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There are a number of bridges in and around Birmigham which were mainly built to accommodate the railway system like the Bromford Bridge and others to accommodate highways like the famous Aldridge Road Bridge. In this essay, I will highlight on several bridges along various rivers like Tame and Perry which are in and around Birmingham. Some of these bridges are still in use or have been closed awaiting refurbishment though most of these bridges are no longer in use and have been classified as national ancient sites or listed structures.
Galton Bridge is a canal bridge that serves as a railway station located at Smethwick which is in Midlands, United Kingdom. It was constructed by Thomas Telford in 1829. It spans Telford's Birmingham Canal Navigations New Main Line which holds Roebuck Lane. Birmingham Canal Navigations entails a network of navigable canals connecting Birmingham to Wolverhampton, and eastern Black Country. The canal is then connected to other English channels over a wide range of other points. At the time Galton Bridge was built, its single span of 46 meters was the highest in the world. Although it is currently used by pedestrians only, it used to be a roads bridge. It is listed as a Grade I building. It's situated at the junction of two cross lines: the line from Birmingham Snow Hill to Stourbridge Junction and the line in Stour valley .This bridge has four platforms, two located on either line. London Midland manages and operates the most of the services, with others like Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains Wales. The present station was built in order to replace the nearby Smethwick West station and opened in 1995.This is when the line from Birmingham Snow Hill was reopened. Most people find it convenient to change trains at this station which accounts for most of its trade. Statistics indicate it is only slightly busier than Smethwick Rolfe Street. Trains to Birmingham either split off or go on to Dorridge or Shirley and Stratford-upon-Avon.
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Bromford Bridge also serves as a railway station and was opened by Midland Railway Company in 1896. It was a predecessor to its former, Bromford Forge railway station which had been in operation since 1 June 1843.It served the line into Birmingham New Street from Water Orton and was only used by the nearby racecourse. The platforms were situated on the goods lines whereby the "specials" were brought, away from the rail lines. It was temporarily closed on 9 March 1896 in order to be rebuilt. When the racecourse was closed in 1965, the station was also closed. Bromford Lane at Bromford Bridge now entails a large traffic island built above above the railway and under the M6.
Parkhead Viaduct also serves as a railway terminus located in Dudley which is inWest Midlands, United Kingdom. Originally, it was a wooden structure erected in 1850 for carrying the new Stourbridge-to-Walsall railway over Parkhead. The current viaduct was built by use of bricks in 1880 by encasing the original bridge. It last serviced passenger trains in 1964 and good trains in 1993.Since it is a listed structure, its distinctive arches will be retained when the overhead deck is replaced during the construction of the line from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill.
Perry Bridge, commonly referred to as the crosses River Tame in Perry Barr in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It was built in 1711 by Sir Henry Gough hence one of the most ancient structures. It is classified as an ancient monument and a Grade II listed building. Red sandstone was used for construction in a packhorse style. Ryknild Street, now known as Aldridge Road crossed the river at this point in Roman times. As early as 1509, there was a field, Bridge Meadow, being located near Perry Bridge which necessitated a crossing. Perry Bridge is 50 meters long and 4 meters wide. The parapets rise nearly 1 meter on either side. Currently, only pedestrian traffic is allowed. Handsworth Grammar School features this bridge on its badge. In 1932, a replacement bridge was built in Art Deco style alongside it.
Stambermill Viaduct is located in Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom. It was built across the River Stour in 1850 to carry the railway between Stourbridge and Walsall designed for both passenger trains which operated till 1964 and for freight trains which still use it up to as far as Round Oak Steel Terminal at Brierley Hill. In 1882, a brick structure with 10 arches replaced the wooden trestle viaduct that had been built in 1852 on the far side.
The Tame Bridge was built in 1990 and renamed after the underway river Tame. It is located at the extreme end of Bescot yard from Bescot Stadium station on the rail line to Birmingham. The station is managed and operated by London Midland and Wrexham and Shropshire. It is found on the Walsall Line 14 north of Birmingham New Street which was formerly part of Grand Junction Railway which was opened in 1837.It opened in 1990 and had been built at a cost of £600,000. It can be accessed by both pedestrians and vehicles via the A4031 Walsall Road. Only two platforms are in use at the station. London Midland operates all services including local and foreign freight services.
On 28 April 2008, Wrexham and Shropshire also began operations and started a daily service running between Wrexham and London Marylebone. On weekdays, a total of ten trains run in directions, four on Saturdays and three on Sundays.
Great Bridge south served as a railway station and was unique since it was the only station linking the South Staffordshire Line to Birmingham Snow Hill-Wolverhampton Low Level Line. It was opened in 1866. Like other passenger stations, it closed in the First World War but reopened in 1920 and remained in operation until British Rail company closed the station via the Beeching Axe in 1964.Despite existence of a similar named station, it was only renamed after nationalization in 1950.
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Great Bridge North also served as a railway station on the Southern Staffordshire Line. It was opened in 1850. Like Great Bridge South, British Rail closed the station through the Beeching Axe in 1964. The station was constructed and operated by South Staffordshire Railway, which was later renamed London, Midland and Scottish Railway through amalgamation between London and North Western Railway. Despite existence of a similar named station since 1866, this station and the Great Western Railway which was run by a British company and linked London with Wales and South West United Kingdom were only renamed after nationalization in 1950 till its closure in 1964.Until 1993 ,freight trains continued to pass through the site, by which time there was no more trace of the site. Founded in 1833, Great Western Railway was first legitimized in 1835 through an act of Parliament. The first freight trains ran in1838. Isambard Kingdom Brunel engineered the whole rail using a broad gauge of 7 ft 0 1⁄4 in. Since 1854, a series of merges saw it also operate 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in standard-gauge rails which were continuously installed till 1892.
There is Farmer's Bridge in Birmingham, United Kingdom. It was constructed as a gate to the starting point of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. It holds Lock number 9 on which runs under Newhall Street. It contains a lock on either side of the gate. Others include Erdington Hall Bridge and Aston Road Bridge on the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. These bridges are very useful either as road crossing lines, railway terminus or lock gates. (National Rail Enquiries), (Zig-Zag Bridge Myth), (Hodges) (U.K) (Locks)