Elsbridge Viaduct is an arch bridge on Thomas' Branch Line that crosses the River Els. It was built in 1925 and is located opposite a much older road bridge.
The Railway Series
From 1910 to 1925 Elsbridge was the terminus of the branch line. The North Western Railway held powers to extend, but money was short, and the necessary bridge and tunnel were likely to prove expensive, so nothing was done. In 1924 however, Jabez Croarie began quarrying at Ffarquhar. He needed two things - a railway for transport, and an attractive structure to show potential customers the quality of his stone. Hard bargaining followed with Mr Topham Hatt. In the end the NWR agreed to extend their line on condition that the Quarry Company not only provided stone for the bridge free of charge, but also undertook to bear half the cost of the tunnel at Hackenbeck. The bridge was designed by Mr Michael Kirk A.R.I.B.A. of Cathedral Chambers, Suddery who, on Mr Topham Hatt’s suggestion, based his design on that of I. K. Brunel for the GWR at Maidenhead. It was completed in 1925, and has since needed only minimal maintenance, thus giving excellent testimony to the qualities of Ffarquhar stone.
It is based on the Maidenhead Railway Bridge, also known as the Maidenhead Viaduct or The Sounding Arch, which was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, that carries the Great Western Main Line over the River Thames at Maidenhead.
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