The Royal Border Bridge in Berwick-upon-Tweed is a Grade I listed railway viaduct, opened by Queen Victoria in 1850. Despite its descriptive name, it does not span the border between England and Scotland: it runs about 3 miles too far south.
It is an impressive piece of architecture, designed by Robert Stephenson for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway. Its measurements are impressive too: 28 arches, 15 over land and 13 over river; each arch spans 18 m; total of 659 metres in length; rails are 37 m above river level; 227,000 m3 of stone; 2.5 million bricks; 2,700 builders.
For all its age and glamour, it is still in operation, as part of the East Coast Main Line. In fact, I trundled across it today en route from Edinburgh to London. It gives great views of the River Tweed and Berwick’s other bridges.
Being a Grade 1 listed structure, it is well protected and cared for. In 1989, upgrade was required as part of the electrification programme, and its overhead line infrastructure was carefully designed for reduced visual impact and approved by the Royal Fine Art Commission.
It underwent repairs between 1993 and 1996, and it had a coloured lighting system added in 2016 to flaunt its stature at night.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 23 April 2019
Posted as part of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge