Railway Preservation News

WW&F Acquiring Historic B&M Boxed Pony Truss Bridge
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Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  WW&F Acquiring Historic B&M Boxed Pony Truss Bridge

From Facebook:

WW&F Railway to receive historic railroad bridge.
WW&F President Dave Buczkowski has announced that the WW&F will be given an historic Howe pony truss bridge that we will use to cross Trout Brook. The 48 foot span was built in 1918 for the Boston & Maine Railroad and came from the branch line to Berlin, NH. The bridge was fire damaged in 2004 and was removed and rebuilt with new wooden components a few years ago. The bridge comes with funding for its assembly by the National Park Service, Historic Engineering Record although the grant does not cover site prep, abutments and setting the bridge in place. We are excited to have this historic bridge fill our needs for a period correct bridge at Trout Brook.

The bridge in question is not a traditional "covered bridge," but what we bridge experts call a "boxed pony truss," where the wooden pony (not full height) truss (Howe, in this case) is enclosed in expendable wooden siding to prolong the life of the wooden truss. Such spans are now considerably rarer than true covered bridges with a roof--only four other such spans, three in New Hampshire and one in Pennsylvania, are listed in Bridgehunter.com's database.

Info on, and photos of, the (disassembled) span in question:

This photo shows the bridge in its original location on the B&M in 1985, by Joseph D. Conwell:


Inside truss after post-arson rebuild using new and reclaimed wood and original metal fittings, photo by Will Truax in April 2011:


A PowerPoint on the bridge's reconstruction at CWCU: http://www.woodcenter.org/docs/dayton-c ... ebrook.pdf

Author:  ted66 [ Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WW&F Acquiring Historic B&M Boxed Pony Truss Bridge

The luck of the WW&F Museum never fails to surprise me. The original bridges over the Trout Creek were Howe Truss also.

The first one failed in service in 1905; resulting in the famous Mason's Excursion wreck. The replacement was in use to the end of WW&F operation in 1933 and the bridge was used a a logging road until about the 1940s.

There is a fund raising program in progress; please send money if you would like to see this worthwhile project move forward!

Ted Miles, WW&F Member

Author:  elecuyer [ Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WW&F Acquiring Historic B&M Boxed Pony Truss Bridge

Yes - fundraising is underway!

For more details and to contribute, please visit:

Author:  G. W. Laepple [ Thu Sep 07, 2017 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: WW&F Acquiring Historic B&M Boxed Pony Truss Bridge

The original bridge over Trout Brook, then known as Carlton Stream, was a queen post truss with trestle approaches. The replacement was also of the same design. The boxed pony truss bridge is a totally different design, but is not unknown to Maine railroads.

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