The Melrose Trolley Trestle

 As I was building my map of the Connecticut Central Railroad for our last blog, I stumbled upon an abandoned right of way that was too interesting to not share! More accurately, a trestle of the Hartford and Springfield Street Railway that once ran over the former Melrose Station on the Connecticut Central Line. (Present-day satellite view)

The interurban line ran from Windsor Locks, CT to Rockville, CT along what is mostly present day CT-140 and CT-83. 

Melrose Trolley Trestle in the foreground with the Melrose Station in the background. University of Connecticut Archives.

The bridge is described as follows by Cecil Donahue in East Windsor, "The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad tracks running through Melrose hindered a trolley line to Rockville. A 500-foot-long trestle, known as a "roller coaster” trestle, was installed to span the tracks, and on May 20, 1906, the Rockville line was open. Although the trestle was of lightweight construction, built by the Berlin Construction Company, the years proved it to be serviceable. To celebrate its opening, free one-way rides from Warehouse Point were provided by the trolley company, and Rockville merchants offered a free return ticket with a purchase above a certain amount. This line was abandoned in 1926. Note the train depot above and the Melrose schoolhouse".

The trestle and explanation on Page 103 of East Windsor part of the Images of America Series.

Trolley Trestle, Melrose, CT, H. A Middleton Photo, University of Connecticut Archives.

As was noted in East Windsor, the bridge's lightweight construction makes it such a fascinating study over 100 years after the fact. You could not build a bridge like this today for a walking trail, let alone an interurban line! Thankfully it nonetheless did not record any accidents. 

Melrose Trolley Trestle and Railroad Station in 1906. Image and caption: East Windsor Historical Society

Further Reading: Hartford & Springfield Street Railway Co.: Diary of a Trolley Road Hardcover by Michael C. DeVito

Thanks as always for reading!


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