3 votes

CN - Back Cove Swing Bridge


Photo taken by Michael Rostenstein

License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)


View this photo on Flickr

BH Photo #273543

Street Views 


Through truss bridge over Back Cove on Abandoned Railroad
Portland, Cumberland County, Maine
Future prospects
Maine's Department of Transportation is preparing to demolish part of a historic railroad bridge in Portland, which groups had hoped to use for restoration of passenger service or a rail trail, because of its continued deterioration after a 1984 fire. The Press-Herald reports the former Grand Trunk Railroad bridge will be torn down at the request of the Board of Maine Harbor Commission, which says pieces of the bridge have fallen into the water and damaged recreational boats, and pose a hazard to commercial shipping. The state DOT plans to demolish the southern portion of the bridge, while leaving a swing bridge and the northern portion. Work will likely begin Nov. 30 and be finished by the end of the year, at an estimated cost of $400,000. (Nov. 23, 2020)
Abandoned 1967, Wooden trestles burned by arsonists in 1984
- Canadian National Railway (CN)
- Grand Trunk Railroad (GT)
Pratt through truss
Also called
GT - Back Cove Swing Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+43.67642, -70.25195   (decimal degrees)
43°40'35" N, 70°15'07" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
19/399081/4836695 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Portland West
Inventory number
BH 59425 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


Abandoned (3,944)
Arsoned (31)
Beam (16,969)
Canadian National Railway (573)
Cumberland County, Maine (92)
Doomed (1,070)
Grand Trunk Railroad (15)
Have street view (29,290)
Maine (846)
Owned by railroad (13,592)
Portland, Maine (16)
Pratt through truss (6,136)
Pratt truss (10,416)
Railroad (16,549)
Through truss (17,287)
Timber stringer (4,351)
Truss (36,054)

Update Log 

  • November 23, 2020: Updated by Alexander D. Mitchell IV: Southern half of bridge slated for demolition in 2021.
  • July 22, 2020: New photos from Patrick Gurwell
  • July 2, 2014: New Street View added by Ralph Demars
  • January 29, 2014: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • January 29, 2014: Photo imported by Brian bartlett
  • January 28, 2014: Added by Luke Harden


  • Luke
  • Douglas Butler
  • Patrick Gurwell - pgurwell [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV


CN - Back Cove Swing Bridge
Posted January 4, 2017, by Anonymous

Bridge was in use through 1980, at least. Grand Trunk equipment was removed by using MEC tracks down Commercial Street following the fire.

CN - Back Cove Swing Bridge
Posted November 11, 2014, by John French (jfrench7 [at] maine [dot] rr [dot] com)

You say the trestles burned in 1984, actually it was the motor/gear house in the middle of the bridge at it's swingpoint that was burned by arsonists. The trestles have rotted away quite nicely on their own. Thanks for posting the photo. John

GT Back Cove Swing Bridge
Posted January 29, 2014, by Anonymous

the wooden trestles were burned in 1984 by arsonists.