Royal Albert Bridge

Railway bridge spanning the River Tamar in southwest England / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Royal Albert Bridge is a railway bridge which spans the River Tamar in England between Plymouth, Devon and Saltash, Cornwall. Its unique design consists of two 455-foot (138.7 m) lenticular iron trusses 100 feet (30.5 m) above the water, with conventional plate-girder approach spans. This gives it a total length of 2,187.5 feet (666.8 m). It carries the Cornish Main Line railway in and out of Cornwall. It is adjacent to the Tamar Bridge which opened in 1962 to carry the A38 road.

Quick facts: Royal Albert Bridge, Coordinates, Carries, Cr...
Royal Albert Bridge
Coordinates50°24′27″N 4°12′12″W
CrossesRiver Tamar
LocaleBetween Plymouth and Saltash,
United Kingdom
Maintained byNetwork Rail
DesignLenticular truss
Total length2,187.5 feet (666.8 m)
Width16.83 feet (5.13 m) (inside piers)
Height172 feet (52.4 m)
Longest span2 of 455 feet (138.7 m)
No. of spans19
Piers in water3
Clearance below100 feet (30 m)
DesignerI K Brunel
Construction startMay 1854
Construction endApril 1859
Opened2 May 1859
Listed Building – Grade I
Official nameRoyal Albert Bridge and seventeen approach spans
Designated17 January 1952
Reference no.1159292

The Royal Albert Bridge was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.[1] Surveying started in 1848 and construction commenced in 1854. The first main span was positioned in 1857 and the completed bridge was opened by Prince Albert on 2 May 1859. Brunel died later that year and his name was then placed above the portals at either end of the bridge as a memorial. During the 20th century the approach spans were replaced, and the main spans strengthened. It has attracted sightseers since its construction and has appeared in many paintings, photographs, guidebooks, postage stamps and on the UK £2 coin. Anniversary celebrations took place in 1959 and 2009.