The Red River Bridge

Winnipeg, Manitoba, CN

Not very much is known about this line. What is known is that it used to connect the Weston yards with the yards between Raleigh Street & Gateway Avenue. (Both streets run parallel to each other with the yards running in between them. These two streets, and the yards start off in Elmwood and end in North Kildonan.) The bridge itself is the only physical evidence of a railway being present. All the rails were taken out off the bridge, except the portion where the bridge is "open" to allow large boats to pass by. "Open" as in that part of bridge turned sideways if you look closely. Behind the camera there is about 1 mile of ROW which was transfomed into a pathway by the Parks & Recreation Department. Even though one might know it was a railway ROW in the past it is still difficult to be sure at times. The portion of pathway stops right across from where Springfield Avenue begins. Springfield Avenue is a straight street which runs past the yards between Raleigh & Gateway. As for the other side of the Red River, the ROW has completely been lost. There are multiple housing complex, a golf course, a city park, a treatment plant and many houses. The only information about the time of this railroad, was that it was taken out somewhere around 1929. Ironically enough, there's a single rail left, that is sticking out of the ground just below the bridge.

Old Railroad bridge crossing the Red River near the end of Kildo...
Old Railroad bridge crossing the Red River near the end of Kildonan Drive. The railroad used to run behind the camera for about 4 kilometers. 2 of those kilometers have been turned into a walking trail (which runs parrallel to Essar Avenue). Note the gates that have been put up in order to stop people from climbing up onto the bridge. It is not known whether the rails are still in place on the bridge itself. Photo by Radu Popescu.
Another shot of the bridge. Note the portion of bridge that is t...
Another shot of the bridge. Note the portion of bridge that is turned in order to let commercial boats cruise freely down the Red River. Photo by Radu Popescu.

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This bridge was abandoned in 1928, it was part of a rail line built specifically to divert grain-carrying trains around and past Winnipeg. The line was called the 'Bergen Cutoff Line' and had a terminus west of the city in Carberry. The bridge was owned by the CPR. If you follow Springfield road on the outskirts of Winnipeg, the railbed can be seen in the summer and in early fall when the grass begins to die back, you may be able to see the shale remnants of the railbed. The line had a yard north of the intersection of Plessis Road and Grassie Blvd, behind the abandoned Transcona landfill site. Until about 2016, the steamstack from the roundhouse stood but has recently been either demolished or collapsed. The abandoned landfill's hill offers a view of the old railyard site and if one ventures close enough, an abandoned underpass can be seen. This underpass to my knowledge was the entrance to the railyard. The yard, the bridge and the line were all abandoned in 1928.

A.
Westdyk, CN
4/12/2019