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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to replace nearly century-old Thames River Bridge

Amtrak will spend $76 million to replace the 87-year-old Thames River Bridge between New London and Groton, Conn.

The national intercity passenger railroad recently awarded a contract to Cianbro Corp. to complete the two-year project, which calls for replacing the bridge’s bascule lift span. Later this month, workers will begin installing seven new underwater communications and signal submarine cables.

During a 12-day period in fall 2007, crews will remove the bascule lift, or movable center portion of the bridge, and install a 188-foot-long, 35-foot-wide vertical lift. Amtrak will close the bridge for four days, during which time the railroad will provide bus service to passengers catching trains in New York and Boston.

Amtrak workers will help Cianbro relocate the bridge tender’s control house, which contains the electrical controls, machine and back-up engine generator, and install timber ties and tie spacers. Amtrak crews also will install the running rails, guard rails joint bars and tie plates; extend existing power and control cables; monitor installation of a new power control system; replace navigation lights on the bridge; and install lighting on the pier fenders.

Amtrak also plans to replace the Niantic and Miamacock movable bridges in Connecticut during the next 10 years.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/11/2006