Bredbo River railway bridge

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The Bredbo River railway bridge is a heritage-listed former railway bridge carrying the Bombala railway line over the Bredbo River at Bredbo in the Snowy Monaro Regional Council local government area of New South Wales, Australia. It was designed by John Whitton in his capacity as Engineer-in-Chief for Railways and built from 1881 to 1889. It is also known as the Bredbo Rail Bridge and the Bredbo River Railway Viaduct. The property is owned by RailCorp, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.[2] On 1 December 2020, changes were made to exemptions relating to the bridge's heritage status.[3]

Bredbo River railway bridge
Bredbo River bridge.jpg
Bredbo River bridge
Coordinates35°58′29″S 149°09′45″E / 35.9748°S 149.1626°E / -35.9748; 149.1626Coordinates: 35°58′29″S 149°09′45″E / 35.9748°S 149.1626°E / -35.9748; 149.1626
CarriesBombala railway line
CrossesBredbo River
LocaleBredbo, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, New South Wales, Australia
OwnerRailCorp
Characteristics
DesignQueen post deck truss viaduct
MaterialIronbark
Total length130 metres (420 ft)
Longest span13 metres (42 ft)
No. of spans10
Piers in water9
Rail characteristics
No. of tracks1
Track gauge4 ft 8+12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
History
DesignerJohn Whitton; Engineer-in-Chief for Railways
Fabrication byBryce Henry[1]
Construction start1881
Construction end1889
Official nameBredbo Rail Bridge Group; Bredbo River Railway Viaduct
TypeState heritage (complex / group)
Designated2 April 1999
Reference no.01029
TypeRailway Bridge / Viaduct
CategoryTransport - Rail
BuildersMain Contractor for the Queanbeyan to Cooma railway
Location

HistoryEdit

The railway was extended from Queanbeyan to Cooma in 1887-89. At that time, the Engineer-in-Chief for Railways, John Whitton, was under government pressure to reduce construction costs. One common method was to build timber bridges, mostly ballast top timber beam bridges. However, for two major waterways, Ingalara Creek (Michelago Rail Bridge over Ingalara Creek and the Bredbo River, he chose to use Queen post deck trusses, a type of timber truss viaduct that he had already used on the Main North line between Glen Innes and Wallangarra. Nearer to Cooma, at Chakola, he chose a different type of timber viaduct to cross Umaralla Creek. Several of Whitton's other Queen post deck truss bridges - the Breardy River, Severn River and Bluff River viaducts and the Tenterfield Creek bridge - are also listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register.[2]

DescriptionEdit

The Bredbo Rail Bridge is a ten-span timber truss viaduct. Each span is 12 metres (40 ft), centre to centre, of timber trestles.[2]

The Queen deck truss design was copied from one of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Cornish timber bridges, the St Germans viaduct, which was built about 30 years earlier.[2]

The condition of the bridge was reported as fair as at 4 April 2006 due to lack of maintenance since rail services were suspended.[2]

All these viaducts retain their original fabric.[2]

Heritage listingEdit

The timber Queen post truss viaduct was an economic bridge for the Queanbeyan to Cooma Railway at a time when the boom years of the 1880s were ending and funding for railway construction was decreasing. The Bredbo viaduct is accessible from the Monaro Highway and is an impressive timber structure. The Cooma Railway made a significant contribution to the development of the Monaro Region from the time of its construction 1887-89, and all the timber viaducts were important items of the railway's infrastructure. The timber Queen post deck viaduct was a significant structure in place of the expensive iron lattice bridges preferred by John Whitton. The Bredbo viaduct was technically sound and durable, having been built from renowned ironbark hardwood. The two deck Queen post truss timber viaducts on the Cooma Line, together with four on the Main North Line, are a unique class of railway bridge.[2]

Bredbo Rail Bridge was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999 having satisfied the following criteria.[2]

The place is important in demonstrating the course, or pattern, of cultural or natural history in New South Wales.

The timber Queen post truss viaduct was an economic bridge for the Queanbeyan to Cooma Railway at a time when the boom years of the 1880s were ending and funding for railway construction was decreasing.[2]

The place is important in demonstrating aesthetic characteristics and/or a high degree of creative or technical achievement in New South Wales.

The viaduct is accessible from the Monaro Highway and is an impressive timber structure.[2]

The place has strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group in New South Wales for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

The Cooma Railway made a significant contribution to the development of the Monaro Region from the time of its construction 1887-89, and the three timber viaducts were important items of the railway's infrastructure.[2]

The place has potential to yield information that will contribute to an understanding of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

The timber Queen post deck viaduct was a significant structure in place of the expensive iron lattice bridges preferred by John Whitton. The Bredbo viaduct were technically sound and durable, having been built from renowned ironbark hardwood.[2]

The place possesses uncommon, rare or endangered aspects of the cultural or natural history of New South Wales.

These two timber viaducts on the Cooma Line, together with four on the Main North Line, are a unique class of railway bridge.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Government Gazette Tenders and Contracts". New South Wales Government Gazette. No. 187. New South Wales, Australia. 30 March 1886. p. 2140 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Bredbo Rail Bridge Group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. H01029. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Bredbo Rail Bridge Group | NSW Environment, Energy and Science". www.environment.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 6 December 2020.

BibliographyEdit

  • Rail Infrastructure Corporation (2003). Rail Infrastructure Corporation s.170 Register.

AttributionEdit

  This Wikipedia article was originally based on Bredbo Rail Bridge Group, entry number 01029 in the New South Wales State Heritage Register published by the State of New South Wales and Office of Environment and Heritage 2018 under CC-BY 4.0 licence, accessed on 2 June 2018.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Bredbo River railway bridge, Bredbo at Wikimedia Commons