Cartwright Tunnel Will Disappear Without Your Help
May 3, 2017 | View PDF
The only railroad tunnel in North Dakota will disappear forever unless funds are raised immediately to repair it. The Cartwright Tunnel, located four miles east of Fairview, MT, is collapsing. This 1,458 foot long structural marvel was dug by hand in 1912-13, connecting to the Fairview Bridge, a vertical lift bridge for rail and vehicular traffic.
Together, the tunnel and bridge represent a snapshot of history that will never be duplicated. People from all over the world walk the bridge and tunnel, absorbing the engineering and craftsmanship, and reveling in the majestic Yellowstone River flowing below.
Burlington Northern deeded the bridge and tunnel to The Friends of the Fairview Bridge in 2001 since it had not been used since 1986. The organization has improved and maintained the historic area with assistance from local individuals and businesses, the North Dakota National Guard and others. The National Guard has helped with previous repairs to the tunnel, but this one is too complicated and expensive. Cost estimates to repair the tunnel are in the $500,000 range, far above anything the Friends of the Fairview Bridge can finance.
However, if repair funds cannot be raised, the tunnel will either be boarded up at both ends, or it will be imploded.