BNSF MO-5 Bridge

Steel Stringer Bridge over Missouri Highway 5
Marceline, Linn County, Missouri

Click the Photo Above to See All Photos of This Bridge!
Name BNSF MO-5 Bridge
Built By Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway
Contractor Unknown
Currently Owned By BNSF Railway
Length 34 Feet Total
Width 2 Tracks
Height Above Ground 13 Feet 11 Inches
Superstructure Type Steel Stringer
Substructure Type Steel Stringer
Date Built 1934
Traffic Count 75 Trains/Day (Estimated)
Current Status In Use
BNSF Bridge Number 346.29
Significance Local Significance
Documentation Date August 2017
In 1887, the Chicago, Santa Fe and California Railway began construction on a 213 mile line crossing the state of Missouri. It would begin at Fort Madison, Iowa and head to Big Blue Junction, Missouri. The line crossed the Mississippi River into Iowa at Fort Madison, and Des Moines River into Missouri near Argyle, Iowa. At Sibley, it would cross the Missouri River.

The Sibley Bridge Company was chartered in 1888 to construct the large bridge across the Missouri River at Sibley. Similarly, the Mississippi River Railroad & Toll Bridge Company constructed the bridge across the Mississippi River.

The entire line became part of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway in 1900. This mainline would see heavy reconstruction throughout the first decade of the 20th century. Reconstruction included tasks such as relocation and double tracking.
The line was critical to the development of the State of Missouri. The line provided the quickest and most direct route between the agricultural center at Kansas City and Chicago.

Throughout the 20th Century, the line remained one of the most critical rail lines in the United States. The heavy duty mainline saw guards during World War II, due to the critical connection between Southern California and Chicago.
Despite the importance of the line, the ATSF would see serious financial issues in the late 20th century. Because of this, they merged with rival Burlington Northern to form BNSF Railway. BNSF currently operates the line as the Marceline Subdivision; and it is a part of the greater Southern Transcon Line; completed in 1908.

The line connects to the equally as important Chillicothe Subdivision on the east, and the Emporia Subdivision on the west.

This simple steel girder bridge crosses over Missouri Highway 5 in Marceline.
Built in 1934, this standard highway overpass crosses a main route through Marceline.
This design is common along the Santa Fe mainline between Chicago and Kansas City.
Overall, the bridge remains in good condition.

The author has ranked this bridge as being locally significant, due to the common design.
The photo above is an overview. The bridge can be accessed from the road below.


Source Type


Build Date 1937 ATSF Bridge Book courtesy of Temple, Texas Railroad Museum
Railroad Line History Source ICC Valuation Information, Compiled by Richard S. Steele

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