Richmond Railway Bridge

Above: in the distance can be seen a train crossing Richmond Railway Bridge.

From Historic England entry:

“The present Richmond Railway Bridge was completed in 1908 and incorporated fabric of the previous bridge of 1848. It was designed by John Wykeham Jacomb-Hood (1859-1914), the chief engineer of the London & South Western Railway, and fabricated and erected by the Horseley Bridge Company in 1906. Jacomb-Hood reused the piers and abutments of the old bridge, although steel rather than iron was used for the new superstructure. In 1984, the main bridge girders and decking were replaced. Despite the series of renewals, the bridge retains the overall appearance of the 1848 structure and a significant proportion of historic fabric survives, including, on the Surrey side, a handsome approach viaduct, the first six arches of which have red brick voussoirs and panelling; the viaduct carries the line across Richmond Old Deer Park and so the decoration was insisted on by the Crown Commissioners, with whom responsibility for the Park lay.

The original Richmond Railway Bridge was built by the Richmond Company from 1846 as part of a six-mile line to Clapham Junction to connect Richmond with Waterloo. The arched girder rail bridge was originally named the Richmond Windsor and Staines Railway Bridge, having been opened as part of the Windsor, Staines and South Western Railway which was quickly taken over by the London and South Western Railway. This original bridge, completed in 1848, was designed by the engineer Joseph Locke (1805-60) with J E Errington (1806-62) and erected by the renowned contractor Thomas Brassey (1805-70). However, the collapse of a similar cast-iron beam bridge near Norbury Junction in 1891 prompted concern over the safety of this original bridge, resulting in its eventual replacement. Locke and Errington’s 1848 bridge was notable for being one of the first railway bridges to cross the Thames. The initial phase of railway expansion in the 1840s had little impact on the Thames, in part because a parliamentary prohibition on surface railways in central London. The ban was lifted in 1846 but by this time the distinctive ring of railway termini around central London had been built and there was little financial incentive for companies to link the north and south banks. The first railway crossings were therefore built in outlying districts: the first, Barnes, was complete by 1848 (listed Grade II) and this bridge at Richmond followed soon after.”

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