Oregon Rail Bridge

Pratt Through Truss Bridge over Rock River
Oregon, Ogle County, Illinois

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Oregon Rail Bridge
Built By Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 550 Feet Total, 132 Foot Main Spans
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 25 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Pratt Through Truss and Deck Girder
Substructure Type Stone Masonry and Concrete
Date Built Ca. 1905
Traffic Count 40 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 98.18
Significance Regional Significance
Documentation Date March 2015
In 1869, the Chicago and Iowa Railroad began construction on a new mainline, connecting an existing line at Aurora to Rochelle, Illinois.
By 1871, the line would be extended as far as Oregon, Illinois.
In 1885, the Chicago, Burlington & Northern Railroad began construction of a line from La Crosse, Wisconsin to the Illinois/Wisconsin State Line, at East Dubuque.
The line would be extended as far as Oregon, Illinois in 1886, another 85 miles. At Savannah, a line dipped south towards the Quad Cities.
These two lines would be consolidated into the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy in 1899, which began operations of many lines in the area.
This line was one of the most important on the system, as it connected the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul with Chicago.
The line was eventually double tracked from Savannah to La Crosse by 1904. It would be finished to the Twin Cities in 1912.

The CB&Q bridge became a part of the Burlington Northern Railway in 1970, after combining with the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railroads.
The BN merged with Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe in 1996. This line has become known as the Aurora Subdivision, which is a heavy mainline for BNSF.

Located in the town of Oregon, this large through truss bridge crosses the Rock River.
While the piers are dated 1892, it is apparent that this bridge was rebuilt sometime around 1905. The bridge consists of two large 6-panel pin connected and riveted Pratt Through Trusses. These trusses are replaced by a pair of deck girders on either side.
It is likely that the 1892 bridge consisted of four trusses. It is unknown if these trusses were used elsewhere, but does seem like a definite possibility.
The combination of pin connected lower connections and riveted upper connections is rather unique. While it is oftentimes seen on CB&Q trusses, most railroads did not use this design.
Further research is being conducted th determine a true build date for the bridge. It appears the approaches were built by King Bridge Company.
Overall, the bridge appears to be in fair to good condition, with little significant deterioration noted.

Historic Photo
Historic photo of the bridge

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

Rock River Railroad Bridges
Upstream DM&E Rock River Bridge (Byron)
East Channel BNSF East Channel Bridge
Downstream IC Rock River Bridge


Source Type


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

Widget is loading comments...

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