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MILW - Cannon River Bridge


This bridge was part of an old alignment of the Milwaukee Road (Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, & Pacific Railroad | CMStP&P) that spanned the main channel of the Cannon River & was completely abandoned in 1908, replaced by a rerouted proposal that is today in active use by the Canadian Pacific (CP) Railroad.

The reason of its abandonment was because the Railroad was rerouted for cost efficiency, due to the nature of the route being a dangerous one with a high likelihood of landslides/erosions from the bluffs in close proximity to the tracks, flooding from the river bottoms & swamps, plus the engineer of either freight, passenger or mail trains needing to take the train slow in order to account for the potential hazards.

The rerouting of the line still occurred even despite protests from the townsfolk of the towns of Etter & Eggleston, because of the fact that rerouting the railroad would be a major inconvenience to them as the proposed line would be surrounded by swamps, marshes & wetlands, making new stations for their townships impossible to build and resulting in them losing a mode of transportation.

Refer to this document for more information on the reason of abandonment if interested: https://tinyurl.com/MilwaukeeRoadReroute

As for the bridge design, not much is known other than what is visible on google maps, and with that being said, there is one concrete(?) pylon/pier with an assumption that there were two spans to cover either side of the pier to get the train across the main channel.

Big thanks to Andrew Grigg, a fellow abandoned rail enthusiast, for helping me to dig up history behind this find!

- He can be found at the following places -

Facebook: AbandonedROWMap Twitter: @AbandonedROWMap Instagram: @abandonedrowmap Internet search: www.abandonedraillines.com


Abandoned beam bridge over Cannon River (Main Channel) on Milwaukee Road Railroad
Red Wing, Goodhue County, Minnesota
Abandoned 1908
- Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Railroad (MILW)
One pylon/pier with most likely two spans. This is the only information available for now.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+44.58175, -92.60731   (decimal degrees)
44°34'54" N, 92°36'26" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/531174/4936565 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 89944 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • July 12, 2020: Updated by William Evans: Added credits to Andrew Grigg, who helped in providing history on this line/bridge.
  • July 12, 2020: Updated by Luke: Fixed name to fit site style; Removed railroad from builder section & added railroad categories.


  • William Evans
  • Luke