Wooden rail bridge burns and collapses up northern

Published 10:07 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

INTERNATIONAL FALLS — An old wooden railroad bridge near Minnesota’s northern border burned and collapsed early Wednesday, shutting a busy train route that connects the Pacific Coast with Chicago.

The bridge in Koochiching County belongs to Canadian National Railway. It carried more than 20 trains over the Rat Root River daily until it collapsed.

CN spokesman Brent Kossey said the crew of a southbound train approaching the bridge reported a fire on the trestle just after 12:30 a.m. The train came to a stop but only after it had crossed the bridge. The bridge was destroyed, but the crew was not hurt.

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Two cars carrying potash fertilizer were left hanging over the river. The rest of the train was able to leave, Sheriff Perryn Hedlund said.