The opening of the Rhine Falls railway from Winterthur to Schaffhausen in 1857 made, for the first time, the Rhine Falls region accessible to modern transport. On the occasion of its inauguration the first Rhine Falls fireworks display was held. The single track railway bridge was originally planned as an iron lattice bridge.
Due to the location of the foundation spots in the Rhine riverbed, when building the present stone arched bridge, identical width of the arches and a straight bridge axis were not an option. As well as serving the railway, the bridge also serves pedestrians connecting them to Schloss Laufen on the nothern side of the Rhine Falls basin.