Copyright Roy Hart Many thanks Roy
Fact finding tour
Girder Bridge Demolition
The condition of the bridge was, I believe, given as the main reason for 'dequadrifying' the four-track section from Dr Day's Junction to Filton Junction. Also, of course, in the early 1980s when that decision was made nowhere near as many trains used the local Bristol rail network which was still in decline through the effects of the then economic recession. Improved motorway links (the M32 passes through the area close by) also caused traffic to be lost. Remember the BTM-Severn Beach service being almost totally in the hands of a single class 121 'bubble car?
I for one will miss the 3 span bridge as it is very much a part of the railway heritage of Bristol and a reminder of a now departed age in heavy engineering. I recall one of the last times I travelled over the structure. This was on January 3rd 1984 when returning from Birmingham New Street to Temple Meads on a 1307 York-Plymouth relief train hauled by 37263. The bridge always 'rattled' as trains passed through, especially at high speeds and this was exactly such an occasion! My last trip over it was, appropriately, on the last day it carried scheduled services, Saturday February 18th 1984. This was behind 45141 on the 1V95 1935 Birmingham New Street-Bristol Temple Meads.
Another source of very interesting information is the RM Web site, 'Western Region 1980s freight - West of England division'. Some excellent photos and recollections of the railway we all miss, not only around Bristol but, as the title suggests, covering the west country as a whole.
A similar recent casualty was the large girder bridge at the west end of Newport station which was replaced last year.
As usual a very comprehensive and interesting article - many thanks Guy
The Cornwall Railway Society will be riding Cornwall this coming Saturday 29th July 2017.
Details are available on the Outdoor Events page