Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge at Walcott, VT.

Looking southeast at the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge
Looking southeast at the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge.

  The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge was built in 1908, and spans the Lamoille River near Walcott, Vermont. It was built by the St. Johnsbury and Lamoille County Railroad. It saw use as a railroad bridge until 1994. Today, the bridge is being converted for recreational use as part of the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

The northeast side of the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge and the Lamoille River
The northeast side of the bridge and the Lamoille River.

  The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge is an example of Itheil Town's lattice truss design and features a double-web lattice. A lattice bridge uses small, diagonal supports that form a lattice. Town's lattice design distributed the load across all of the supports, which allowed for the use of lighter-weight wood. The bridge is one of four surviving double-web Town lattice truss bridges in the United States. The other three bridges are Pier Bridge, Wright's Bridge, Contoocook Railroad Bridge. The other three bridges are all located in the state of New Hampshire.

The inside of the double-web Town lattice bridge. The steel girders allowed for heavier trains to use the bridge.
The inside of the double-web Town lattice bridge. The steel girders allowed for heavier trains to use the bridge.

  The covered bridge was almost torn down in 1968 because it couldn't support the weight of newer, heavier trains. Instead of being torn down the rail deck was replaced with steel girders and a pier to support them. This allowed the bridge to carry heavier trains.

The cupola of the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge
The cupola of the Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge.

  The bridge also has a full-length cupola, allowing smoke from steam locomotives to be vented from the bridge. It is the only surviving bridge featuring a full-length cupola.

Photographs taken on July 2, 2022, at Walcott, Vermont.

Comments

  1. Never seen a covered rail bridge before, lots of covered road bridges though.

    What was the rationale for covering them?

    Glad it is being put to good use, hope the vandals leave it alone

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to admit that this was the first one I had seen as well. Don't quote me on this, but I believe the cover was to help protect the wooden structure.

      Delete
  2. Interesting about the lattice work being for ability to use lighter woods. Interesting about the cupola as well. Neat find. That will be a great trail when done. Really nice photos. I too have never seen a railroad one, great find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shelly. Glad you found it interesting.

      Delete

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