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Thames River Railroad Bridge (1889)


"Picturesque New London and its environs, Groton, Mystic, Montville, Waterford, at the commencement of the twentieth century; notable features of interest .." (1901)

License: Released into public domain


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #291094



At the time of its completion it was the largest double-track drawbridge in the world with a clear channel of 225 feet on each side of the center pier. A difficult bridge to build due to the depth of sediment in the river, the piers began to settle almost immediately. By 1905 it was single-tracked to reduce the load. A new railroad bridge was completed in 1919 up river, and the old bridge was gifted to the State of Connecticut and converted for highway use. The bridge was removed in 1943, upon completion of the Groton-New London Bridge.


Pratt through truss bridge over Thames River on NY,NH&H RR, New London/Groton
New London, New London County, Connecticut
Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1889 for the New York, Providence & Boston Railroad; Replaced by the railroad 1919 and converted to road use; Replaced 1943
- Alfred P. Boller of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad (NH)
- New York, Providence & Boston Railroad (NYP&B)
Pratt through truss
Also called
Thames River Highway Bridge
NH - Great Drawbridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.36315, -72.08633   (decimal degrees)
41°21'47" N, 72°05'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/743708/4583168 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
New London
Inventory number
BH 62472 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • June 2, 2021: Updated by Chester Gehman: Renamed bridge and added description.
  • April 12, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • May 4, 2020: New photos from Geoff Hubbs
  • June 10, 2017: New photo from Dave King
  • June 10, 2017: Updated by Luke: Noted conversion to road use
  • June 9, 2017: Added by Dave King
  • August 15, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 13, 2014: Added by Luke

Related Bridges 


  • Luke
  • Douglas Butler
  • Dave King - DKinghawkfan [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Good Roads Volume 59 - Book
  • Chester Gehman - gehmanc2000 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs