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Railway Structures
A selection of unusual structures....

A27 bridge, Havant The bridge taking the A27 Havant Bypass over the already-closed Hayling Island branch, photographed on 22nd August 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

The Havant Bypass was completed in 1965, including this fine brick and concrete bridge which spans the former line to Hayling Island. There is space for two tracks, even though the branch was a single line. It is a pity that the branch had closed two years earlier!

Peasmarsh bridge without a railway, photographed on 20th September 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Peasmarsh bridge
 
Peasmarsh bridge Peasmarsh bridge without a railway.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

This is a bridge on a railway that never opened. The promoters of the Direct Portsmouth Line from Godalming to Havant hoped that the South Eastern Railway might work their line. They obtained powers in 1854 to build a railway from Godalming to connect with the South Eastern at Shalford. However, the only part to be built was a south-facing curve from Shalford to the London & South Western Railway's Godalming branch. The South Eastern declined to work the Portsmouth line, so this curve was never used. The timber trestle bridge over the River Wey was soon removed, but this brick arch still stands, about half way between the river and the site of the junction with the LSWR. The parapet has collapsed on the west side.

Westhumble Street bridge at Box Hill & Westhumble, photographed on 26th April 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Westhumble Street bridge at Boxhill & Westhumble
 
Westhumble Street bridge at Boxhill & Westhumble Westhumble Street bridge at Box Hill & Westhumble.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Westhumble Street bridge at Box Hill & Westhumble appears at first glance to be a skewed segmental arch bridge, but the brick arches support little more than the parapets. The carriageway is carried on beams, apparently of cast iron.

 
Pierced spandrels on the footbridge at Waddon, photographed on 30th January 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Waddon footbridge

Pierced spandrels are sometimes found in decorative structures, but are unusual in railway bridges. Rainbow Hill bridge, Worcester, is probably the best-known railway example, with a single round opening through each spandrel. The spandrels of this brick footbridge between Waddon and West Croydon have three openings. There is a similar bridge over the main line west of Sutton station.

 
Hilsea bridge Bridge Nº5 at Hilsea, photographed on 4th April 2010.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Most railway bridges enable the line to cross a road, waterway or another railway. Bridge Nº5 at Hilsea performs a different function. It takes the railway through Hilsea Lines, a brick and earth defence work along the north side of Portsea Island. Hilsea Lines were built between 1858 and 1871, after the railway had opened, to replace earlier fortifications. The work was immediately obsolete, because late 19th century artillery could have shelled the naval dockyard from Ports Down.

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This page was last updated 9 April 2010

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