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Palmerston Bridge

Palmerston Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 26, 2015

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Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Grand Truck Railway Yard
Palmerston (Minto): Wellington County, Ontario: Canada
Structure Type
Metal 12 Panel Rivet-Connected Pratt Through Truss, Fixed and Approach Spans: Metal Deck Girder, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1912 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown
Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
Not Available
Structure Length
570.0 Feet (173.7 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
5 Main Span(s) and 5 Approach Span(s)
Inventory Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

Visit The Official Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum Website

View Heritage Bridge Inventory Sheet For This Bridge

This bridge is one of the most unique heritage bridges in Ontario. It is an extremely long example of a through truss footbridge also noted for its unusual layout. It is also unique in that it has been preserved, which is something that sadly is not true for most of Ontario's heritage truss bridges. In addition to the preservation of the footbridge itself, the bridge is part of a larger museum complex, the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum which includes the preserved railway station at this location, as well as some other preserved railroad equipment. The unique (and preserved) bridge combined with the railway museum make this one of the most unique transportation heritage sites in Ontario, and well worth a visit. It is an outstanding preservation success story.

 The primary reason this bridge was built was in response to the construction of a school which was located on the side of the rail yard opposite to where most of the residential homes were. As a result, the bridge enabled students to safely and easily get to school.

The spans of the bridge are arranged in a unique manner. The spans consists of a six span continuous style through truss at the east end, and a single through truss span at the west end. Short girder spans separate these two truss span portions. The other unique layout detail with this bridge is that a very sharp bend occurs in the walkway at the western end of the eastern truss spans. The layout of this bridge was due to the fact that the main portion of the rail yard was where the eastern truss spans were, then there was an area without any trackage where the girder spans are location, and finally a branch of trackage curved off where the western truss span is located. Originally, there were two additional access stairways located at the girder spans. These no longer exist.

The eastern truss spans have additional unusual details, specifically variations in member composition and dimensions from span to span as a result of the fact that the spans are of varying length. The westernmost span of the eastern truss spans is the longest and it in particular is easy to note that it features a heavier design of top chord.

Steel on this bridge was sourced from a variety of mills. Some of the names spotted on the bridge's steel include Carnegie from the United States, plus British steel including Dorman Long (Middlesbrough) and faint brands that appear to be Cargo Fleet England.

Note: Bridge length given above is a rough estimate.

See this website for historical photographs.


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