Sunday, May 01, 2016

North Dakota's High Line Bridge

The High Line Bridge, North Dakota
Recently I had the opportunity to see the High Line Bridge in North Dakota. This bridge is a very long steel bridge and resembles other bridges I have seen such as the Salmon River viaduct in New Brunswick and the Lethbridge High Level Bridge. This bridge is also called the Hi Line Bridge.

The High Line bridge is in Valley City, ND near mile 65 of the BNSF Jamestown subdivision, a secondary main line running west of Fargo. It sees a few trains a day over it, and probably a train or two under it from the CP line that ducks under the eastern end of the bridge.
Panorama view of the High Line Bridge in North Dakota (west=left)
This bridge was built by the Northern Pacific Railroad to avoid steep grades in and out of the Sheyenne River valley. The bridge was completed in 1908 and was important for traffic in both World Wars.

The bridge is 3,860 feet (1,180m) long and towers 162 feet (49m) above the Sheyenne River. It is just a few feet shorter than the Salmon River trestle and 33 feet shorter. The High Line bridge has 61 spans.

The bridge appears to have been built to carry two separate tracks. I am not sure if it ever had two tracks but it only has one track now.

A lot of steelwork in the High Line Bridge
The nearby Chautauqua Park is a good place to observe the bridge from. All of the wide angle photos in this post were taken from there.
Wide angle view of the BNSF High Line Bridge
I apologize for the distortion in the wide angle / panorama views. I used the iPhone 6 panorama function and it definitely puts a hump in the middle of the bridge that is just not there.

Sadly no trains came along in the short time that I was near the bridge. Perhaps next time!

More information:


Lauri Novak Photography said...

I had no idea that bridge was there. I've driven past Valley City many times over the years and have stopped in Valley City many times. I'm heading up there at the end of July - hopefully I'll have time to explore the bridge! Thanks for the information!!

Canadian Train Geek said...

Hi Lauri, I'm not surprised you never knew it was there. It is a bit out of the way. I had half expected to see it from the interstate but you have to know where it is. Good luck and post your photos later this summer!

Lauri Novak Photography said...

Hopefully I'll get to stop - depends on who is with me! I have to go to Butte, ND for a funeral the end of July and am really hoping to take two cars up or figure out a way to have my own car on the way back and spend a week driving around up there, so many old farms and abandoned towns and now this as well! ( is a great site/set of books documenting the old towns.) My parents grew up there and I'm familiar with some of the places that basically no longer exist.