1 vote

CN - Ranier Bridge


Ranier Bridge

Photo taken by Jack Schmidt May 2007

BH Photo #276756


Street Views 


This bridge type is a very unusual type of Bascule bridge known as a Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge. This particular bridge carries a branch of the Canadian National Railroad over the Rainy River between Ranier, MN, and Fort Frances, Ontario, Canada. This unique bascule type features a curved pair of rockers on the rotation end of the bridge, which ride on a horizontal track to raise the bridge--essentially, the bridge rocks back, much like that of a rocking chair. The upper chord of the bridge starts out high at the rotation end and slopes uniformly downward to meet the end posts at the lifting end of the bridge, giving it a somewhat wedged shape. The bridge features a Warren truss configuration. Photographing this beautiful structure may be a problem, as it doesn't look like any major roads are near the Minnesota side, and crossing into Canada and dealing with the border patrol doesn't seem to be worth the trouble. The deck plate girder on the Canada side is very long and would hamper photographing the main truss anyway. As a side note, this is the third busiest international railroad crossing in the nation.


Warren through truss bascule bridge over Rainy River on Canadian National Railroad
Ranier, Koochiching County, Minnesota
Open to traffic
Built 1908
- American Bridge Co. of New York (Fabrication)
- Ketler-Elliot Erection Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Erection)
- Scherzer Rolling Lift Bridge Co. of Chicago, Illinois (Bascule Design)
- Canadian National Railway (CN)
- Duluth, Winnipeg & Pacific Railway (DWP)
Warren through truss
Total length: 523.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+48.61480, -93.35282   (decimal degrees)
48°36'53" N, 93°21'10" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/473995/5384696 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 48005 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • February 11, 2019: Photo imported by Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • June 23, 2017: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein
  • July 30, 2016: Updated by Luke: Image + builders
  • March 28, 2014: New Street View added by Luke Harden
  • March 28, 2014: New photos from Douglas Butler
  • March 2, 2014: New photo from Jack Schmidt
  • February 26, 2014: New Street View added by Matt Lohry
  • February 5, 2011: Added by Matthew Lohry


  • Matt Lohry
  • Train on bridge - Spectacular photo taken by Bill Hooper, aka "Hoopy2342"
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net
  • Douglas Butler
  • Luke
  • Dana and Kay Klein


CN - Ranier Bridge
Posted February 7, 2017, by Sherril Gautreaux (cityofranier [at] frontiernet [dot] net)

The bridge does not raise automatically to marine traffic. The height of the bridge from water fluctuates depending on the level of the Rainy River. If a boat needs to have the bridge raised to pass under the bridge, a bridge tender in Chicago must be called, who in turn relays information to CN workers onsite. The bridge is supposed to be raised in a timely fashion. Due to the increased traffic on the bridge, marine traffic often has to wait significant amounts of time. The port of entry is currently the busiest US Customs rail of port of entry in the US.

CN - Ranier Bridge
Posted July 13, 2014, by Louis collier (louisgcollier [at] gmail [dot] com)

How high is this bridge from the water and does it raise aotumatically to marine traffic??