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Ireland's Most Interesting Bridges

  • 19-08-2010 9:41am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    LISPOLE VIADUCT, CO.KERRY

    Okay, change of idea, most interesting bridges rather than most beautiful! I will kick off with this pic of Lispole Viaduct on the former Tralee & Dingle Railway. The viaduct is interesting for all sorts of reasons:

    *It was situated on a falling gradient the bottom of which was on the central span of the bridge.
    *The viaduct was in such poor condition by the 1930s that double-heading across it (two locomotives) was forbidden but in practice was frequently ignored. This was due to trains being pushed too fast down the 1:29 gradient in the westerly direction, and drivers heading for Tralee being afraid that if they stopped to detach a locomotive they would not be able to restart their train on the incline.
    *Scene of a serious goods train accident in 1907.
    *The fact that it refuses to die some 57 years after the last train passed over it.

    1975_lispole_viaduct_s0030763.jpg

    gradmain.jpg
    Gradient profile: www.chestermodelrailwayclub.com


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 721 mk6705
    Registered User


    It's also a narrow guage bridge.
    581489_0b29ca63.jpg

    This is a viaduct on the former Farranfore to Valentia Harbour rail line. It is located in Kells, Co.Kerry. It spans a fairly sizable valley on the line between Kells and Killorglin.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,468 BluntGuy


    Adro947 wrote: »
    It's also a narrow guage bridge.

    <Image Snipped>

    This is a viaduct on the former Farranfore to Valentia Harbour rail line. It is located in Kells, Co.Kerry. It spans a fairly sizable valley on the line between Kells and Killorglin.

    Ah, back in the days we had a little ambition. :D

    I actually found the broadmeadow viaduct to be quite a nice bridge... even after it took on a "dramatic" new form courtesy of Irish Rail.

    bridge_indo_385004t.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    This bridge is on the former Mallow/Waterford line which closed in 1967 and is still in good shape. I was out on it in the mid-1970s and great views can be had up and downstream. It is probably most famous for its role in the 1966 movie "The Blue Max" which starred George Peppard, James Mason and Ursula Andress.

    BlueMax_poster.jpg

    Guess I will have to wait to hear back from Paudie before the pics can reappear - sorry. In the meantime the fascinating pics are available on Paudie McGrath's Photography website here:http://www.fermoyireland.50megs.com/thebluemax.htm

    In the meantime a pic of the viaduct:

    nc_viaducts.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 12,078 ✭✭✭✭ LordSutch


    Nine Arches bridge, Miltown, Dublin.
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTbIw353Ul8wTI-3Mh4v4p-GQIdd4iXwXuzGuN7WbL_xiqgKms&t=1&usg=__gwTXl-zBPQhhNcP3kId8kHR7Zq4=


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    LordSutch wrote: »
    Nine Arches bridge, Miltown, Dublin.

    You beat me to it! Reputed to be haunted. :D


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    taney_bridge_lge.jpg

    The iconic Luas landmark. The bridge spans a gap which in the days of the Harcourt Street line was a small single arch stone bridge! The cable-stayed bridge has a main span of 108.5 metres and the pylon height is around 50 metres.

    Photo: www.archiseek.com/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Former CIE civil engineer Michael Barry published an excellent book on bridges back in 1983 - "Across Deep Waters: Bridges of Ireland" and I note that there are a couple of copies available on www.abebooks.com for a paltry €20 from an Irish dealer. Get in there quick if you're interested.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Another strange bridge - not in appearance but in the tales that go with it - see here: http://www.inver.org/ceantar/des.htm

    Located not far from the former ESB Bellacorick power station the bridge crosses the Owenmore River and seems a tranquil enough place. There is a legend that says you will be married if you do something (?) on the bridge - I can't remember what or find a link but I know I was married quite soon after being there! The more interesting prophecy connected with the bridge is that it will never be completed and to this day the last block of stone is still missing!

    musical-bridge-2696-tn.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf
    Registered User


    The more interesting prophecy connected with the bridge is that it will never be completed and to this day the last block of stone is still missing!

    Probably because someone drove into it on their way back from the pub.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Dainty and obscure this fairytale structure is at the Vartry Reservoir nr.Roundwood in Co.Wicklow.

    VartryReservoirRoundwoodCoWicklow.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 368 ✭✭ Empire o de Sun
    Registered User


    This is my favorite in ireland. The bridge that never was. Not sure about its history, was it supposed to be a rail link between the two westerly railways, before the Phoenix Park Tunnel was built. I have no idea.

    http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=swt5bcgg2mh2&scene=53213111&lvl=2&sty=o


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭ sean_84
    Registered User


    I'm not sure if this counts, because the bridge itself is fairly ordinary, but the style of the gateway building on one end of it is apparently unique to this country. It's Dromana Bridge in west Waterford.

    http://www.abandonedireland.com/Dromana.html

    33248358.jpg
    DromanaGate9737.jpg


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Surprisingly this structure still survives although its surroundings have changed massively since I first set eyes on it back in the late 1960s. Back then a small road passed beneath, the handrails and telegraph poles still clung precariously to the bridge and it was an altogether nicer spot for a photograph. The bridge dates from 1849/51.

    700px-Chetwynd-Viaduct.JPG

    This interesting piece from http://www.askaboutireland.ie/reading-room/sports-recreation/sport/road-bowling/chetwynd-viaduct/ describes the local competition of tossing an iron bowl/ball over the viaduct:

    Chetwynd Viaduct, Cork-Bandon Road
    The "Everest" of Road Bowling - The Chetwynd Viaduct - was conquered after decades of attempts, on September 8th, 1985. Watched by over 10,000 people, Hans Bohllen from West Germany lofted a 28 oz. bowl over the viaduct clearing the top by ten feet.

    The event was sponsored by Murphy Brewery Ireland in association with Bol-Chumann Na hEireann as part of the Cork 800 Celebrations. The winner Hans Bohllen from the Ost-Friesland Club in Germany recieved a prize of five thousand pounds.

    Three Irish bowlers, all Cork based, Bill Daly, Eamonn Bowen and Dan O'Halloran, also successfully lofted the viaduct with the 16 oz. bowl and shared another Murphy prize of one thousand pounds.

    Bohllen arrived complete with his ramp, which has been part of the German tradition since their association was founded in 1645 and is used by every member of their 22,000 strong association. Bohllen lofted successful on his third attempt though the bowl touched a girder on its way down. His fourth attempt soared ten feet over clearing all obstacles. Hans Bohllen had made history on that Sunday of September 8th, 1985. He had truly overcome that invincible obstacle that has stood unconquered since 1849 when it was built.

    Some Cork bowl players attempted the same feat down through the decades. At the turn of the twentieth century it is claimed that Dan Hurley from Bandon lofted the viaduct and was presented with a medal for his achievement, but there are no records to show what type of bowl was used or from where the actual loft took place. In the early 1930s, Bill Bennett from Killeady in West Cork is said to also have succeeded but again there are no written records of this attempt.

    In 1955 the first official attempt was made. In March of that year the event was watched by 6,000 spectators. Mick Barry from Waterfall succeeded in bounding a 16 oz. bowl over the viaduct. Barry's brother Ned and Mick himself both struck the upper iron work with a 28 oz. bowl.

    The viaduct is 90 feet high and 21 feet wide. Dr. George Reilly, then a lecturer in mathematical physics in University College, Cork was asked by Cork Examiner journalist, Val Dorgan to give a theoretic account of what it would be to loft the Chetwynd Viaduct. Dr. Reilly said that to get a 28 oz. bowl over the viaduct, one must stand back about 45 feet, pitch it at an angle of 77 degrees and give the bowl a velocity of at least 20 feet per second.

    To this day the Chetwynd Viaduct still straddles the Cork-Bandon road although the last train to pass over was on March 31st 1961.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    This is my favorite in ireland. The bridge that never was. Not sure about its history, was it supposed to be a rail link between the two westerly railways, before the Phoenix Park Tunnel was built. I have no idea.

    http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=swt5bcgg2mh2&scene=53213111&lvl=2&sty=o

    Nope, this has been aired before it was a private footbridge built on the Guinness Estate for estate workers... there is a thread somewhere which I will link to when I find it. :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    sean_84 wrote: »
    I'm not sure if this counts, because the bridge itself is fairly ordinary, but the style of the gateway building on one end of it is apparently unique to this country. It's Dromana Bridge in west Waterford.

    Apparently the original Hindu Gothic Arch was built out of papier mâché as a surprise for the homecoming newly weds of the Villiers-Stuart family of Dromana House. They were so taken by the structure that they had a permanent version built in 1849. Some of the details are a bit vague. One certain thing that I know is that the archway gates were eventually removed due to being a traffic hazzard and were then installed adjacent to the house. I purchased them in a moment of madness in 1989 and they were eventually sold on to somebody in east Cork. Small world!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,700 ✭✭✭ tricky D


    The remains of the Owencarrow Viaduct in Donegal (55° 5'8.10"N 7°52'4.87"W) on the N56 are a bit surreal. You can follow the route of the old railway for a few miles beside the road on the right heading NW. The road goes down a valley with the remains of the railway crossing over the road at the end of the valley. Then the railway skirts around the mountain for a few hundred yards and then across a boggy plain over the Owencarrow River. There's only the piers left, the decks are long gone making for a surreal view. (There's some photos on Google Earth) That they got railways all the way up to Creeslough, if not further, through those mountains is a testament to Victorian era engineering.

    There's many derelict bridges and other clues in the landscape pointing to our previous railway heritage and its extensive network all the way from Monaghan to Creeslough and many other places.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,282 ✭✭✭ westtip
    Registered User


    JD some of these bridges will make great features on the greenways that will be put on all the disused rail lines.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    The Roughty River Bridge at Kenmare in Co.Kerry dates from the 1930's and replaced an earlier suspension bridge at the same location. While not exactly a thing of beauty it is unusual looking and seems positively alien in rural Kerry.

    bridge.JPG

    More paintings like this available here: http://www.neidin.net/joan/


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    westtip wrote: »
    JD some of these bridges will make great features on the greenways that will be put on all the disused rail lines.

    Hands off - the sooner you're banned from here the better! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,282 ✭✭✭ westtip
    Registered User


    Hands off - the sooner you're banned from here the better! :D

    as you well know JD there won't be a train rolling over most of these old bridges ever again. phew that was some rant and rave over there wasn't it? I needed several GB's to get over it all. there are some truly wonderful structures out there to be admired, i rather like what they have done over the shannon at Carrick with the suspended walkway on one side of the bridge (if anyone has pics) same could be done to help widen a few of our older bridges - it would for example be a good way of widening the Moy bridges in Ballina (were they have built an absolutely pointless foot bridge.)


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    Like something from the Wild West or that you might knock up yourself, this structure was the scene of a serious accident on the 9th August 1867. Two people died and an unknown number were injured. Poor quality rails rather than defects in the bridge were found to be responsible. The unfortunate injured were transported by goods wagons out the Harcourt Street line to a point near Loughlinstown Hospital, from where they were carried across the fields to "A+E" 1860s style! A 21st century type disaster with 19th century type emergency services.

    729px-Bray_Head_railway_accident%2C_1867.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭ sean_84
    Registered User


    Nope, this has been aired before it was a private footbridge built on the Guinness Estate for estate workers... there is a thread somewhere which I will link to when I find it. :)

    I think this is it:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?threadid=2055727199


  • Registered Users Posts: 570 Stroke Politics
    Registered User


    I grew up beside Portumna Bridge, still have a real grá for it. It swivels up to 6 times each day to allow boats pass through on the Shannon. It's looking a bit shabby now, all it needs is lick of paint before it's 100th birthday next year. Here's a clip of a refurbishment of the passing channel from 2008...

    http://www.shannonimages.net/lmkeating.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 144 ✭✭ lyverbird1
    Registered User


    Dainty and obscure this fairytale structure is at the Vartry Reservoir nr.Roundwood in Co.Wicklow.

    VartryReservoirRoundwoodCoWicklow.jpg

    This is indeed a quirky structure in a lovely area. I'd love to revisit and find a way through the first locked gate to walk across!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,133 Stonewolf
    Registered User


    tricky D wrote: »
    The remains of the Owencarrow Viaduct in Donegal (55° 5'8.10"N 7°52'4.87"W) on the N56 are a bit surreal. You can follow the route of the old railway for a few miles beside the road on the right heading NW. The road goes down a valley with the remains of the railway crossing over the road at the end of the valley. Then the railway skirts around the mountain for a few hundred yards and then across a boggy plain over the Owencarrow River. There's only the piers left, the decks are long gone making for a surreal view. (There's some photos on Google Earth) That they got railways all the way up to Creeslough, if not further, through those mountains is a testament to Victorian era engineering.

    The best way to see it is heading Towards Letterkenny, you come around a corner heading uphill and suddenly above you there's the remains of the bridge but the span is missing.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭ Judgement Day


    When is a gate lodge a bridge - well at Ballysaggartmore where 'Keeping up with the Jones' (in-laws) got out of hand. Arthur Kiely-Ussher built the towers as an entrance to his demesne, and intended grand house, but as the money ran out the family had to be contented with living in a more modest farm house on the estate. The full story to this fascinating place is told below. I haven't been there for years but I doubt that much has changed. The fact remains that it is a bridge over a stream - the Ballywayna - and is worthy of inclusion here as one of Ireland's most interesting bridges.

    largelismore20.jpg

    http://www.liosmor.com/thetowers.html


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,663 ✭✭✭ trellheim
    Registered User


    I think the LUAS bridge at Dundrum sweeps over the junction nicely

    125237_f8bd7426.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,314 ✭✭✭✭ Cookie_Monster
    Registered User


    There is a legend that says you will be married if you do something (?) on the bridge - I can't remember what or find a link but I know I was married quite soon after being there!

    propose maybe? :pac:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,316 KC61
    Registered User


    Fascinating stuff JD - an excellent thread!!! You deserve a kudo for this one!


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