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Fairfield Street Bridge, M&BR
Fairfield Street, near Piccadilly Station, Manchester, UK
Fairfield Street Bridge, M&BR
associated engineer
George Watson Buck
date  8th May 1842, 1958 - 1959
era  Victorian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SJ851977
ICE reference number  HEW 1149
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
Piccadilly Station, then called Manchester Store Street, was the terminus for the Manchester & Birmingham Railway, an early standard gauge line that is now part of the West Coast Main Line. This skew bridge (CMP2) over Fairfield Street carried the railway into the station, where it joined the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway. Its cast iron arches are now encased in concrete.
George Buck's original bridge construction consists of ten cast iron arch ribs with a rise of 3.65m set on a skew span of 39.1m, with a square span of 14.7m. Each rib has its own abutments. The bridge formed part of a long brick arch viaduct, which was topped with open stonework parapets.
Buck was chief engineer for the Manchester & Birmingham Railway, in association with Robert Stephenson. In 1839 he wrote a book on skew bridges and this became the standard textbook on the subject, last appearing in print in 1895.
In about 1866, when Piccadilly Station was enlarged, three skewed wrought iron plate girders were added to the eastern side of the bridge. A further three skewed wrought iron plate girders were added some 3m from the eastern side of the first set of plate girders. There are also transverse girders, supporting longitudinal joists with iron arch plates.
Around 1958-59, the ten cast iron arches and their spandrels were encased in concrete as part of British Railís strengthening of structures along the line to allow for overhead 25kV electrification. The concrete sections have tapering cross-sections and vertical joints at mid span.
The western composite structure carries the main line, while the eastern three plate girders carry tracks to the goods yard.
Research: PD and AJD
reference sources   BDCE1BRH

Fairfield Street Bridge, M&BR