MBC1887 T:ANE

Ottertail River flows out of the Emerald Range to the east. To traverse the river the CPR built a trestle 705 feet long and 122 feet high. For its time the trestle was a technical as well as an aesthetic masterpiece. To save money and to compete the railway in as little time as possible thereby avoiding bankruptcy, the CPR used the abundant timber in the surrounding forests recognizing that the structure would be high maintenance and would have a short life span. The trestle was used until construction in 1902 of the Ottertail Diversion that eliminated Muskeg Summit.

 

The Ottertail Bridge featured a single Howe truss span in the center over the river itself framed on either side by towering trestle works.

Heading west on the Ottertail Trestle.

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The CPR dismantled the bridge in 1922 salvaging 295,000 board feet of timber. A back road leading west from Field follows the original railway grade to the site of the Ottertail Trestle. The earth works of the original trestle can be seen east of the much less spectacular plate girder bridge used today.

Posted:

Updated:

September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016

Ottertail Trestle

Ottertail Trestle with the Emerald Range in the background

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