The Royal Albert Bridge, an impressive railway bridge, crosses the River Tamar, connecting Plymouth, Devon, and Saltash, Cornwall in England.
Its exceptional design comprises two lenticular iron trusses, each stretching 455 feet (138.7 meters) and standing 100 feet (30.5 meters) above the water. Conventional plate-girder approach spans complete the structure, resulting in a total length of 2,187.5 feet (666.8 meters).
This bridge serves as a critical passageway for the Cornish Main Line railway, facilitating access to and from Cornwall.
Situated nearby is the Tamar Bridge, which was opened in 1961 for the A38 road.
The illustrious Royal Albert Bridge was the brainchild of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Surveying activities commenced in 1848, followed by construction in 1854. The first main span was set in place in 1857, and the bridge, in all its glory, was officially inaugurated by Prince Albert on May 2, 1859. Tragically, Brunel passed away later that year, and as a tribute to his legacy, his name was prominently displayed above the entrances at both ends of the bridge.
Throughout the 20th century, the approach spans underwent replacement, and the main spans received enhancements to bolster their structural integrity. Since its inception, this iconic bridge has captivated admirers and has been a subject in numerous paintings, photographs, guidebooks, postage stamps, and even graced the UK £2 coin. Anniversary commemorations were held in honor of the bridge’s completion in 1959 and 2009.