If you read Rolt’s biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, you get the impression that the engineer was not a totally serious man without any sense of whimsy or humour.
A few weeks ago I read something about his last design, the unique Three Bridges, which arranges a road above a canal, above a railway. So I just had to visit.
Unfortunately, you can’t take photographs from the railway, but you almost get the impression, that Brunel intended to leave behind something by which he would be remembered. This Google Map shows the layout.
The railway is the freight only Brentford Branch Line.
On my trip to Scotland, I spent two nights in the Premier Inn in Stirling, which unlike many budget hotels is close to the station. Access between Stirling station and the hotel was over the impressive Forthside bridge.
As Stirling has frequent trains to both Edinburgh and Glasgow and myriad places in between, the city could be an convenient place to stay depending on where you want to visit.
The Charles Bridge across the Vitava River is rightly famous.
It was extremely busy, as the pictures show.
I walked across the Thames on the the Golden Jubilee Bridges today in the sun.
I think it’s one of the first times, I walked across the upstream bridge on the House of Commons side.
I like this pair of bridges and to me, they are much better than the wobbly bridge.
They also don’t wobble!
You don’t see many lift bridges these days and until a few days ago, I hadn’t realised that this one was there on the Greenwich Rail Line over Deptford Creek.
This report in East London Lines gives details on the current state of the bridge. This is an extract.
The bridge has not been used in several decades and the lifting section was welded shut into ‘down’ position over 10 years ago.
Locally the bridge is a popular sight as well a visual reminder of Deptford’s industrial heritage. The rumours did not go down well with some residents.
The rumours were about demolishing the bridge.
I doubt that will happen.
There are actually three bridges at Blackfriars; a road bridge, a rail bridge with a station on top and between them the remains of an older rail bridge. This Google Earth image shows the three bridges.
From the East or right, they are in order.
1. This is the newer Blackfriars railway bridge, with its station, covered in a solar room, on top.
2. The pairs of dots beside the station are the columns of the older Blackfriars railway bridge, which has been demolished.
3. This is the Blackfriars Bridge.
These pictures were taken as I walked past the bridges from east to west.
Note how the two bridges in use are impressive structures.
I’ve often thought that the redundant piers must have a sensible use. But what?
I just had to put a link to this article on Rail Engineer, which is entitled Scarborough Bridge – Monte Carlo Or Bust.
It describes how the bridge that takes the York Scarborough railway line over the River Ouse in the medieval heart of York, was replaced over the half-term weekend in February, at a cost of six million pounds. This Google Earth image shows the centre of York.
The bridge is the one at the left of the image, with the station below it.
It was choreographed to an amazing degree and used three enormous mobile cranes squeezed into the car park by the bridge on the north bank of the river. Luckily the wind and the weather were kind and the project was completed on time. Perhaps, the most strange aspect of the project is told in this paragraph.
And then we should take our hats off to team member Eamon McAuley who literally built the bridge single-handed…albeit in Lego. It was remarkably detailed – including the track layout and little orange men with chainsaws – and could be deconstructed and rebuilt to follow the lifting sequence. Sitting as a centrepiece in the conference room, it proved more useful than a PowerPoint when explaining the challenges to visitors and stakeholders.
Anybody who said engineering isn’t fun, should hang their head in shame.
I took these pictures as my train from Edinburgh to Newcastle crossed the border into England on the Royal Border Bridge.
This Google Earth image shows the three major bridges in the area and Berwick-upon-Tweed station above the town.
Note how you can make out the arches of the railway viaduct in the image.