Menai Bridge question

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LE Greys

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I've become interested in the Menai Bridge recently. When the tubular version burnt down, I understand the replacement was single-track and slower as well as having a road deck on top. It's a cause of traffic congestion now, and there's been various discussions about replacing it. Is the rail section underneath still single-track and slow? And if the road section does get replaced, what chance of speed increases and double-track?

I also understand the lions are to be elevated to road level as part of the work (if it happens).
 
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merlodlliw

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I've become interested in the Menai Bridge recently. When the tubular version burnt down, I understand the replacement was single-track and slower as well as having a road deck on top. It's a cause of traffic congestion now, and there's been various discussions about replacing it. Is the rail section underneath still single-track and slow? And if the road section does get replaced, what chance of speed increases and double-track?

I also understand the lions are to be elevated to road level as part of the work (if it happens).
It remains a mile of single track, not sure about slow now , but appears sufficient for current needs. this may help,

http://www.nwrail.org.uk/nwroute.htm

Bob
 

LNW-GW Joint

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I believe the speed limit on the Britannia Bridge used to be 40mph each way, not sure if it still is.
Yes it's 40 today for the mile through the single track junctions and over the bridge, including the sharp curves on either side.
It's actually only 50 westwards out of Bangor, and I think it would be difficult to get any higher speeds.
The "other half" of the trackbed over the bridge carries utility pipes (water I think).

A great pity Robert Stephenson's original bridge is largely gone, but there's still the one at Conwy.
His other even bigger tubular bridge of 1859 across the St Lawrence in Quebec (then the longest bridge in the world) was rebuilt long ago.

The sight of many of the great railway engineers (Stephenson, Brunel, Locke, Vignoles and Bidder) gathered on the Menai to watch the raising of the first tube in 1849 must have been very impressive.
 

John55

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I've become interested in the Menai Bridge recently. When the tubular version burnt down, I understand the replacement was single-track and slower as well as having a road deck on top. It's a cause of traffic congestion now, and there's been various discussions about replacing it. Is the rail section underneath still single-track and slow? And if the road section does get replaced, what chance of speed increases and double-track?

I also understand the lions are to be elevated to road level as part of the work (if it happens).
I thought the speed across the bridge was limited by the curve at the south end anyway.


There's a section of Stephenson's tubular bridge set on a plinth under the new bridge on the mainland side. Should be in the National Rail Museum at York!
Why? If you want to see a bridge of this kind go to Conway and look at the real thing in use carrying trains. The Conway bridge is actually older so more historically important! It even has the Brunel connection.
 

pablo

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Yep. Brunel turned up for the tea party at the opening of the Britannia Bridge too. He was a mentor of Stephenson's on the project.
Don't think the NRM could take the Conway Bridge; it's too large for their accommodation. So that's why they should have a small section of the Britannia Bridge rather than leaving it out in the wind and rain to rot away.
Also taking Conway Bridge would leave a yawning gap in the route to Holyhead similar to that caused by the Britannia fire. At least the trapped rolling stock could be recovered by road this time instead of ferry and the isolated shuttle might earn its keep better. ;)
 

John55

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Yep. Brunel turned up for the tea party at the opening of the Britannia Bridge too. He was a mentor of Stephenson's on the project.
Don't think the NRM could take the Conway Bridge; it's too large for their accommodation. So that's why they should have a small section of the Britannia Bridge rather than leaving it out in the wind and rain to rot away.
Also taking Conway Bridge would leave a yawning gap in the route to Holyhead similar to that caused by the Britannia fire. At least the trapped rolling stock could be recovered by road this time instead of ferry and the isolated shuttle might earn its keep better. ;)
No one suggested moving the Conway Bridge. When it is still being used for its design function you leave it where it is.

I do not believe Brunel or Stephenson would consider the term mentor as anything other than insulting from either perspective. They were close personal friends who supported each other in times of success and failure.
 

LE Greys

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All very interesting. Looks like it may not be much of a capacity constraint at the moment, but I reckon they should leave enough room under the new span (if there is one) to move the utility pipes in case they ever need to re-lay the second line. The speed differential is probably not that high, so less need to worry about that.

BTW, moving the plinthed section would be useful for people like me who have hardly ever been to Wales and don't really have the time to go there.
 

Michael.Y

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So that's why they should have a small section of the Britannia Bridge rather than leaving it out in the wind and rain to rot away.
Rot away? It's been there in the wind and rain since 1850 and seems OK to me...

Also, it's part of Welsh industrial history. It should stay there.

Finally - it's Conwy. Not Conway. Thankyou. ;)
 

Holly

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Finally - it's Conwy. Not Conway. Thankyou. ;)
It was Conway in 1850 when the bridge was new.
Name changed in 1972 if memory serves.

General Description of the Britannia and Conway Tubular Bridges on the Chester & Holyhead Railway by Clark, Latimer
Binding: Softcover
Publisher: Chapman and Hall, London
Date published: 1850
Alibris ID: 10245150913
Description: Seventh edition. Printed light brown wrappers. 40, Frontispiece and one additionally duo-tone plate. Spine professionally and seamlessly restored, corners a little worn, a nice, very good copy.
 

welshdragon

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As Michael Y pointed out, the correct spelling is Conwy, and not Conway, which as an anglicisation of the Welsh word.

Bear in mind that the Welsh language has been spoken in the Britsh Isles for far longer than English - so Conwy has been around far longer than Conway.

See also Llanelli (eng. Llanelli), Treorci (eng. Treorchy) etc.
 

The Planner

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I'm not convinced that the timetable would ever become that intense that the bridge becomes a bottleneck, even then you could path around it.
 

Holly

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As Michael Y pointed out, the correct spelling is Conwy, and not Conway, which as an anglicisation of the Welsh word. ...
Curious then that Michael Y lists himself as being from Newport, rather than Casnewydd. Should we all stop using Newport?

Look, in English in 1850 it was called Conway. In English in 2012 it is called Conwy. The bridge is the Conway bridge, the town is Conwy. Times change but history doesn't (or at least shouldn't). Lots of places change names over the years, and for various reasons.
 

Michael.Y

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Curious then that Michael Y lists himself as being from Newport, rather than Casnewydd. Should we all stop using Newport?

Look, in English in 1850 it was called Conway. In English in 2012 it is called Conwy. The bridge is the Conway bridge, the town is Conwy. Times change but history doesn't (or at least shouldn't). Lots of places change names over the years, and for various reasons.
Well it's called Conwy now.

Your other point is entirely moot - you are talking about South East Wales here where Welsh is rare (but not entirely eliminated, as the Newport suburbs of Glasllwych, Llanwern, Pillgwenlly, Llanmartin, Bassaleg etc show) Also I would love it if we could have a different name for our overgrown hamlet. It would help avoid confusion with other towns of the same, generic name. Casnewydd won't catch on, but maybe something like Wentlooge (the Anglicised name of the saint which our cathedral is dedicated to) or Pont Ebbw.
 

Holly

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Interesting that the station called Conway closed in 1966, but re-opened in 1987 as Conwy.
I believe the change of name of the town took place in 1972 as part of the Local Government Act 1972 (prime minister Heath). The station reflects the town it serves. The name of the historic tubular railway bridge did not change.

Oh, and I see Michael Y no longer wishes to be from Newport :)
 
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