Bowling Bridge - Bradford, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 47.163 W 001° 44.268
30U E 583157 N 5960457
Quick Description: This railway bridge built to carry a short spur line opened in 1854 and closed in 1964.
Location: Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/2/2014 1:11:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMJVAC
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Crystal Sound
Views: 2

Long Description:
At the time the line was built Bradford had a number of rail lines and stations run by competing railway companies.

Exchange station on the Southern side of the city served Halifax and Manchester to the south west and Leeds to the north east. However it was built as a terminus station with no through route. This meant that trains had to enter the station from the south and then reverse back out. There was a junction to the south of the station where the lines to Leeds and Manchester split.

This short spur line built in 1854 enabled trains to travel between Leeds and Manchester without entering Exchange station. There was also a small station next to this bridge called Bowling Station.

However Bowling Station was not convenient for Bradford City centre and Exchange station continued to be a more popular station and after only 41 years the line and station closed for passenger use in 1895. The line continued to carry goods trains until 1964.

It has been decided to retain the right of way for the railway line in case of future expansion plans. This is despite a viaduct to the south west of here having collapsed and been demolished.

The result of retaining the rights of way meant that when Wakefield Road was widened in 1968, this bridge was widened rather than being demolished even though it was not in use.

The original abutment on the Bowling Junction side was replaced with the concrete pier (in the centre) which also supports the Laisterdyke end of the newer span. The bridge had a metal structure attached to it onto which were fixed lightweight metal panels to give the impression of one bridge and "hide the join". It was also decorated with a picture of an old steam train.

Ever since 1895 trains have had to revert back to entering Bradford and then reversing out again a practice that continues today. The only difference being that Exchange Station has been demolished and a smaller station named Bradford Interchange built just to the south.

This map shows the route of the line to Exchange station and the line that used this bridge.
Original Use: Railroad

Date Built: 8/1/1854

Construction: Iron

Condition: Fair

See this website for more information: [Web Link]

Date Abandoned: 5/4/1964

Bridge Status - Orphaned or Adopted.: Orphaned

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