Siemens Rail Crossing

Modified Baltimore Through Truss Bridge over Abandoned C&NW Railway
Near Bessemer, Gogebic County, Michigan

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name Siemens Rail Crossing
Built By Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway
Contractor Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company of Milwaukee
Currently Owned By Gogebic County
Length 120 Feet Total
Width 1 Track
Height Above Ground 12 Feet (Estimated)
Superstructure Type Modified Baltimore Through Truss
Substructure Type Stone Masonry
Date Built 1896
Traffic Count 0 Trains/Day (Bridge is a Trail)
Current Status Rails to Trails
Significance Regional Significance
In 1887, the Penokee Railroad began construction on a 26 mile route between Mellen, Wisconsin and Hurley.
At the same time, the Gogebic and Montreal River Railroad built seven more miles into Bessemer, where the line would end.
This short branch line became a part of the Wisconsin Central Railway in 1888, who upgraded it considerably in the late 1890s.
The intention was to connect a mainline to an iron rich area, and create a connection for the flow of iron.
The Wisconsin Central entered receivership in 1908, and was leased by the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway, which later merged it into itself in 1961.

Due to the branch line status of many of the routes in the area, they were sold to Wisconsin Central Ltd in 1987. This particular route was abandoned in 1997, and has since been used for recreational trails.

This large through truss bridge crosses over the former Chicago & North Western route near Siemens, Michigan.
Built in 1896, this Baltimore Through Truss span features an interesting design. It features a very untraditional modification of the Baltimore design and was an early example of riveted connections.
It appears that many of the area structures were unusual designs built in 1896 by the Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company.
This single span bridge rests on stone abutments. It has since been converted to an ATV trail.
Overall, this unique bridge remains in good condition.

The author ranks this bridge as being regionally significant, due to the early example of a riveted truss and the uncommon configuration.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from the trail it carries.


Source Type


Build Date Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Contractor Wisconsin Bridge & Iron Company plaque
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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