The line was instead built to the Mississippi River at Fulton. The Mississippi River was a major barrier for any railroad at the time. Earlier that year the Rock Island Railroad had started the bridge across the Mississippi in Rock Island.
The railroad used a ferry for many years to cross the Mississippi River.
The line was built across the river in 1865 and completed into Clinton. The Iowa & Nebraska Railroad continued building west from Clinton in 1856 and it was completed to Omaha in 1867.
The line was instrumental in the connection to the west coast. It was part of the transcontinental railroad.
It eventually became a part of the Chicago & Northwestern System.
In 1884, the C&NW undertook a major project to double track the line. It was double tracked as far as Sterling in 1898, and Omaha by 1901.
The C&NW operated this as a mainline. The Geneva Subdivision, as it was known extended from Clinton, Iowa to Chicago.
In 1995, the Union Pacific purchased the C&NW. They continue to operate this line with a steady traffic base as their Geneva Subdivision.
This large bridge across the Rock River features five massive Quadrangular Through Truss Spans.
These spans sit on stone piers and substructures, and have been modified significantly.
The major modifications came in 1926 when they were strengthened with new chords and floor beams.
Recent modifications include the removal of the portal bracing, and installation of a large steel beam running across the structure, above it.
This allowed for a major clearance increase for tall trains.
Overall, the bridge is in good health, but is undoubtedly going to be facing replacement within the coming years as traffic on this line picks up.
The above view is looking from the west bank.
Rock River Railroad Bridges
|Upstream||Dixon Rail Bridge|
|Downstream||Rock Falls Rail Bridge|