Patricroft Rail Bridge Over The Bridgewater Canal - Patricroft, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member dtrebilc
N 53° 29.089 W 002° 21.593
30U E 542475 N 5926394
Quick Description: This historic arch railway bridge was built to carry the world's first inter-city passenger railway over Britain's first major industrial canal.
Location: North West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 12/4/2014 12:47:30 PM
Waymark Code: WMN0WY
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 0

Long Description:

The Bridgewater Canal
"The Bridgewater Canal connects Runcorn, Manchester and Leigh, in North West England. It was commissioned by Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to Manchester. It was opened in 1761 from Worsley to Manchester, and later extended from Manchester to Runcorn, and then from Worsley to Leigh.

Often considered to be the first "true" canal in England, as it relied upon existing watercourses as sources of water rather than as navigable routes. Navigable throughout its history, it is one of the few canals in Britain not to have been nationalised, and remains privately owned. Pleasure craft now use the canal which forms part of the Cheshire Ring network of canals." link

The Liverpool and Manchester Railway
"The Liverpool and Manchester Railway[1][2][3] (L&MR) was a railway opened on 15 September 1830 between the North West England towns of Liverpool and Manchester in the United Kingdom.[4] It was, in several crucial respects, the first modern railway: the first to rely exclusively on steam power, with no horse-drawn traffic permitted at any time; the first to be entirely double track throughout its length; the first to have a signalling system; the first to be fully timetabled; the first to be powered entirely by its own motive power; and the first to carry mail.[5] John B. Jervis of the Delaware and Hudson Railway some years later wrote: "It must be regarded ... as opening the epoch of railways which has revolutionised the social and commercial intercourse of the civilized world".[6] Trains were hauled by company steam locomotives between the two towns, though private wagons and carriages were allowed. Cable hauling of freight trains was down the steeply-graded 1.26-mile Wapping Tunnel to Liverpool Docks from Edge Hill junction. The railway was primarily built to provide faster transport of raw materials, finished goods and passengers between the Port of Liverpool and mills in Manchester and surrounding towns." link

The bridge
The arch bridge was designed by the famous railway architect George Stephenson. It has two arches, a wide one across the canal and tow path and a second narrower one across a road next to the canal. Although the railway heralded the replacement of animal powered transport, canal boats at this time were still towed by horses. Because the bridge is on a slight bend in the canal, the tow ropes used to brush against the side of the bridge and it still has deep grooves in the stone work today.

The area around the bridge had at one time a number of large mills, but industry has now declined in the area. Considering the historical importance of the bridge and canal there is nothing on the bridge itself to indicate its history. However the tow path along the Bridgewater Canal is slowly being improved to encourage cyclists and pedestrians to use the canal as a leisure facility. A nearby sign erected as part of this improvement work has the following information.
At this point the world's first all steam passenger railway, the 1830
Liverpool - Manchester railway, crosses the first arterial canal which
was opened in 1761. The oldest part of the railway bridge was
designed by the famous George Stephenson
As indicated by this information the bridge was subsequently replaced with a newer girder bridge and this is the only part that is still in use. This arch bridge no longer carries trains.

What type of traffic does this bridge support?: Railroad

What kind of gap does this bridge cross?:
The Bridgewater Canal and a road next to the canal.


Date constructed: 1830

Is the bridge still in service for its original purpose?: The arch bridge is no longer used, but the newer girder part is still used.

Name of road or trail the bridge services: Originally the Liverpool To Manchester Rail Line

Location:
Patricroft, Greater Manchester


Length of bridge: Not listed

Height of bridge: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Please submit a photo(s) taken by you of your visit to the location (non-copyrighted photos only). GPS photos are also accepted with the location in the background, and old vacation photos are accepted. If you are not able to provide a photo, then please describe your visit or give a story about the visit. If the bridge location prevents you from taking a safe photograph, then please do not stop to take the photo. Safety is more important.
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