6 votes

DMU - Raccoon River Bridge


Photo taken by Dick Tinder

BH Photo #253441



"Des Moines Old Haunted Bridge"

John David Larson: 2003

Play video on YouTube


The bridge was built to connect the Rock Island, the Wabash, the Milwaukee Road and the M&STL to the CGW Bell Ave Yard. The Des Moines Union Railway built it.


Lost Through truss bridge over Raccoon River on Railroad
Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa
Built 1910; Removed 2005
- Chicago Great Western Railway (CGW)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
- Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad (CRIP (1866-1920); RI (1920-1975) ROCK (1975-1980))
- Des Moines & Kansas City Railway (DM&KC)
- Des Moines Union Railway (DMU)
- Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway (MSTL)
- Wabash Railroad (WAB)
1-70' Through Plate Girder Span
2-130' Baltimore through truss Spans
1-70' Through Plate Girder Span
190' of beam/stringer
Length of largest span: 130.0 ft.
Total length: 590.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.57260, -93.62821   (decimal degrees)
41°34'21" N, 93°37'42" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/447625/4602515 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Des Moines SW
Inventory number
BH 52708 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 23, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: Added build date from STB Documents
  • June 25, 2018: New photo from Michael O'Brien
  • December 5, 2014: Updated by James Holzmeier: Added categories "Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway", "Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific Railroad", "Chicago Great Western Railway", "Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad"
  • May 27, 2014: New photos from Michael O'Brien
  • May 10, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • July 29, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Moved text from history section to description section
  • June 24, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Raccoon River", "Des Moines Union Railway"



DMU - Raccoon River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2019, by Luke

This is the DMU's own bridge.

DMU - Raccoon River Bridge
Posted January 2, 2019, by Tyler eide (eide [dot] tyler [at] gmail [dot] com)

I have a map showing the DMU had there own bridge across the raccoon river at some time. Is there any proof to this?

Raccoon River Railroad Bridge
Posted June 24, 2012, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

The bridge was also clearly very severely flood damaged...

Raccoon River Railroad Bridge
Posted June 24, 2012, by John Marvig (johnmarvig [at] chaska [dot] net)

The line was a downtown line built by the DMU (Des Moines Union Railway). The bridge was Baltimore.

These documents can explain almost everything.



If someone has any photo of this bridge, please step up and contribute it.

Page 96 in the M&STL track chart will show where it went.

In the Iowa Rail Abandonedment Log, it is on page 23 and it is AB-6-(sub 401X)

Attachment #1 (application/pdf; 17,810,036 bytes)

Attachment #2 (application/pdf; 461,722 bytes)