Lyman Viaduct

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Lyman Viaduct
Lyman viaduct pacific railway 1876.JPG
Lyman Viaduct is located in Connecticut
Lyman Viaduct
Lyman Viaduct
Lyman Viaduct is located in the US
Lyman Viaduct
Lyman Viaduct
Location Dickinson Creek and former Air Line RR right-of-way, Colchester, Connecticut
Coordinates 41°33′49″N 72°27′8″W / 41.56361°N 72.45222°W / 41.56361; -72.45222Coordinates: 41°33′49″N 72°27′8″W / 41.56361°N 72.45222°W / 41.56361; -72.45222
Area 1 acre (0.40 ha)
Built 1873
Built by Phoenix Iron Works
Architect Serrell, Edward W., Air Line Railroad
NRHP Reference # 86002729
Added to NRHP August 21, 1986

The Lyman Viaduct is a buried railroad trestle built over Dickinson Creek in Colchester, Connecticut in 1873. It is a wrought iron post deck truss design and originally carried a single track. The viaduct was built by Phoenix Iron Works for the Air Line Railroad, and was 1,112 feet (339 m) long and 137 feet (42 m) high. The viaduct trestle was buried in sand and covered in cinder rocks in 1913.[1]

View of the top of the filled-over viaduct, 2016

Passenger train traffic peaked on the Air Line route in the 1880s and 1890s, but the winding course and speed limitations of the Air Line could not compete with the Shore Line Railway, a faster route following the shore of Long Island Sound. At the beginning of the 20th century the viaduct was still used for local passenger trains and freight trains, but the increasing weight requirements for freight trains led to a large construction project at the site beginning in 1912. To stabilize and strengthen the creek crossing, the viaduct was filled with sand and the trestle was covered with cinders. The rail line suffered major disruptions from flooding in 1955, and the Air Line was abandoned in the 1960s.[2]

The Air Line route later was converted to the Air Line State Park Trail.[2] The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b U.S National Park Service (1986). "Lyman Viaduct." National Register of Historic Places Inventory—Nomination Form. Entered 1986-08-21. Reference No. 86002729.
  2. ^ a b Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. "Air Line State Park Trail: Overview." Accessed 2012-11-25.