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Railway Structures
Brick bridges: Skewed bridges

Roads and railway lines frequently crossed at an acute angle, making a skewed bridge necessary.
Skewed brick detail (Leatherhead) Skewed brick detail (Leatherhead), photographed on 26th April 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
Skewed brick detail (Upper Warlingham), photographed on 26th August 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Skewed brick detail (Upper Warlingham)

A skewed arch could be constructed by setting the bricks in the crown at an angle to those in the abutment. The greater the skew, the greater the angle between the bricks.

Bournemouth Road bridge, Chandlers Ford Bournemouth Road bridge, Chandlers Ford, photographed on 18th April 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
Coles Lane bridge, Ockley, photographed on 25th July 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Coles Lane bridge, Ockley

Skewed arches can be round-headed, elliptical or segmental. The shape of a skewed elliptical arch is particularly complex and difficult to set out. Bournemouth Road bridge, Chandlers Ford, has such an arch. Coles Lane bridge at Ockley has a skewed segmental arch.

Station Road bridge, Adisham Station Road bridge, Adisham, photographed on 17th January 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Station Road bridge, Adisham has a skewed, round-headed arch.

St Cross Tunnel, photographed on 18th April 2009, a year before it was demolished.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

St Cross Tunnel
 
St Cross Tunnel St Cross Tunnel.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

St Cross Road crosses over the Bournemouth Main Line at an extremely acute angle south of Winchester, but a skewed arch was avoided here. A lengthy brick bridge was constructed square on to the railway and the road passes over this at an angle, leaving two vacant triangles either side. The railway was covered over for 62 yards, so the structure was treated as a tunnel for operating purposes. This was replaced by a new bridge in 2010, in order to give improved clearance for freight trains. A similar bridge remains in use, taking London Road over the Brighton Line at Balcombe.

Portsmouth Road bridge, Esher, photographed on 22nd September 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Portsmouth Road bridge, Esher

Portsmouth Road Bridge, Esher is an underbridge to the same design. The metal parapet to the left of the road is parallel with the railway tracks

Stocks Green Road bridge, Hildenborough Stocks Green Road bridge, Hildenborough, photographed on 26th May 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
Stocks Green Road bridge, Hildenborough.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Stocks Green Road bridge, Hildenborough

An alternative to building a skewed arch was to construct a bridge comprising a series of offset, square arches. This design is easier to set out and construct, but is quite unusual. The South Eastern Railway built a few bridges to this design, most being between Orpington and Tonbridge. The largest of these is Stocks Green Road bridge at Hildenborough, which demonstrates that water penetration between the arches can be a problem.

Warren Road bridge, Chelsfield Warren Road bridge, Chelsfield, photographed on 26th May 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

 
Erith Road bridge, Barnehurst, photographed on 27th October 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Erith Road bridge, Barnehurst

Shalmsford Street bridge at Chartham is also to this design.

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This page was last updated 13 April 2010

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