Wednesday, June 3, 2020

1908 BNSF/NP Highline Bridge over Sheyenne River at Valley City

(Bridge HunterJohn MarvigSatellite)

Jerry Huddleston Flickr, Sep 20, 2009, License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)
When you get peaches, make peach cobbler! A pair of peachy SD70MACs drag coal buckets across the former NP Hi-Line Bridge at Valley City, ND. Opened in 1908 as part of a reworked main across ND, a 3,860' long and 162' tall bridge was required to span the valley.

Clone Coffin posted
Doubled up coal loads

Mark Taylor posted
BNSF, Sheyenne River, Soo Line at Valley City.

Rolling Rail Productions posted
9-27-2020 Valley City, ND. With a little special rewind help we have the perfect over and under shot. The CP train is pulling heavy as the BNSF glides over at track speed.
Edward Lovell shared

Ted Gregory posted five photos with the comment:
An intriguing look at the massive BNSF trestle at Valley City, ND. This location has been a favorite location for photographers of not just BNSF and it's predecessors, but also of the Soo Line (now CP) which passes underneath near the railroad east end of the bridge.





1909 Postcard from Bridge Hunter
Kevin Kremer posted
June 30, 1906--Work Began on High Line Bridge
The original line of the Northern Pacific Railroad descended from the east, crossed the Sheyenne River at Valley City over a low bridge, and climbed out of the valley to the west. Because of the depth of the valley, the grades on either side of the river were severe. To avoid these severe grades, the new or "High Line" was built one mile upstream.
At 3,860 feet long and 162 feet above the river bed, the Highline Bridge is one of the longest and highest single-track railroad bridges in the nation. Work began on June 30, 1906. The first official train crossed the trestle on May 12, 1908 and regular train service over the bridge began May 20th.
Because the bridge was of vital importance in moving supplies and men, it was closely guarded during both World Wars to prevent sabotage. In World War I, the bridge was guarded by Company H North Dakota National Guard of Jamestown. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, volunteers from the American Legion, VFW, city and railroad personnel took up the watch until Company F of the North Dakota State Guard was officially mustered in.
Engineering Facts:
14,000,000 pounds of steel were used
380,000 field rivets were used on location, excluding those used in the preassembled sections which were shipped from the factory
10,000 cubic feet of concrete was used in the piers supporting the steel columns
80,000 linear feet of wood piling was used under the piers for added stability
160 men were employed in its construction
$750,000 was expended on the bridge, more than $1.5 million on the entire cutoff project.
Levi Kerbaugh Is this the same one that is in use now?
Mike LaLonde Yes!
Lew Ableidinger The original “lo-line” of the NP had grades exceeding 1% to the west of Valley City and if I remember correctly that exceeded the maximum grade set in the NP charter, but like a lot of railroad building in the west it was “build it fast, build it cheap” and fix it later (case in point, the UP on the original Transcontinental used cottonwood ties which had to be replaced within a few years of completion).
Lew Ableidinger Two other interesting RR operations to note was the Valley City Street and Interurban, an electrified railroad that connected the NP low line with the Soo Line north of Valley City. The Soo bought it in the mid 50s and removed the electrification and the rails were only removed in 2000.
The other is the Soo Line itself, which CP now operates, and still descends through the Valley on heavy grades, one on the east side of town (under I94) and the other south of Lake Ashtabula. BNSF trains fly over the valley on the hi-line but CP is stuck with the heavy grades if anyone has ever seen an eastbound CP train crawling under the interstate at about 10 mph all out!
Kathleen Pfeifer Kelso My Grandpa Leonard Pederson stood watch on the bridge during WWII. My older brother, Bryan Pfeifer, stood watch on it during Operation Desert Storm.

Tom Lyman shared

Ken Bryan posted
BNSF 9815 (SD70MAC) leads a loaded coal train east across the Hi-Line Bridge at Valley City ND. Spanning the Sheyenne River, this impressive bridge is 3,860 feet long and 162 feet above the river.
June 2015 photo
Alan Holding: I was in Valley City, ND whilst on a business trip from Australia in 1986. Stopped to view the impressive bridge and was lucky enough to witness the passing UNDER the bridge of a Soo line lash-up of locos and train. Is that route still in use?
Dallas Buchholz: Yes, it's CP's main line between Enderlin and Minot.

Ken Bryan posted
Eastbound coal train on the Hi-Line Bridge over the Sheyenne River in Valley City. 

Bruce Schwierske posted a similar view including a reflection.

John Marvig from Bridge Hunter
[An interesting patch job.]
Brian Peterson posted
Valley City North Dakota BNSF steel trestle

Monte Jones posted
Valley City, North Dakota
The Northern Pacific Highline Bridge over the Sheyenne River Valley.
James Meredith This is an odd question, but which direction is the train headed. It seems like it is headed east, so Valley City would be off to the left. But I am unfamiliar. I am just curious because I live in Missouri and have several relatives in Valley City. This photo is especially meaningful during our times of quarantine.
Chris Rafferty It's a loaded coal train so it's going east! I have been over that bridge many times.

Alan Stumpf shared

MinnKota Railfan Flickr

Valley City Bridge - Valley City, ND

Crossing through the northern end of Valley City, ND, this BNSF coal train passes across the BNSF Hi-Line bridge on a sunny April morning. This bridge was completed in 1908 and is 3860 feet in length, with a max span height of 162 feet. I was lucky enough last week to be able to see this bridge, the Luverne high bridge, and the Sanborn Causeway. I certainly will want to see these again, they are truly amazing structures.
AK Ween commented: "There's an ACe!!!!!!"

Robert Kjelland Screenshot @ -0:27
North Dakota is known as a flat prairie state. Yet it has several notable and sizable bridges. The Hi Line shown here is on the former Northern Pacific mainline at Valley City. A similar bridge is not too far to the north at Karnak (find that on a map) is on the old Great Northern “Surrey Cutoff” mainline not far from Luverne. The Gassman Coulee bridge west of Minot on the old Great Northern mainline is a photographer’s favorite. And there is the imposing steel lift bridge (also GN, but on an abandoned branchline to nowhere) east of Fairview near the border with Montana. For now, enjoy this clip of a BNSF manifest (MRL boxcars, coal hoppers, and centerbeam flats are trailing the tank cars) rolling east some 162 feet above the Sheyenne River.
Mark Joy posted
The BNSF was doing some maintenance on the High Line bridge over the Sheyenne River.
[An example of why Class I railroads still maintain some old small RR cranes.]

Bruce Schwierske posted three photos with the comment: "A double-length BNSF eastbound coal train crosses the massive bridge spanning the Sheyenne River in Valley City, North Dakota on August 15, 2020. The train had two locomotives leading, three more mid-train and two bringing up the rear."

That's nice. What constitutes "double length" ?

 two trains put together to make one "super train."

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Typically these are around 14,000 feet long.

Over 2.5 miles. I don't guess I've run across one like that in the city.

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A couple weeks prior to this I saw a similar double length coal train in Hauser at the refueling station just east of Spokane. 2 units on point, 4 mid train, 2 pushing on the rear.
My friend who is a BNSF engineer out of Spokane said that was probably 36,000 tons and around 14,000 feet long.

I got this train east of Hawley.



Jeff Wojciechowski posted four photos with the comment:
BNSF Hi-Line Bridge - Valley City, ND
3,860 feet long
162 feet high
Built between 1906 and 1908 by the Northern Pacific
Photos taken: 11/28/2020

Francis Listopad: One night going west our train lost our air so I had to walk the train over the bridge in the dead of night from cabosse forward. Scary but glad it was dark so I couldn't see the ground.

Jeff Wojciechowski: According to Wikipedia there are over a million rivets in the bridge.

[According to the comments, the walkway that you can see in the third photo is a recent addition! Employees used to have to "duck under" when a train passed them on the bridge.]





2 photos with different trains

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