Victoria Bridge, Worcestershire
The Victoria Bridge is a 200 ft single span railway bridge crossing the River Severn between Arley and Bewdley in Worcestershire, England. Opened for traffic on 31 January 1861, the original railway line was closed in 1963. The bridge now carries the operational heritage Severn Valley Railway. Its design is almost identical to Albert Edward Bridge which also spans the Severn at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, both having been designed by John Fowler.
Victoria Bridge is a cast iron arch bridge, with four arch ribs each of nine parts bolted together. The arch elements were cast by the Coalbrookdale Company, and the bridge built by the company of Thomas Brassey, Samuel Morton Peto and Edward Betts.
The bridge, being very old, requires a considerable investment for its upkeep, to maintain it for train operations. In 2004, the bridge was closed for six weeks during which it received a significant overhaul, including installation of a new steel deck, and repainting. The deck had previously consisted of secondhand timber sleepers, which were rotting away. The refurbishment work was commended in the 2005 Historic Bridge and Infrastructure Awards by the Institution of Civil Engineers. To preserve the structure the SVR's engineers have placed a 15 mph speed limit over it.
- The bridge was used for filming during sequences of the 1978 film The 39 Steps.
- According to the Severn Valley News, when bridge was reopened after its 2004 overhaul, the celebratory ribbon was cut by a lady by the name of Victoria Bridge.
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- Richard Morriss The Archaeology of Railways, 1999 Tempus Publishing, Stroud. p89
- BBC News, 2004-01-29