some damage on it from an apparent high load.

The photo above is looking from County 101.

Redwood River Railroad Bridges

Upstream BNSF Redwood River Bridge #1
Downstream Confluence With Minnesota River

Site Search Site Search

Widget is loading comments...

© Copyright 2010- John Marvig and Contributors. All Rights Reserved