Besides the numerous railroad yards, well over 40 railroad bridges and overpasses.
GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 313
Access by train/transit:
Amtrak in Dearborn
Otherwise, it's almost all busses
Detroit, because of the large number of railroads and roads, has an
unbelievable number of bridges and overpasses used by the railroads to get
over water and roads, and other railroads.... this page will cover some of them....
Prepare to bore yourself :-)
So why is this page going to bore most of you? Because many of the
bridge locations have 4, 5, or 6 pictures, and there are at last count, 37
locations. I did this page mostly for myself to document the myriad of
bridges and overpasses that Detroit offers bridge fans and railfans.
So if you want to consider it, this is a historical page of sorts, a small
glimpse into Detroit railroad bridges circa 2020/2021.
Bridge - Overpass - Viaduct.... What is the difference? The large
majority of the bridges mentioned below can probably be referred to as a
bridge or an overpass, and the terms are interchangeable. One fellow
who helped me with another page in PA is a "bridge guy", and may disagree.
Being that almost all bridges in Detroit are "older", I don't think any
qualify as being called a viaduct, but some, like #8 and #9 going to Zug
Island, are bridges, and not overpasses or viaducts.
A viaduct is a specific type of bridge that consists of a series of arches,
piers or columns supporting a long elevated railway or road. Typically
a viaduct connects two points of roughly equal elevation, allowing direct
overpass across a wide valley, road, river, or other low-lying terrain
features and obstacles.
See below for the different types of bridges found in railroad
Open Railway Maps
This overpass is "around the corner" from Delray Tower. Go west on
Dearborn to Fort, and take a left.
A steel girder bridge with 4 tracks but room for one more, over 4 lanes of
traffic, concrete abutments, 3 concrete supports, and 2 sidewalks.
This bridge was built by the Wabash in the mid 1920's, and replaced a swing
bridge when the Rouge River was widened for the Ford plant. It was
also used by the Detroit & Toledo Shore Line Railroad, and later the Pennsy later in the 1920's. It is a bascule bridge that
utilizes a complex counterweight that moves to adjust the weight as the bridge
raises and lowers, a patented design called the Abt Bascule bridge. It is among
the rarest bascule bridge types in the country. Michigan has three examples.
Just about the only way to get good pictures is by boat!
This bridge is known as Bridge 141, because of its length. It is a bascule
type bridge and was built in 1914. It is 141 feet long, and is owned by the
Delray Connecting Railroad, but used by the Norfolk Southern. The
bridge is no longer active as far as "going up", because boating traffic
needing more clearance uses the channel on the other side of the island.
The Bridge is used by both rail and auto traffic. If we look at the
1904 USGS map below, we notice that the main route the river took to get
around Zug Island was on this side of the island.
The tracks leading to the swing bridge have been taken up on both sides of the
span. At least the bridge seems to still be working, as seen in the two
views from Google and Bing, it is shown both open and closed. The bridge
is shown on the 1904 USGS map below. It's not too far away from Delray Tower.
GPS Coordinates: 42.27460, -83.13904
Two spans crossing a four lane Coolidge Hwy here (which turns into Schafer
Hwy as you go north from here), steel girder bridges, one was for three
tracks (now one), and the other could handle six, maybe seven tracks, but
now has five. At the north end of NS's River Rouge yard, AND, adjacent
to River Rouge High School - good thing I didn't go to school here,
cause I wouldn't have gotten anything done in class if I had a class on
track-side :-) :-). And gee, it's the first school I have seen
in modern times to use the term "Junior High"!
NS over Livernois #1 / Detroit (just off Vernor Hwy)
GPS Coordinates: 42.31853, -83.11121
A couple of spans crossing Livernois, the southern span has room for 5
tracks, but only has four, the northern span has room for 3 tracks, but only
carries one. The southern span has metal supports, while the northern
bridge uses concrete abutments. Both bridges are supported in the
middle, so it spans the six lanes of Livernois in two sections.
Southern span, looking north
Southern span, looking south
Southern span, underneath
Steel Bridge Supports
Northern span, looking north
Northern span, looking south
Concrete bridge supports
NS over Livernois #2 / Detroit (at the east end of Livernois Yard)
GPS Coordinates: 42.32410, -83.11524
Steel girder bridge, center concrete supported, carrying five tracks over a
six lane road (with a small median because of the center support).
Abutments at both end are concrete, with sidewalk passthrus.
GPS Coordinates: 42.29758, -83.12598
We actually have a collection of four bridges here, I missed Lawndale when
first going over the map, so instead of labeling it 39 or something like
that, we just numbered them 15a thru 15d......
15a over Fort St
15b over Fort St
15c over Lawndale
15d over Lawndale
CSX over Dix Ave / Detroit (South side of Rougemere Yard)
GPS Coordinates: 42.30043, -83.14788
The "wide" portion is actually seven steel girder bridges if you look at
Google Streetview, and another girder bridge for the track going off on an
angle. They have concrete abutments, and three concrete supports to
allow for a sidewalk on each side, and two lanes of traffic in each
direction with a center support.
GPS Coordinates: 42.32248, -83.16385
Around the area of where CSX crosses over I-94 and Michigan Avenue, there
are eight bridges if we take in the two that go over Ford Road. At
location 20, there are actually three bridges that cross I-94, two of which
are abandoned. Maybe at some point, they may decide to remove the
spans that go over the interstate, but for right now, at least they provide
the function of supporting signs for the interstate. Too bad I didn't
grow up in Detroit, because the railroad scene here was a lot better than
what it was in Baltimore - altho, compared to other locations, Baltimore
wasn't all that bad having the B&O, the B&S/NC, the WM, and the Pennsy on
girder bridge, 4 spans, 3 tracks over 3+3+2 lanes of I-94, concrete
abutments, and 3 concrete supports
girder bridge, 4 spans, had a single track on it, over 3+3+2 lanes of I-94, concrete
abutments, and 3 concrete supports
girder bridge, 4 spans, had 2 tracks on it, over 3+3+2 lanes of I-94, concrete
abutments, and 3 concrete supports
GPS Coordinates: 42.31296, -83.19239
Steel girder bridge spanning 4-1/2 lanes of Greenfield Rd, carrying three
tracks on top. Concrete abutments that are part of a retaining wall,
with three concrete supports, and a sidewalk on each side of the street.
GPS Coordinates: 42.29809, -83.18172
It appears to be a concrete covered steel girder bridge handling four
tracks, spanning four lanes of traffic with a center support. There
are three concrete supports, concrete abutments, and a sidewalk on each side
of Greenfield Rd.
CN (DT&I) over the Rouge River / Allen Park/Dearborn MI
GPS Coordinates: 42.29515, -83.18416
Just south of CN's Schafer Yard, it can handle four tracks, but now carries
three. The odd looking loads with yellow, blue, and green tops are car
GPS Coordinates: 42.32513, -83.16570.
There are three bridges at this location, two active on the CSX line, the other is not.
Steel girder bridge, 3 tracks over a 6 lane road with 2 sidewalks, concrete
abutments, and 3 concrete supports.
CSX over Michigan Ave / US 12, Dearborn
GPS Coordinates: 42.32505, -83.16604.
Steel girder bridge, single track that is no longer there, over a 6 lane road + median
with 2 sidewalks, concrete abutments, and 3 concrete supports.
looking west, kinda, sorry the truck is in the way...
CSX over Miller Rd, Dearborn
GPS Coordinates: 42.32591, -83.16629.
Steel girder bridge, 2 tracks but can handle 3, over a 2 lane road with 1
sidewalk, concrete abutments, 3 concrete supports.
GPS Coordinates: 42.32875, -83.16896
Steel girder bridge, carries 2 tracks but can handle 4, over 4 land road with wide
median and 2 separated sidewalks, concrete abutments with three concrete support.
I love trains, and I love signals. I am not an expert. My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page. This is something I have fun with while
trying to help others.
Please Note: Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.
For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my
indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented
I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.
If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct. Once in a while,
an error may creep in :-)
My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning. Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or
disoriented. Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost! I belong to AAA, which allows you to get
local maps for free when you visit the local branches. ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the
railroads on them. If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job
of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads. Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.
Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted. Screen captures are made
with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it!
By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous
and/or other stuff.
Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit
is always given! Please be NICE!!! Contact info is here
Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.