OPENING OF RUNCORN RAILWAY BRIDGE
150 years ago
Standing on the Mersey estuary, the history of Runcorn is, inevitably, also a history of bridge-building. The bridge which brought the railway across that river was first conceived in an Act of Parliament in 1846, but it was 1864 before work began, and it was October 10 1868 when the first traffic passed over the bridge. Still going strong today - though perhaps overshadowed in style by the nearby Silver Jubilee Bridge - the 150-year-old rail bridge has latterly undergone an extensive refurbishment. In a place not short of bridges, the rail bridge, confusingly, goes by different names, including the Britannia Bridge and the Queen Ethelfleda Viaduct.