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 Post subject: Portland’s GT abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:55 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:39 am
Posts: 102
I first experienced the Maine 2-footers in August of 2008 with a visit to the WW&F Railway at Alna. Since then I’ve ventured back numerous times, with another planned in the near future. Every time driving north on Rt.295 I take notice of the abandoned Grand Trunk standard gauge swing bridge spanning the Back Cove in Portland. I always wanted to explore it but never did. The weekend before Christmas I was in Portland for the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum’s Polar Express train excursions; with some down time one afternoon I finally made it there.

The steel swing bridge and its wooden trestle were constructed to cross over the Portland peninsula, built in 1848 by the Atlantic & St. Lawrence Railroad. Tall masted ships needed to enter the Back Cove, so the bridge was designed to swing open about a center pivot to keep both train and water traffic moving. Quite the balancing act. Active for more than 100 years, in 1984 an arsonist lit the bridge on fire and caused damage beyond repair. It was permanently set in the open position and has been dead in the water since. The Maine Narrow Gauge currently operates on the old right-of-way leading to the bridge from the south around the Eastern Prom, but stops where land meets water.

The conditions presented my way were perfect; low tide, diffused afternoon sunlight, hardly any wind, and an unusually warm air temperature for December. I spent a few hours there, milling around seeking out composition.

Imagine the variety of classic trains that crossed this bridge, and the sailing ships which passed by.

Follow the link below to my gallery of images from the day.

https://www.losttracksoftime.com/p56944667

Enjoy,
Matthew


Last edited by mfmalk on Mon Jan 13, 2020 4:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GTW abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 7:41 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 2:46 pm
Posts: 576
Location: St. Louis, MO
Wouldn't that be a Grand Trunk bridge, not GTW?

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Ron Goldfeder
St. Louis


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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GTW abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:28 am
Posts: 67
Location: Pinole, Ca.
Lovely photos!
Howard Wise


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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GTW abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 1:27 pm
Posts: 462
Location: Milford,Mass
Hi Matthew
Nice shots of the bridge, Pat


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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GT abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:17 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:39 am
Posts: 102
Ron,

I had a typo in my original text, which I have fixed. Thank you for the correction. This is formally the Grand Trunk, and not Grand Trunk Western. The GTW was Port Huron to Chicago, whereas the GT operated in Maine.

Matthew


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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GT abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:20 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4174
Location: Maine
Beautiful images of the iconic rail bridge. Little side note: The original semaphore blade protecting that bridge sits in my basement today.

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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GT abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:59 am 

Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 3:51 pm
Posts: 106
Location: Ipswich, Mass., Phoenix, AZ
Purchased from the RR of course?


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 Post subject: Re: Portland’s GT abandoned Swing Bridge (photos)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:25 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 4174
Location: Maine
Actually, a gift from the conductor of the work train which was told to tear them down and dump them. That all happened about 50 years ago, and the gentleman has since passed on. He was a well known rail historian from New Hampshire, who had the exquisite opportunity to do what he loved for a living. There were "perks". I traded him a keystone whistle post for the blade.

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