What Did The Auburn Riverwalk Bridge Look Like When Trains Crossed It?
Auburn Riverwalk which runs from Great Falls to Bonney Park is a popular walking trail for people and visitors to the twin cities of Lewiston/Auburn that runs along the Androscoggin River. Even on rainy or cloudy days, you'll see people walking or jogging on the trail that runs 1.6 miles through Lewiston/Auburn's historic mill district, where manufacturing plants lined the Androscoggin River.
YouTuber "Ernie's Journeys" took a walk along the Auburn Riverwalk on a cloudy day, and shows a good view of the over 100-year-old rail trestle. Built in 1909 as part of the Grand Trunk railroad, the trestle was used by the Grand Trunk Railroad which serviced the mills in the area by running from Lewiston Junction, across the trestle and stopping at the rail depot on Lincoln Street.
All that remains of the former railyard is a little bit of track, the rail trestle and the depot which now has been converted to a restaurant.
Simard-Payne Memorial Park sits on the space of the rail yard of the railroad that connected Montreal and Lewiston, allowing french speaking Canadians to come to Lewiston to find work in the mill district. You can still see the faint signs of where the rails ran in this Google Maps satellite view of the park.
The rail trestle that still stands is a place many people will stop to take a look over the Androscoggin, providing beautiful scenic views between the two cities. But have you ever wondered what it looked like what big steam locomotive traveled across the trestle?
This photo of Grand Trunk steam locomotive #3704 posted on the Maine HistoryPix Facebook page was taken in 1956, just before the end of steam era. The train is making its turn toward the trestle seen in the background to cross the river in Lewiston.
The park is beautiful, but the history of what this place once was made Lewiston-Auburn what it is today.