Cut Bank Trestle Bridge – Crossing the Cut Bank Creek

Cut Bank, Montana.

On an overnight stay at Cut Bank, Montana, I happened to notice the photo of a high trestle bridge on the wall in the lobby of our hotel. It reminded me very much of the High Line Railroad Bridge at Valley City, North Dakota. I asked the hotel clerk about the image and if the bridge happened to be in the area as other images in the lobby appeared to be. I was surprised by her answer. Not only is it nearby, it actually is located just behind the hotel. Indeed, if we had a room on the opposite side of the hotel, we’d have probably seen the bridge from our hotel room window.

The next morning, I launched my drone and flew it over the valley to capture some images of the bridge. I’d barely launched the drone when we heard a train whistle. I couldn’t believe my luck. The track, owned by Burlington-Northern is used about 40 times a day, including two Amtrak Empire Builder runs. As you can see by the opening photo, it was a freight train that I captured this morning.

The trestle was built originally in 1890 (or in 1900, depending upon which of two sources is accurate.) When the Great Northern Railroad crews reached Cut Bank, construction started on the Warren Deck truss bridge. A station was built on the west side of the trestle and the city of Cut Bank grew up around it.

The images were captured with my Mavic Air drone on a dreary, cloudy day. I substituted a big Montana sky from another visit to the state.

John Steiner

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