Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bath Spa Railway Bridges

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Bridge over the River Avon, immediately west of Bath Spa station
Immediately west of the River Avon bridge is a lengthy viaduct, starting with this somewaht modified Gothic creation by I K Brunel. Unattented saplings are intent on causing further modification.
East bridge
She was beautiful, once. East bridge
East bridge. Despite indications to the contrary, this still carries a vital main line

The railway through Bath Spa railway station is partly elevated, necessitating a variety of bridges and viaducts.

Immediately west of the station is a very heavily-skewed lattice girder bridge. This replaced I. K. Brunel's attractive 1840s bridge, which was of unusual construction. Contemporary photographs show what appears to be a typical cast iron double span arch bridge. However, contractural problems prevented an iron bridge being procured, so Brunel designed a structure predominantly made of wood, having two spans with six arches each, laminated from five layers of 6" Memel (Baltic) timber, treated by Kyanising. The spandrels above the outermost arches were ornamental iron castings with a Gothic theme, but elsewhere timber supports were provided between the arches and the deck. The ends of the ribs sat in cast iron 'shoes', and the whole structure was provided with wrought iron ties, the largest being horizontal tie bars set a short distance above the ends of the arches. These were provided with vertical tie bars to minimise sagging.[1]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 'Brunel's Timber Bridges and Viaducts' by Brian Lewis, Ian Allan Publishing, 2007, pp.33-5