1 vote

BNSF - Salt River Bridge


Salt River RR #1

Photo taken by K. Allen Ballard December 20, 2017


BH Photo #414283



This crossing was the site of several skirmishes between Union & Confederate forces during the Civil War. Shelby County history relates that a Union encampment & regular patrols was established here to prevent rebel burning. This line would have been the Hannibal & St. Joe RR at that time. There are older abutments visible here besides the present ones in use.


Pratt deck truss bridge over Salt River on BNSF Railway
Shelby County, Missouri
Open to traffic
- BNSF Railway (BNSF)
- Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad (CBQ)
- Hannibal & St. Joseph Railway
Pratt deck truss
Total length: 265.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.66628, -91.90041   (decimal degrees)
39°39'59" N, 91°54'01" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/594316/4391296 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 71052 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 21, 2017: Updated by K. Allen Ballard: Added History note from recollection.
  • February 18, 2016: Added by John Marvig


  • John Marvig - marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • K. Allen Ballard - speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com


BNSF - Salt River Bridge
Posted December 21, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)


From what Iíve read about Bridge #9 in Minnesota, the original 1880s trusses were reused and retrofitted to hold a double track in the 20s, which is when the third truss Line was added.

As for this bridge, it might be possible that it was added as a piece from a different bridge which was scrapped.

BNSF - Salt River Bridge
Posted December 21, 2017, by Matt Lohry


The third truss, like the MN bridge you mentioned, was likely added as a retrofit to the existing bridge--as for Bridge #9 (the MN bridge), the third truss line was added later on to support the ever-increasing weight of trains. It was a solution that cost far less than replacing the entire structure. If the third truss line was original, I would think that it would be the same size as the outer 2, but in both of these cases the third truss members are much larger than the originals. The MN bridge third truss is also riveted, where the outers are pinned.

BNSF - Salt River Bridge
Posted December 21, 2017, by John Marvig (marvigj27 [at] gmail [dot] com)

Looks like there is a third truss line in this massive structure. Other deck trusses Iíve seen like this were created of two trusses:



BNSF - Salt River Bridge
Posted December 21, 2017, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

Visited here nearly at dusk. To get a good northern side view of the bridge you'll have to tromp about 200+ yards of brush on either side of river; not a problem this time of year. Only had time for a handful of pics with sun setting.