Cannon Street bridge, designed by John Wolfe-Barry and John Hawkshaw, has five wrought iron plate spans supported on four groups of cast iron columns in the river. It was originally named Alexandra Bridge, in honour of the Princess of Wales. When completed in 1866 the bridge was 80 feet wide and carried five tracks. The two shore spans are 124 feet and the three over the centre of the river are 136 feet wide. Each river pier comprised four columns. The bridge originally carried a footpath both sides. The upstream path was available for public use from 1872 until 1877; the downstream one was used by staff. The bridge was widened on the upstream side between 1886 and 1893, with two additional columns being added to each group. With a total width of 120 feet it carried ten tracks. Strengthening work was undertaken between 1909 and 1913, additional girders being added, the old ones reinforced and the decking renewed. Since 1974 the bridge has carried just five tracks, plus two sidings. The bridge was substantially rebuilt during the 1980s, with the deck and the crossbeams being replaced. The new crossbeams are supported off concrete collars cast onto the top of the columns, hiding the Doric capitals. The result is a functional but far less elegant structure.
All photographs are copyright
return to the Railway Structures menu
return to picture gallery page
This page was created 11 January 2010