Battersea Railway Bridge
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|Battersea Railway Bridge|
Battersea Railway Bridge from the south west
|Heritage status||Grade II* listed structure|
The Battersea Railway Bridge - properly called the Cremorne Bridge, after the pleasure grounds in Chelsea and originally commonly referred to as the Battersea New Bridge - is a bridge across the River Thames in London, between Battersea and Chelsea and forming part of the West London Line of the London Overground from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction.
The bridge was designed by William Baker, chief engineer of the London and North Western Railway, and was opened in March 1863  at a cost of £87,000. It carries two sets of railway lines and consists of five 120-foot (37 m) lattice girder arches set on stone piers. Within Network Rail, this bridge is also referred to as "Chelsea River Bridge" (Engineers Line Reference WLL, Bridge No. 9).
Strictly speaking, this structure may be considered a viaduct as it consists of 5 spans (Network Rail Bridge Book definition).
There is a three-arch brick viaduct on the north side of the bridge, with one arch having been opened to provide a pedestrian route under the railway, as part of the Thames Path. On the south side there are four arches, two of which are used as storage for the residents of a houseboat community located immediately downstream of the bridge, whilst the remaining two allow traffic on the B305 to pass under the rail line.
The bridge was strengthened & refurbished in 1969, and again in 1992. During a high tide in late 2003, the structure was struck by a refuse-barge, and some of the lower structural elements damaged significantly. Until the repairs in early 2004, the up line (normal direction from West Brompton towards Clapham (Latchmere junction)) was blocked to locomotive hauled freight traffic, which in turn caused extensive delays to passenger services on the West London Line. Upon completion of the repairs by Edmund Nuttall Ltd, all restrictions were lifted.
Trains crossing the bridge are subject to a 20/30 mph speed limit (locomotive-hauled traffic is restricted to 20 mph, all other traffic is limited to 30 mph). The lines are bi-directionally signalled in this area; thus each line can be travelled in each direction.
- Loobet, Patrick — Battersea Past, 2002, p49. Historical Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-948667-76-1