In 1849 the Windsor Staines and Richmond Railway sought leave to erect a temporary crossing here and the bridge was opened in 1850. The opening delay was caused by the collapse of one of the piers on the day before inspection. The bridge is supported in the middle by Black Potts Ait. Originally the bridge had ornate cast-iron ribs, but these corroded and were replaced with more utilitarian wrought iron girders, which radically altered the bridge's appearance.
Immediately to the east of the bridge is the Black Potts Railway Viaduct. This had to be provided with substantial protection when the Jubilee River was constructed, as the outfall of this channel passes through the brick arches of the existing Victorian viaduct, just downstream of the Black Potts Railway Bridge.