Pier Bridge – Newport, NH

Why is this bridge so tall and narrow?  Because it was built for a train to pass through not buggies or automobiles.  Once there were hundreds of covered railroad bridges in the United States.  Now there are only eight according to a sign next to the bridge.

This is the longest remaining covered railroad bridge in the U.S. at 224 feet.  It’s named because a stone pier supports the center of the bridge.  The support was necessary because locomotives with their coal car could weigh 320,000 pounds.

To arrive at this bridge, I had to get off the beaten path a bit.  This bridge is on a dirt road.  I bounced down it about a mile and found a small pull out next to the road to park the car. The bridge is off to the side of the road allowing a nice vantage point for a side view without climbing down along the river. 

It’s hard to believe that this bridge was used until 1977.  It was built in 1907 and replaced an earlier bridge constructed in 1872.  Back then there were all kinds of little railroads. 

The original builder was the Sugar River Railroad.  The line was bought out by the Boston and Maine railroad which ran most of the trains in the area.  In 1954, B&M sold the line to the Claremont & Concord Railway who operated it until it closed. 

25 thoughts on “Pier Bridge – Newport, NH

  1. Sandra

    Great pictures! I love the brilliant colors. Remarkable that these didn’t burn down with the trains passing through. Thank you for sharing another great story Chris!


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