Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Arun Railway Drawbridge

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Constructed in 1846. Replaced in ?

The timber span over the river could be withdrawn to the extent of 63 ft using a rack and pinion system. The total length of the movable span was 144 ft, and it weighed about 70 tons. There were 14 (12?) large wheels supporting the movable span. The span could be traversed by two men and a boy in 4 - 5 minutes. It was designed by John Urpeth Rastrick and constructed by Mr. Butt of Littlehampton.[1]. Note that the 'tower' seen in the illustration was part of the moving structure.

A more comprehensive description, with part of a diagram, shows that the wheels had a single flange, like railway wheels, and were attached to the fixed structure. The diagonal trussses could be re-tensioned using turnbuckles[2]

Note: Rastrick also designed another drawbridge for the Brighton, Lewes and Hastings Railway, crossing the Ouse at Southerham Corner[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Illustrated London News, 14 November 1846
  2. [2] The Civil Engineer and Architect's Journal, Volume 8, p.269 and Plate XXI
  3. [3]Herapath's Railway and Commercial Journal, Vol VIII, 1846