John Speller's Web Pages Royal Albert Bridge

John Speller's Web Pages - GWR Broad Gauge

Royal Albert Bridge
The "Gateway to Cornwall," Brunel's great bridge spans the River Tamar between Plymouth, Devon and Saltash, Cornwall, and was the last link in the railway line from Paddington to Penzance. The bridge, consisting of two spans of 455 feet each 100 feet above high water, and with seventeen side spans giving a total length of 734 yards. During World War II the elliptical surface of one of the tubes neatly deflected a direct hit from one of Hitler's bombs, which exploded harmlessly to one side.

On 2 May 2009 Brunel's bridge celebrated its sesquicentennial. A video of the fireworks can be seen here. On 19 September 2010 LNER Gresley "Pacific" No. 60019 "Bittern" became the first "A-4" to visit Cornwall. It is shown here crossing the Royal Albert Bridge on the return trip. A two-year, ten-million-pound, plan to refurbish and strengthen the Royal Albert Bridge began in April 2011.
Two views of the Royal Albert Bridge under construction in 1857
150 years on -- the Royal Albert Bridge in 2009
Engraving from the "Illustrated London News" showing H.R.H. Prince Albert opening the Royal Albert Bridge 2 May 1859. The locomotive was driven by Thomas Tunstall with Sir Daniel Gooch riding shotgun
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