B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

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B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby Leo_Ames » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:03 am

How many survive today? According to an article by Nelson Lawry in the February 1994 issue of Trains, there were still 10 survivors. I've included his list below.

-Clark Street, Belmont Massachusetts (Closed to traffic at that time)
-Park Avenue, Arlington Heights Massachusetts
-Essex Street, Swampscott Massachusetts
-Kents Island (East of US 1), Newbury Massachusetts (Fire damaged at the time)
-Hartwell Street, West Boylston Massachusetts
-Rollins Farm (South of Rollins Rd.), Rollinsford New Hampshire
-Snyder Brook (Off US 2; Track bridge), Randolph New Hampshire
-Moose Brook (Off US 2, west of State Rt. 16; Track bridge), Gorham New Hampshire
-Old Rt. 4, Berwick Maine
-Meeting House (East of US 1, north of Kennebeck), Arundel Maine

Using Google Images, I think I've spotted some of these, but it's difficult to tell for sure.

Belmont (which looks to be still closed)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/42%C2 ... -71.179903

Newbury
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Kents ... 70.8744967

Randolph
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/44.3555 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Gorham
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Gorham, ... 877921!1m0

For the others, I don't even see train tracks intersecting with Park Avenue in Arlington Heights (Nor an abandoned row), I only see a concrete bridge in Swampscott that's either old or is styled to look that way, a modern looking steel truss bridge in West Boylston is the only thing I see on Hartwell Street, no sign of any such bridge in Rollinsford, a modern bridge at one end of Old Rt. 4 in Berwick with no evidence of a bridge at the other end where it presumably crossed back over to join the present highway, and just a modern bridge and a grade crossing in Arundel.
Last edited by Leo_Ames on Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby Mikejf » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:20 am

Looks like the one you linked to in Randolph has been replaced with a modern steel one. There was one over Snyder brook, between Randolph and Gorham that was removed for repair a few years ago, and I can not tell by the areial shot if it is still there, or now a new one.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby Leo_Ames » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:42 am

Looks like Snyder Brook was removed for repairs and will be reinstalled, if it hasn't already been.

https://bridgehunter.com/nh/coos/snyder-brook/

Also sounds like Gorham was destroyed by arson, but some components were saved for a new bridge that will be built for display.

http://www.coveredbridgesociety.org/gor ... andout.pdf

And I found the Rollins Farm bridge, I believe.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/43.2230 ... a=!3m1!1e3

Was easy to miss in the shadows.

Leo_Ames wrote:Belmont (which looks to be still closed)
https://www.google.com/maps/place/42%C2 ... -71.179903


I take that back. Using Google Street View shows a modern looking pedestrian bridge over the tracks. Definitely not a boxed pony.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby jwhite07 » Fri Oct 21, 2016 7:56 am

Hartwell Street in West Boylston is definitely no longer a boxed pony:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.3417839 ... 312!8i6656

I don't know when it was replaced, but it was prior to when I moved to the area in 2005.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby doublebell » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:42 pm

The bridge in Swampscott was replaced years ago.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby F-line to Dudley via Park » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:44 pm

Belmont one's very much open as a footbridge: https://goo.gl/maps/crhDezqa2x42 + https://goo.gl/maps/K5Qpu7yhHsH2.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby Hux » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:30 pm

Arlington Heights was rebuilt turn of the century and goes over the Minuteman Bikeway.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby woodeen » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:09 am

With regards to the Rollins Farm bridge, if you turn 3D off (little menu in upper left corner) you get a much better leaves-off view of this bridge
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/43.2230655,-70.8520489//@43.2230245,-70.8522433,56m/data=!3m1!1e3
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby Leo_Ames » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:13 am

F-line to Dudley via Park wrote:Belmont one's very much open as a footbridge: https://goo.gl/maps/crhDezqa2x42 + https://goo.gl/maps/K5Qpu7yhHsH2.


Like I said, that's clearly not a boxed pony. It's a modern pedestrian bridge that looks to easily be less than half the width of the wooden bridge that preceded it. It's much too narrow to have accommodated wagons and the automobiles and trucks that came later.

Here's a picture of the style of bridge that we're talking about. It's essentially a covered bridge, but without the roof to protect the decking. Only the Howe truss on the sides are protected from the weather, hence the nickname (Boxed refers to the enclosure around the structural members, pony refers to the low height of the sides).

http://www.whitemtridgerunners.com/news ... ridge1.jpg

They were a New England fixture for generations and represent the last large scale use of wood as a structural member in rail related bridges outside of trestles. The Boston & Maine Railroad was building them through the 1940's both for rail use and to carry traffic above their lines, fifty years after most railroads thought that wooden bridges were outdated.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby BandA » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:40 pm

Wood was probably cheaper than steel into the 1940s or so, and especially during WWII or Korean War there would have been shortages. Other railroads probably worried about total cost of ownership over the life of the bridge. Was B&M's thinking more short term?

i can imagine an Irving owned railroad building a wooden bridge, lol, since they own the raw material!

I've seen these before but never noticed what they were!
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby TomNelligan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 1:27 pm

Leo_Ames wrote:Like I said, that's clearly not a boxed pony. It's a modern pedestrian bridge that looks to easily be less than half the width of the wooden bridge that preceded it. It's much too narrow to have accommodated wagons and the automobiles and trucks that came later.


That's correct. The ancestral B&M pony bridge at that location was replaced by the current pedestrian bridge maybe ten years ago. At that time the motor vehicle passage across the tracks was closed, the street on the other side dead-ended, and it became a foot crossing only.
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby csor2010 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:19 pm

Newbury looks pretty modern:

https://binged.it/2f56wEH

Rollinsford is still there as of 2005:

http://bridgehunter.com/nh/strafford/rollins-farm/
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Re: B&M boxed pony wooden bridges

Postby elecuyer » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:48 am

The Moose Brook boxed pony wooden bridge in Gorham is going to a new home:

The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington (WW&F) Railway Museum "Narrow Bridge Ahead!" Campaign is asking for $50,000 in donations for site preparation and erection of "Moose Brook" bridge to carry the Museum's reconstruction of the two foot, narrow gauge WW&F Railway across Trout Brook in Alna, Maine. The bridge, originally constructed near Gorham in 1918 on the Berlin (NH) Branch of the Boston & Maine Railroad, is a historically-significant example of a Howe Boxed Pony Truss bridge, one of only eight surviving examples of such a design. This effort is being performed in conjunction with the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges and the National Park Service.

To learn more about this important project, and to contribute, please see:
https://fundrazr.com/NarrowBridgeAhead
Support the WW&F's Narrow Bridge Ahead!
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