Railway Structures
Brick bridges: Segmental arches

The soffit of a segmental arch describes an arc being less than a semi-circle and makes an angle with the face of the abutments. It has the advantages of an elliptical arch, but is easier to construct. The rise between the springing point and the crown of the arch need not be very great, so there is good clearance over the full width of the span.
Frimley High Street bridge Frimley High Street bridge, Frimley, photographed on 15th March 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Mill Lane bridge, Leatherhead, photographed on 26th April 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Mill Lane bridge, Leatherhead
Bermondsey Street bridge, London Bridge Bermondsey Street bridge, London Bridge, photographed on 14th October 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

This skewed, segmental arch at Bermondsey Street supports London Bridge signalbox

Eythorne Road bridge, Shepherds Well, is supported off the chalk cutting sides. The north portal of Lydden Tunnel can be seen behind. Photographed on 3rd April 2011.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Eythorne Road bridge, Shepherds Well

Most segmental arches spring from vertical abutments. However, the East Kent Railway constructed quite a few where the arch is built directly out of the cutting side. These are found particularly between Swanley and Sole Street and Faversham and Dover, where the railway runs through chalk cuttings.

Manor Road bridge, Longfield Hill Manor Road bridge, Longfield Hill, photographed on 30th September 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Manor Road bridge spans the cutting at Longfield Hill, between Longfield and Meopham.

The advantage of segmental arches in saving material resulted in them being constructed where headroom would have allowed round-headed arches.

London Road bridge, East Grinstead, photographed on 14th September 2008.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

London Road bridge, East Grinstead
Bridge 1289, Penge High Street Penge High Street, bridge 1289, Crystal Palace spur, photographed on 11th August 2007.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

Church Lane bridge, which spans the former Uckfield line at Lewes, has similar architectural features to bridge 1289.

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This page was last updated 18 April 2011

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