Wednesday, September 23, 2020

1912 BNSF/GN Karnak Bridge over Sheyenne River (Lake Ashtabula) near Luverne, ND

(no Bridge Hunter?; John MarvigSatellite)

Matt Coffin posted
BNSF has three massive bridges like this in North Dakota. This one, near Luverne, seems to be the least shot of the three, with the other two being in Valley City and Minot. Here is a Z train passing in the first couple of hours after sunrise.
The bridge is a massive high trestle, with the main spans resting on steel bents. In addition, the towers and other substructures are made of concrete.
Of the large bridges in North Dakota, this structure is the highest and the middle in length. It is longer and taller than the Gassman Coulee Trestle near Minot, but shorter in distance than the Hi-Line Bridge to the south in Valley City.
The structure is best accessed by using 10th Street SE from the west. The east side appears to be off limits and not possible to access. The bridge contains 26 main spans and 25 tower spans, giving a total count of 51 spans.
The bridge was built single track, and unlike the Valley City Bridge; it cannot be converted to a double track structure.
[John Marvig]
When I saw the width of the river, I wondered if this is a pool of a dam. Then when I saw it was labeled Lake Ashtabula on Google Maps, I knew there had to be a dam downstream. It is the Baldhill Dam. [Comment by Ken Swiderski]

MinnKota Railfan Flickr

Luverne Trestle - Luverne, ND

Nestled in the heart of the Sheyenne River valley, sits one of the single most impressive steel structures in the state of North Dakota. Built in 1912 by the Great Northern railroad, the Sheyenne River bridge near Luverne, ND, which spans Lake Ashtabula, is one of three high bridges in the state of North Dakota. Unlike the other two bridges, which are in Valley City, and Minot, this bridge is set in a very rural atmosphere. Other than an ever occasional goose honk, or the shifting of the bridge in the wind, the sound of an approaching train is the only thing that can be heard in this area. a westbound BNSF manifest is seen here, traversing the 2736 ft long, 103 year old bridge on a cool and windy good Friday.

Jerry Huddleston from Hampton, Minnesota, US / CC BY

This view of the bridge before the dam was built confirms that they cut off the bottom of the towers and built new "piers." I would have liked to see what the new configuration looked like before they flooded it.
Postcard, Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU, Fargo (2000.311.10)

1 comment:

  1. The downstream dam is known as Baldhill Dam.