2 votes

UP - South Skunk River Bridge


Iowa Department of Transportation


BH Photo #262024


Unpatched Southern Pacific SP 187 on UP manifest crossing Skunk River, Ames, Iowa

Friday, December 7, 2012, 9:51 AM. This train is the prize of the day. Unpatched Southern Pacific locomotive SP 187 is right behind lead engine UP 7137 on this eastbound Union Pacific mixed freight crossing the bridge over the Skunk River. The video opens with the camera zoomed in on the blank space where the bridge manufacturer's plate has apparently been stolen. There's a similar spot on the north side of the bridge. A little later, that's Rick in the lower left corner shooting the train with my old camera (with no sound). I'll upload that video a little later.

Video filmed by arejay54

Play video on YouTube


Rebuilt for an unknown reason in 1948 and 1949.


Deck plate girder bridge over Skunk River on Railroad
Ames, Story County, Iowa
Open to traffic
Built 1899, Rebuilt 1949
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Main Span)
- Lassig Bridge & Iron Works of Chicago, Illinois (1899 Span)
- Chicago & North Western Railway (CNW)
- Union Pacific Railroad (UP)
Deck plate girder
Length of largest span: 110.0 ft.
Total length: 220.0 ft.
Also called
CNW - Skunk River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+42.02690, -93.59211   (decimal degrees)
42°01'37" N, 93°35'32" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/450983/4652932 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Ames East
Inventory number
BH 52525 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • January 6, 2022: Updated by John Marvig: added information
  • June 25, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: Bridge appears to have narrowly avoided destruction during June 24th derailment
  • June 24, 2021: Updated by John Marvig: Destroyed by derailment
  • November 30, 2016: New photos from John Marvig
  • October 18, 2016: Updated by Dana and Kay Klein: South Skunk
  • August 8, 2013: New photo from Luke Harden
  • May 25, 2012: Updated by Luke Harden: Added categories "Railroad", "Union Pacific Railroad", "Chicago & North Western Railway"



UP - South Skunk River Bridge
Posted June 24, 2021, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

A revision of the comment I made earlier about the bridge being completely destroyed by derailment:

Aerial footage show that the bridge may have been narrowly spared, although I still cannot confirm or not if the bridge was destroyed.