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Nene Railway Bridge
River Nene, Peterborough, UK
Nene Railway Bridge
associated engineer
William Cubitt
date  late 1840s
era  Victorian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  TL189981
ICE reference number  HEW 93
photo  PHEW
Cubitt's cast railway bridge built as part of the Great Northern Railway, though strengthened a little, is still in use: it carries the two up tracks of the East Coast Main Line.
Assisted by his son Joseph, Cubitt engineered the direct line from York to London that was approved for construction in 1848. Two routes had been proposed and both were built. By 1848 Peterborough was connected to Lincoln and by 1852 the more direct route to York via Retford was completed. The London terminus was Kings Cross Station, opened in 1852.
Nene Railway Bridge is one of two cast iron bridges Cubitt designed for the route. The other is near Huntingdon but it was rebuilt in steel in the 1930s.
The bridge over the Nene has three spans, each 66ft wide and with an 8ft 6in rise. It has six segmented ribs in three pairs with 3ft centres, each pair at 7ft 6in centres.
The ribs of the bridge bolt together at mid span. This was designed to allow construction with minimum disruption to river traffic.
As piers, there are 12 cast iron fluted piles, two to each rib. The spandrels consist of cast iron lattices.
The strengthening was done by adding steel bracing and reinforcing the spandrels. When the railway was widened to four tracks, a Whipple-Murphy truss bridge was built next to it for the down tracks.
Assistant engineer: Joseph Cubitt
Contractor: Thomas Brassey
reference sources   CEH E&C
Location

Nene Railway Bridge