Conwy Railway Bridge
The Conwy Railway Bridge carries the North Wales coast railway line across the River Conwy between Llandudno Junction and the town of Conwy. The wrought iron tubular bridge was built by Robert Stephenson to a design by William Fairbairn, and is similar in construction to Stephenson's other famous tubular bridge, the Britannia Bridge across the Menai Strait. The hydraulic engines used to lift the bridge girder into place were constructed by Easton & Amos. It was officially opened in 1849, but had been completed in 1848. Being the first tubular bridge to be built, the design needed much testing on prototypes to confirm that it would be capable of carrying heavy locomotives, the testing being performed by Fairbairn. The successful result enabled the much larger Britannia bridge to be built. The current bridge has been reinforced by extra columns under the bridge into the river, but is otherwise virtually unchanged since it was built.
Since the destruction by fire of Britannia Bridge in 1970, Conwy railway bridge remains the only surviving example of this means of construction undertaken by Stephenson.
The Conwy railway bridge runs parallel to an elegant suspension bridge built by Thomas Telford, which is now in the care of the National Trust, and is open to pedestrians only. These crossings of the Conwy resemble in miniature the two greater crossings of the Menai Strait.
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- On-line copies
- Luke Hebert, ed. (1849). The Iron Tubular Bridge Over The River Conway. The Engineer's and Mechanic's Encyclopaedia. Vol 1 (2nd ed.). Thomas Kelly.
- Aerial photo
- Local tourist information
- General description of the Britannia and Conway tubular bridges on the Chester and Holyhead Railway, 1849, from Google Book Search