The Wachusett Dam & Resrvoir

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The West Street Bridge

(B&M Bridge #140)

West Street Bridge, Berlin (B&M #140)

Photo Courtesy Berlin Historical Commission

The Massachusetts Central Railroad (later, the Central Massachusetts Railroad) was built to run from Boston to Oakdale and, ultimately, Northampton, Mass. 

Along the route this huge bridge carried passenger and freight traffic through (and over) West Street in Berlin.

In reality it was five separate bridge spans (sitting on six piers) together spanning 440 feet across a mill pond, a railroad track and a busy five-corner road intersection.

It stood for decades, until the advent of the automobile, ended its usefulness. It was finally taken down in the 1960s (just before I received a driver’s license) so most people driving today will not remember having seeing it.

The railroad passed through the Nashua River Valley and was scheduled to be submerged by the new Wachusett Reservoir.

In 1903, the portion of the road that ran through the valley was relocated to a new route through Clinton.

This bridge structure could not have been disturbed so it became the anchor for the relocation. The very first railroad curve of the relocation departed the main line just beyond the end abutment of the bridge (at rear in the photo).

Soon, that route will become part of the Mass Central Rail Trail. A bicycle/pedestrian replacement structure for this bridge will be a part of it.

Thanks,

Paul

#1455 Eastbound at West St. Bridge

West St. Bridge (B&M #140) 

Courtesy Berlin Jon Gilman, Belmont, MA

Courtesy Berlin Historical Commission

The West Street Bridge (B&M Bridge #140)

Back in the day

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