Friday, August 05, 2016

Blackfriars Railway Bridge

London The Unfinished City
St Paul's Railway Bridge & Blackfriars Railway Bridge.

Friday August 5, 2016.

I had always been fascinated by these towering, red, columns sitting beside the new Blackfriars Railway Bridge, but was unsure of what they were. 

Obviously, they were supports for a bridge, but what bridge? And, why they are still there? I decided to find out.

Brief History

Built in 1864, as St Paul's Railway Bridge, these columns formed the support for the London, Chatham and Dover Railway, that once travelled across the River Thames from St Paul's Station. The station went into decline after 1924, when more services began to use Waterloo Station. When St Paul's Station changed its name to Blackfriars, the name of the bridge was changed, too. With a lack of trains, using the bridge, it became too weak to support the modern trains and was demolished, in 1985.

Blackfriars Railway Bridge was completed in 1886 and is made with wrought iron arches, between brick supports. When it was decided to extend the platforms at Blackfriars Station, across the River Thames, some of the original supports of the 1864 bridge were incorporated into the widening of the bridge. 

Blackfriars Railway Bridge is the longest solar powered bridge, of which there are three, in the world.

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