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Astounding Railway Bridges

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Causey _Arch -Railway -Bridge

Where would railways and locomotives be without bridges? Going nowhere fast!

Arguably the Steam locomotives engineering equal the Railway bridge is an essential part of the transport system.  Every bridge is unique, dictated by the natural features that it must span - therefore a worthy subject for a blog post!

Image credit: John-Paul Stephenson

The oldest Railway Bridge

Unsurprisingly Britain is the home of the oldest railway bridges in the world (being the birth place of the steam locomotive) but the most aged of them was never used by Steam locomotives!

The Causey Arch in County Durham is the oldest intact single arched railway bridge on the globe, which instead of being designed for trains was for Horse drawn carts on wooden rails transporting coal (on what’s called a “wagon way”)

The bridge was completed in 1726 and, at the time, was the longest single-span bridge in the country with an arch span of 31 metres (102 ft).

(The bridge’s designer actually committed suicide only a year after it’s completion wracked with fear that it would collapse - but it never did!)

Britain holds another bridge-related record - that being for the oldest bridge world’s oldest railway bridge in continuous use.

The Skerne Bridge in Darlington, opened to the public in September 1825, was the first time members of the public could travel by steam train on the legendary Stockton and Darlington Railway, making it the birthplace of today’s modern passenger railway.

The bridge appears in recently discovered plans by George Stephenson, the Father of railways himself, which are on display at  the National Railway Museum in York.

The Highest Railway bridge

The Chenab bridge, only recently completed in April 2021, is the current record holder for highest bridge in the world at almost 360 metres above sea level.

The bridge connects Kashmir to Kanyakumari in a region on the India-Pakistan border and is over 1,300 metre long and 35 metres higher than the Eiffel Tower!

Hot on the heels of the Chenab bridge and previous “highest bridge winner” is China’s Najiehe Railway Bridge which spans the great Wujiang River an eye watering 310 metres (1,017 ft) above the river itself!

Here are some amazing photos of the Najiehe Railway Bridge construction!

Is there anything we should’ve mentioned?

Do you have any thoughts, comments or views on Railway Bridge or other engineering marvels?

Is there anything you think we should have mentioned?

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By Bressingham at 28 Mar 2022, 00:00 AM