|Carl Venzke posted|
"The Great Northern's first Empire Builder entered service in 1929 and is pictured here crossing the famed Stone Arch Bridge that same year. The locomotive , No. 2517, won the "Marathon" name on its tender in 1925 by making a fast 3,600-mile round trip between Seattle, WA, and St. Paul, MN without requiring mechanical attention. The bridge is the only structure on the railway on which "Empire Builder" James J. Hill permitted his name to be inscribed. The flour mills of St. Anthony are seen in the upper left of the photograph. This photograph was taken on the downtown Minneapolis side of the river looking north-northeast."
John Weeks III link documents: "The Stone Arch Bridge was built in the 1880s by famous railroad tycoon James J. Hill. At the time, engineers thought that it would be impossible to build a stone arch bridge for rail traffic. They believed that vibrations from passing trains would cause the stone to crumble." The next time I see a stone arch bridge in the east, I'm going to have to note the date. I thought both the B&O and England built some remarkable stone arch bridges in the mid 1800s because the basic Roman stone arch bridge was the most common design that was known at the time for big viaducts. It sounds like James hired some engineers that were out of touch with bridge design history.