Minot's historic Gasman Coulee trestle, west of Minot, has inspired designers of Minot's new airport terminal.
Andrew Solsvig, airport director, told members of the Minot Area Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee earlier this month that the architects "are fascinated" with the trestle bridge and tied in some of those pieces into the design.
They also named the bar in the passenger terminal for the trestle on their schematics. The bar is called the "Trestle Bar" on the schematic designs.
This photo shows the Gasman Coulee trestle in the distance. The railroad trestle was built more than 100 years ago. The original timber trestle partially blew down in a tornado in 1889 and then a steel one was built.
Many BNSF trains cross the trestle daily, as well as the Amtrak passenger train.
"On our main tracks that head out of Minot west, there is an average of about 40 trains a day (every 24 hours)," said Amy McBeth, of Minneapolis, BNSF public relations director for the region.
"Trains on that route carry all kinds of freight. Depending on the train and the commodity hauled and other factors, train sizes vary from an average of about 70 cars to about 110 cars," McBeth said.
In 1970, the Northern Pacific Railroad and Great Northern were absorbed in the merger that created the Burlington Northern Railroad, forerunner of today's Dallas, Texas-based BNSF Railway.
The original Gasman Coulee trestle was completed May 1, 1887, according to the Ward County centennial book, which was published for the centennial celebration in 1986.
Dr. Dennis J. Lutz, of Minot, in a story about railroads of Ward County, said the timber trestle "was an engineering marvel as it contained nearly a million and a half board feet of timber."
The wooden bridge was about 1,400 feet long and 120 feet high, The Minot Daily News reported. That trestle was partially destroyed by a tornado Aug. 14, 1889.
After a portion of the bridge was blown down, the Great Northern Railway laid a temporary track down through the coulee, and put extra engines at work there to assist in keeping trains from going too fast down into the coulee and to assist in pushing them out.
The wooden bridge was replaced by the present steel structure.