Built in 1883 as part of the expansion of the Northern Pacific Railway, the Marent Gulch Trestle stands today as a historic testament to engineering brilliance.

Initially a wooden structure designed by C.C. Schneider, the 797-foot-long trestle was the world’s tallest wooden trestle at 226 feet when it was completed in 1883. Fears of fire led to its replacement with an iron bridge in 1885.

Through-freight trains were shifted off the Marent Gulch route in 1908, when a lower-grade line was completed along the Clark Fork River to the south. Passenger trains continued to use the Marent Gulch route, despite the stiff 2.2 percent grades facing both east- and westbound trains, until 1979.

Today, the Marent Gulch Trestle remains in use, serving as a route for empty trains and preserving its legacy in Montana’s railroad history.