Thames River Bridge (Amtrak)

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Thames River Bridge
Thames River Bridge (Connecticut) 101.JPG
Looking east along the bridge, 26 May 2012
Coordinates 41°21′47″N 72°05′15″W / 41.36306°N 72.08750°W / 41.36306; -72.08750
AMTRAK THAMES RIVER BRIDGE Latitude and Longitude:

41°21′47″N 72°05′15″W / 41.36306°N 72.08750°W / 41.36306; -72.08750
Carries Two railroad tracks
Crosses Thames River
Locale New London, Connecticut and Groton, Connecticut
Official name Thames River Bridge
Maintained by Amtrak [1]
Design Truss with bascule opening (opening converted to vertical lift)
Material Steel
Total length 1,389 feet (423 m) [1]
Opened 1919 (renovated 2008)

Amtrak's Thames River Bridge spans from New London to Groton, Connecticut, United States, crossing Connecticut's Thames River.

Design and history

The bridge was originally a Strauss heel-trunnion Warren through-truss bascule design, built in 1919. [1] It was built by the American Bridge Company for the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, replacing a span dating from 1889. In 2008 it underwent a renovation which included the draw span's conversion from a bascule to a vertical-lift mechanism. [2]

As built in 1919, the bridge's abutments and piers were designed to carry a second set of double-track spans, in the event that an expansion to four tracks was ever undertaken at this location by the New Haven Railroad (it never was).


The Virginia-class attack submarine USS Missouri (SSN 780) heads towards the Thames River Bridge as it departs Naval Submarine Base New London for a scheduled deployment.

The bridge opens for marine traffic more than 4 times per day and serves up to 36 passenger trains and two freight trains per day. [1] The bridge sits 29 feet (8.8 m) above mean high water, and the vertical lift span opens to 135 feet (41 m) above MHW and provides 105 feet (32 m) of horizontal clearance. [3]

It is one of eight moveable bridges on the Amtrak route through Connecticut surveyed in one multiple property study in 1986. [4] The eight bridges from west to east, and two other newer ones belonging to Amtrak, are, in order:


Amtrak ... Thames ... River ... Bridge ...



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