SEmG

Railway Structures
Glossary

Arch. See the Brick pages for details of different types of arch.

Abutment: The structure, usually of brick, concrete or masonry, which supports a bridge span or arch. Depending on location, it often retains the adjacent land as well.

Batter: The slope of a structure back from its base. If a s tructure is described as 'battered' it means that it slopes back.

Buttress: A projection from a wall, to give additional strength by resisting outward thrust.

Corbel: A bracket supporting a beam or arch.

Crown: The top of an arch opening.

Cutwater: A projection from the base of a bridge pier, to assist the flow of water round it.

Dentil: Rectangular, usually square, blocks underneath a string course of other projection from a wall.

Footing: The foundation of a structure.

Impost: A horizontal, projecting band of brick or stone immediately below the springing point of an arch.

Abutment
Abutment
Buttress
Buttress
Corbel
Corbel
Cutwater
Cutwater
Dentil
Dentil
Impost
Impost

Keystone: The central stone at the crown of an arch, which is usually more prominent than the others. Arches with brick rings do not usually have a keystone.

Panel: A shallow recess in a wall.

Parapet: Wall either side of a bridge deck, provided to prevent users from falling off. Usually of brick, concrete or masonry, but may be of wrought iron or steel, particularly on plate girder bridges.

Pier: Intermediate support for a bridge deck or adjacent arches.

Pilaster: A projection from a wall. Pilasters are usually shallow and only decorative.

Quoin: Large (usually) decorative stones or contrasting brickwork at the corner of a structure.

Keystone
Keystone
Panel
Panel
Parapet
Parapet
Pier
Pier
Pilaster
Pilaster
Quoin
Quoin

Soffit: The curved lower surface of an arch.

Spandrel: The approximately triangular part of the face of an arch, above the arch rings and below the deck.

Spring or Springing Point: The point where the curve of an arch launches from the abutment or pier.

String Course: A band of brick or masonry projecting from a wall. String courses are usually horizontal, but may be curved to follow the profile of an arch.

Voussoir: A stone forming part of the ring of an arch.

Wing wall: Walls projecting from a bridge or tunnel mouth, to retain earthworks.

Soffit
Soffit
Spandrel
Spandrel
String Course
String Course
Voussoir
Voussoir
Wing wall
Wing wall

All photographs are copyright Gregory Beecroft

return to the Railway Structures menu

return to picture gallery page

This page was created 24 January 2010

SR Target

Valid CSS!    Valid HTML 4.01!