Windsor Railway Bridge

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Windsor Railway Bridge
The wrought iron railway bridge
downstream side, looking towards Windsor
Carries Slough to Windsor & Eton line
Crosses River Thames
Locale Windsor
Designer Brunel
Design Tied arch
Material Wrought iron
Width 202 feet (62 m) [1]
Height 17 feet 9 inches (5.41 m) [2]
Number of spans 1
Opened 1849 [1]

Windsor Railway Bridge is a wrought iron 'tied arch' [3] bridge in Windsor, Berkshire. It was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and carried Brunel's Great Western Railway (GWR) branch line from Slough to Windsor (Windsor and Eton Central station). It crosses the River Thames between Romney Lock and Boveney Lock.

The bridge is a single-span structure with three bowstring trusses which created two bays for the original two GWR tracks. The bridge is the world's oldest wrought iron bridge still in regular service.[4] It is a forerunner for Brunel's last masterpiece, the Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash.[1] The bridge was Grade II* listed in 1975.[1]

The line opened in 1849. The construction of the line was delayed and could not be included in the original Parliamentary Act because of objections from the Provost of Eton College. The brick viaduct was constructed between 1861–65 to replace the original wooden trestle viaduct.

Although the bridge was built to take two tracks, the track on the upstream side was removed when the line was rationalised in the 1960s. The trackbed on this side now carries a sewage or water main pipe.

References[change | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Images of England — details from listed building database (40391) (Accessed 2008-09-16)
  2. River Thames Alliance. Bridge heights on the River Thames.
  3. 'tied arch' = so-called 'bow and string' bridge
  4. Isambard Kingdom Brunel