Railway Structures

Wood was used for some early railway structures, because it was readily available, cheap and easily worked. However, it was not particularly durable and very few timber bridges remain in use on Britain's railways.

The two principal timber structures in the south of England were Dover viaduct, which took the South Eastern main line across the beach east of Shakespeare Tunnel, and Langstone viaduct on the Hayling Island branch. The Dover viaduct was one of a number of timber bridges on the South Eastern main line, all of which have been rebuilt in more durable materials.

Dover viaduct was replaced by a sea wall in the 1920s, but Langstone viaduct survived until closure of the railway to Hayling Island in 1963.

Esher footbridge Esher footbridge, photographed on 10th May 2009.

photograph by Gregory Beecroft

The footbridge at Esher station is a rare example of a modern railway bridge, with timber structural elements.

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This page was created 8 January 2010

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