John Marvig

About Me 

Email: marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
Website: http://johnmarvigbridges.org

I am a 21 year old attending Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa; who takes quite a passion in photographing old and historic railroad bridges. I run my own website dedicated to my unique hobby.

Most of my photography is from Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, North and South Dakota as well as Wisconsin; however I also have covered parts of Indiana and Nebraska, Michigan and Missouri

Recent Updates 

DM&E - Root River Overflow Bridge (Houston County, Minnesota)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Root River Overflow on Iowa, Chicago & Eastern Railroad
November 17, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Bridge has Been Replaced
BNSF - CR 8 Overpass (Wright County, Minnesota)
Slab bridge over County Road 8 on BNSF Railway
November 4, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Bridge has Been Replaced
RRVT - Old G Avenue Bridge (Dallas County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Former G Avenue and Unnamed Creek on Raccoon River Valley Trail
November 2, 2018: New photos
RRVT - Bay Branch Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Bay Branch on Raccoon River Valley Trail
November 2, 2018: New photos
RRVT - Mosquito Creek Bridge (Yale) (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Mosquito Creek on Raccoon River Valley Trail
November 2, 2018: New photos
IAIS - South Fork Middle River Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over South Fork Middle River on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: New photos
IAIS - Bridge #423.2 (Cass County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Tributary of Turkey Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: Added
IAIS - Bridge #426.8 (Cass County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Unnamed Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: Added
IAIS - Bridge #431.1 (Cass County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Tributary of Turkey Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: Added
IAIS - 490th Street Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over 490th Street on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: Added
IAIS - Grey Bill Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Grey Bill Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
November 2, 2018: Added
IAIS - 420th Street Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over 420th Street on Iowa Interstate Railroad
October 31, 2018: Added
IAIS - Middle Silver Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Middle Silver Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
October 31, 2018: Added
IAIS 272nd Street Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Steel stringer bridge over 272nd Street on Iowa Interstate Railroad
October 31, 2018: Added
IAIS - Little Fourmile Creek Arch (Polk County, Iowa)
Stone arch bridge over Little Fourmile Creek on Iowa Interstate Railroad
October 31, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Neola Creek Bridge (Pottawattamie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Neola Creek on BNSF Railway
October 29, 2018: Added
BNSF - Bridge #448.11 (Shelby County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Tributary of Mosquito Creek on BNSF Railway
October 29, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Mosquito Creek Bridge #2 (Shelby County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Mosquito Creek on BNSF Railway
October 29, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Mosquito Creek Bridge #1 (Shelby County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Mosquito Creek on BNSF Railway
October 29, 2018: New photos
RRVT - Bay Branch Bridge (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Bay Branch on Raccoon River Valley Trail
October 29, 2018: Added
RRVT - Mosquito Creek Bridge (Yale) (Guthrie County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Mosquito Creek on Raccoon River Valley Trail
October 29, 2018: Added
BNSF - 2000th Street Overpass (Shelby County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over 2000th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Hazel Road Overpass (Shelby County, Iowa)
Steel Stringer Bridge over Hazel Road on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - 2100th Street Overpass (Shelby County, Iowa)
Deck Girder Bridge over 2100th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - West Fork West Nishnabotna River (Crawford County, Iowa)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over West Fork West Nishnabotna River on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Linden Road Overpass (Shelby County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Linden Road (Old US 59) on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Willow Creek Bridge (Shelby County, Iowa)
Deck plate girder bridge over Willow Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF Elkhorn Creek Arch (Crawford County, Iowa)
Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Elkhorn Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: Added
BNSF 350th Street Bridge (Crawford County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over 350th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: Added
BNSF 340th Street Bridge (Crawford County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over 340th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: Added
390th Street Overpass (Crawford County, Iowa)
Steel stringer bridge over BNSF on 390th Street
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Elk Creek Arch (Crawford County, Iowa)
Closed-spandrel arch bridge over Elk Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - 370th Street Bridge (Crawford County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over 370th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: Added
BNSF - Brushy Creek Bridge (Carroll County, Iowa)
Deck Girder Bridge over Brushy Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Eagle Avenue Overpass (Carroll County, Iowa)
Concrete Slab Bridge over Eagle Avenue on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Jade Avenue Overpass (Carroll County, Iowa)
Slab bridge over Jade Avenue on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
305th Street Overpass (Carroll County, Iowa)
Pony plate girder bridge over BNSF Railway on 305th Street
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - 320th Street Overpass (Carroll County, Iowa)
Concrete Slab bridge over 320th Street on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Timber Avenue Overpass (Carroll County, Iowa)
Concrete Slab bridge over Timber Ave on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Brush Creek Bridge (Platte County, Missouri)
Baltimore through truss bridge over Brush Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Sugar Creek Bridge (Platte County, Missouri)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Sugar Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: Added
BNSF - Roy's Creek Bridge (Platte County, Missouri)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Drainage ditch on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Short Creek Bridge (Platte County, Missouri)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Short Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Rush Creek Bridge (Platte County, Missouri)
Pony/through plate girder bridge over Rush Creek on BNSF Railway
October 27, 2018: New photos
UP - Muddy Creek Bridge (Jefferson County, Kansas)
Through truss bridge over Muddy Creek on Union Pacific Railroad in Grantville
October 27, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Oakley Creek Bridge (Douglas County, Kansas)
Deck plate girder bridge over Oakley Creek on BNSF Railway
October 26, 2018: Added
BNSF Bridge #34.1 (Douglas County, Kansas)
Brick arch bridge over Unnamed Creek on BNSF Railway
October 26, 2018: Added
BNSF - Eudora Bridge (Douglas County, Kansas)
Pratt through truss bridge over Wakarusa River on Atchson Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
October 26, 2018: Updated by John Marvig: Updated information from ATSF Bridge Records
BNSF - Eudora Bridge (Douglas County, Kansas)
Pratt through truss bridge over Wakarusa River on Atchson Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
October 26, 2018: New photos
BNSF - Branch Wakarusa River Bridge (Douglas County, Kansas)
Stone Arch culvert bridge over Branch of Wakarusa River on BNSF Railway
October 26, 2018: Added

Recent Comments 

Posted November 17, 2018

According to the Monroe County GIS server, this bridge (as well as the others) are still in Union Pacific ownership.

https://monroe.iowaassessors.com/

Posted November 17, 2018

Dana,

In an earlier picture posted, you can see members for the replacement bridge of this wooden truss. I would guess these pics were from the mid 1890s.

Posted November 16, 2018

I'm guessing this girder bridge replaced an older steel truss. Other parts of this Milwaukee Road mainline between Davenport, Iowa and Kansas City were upgraded through the 1930s and 1940s. I would estimate that the previous metal truss bridge was probably built in the 1890s, when major upgrades of the line occurred according to Milwaukee Road annual reports. The wooden bridge probably dates to 1881, when the railroad built through Galt.

Posted November 15, 2018

I agree that the portals and the pin connections indicate an older bridge, however I haven’t seen a subdivided Warren that’s pin connected before this. I would think if it was an 1880s bridge, it probably would’ve been built as a whipple. Perhaps this one was built in the 1890s and moved here? Relocation was quite common on railroads, especially former main line spans that had life left in them.

Posted November 13, 2018

Clearly a railroad bridge. I would think it was built between the late 1890s and the first decade of the 20th century. It also wouldn’t be surprising if it was relocated to this location, as most railroads found reuse for spans no longer suitable for mainline use.

Posted October 31, 2018

Being a railroad bridge engineer probably wouldn’t lead to the same creativity as it did a century ago. Today, everything is built with pre cast spans. I wonder what made the railroads chose to reuse scrap spans in the 20th century. Wars? Depression? The fact they were a private business?

Posted October 31, 2018

I wonder if any additional strengthening was done to the bridge at the time of installation. It appears the main span is a 1930s or 40s span, so I’m guessing it was part of a channelization project. Don noticed something that I did not. More than likely, these approaches came from a girder of approximately 80’(like this one: http://bridgehunter.com/ia/shelby/bh78378/)

I would be curious in finding some more information on this bridge. Biggest thing I wonder is if the approaches were built from the former bridge, or if it was a spare span relocated from elsewhere. Also can’t help but wonder if the middle section still exists somewhere. Railroad bridge engineers were really crafty with spare material. It really is fascinating.

Posted October 30, 2018

Looking at this bridge, it appears as if the approaches could’ve been built out of one span and split in half. Is this structurally possible?

Posted October 28, 2018

Visited this bridge today. It is apparent that this is an early deck girder span, however it has been heavily modified and a second set of girders added to “double up” the structure. Based on the railroad, the late 1910s substructures and the very early girders, it is also likely it was relocated to this location. The structure also bears some resemblance to this structure, which was built in 1879 (confirmed by railroad documents):

http://bridgehunter.com/mn/fillmore/bh36297/

Further research will be conducted. Unfortunately, this bridge was demoted as a Y-series bridge, which the Milwaukee Road Archives has had little to no luck on finding information.

Posted October 25, 2018

Visited this bridge recently. It appears to have been an old turntable or bridge for railroad use, rebuilt and converted to road use. There is one structure confirmed to have been constructed using this technique for the same railroad in Minnesota. I will request additional information on this bridge from the Milwaukee Road Archives.

Posted October 23, 2018

Well that’s a shame. I would’ve been curious to see the previous structure. I visited the current structure this weekend, which appears to use the substructure of an older bridge.

Posted October 23, 2018

Was there a postcard or similar picture associated with this bridge? Google searches turned up nothing.

Posted October 15, 2018

Found the jackpot of information, the tough part is access.

This bridge is located in Illinois Central valuation section WI-2. Complete circa 1917 bridge records can be found in College Park, Maryland:

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/881535

In addition, the National Archives appears to have a complete set of bridge records for the entire IC system. These will likely provide a complete description and build date of the structure. Since this route was originally built by the Chicago, Madison & Northern, construction cost records between the 1880s and 1903 (Box 15, Folder 100/101). This source also seems to have a limited amount of IC bridge and culvert information, including contracts with Keystone Bridge Company for the Dubuque bridge:

https://mms.newberry.org/xml/xml_files/ICRR.xml#series6-subs...

In addition, there are inspection photos of Illinois Central bridges available at the University of Illinois

https://www.library.illinois.edu/ihx/archon/?p=collections/c...

Valuation maps from the same year show that four more of the 122' trusses existed (two near Dodds, one confirmed identical span near Argyle, and one near Blanchardville). This mystery is certainly possible to crack.

Posted October 15, 2018

I’ve been searching for something to conform or deny the possibility it came from Dubuque. An Illinois Central valuation map from 1918 gives the stations of these trusses, which are a pair of 122’ spans. However, the spans in question were seen at the bottom of the river in the 1911 photo. Is it possible they were saved and rebuilt? Is it possible they could have been “cut down” from 250’ (length of the Dubuque spans) to 122’? Or are the 122’ measurements from the valuation map for a replacement bridge? Preliminary research has been unsuccessful in confirming or denying it. There are however quite a few trusses that were on this branch line.

Information supplied from official railroad blueprints for various railroads certainly provides the possibility for unique situations. I’ve seen blueprints of bridges lengthened, strengthened, shortened, converted between deck and through trusses and girders, and many other unique situations. Railroad engineers were very creative, giving us a plethora of unique structures. Unfortunately, many of these ended up on branch lines which were removed and the bridges scrapped.

The portals and design would seem to match the Dubuque bridge. Some bridges used very unique designs not seen on other bridges. Could this be one, or was it a standardized design to an extent?

I’ll look into and see what records I can find for this railroad. However, it may be hard to find pre-1911 information. It really varies by company. Some I’ve had tremendous luck on (Milwaukee Road, Chicago & North Western, Santa Fe, etc). I’ve also had some railroads with zero luck (Rock Island).

Posted October 12, 2018

I've found the best strategy is to ask. I can't honestly recall ever being turned down, and more often than not the people are more than happy to talk about "their" bridge. There's a number of bridges where I've withheld pictures for a period of time, particularly to avoid ruffling the feathers of anyone who may object.