BNSF Trout Brook Bridge (St. Paul)

Stone Arch Bridge over Trout Brook
Saint Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF Trout Brook Bridge (St. Paul)
Built By St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 10 Feet Total
Width 7 Tracks, 3 In Use
Height Above Ground 5 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Stone Arch
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built Ca. 1890
Traffic Count 100 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
Significance Local Significance
In 1862, the first railroad in Minnesota would be constructed by the St. Paul & Pacific Railway to connect Minneapolis and St. Paul, following what is today the midway area.
This short 10 mile segment would be critical to the growth of Minnesota.
Eventually, the line would be extended to the west towards Fargo, North Dakota; and to the north towards Duluth, Minnesota.
In 1879, the St. Paul & Pacific was purchased by the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway.
This railroad began rapid expansions throughout Minnesota and the surrounding areas, and eventually became a part of the Great Northern Railway in 1890.
The railroad used this segment as a critical line, with connections to several other lines. Industries began to pop up along the line, and it began to rival the Northern Pacific, only a few blocks to the north.
Both lines connected with the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, as well as Chicago, Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific Railroads in Saint Paul, which served as a connection to Chicago.

By 1970, the Great Northern, Northern Pacific and CB&Q merged together to form the Burlington Northern Railroad, a major freight hauler in the midwest.
Throughout the next two decades, many of the yard tracks and industries would be torn down on this segment.
In 1996, the BN merged with the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway to form BNSF Railway, which currently operates the line as the Midway Subdivision.
The line is a complementary line to the St. Paul Subdivision, formerly the Northern Pacific mainline. This line serves more industries and yards, including a massive intermodal yard at Energy Park.

Today, the line also provides a major thoroughfare for oil heading towards Chicago from North Dakota.

This small stone arch bridge was built in approximately 1890, as a joint venture between a number of railroads.
The stone arch is a common design, with a concrete liner. One unique feature is the large stone wall on the west side.
This is due to another track formerly curving off. This arch forms part of the south abutments of the 4th Street Bridges.
The bridge appears to retain excellent historic integrity. Trout Brook is covered for much of its length through the railroad area of St. Paul.

The photo above is an overview of the west end.
The author has ranked this structure as locally significance because of its small size, and later example of a Stone Arch.


Source Type


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

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