Maine two-footer receives gift of covered bridge

RELATED TOPICS: NORTHEAST | NARROW GAUGE | INFRASTRUCTURE
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WWFbridge
This Howe pony truss bridge over Snyder Brook on the Boston & Maine's branch to Berlin, N.H. is the same type as the Moose Brook branch recently donated to the WW&F Railway Museum in Maine.
Mike Fox, WW&F Railway Museum
ALNA, Maine — The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum has been given a 48-foot Howe boxed pony truss covered bridge that will be used to cross Trout Brook near the village of Head Tide. The bridge was given to the museum by the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges Inc., and funding for its assembly is available from the Historic American Engineering Record arm of the National Park Service.

The Moose Brook bridge was built in 1918 along the Boston & Maine's branch line between Whitefield and Berlin, N.H. When the line was abandoned in 1993, it became a rail trail. After the bridge was damaged by arson in 2004, the covered bridge group arranged for replacement of all damaged components with new timbers.

As part of its annual appeal, the museum is seeking $50,000 in donations for site preparation, approaches, abutments, and actual erection of the bridge, none of which is covered by park service funding. There is an element of urgency in the appeal, as the park service grant is time-limited. Museum members hope to move the major components from Gorham, N.H., where they are currently stored, to the museum site in the next month.

The WW&F Railway Museum has laid track to within three-quarters of a mile of the bridge's new location, and work continues to extend the line. It will be several years before the track reaches the bridge, and museum officials believe the gift of the bridge will advance its extension goals by two years or more.

While the original WW&F Railway had a history of reusing standard gauge railroad bridges, the original bridge at Trout Brook was not one of them. However, this Howe pony truss bridge is in keeping with the museum's goal of recreating the Maine two-footer experience.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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