Sulphite Railroad Bridge - Franklin, NH
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member NH2beers
N 43° 26.697 W 071° 38.106
19T E 286769 N 4813600
The Sulphite Railroad Bridge, a/k/a The Upside-Down Covered Bridge, Located in Franklin, NH.
Waymark Code: WMDD2R
Location: New Hampshire, United States
Date Posted: 12/27/2011
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member kJfishman
Views: 2

DANGER! STAY OFF THE BRIDGE! The damage caused initially by the fire and the ensuing deterioration caused by exposure to the elements makes any attempt to walk across the bridge very hazardous. The Winnepesaukee River is a very swift moving body of water, something you don't want to fall into, especially in the cold weather months. STAY OFF THE BRIDGE!


The Sulphite Bridge, also known as the Upside-Down Covered Bridge, is a deck covered railroad bridge utilizing the Pratt Truss design. It is on the former Franklin and Tilton Railroad line, spanning the Winnepesaukee River, at milepost 2.86. It has three sections with a total length of 231 feet. A trail-side plaque, on the Winnepesaukee River Trail, tells the story of this remarkable bridge:

"This unusual bridge, built by Robert Fletcher and Jonathan Parker Snow in 1896 for the Boston & Maine Railroad, replaced one erected in 1891-1892 by the Franklin and Tilton Railroad. It uses the Pratt Truss design, where the trusses form the skeleton of the bridge, and the diagonal bars of the wood and iron construction slant down and in toward the center.

The Sulphite Bridge remains as the only deck-covered railroad bridge in the United States.

'Upside Down' refers to the way rail traffic traveled over the top, rather than running through the bridges center.

The bridge's sides were covered over with 7/8" siding, and the ends were closed, protecting the trusses.

How come the name? For decades the International Paper Company used the bridge to ship supplies to its giant paper mills along the Winnepesaukee River. Making paper requires sulfur as an essential ingredient, which gave the Sulphite Bridge it's name. The bridge served local transportation needs until 1973.

A fire, believed to be arson, burned the interior of the bridge on October 27, 1980.

The Sulphite Bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places."


The Sulphite Bridge is No.62 in the New Hampshire List of Covered Bridges. It remains classified as a covered bridge regardless of the fact that the panels are gone because of the fire.

The Sulphite Bridge is under World Guide No. 29-07-09.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation maintains the bridge. According to sources, estimated cost to repair the bridge may be as high as $500,000.

Access to the bridge can be had by taking the Winnepesaukee River Trail. No motor vehicles are allowed on the trail. Parking is available at the Trestle View Park on Central Street (Rt.3) in Franklin, or in Northfield near the train depot. The bridge can be best viewed during the low foliage months.
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parking coordinates: N 43° 26.731 W 071° 38.595

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