Grosvenor Bridge

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Coordinates: 51°29′05″N0°08′51″W / 51.48472°N 0.14750°W / 51.48472; -0.14750

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Grosvenor Bridge
Grosvenor Bridge, London.jpg
Grosvenor Bridge with Vauxhall in the background and Battersea Power Station to the right
Coordinates 51°29′05″N0°08′51″W / 51.484722222222°N 0.1475°W / 51.484722222222; -0.1475 Coordinates: 51°29′05″N0°08′51″W / 51.484722222222°N 0.1475°W / 51.484722222222; -0.1475
Crosses River Thames
Locale London, England
Preceded by Chelsea Bridge
Followed by Vauxhall Bridge
Design Arch bridge
Total length283.5 m (930 ft 1 in)
Width54 m (177 ft 2 in)
Longest span53.3 m (174 ft 10 in)
Opened1860; rebuilt 1963-1967

Grosvenor Bridge, originally known as, and alternatively called Victoria Railway Bridge, is a railway bridge over the River Thames in London, between Vauxhall Bridge and Chelsea Bridge. Originally constructed in 1860, and widened in 1865 and 1907, the bridge was extensively rebuilt and widened again in the 1960s as an array of ten parallel bridges.

River Thames river in southern England

The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles (346 km), it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Vauxhall Bridge arch bridge in central London

Vauxhall Bridge is a Grade II* listed steel and granite deck arch bridge in central London. It crosses the River Thames in a southeast–northwest direction between Vauxhall on the south bank and Pimlico on the north bank. Opened in 1906, it replaced an earlier bridge, originally known as Regent Bridge but later renamed Vauxhall Bridge, built between 1809 and 1816 as part of a scheme for redeveloping the south bank of the Thames. The original bridge was built on the site of a former ferry.


The original bridge was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century in two stages: the first bridge was built by the Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway between 1859 and 1860 at a cost of £84,000 to carry two tracks into Victoria Station; it was the first railway bridge across the Thames in central London. The engineer was Sir John Fowler. [1] [2]

The Victoria Station and Pimlico Railway was an early British railway company which was incorporated by Act of Parliament 23 July 1858. to build a railway line connecting the existing London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) terminus in Battersea to a new terminal at London Victoria station in Westminster. This involved constructing the Grosvenor Bridge over the river Thames. The company later leased its lines and stations to the LB&SCR and the London Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR) but continued in existence until December 1922 when it was briefly amalgamated with the South Eastern Railway, UK as a result of the Railways Act 1921, which created the Big Four on 1 January 1923.

The bridge was widened by four tracks on the eastern side for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway and London, Chatham and Dover Railway between 1865 and 1866, at a cost of £245,000. Sir Charles Fox was the engineer. [1] [3]

London, Brighton and South Coast Railway British pre-grouping railway company

The London, Brighton and South Coast Railway was a railway company in the United Kingdom from 1846 to 1922. Its territory formed a rough triangle, with London at its apex, practically the whole coastline of Sussex as its base, and a large part of Surrey. It was bounded on its western side by the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR), which provided an alternative route to Portsmouth. On its eastern side the LB&SCR was bounded by the South Eastern Railway (SER)—later one component of the South Eastern and Chatham Railway (SE&CR)—which provided an alternative route to Bexhill, St Leonards-on-Sea, and Hastings. The LB&SCR had the most direct routes from London to the south coast seaside resorts of Brighton, Eastbourne, Worthing, Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, and to the ports of Newhaven and Shoreham-by-Sea. It served the inland towns/cities of Chichester, Horsham, East Grinstead and Lewes, and jointly served Croydon, Tunbridge Wells, Dorking and Guildford. At the London end was a complicated suburban and outer-suburban network of lines emanating from London Bridge and Victoria, and shared interests in two cross-London lines.

London, Chatham and Dover Railway British pre-grouping railway company (1859–1899/1922)

The London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LCDR) was a railway company in south-eastern England created on 1 August 1859, when the East Kent Railway was given Parliamentary approval to change its name. Its lines ran through London and northern and eastern Kent to form a significant part of the Greater London commuter network. The company existed until 31 December 1922 when its assets were merged with those of other companies to form the Southern Railway as a result of the grouping determined by the Railways Act 1921. The railway was always in a difficult financial situation and went bankrupt in 1867, but was able to continue to operate. Many of the difficulties were caused by the severe competition and duplication of services with the South Eastern Railway (SER). However, in 1898 the LCDR agreed with the SER to share the operation of the two railways, work them as a single system and pool receipts: but it was not a full amalgamation. The SER and LCDR remained separate companies with separate shareholders until both becoming constituents of the Southern Railway on 1 January 1923.

Charles Fox (civil and railway engineer) English civil engineer and railway contractor

Sir Charles Fox was an English civil engineer and contractor. His work focused on railways, railway stations and bridges.

In 1907 the bridge was widened again with a further track, on the western side, for the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway. [1] [4]

In 1963–67, the structure of the bridge was completely renewed and modernized, leaving only the cores of the original piers. At the same time, a tenth track was added in a space formerly used for gas mains. To minimize disruption to traffic, each track was renewed separately, and put back into service before the next one was closed. The designer for this work was Freeman Fox & Partners, and the project engineer was A. H. Cantrell, chief civil engineer of the Southern Region of British Rail. [5] [6] It was said to be the busiest railway bridge in the world with 1000 trains crossing per day in 1968. [7]


On the north bank is Pimlico to the north and east and Chelsea to the west; the Lister Hospital and the Royal Chelsea Hospital lie immediately to the north west. On the south bank is Nine Elms to the east and Battersea to the west. Battersea Power Station is immediately to the south of the bridge, and Battersea Park to the south west.

See also


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    1. 1 2 3 "Victoria (Grosvenor) Bridge, site of",, archived from the original on 2 May 2013, retrieved 16 August 2012
    2. Wilson 1868.
    3. Fox 1868.
    4. Railway Magazine, 1963, p.533
    5. "Railway Bridge Across the Thames" on YouTube
    6. Railway Magazine, 1963, pp.534, 542
    7. Grolier 1968, p. 41.


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