Thursday, July 19, 2012

Railroad bridges, Hooksett, NH

Baltimore truss railroad bridge
I wasn't going to write this picture up. There's nothing particularly historical about this bridge. I didn't even know this bridge existed.

I'm on vacation, and I'd made a promise to visit my parents graves in Concord, New Hampshire, at some point during my week off. My dad would never, ever pay a toll if he could avoid it, and particularly on I-93 between Manchester and Concord. He'd always take the back road, Route 3A, through Hooksett and Bow and into Concord, where we lived.

That's how we kids were brought up. So I was toodling along on 3A, which follows the Merrimack River, just casually looking over now and again because it's a beautiful river and it was my river growing up. Through the trees, I saw an old iron railroad bridge and figured I'd better stop by.

I didn't recognize the truss design; I looked it up when I got home and saw it was a "Baltimore truss". The railroad bridges here in Connecticut all seem to be Pratt truss, so that was new.

This closed-off railroad bridge crosses the Merrimack nearly parallel to the Baltimore truss bridge. This one appears to be a three span Pratt truss bridge with extra bracing. Or it could be a Warren truss. I don't know. The cool thing is that these bridges, right next to each other, were made using entirely different designs.

Lots of people seem to have photographed these bridges (add me to that list) and/or jumped from them, but I'm not able to find any information about them online.

Just... back roads New Hampshire, I guess.


  1. Backroads, New Hampsha'
    An old love of mine.
    -Penn Bridge Inspector, now making Gas in 2nd Republic of Texas.
    GRB, PE.

    1. Never know what you'll find off the beaten path :)

  2. Very cool! You can see that it used to be a two-track bridge.

    1. And now it's a great path for crossing the river :) I wouldn't want to be on it when a train was passing, though.