What about the Arizona bridge?
A load of Geordies built it.
Transporter bridges enjoyed only a rather brief period of popularity as the preferred way to get people and stuff across rivers. The first to be built was the Vizcaya Bridge over the River Nervion between Las Arenas and Portugalete in Spain, in 1893. The last one, crossing the River Mersey at Warrington, was built just 22 years …
I can recall back in the mid-80s they used one in Newcastle for some work near Central Station. There were large warning signs including ones relating to "the bends", the nearest decompression chamber was only a couple of miles away at the RVI* although fortunately I don't think it was needed.
*The helicopters from the oil rigs and vessels used to land outside our accommodation occasionally to deliver divers to the unit.
Although not strictly a transporter add the Falkirk Wheel to this list of impressive engineering, albeit modern.
Reinvigorating the linked canals not joined since the previous 11 locks that bridges the 35 metre height difference fall into disuse pre-WW2.
As Friday lunchtime 'dawns' here at Chez Susi - I am grubbing around on TheRegister trying to cheer myself up (after my nightshift in The Computer Mines of Boria) before facing the Horrors of what now masquerades as the National News.
Having looked at the weekly Dabbsy column (mandated-reading in this household!) and noting that at least I'm not the only one frustrated by the need to use 2FA to slow down the Twats™️ trying to Richard with my accounts. I was starting to feel a bit down with no prospect of entertainment or joy in sight.
Enter stage-left, one Alun Taylor with a well-worded and nicely presented tome on Transporter Bridges.
Thank you kind sir, from the top and bottom of my heart. I've always been interested in Olde Engineering solutions to problems of their age and how the innovative use of the (generally) inferior construction materials available at the time are combined to make incredible structures.
This includes creations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Beam Engines, Chain Booms (such as used at Portsmouth Harbour in the 1400's, etc), Steam Engines, Big Bertha, etc.
You made a potentially crap day so much better. I truly wish I could buy you many beers.
Dear TheRegister - more of these, please!! Xx
Looking at it today it's difficult not to think that sometime soon it will end up in the Mersey rather than spanning it.
I've oftimes pondered, looking at all the steel/concrete junk spanning British motorways [ and no doubt other nations ], rarely vital, that as civilisation crumbles, a lot of this stuff will simply crash and block the roadways for our remote descendants --- who may not have the facilities to clear the way.
Just as the roads, produced by a nationalised central empire, failed to be maintained or remade in the ensuing period after Romexit, when populations and taxes were both fewer.
> We'll know we've reached the next stage of collapse when the government is replaced by a bunch of goths.
As an occasional goth [*], I must admit that taking a bunch of chaotic, liberated and generally socially conscious folk with a dark sense of humour and putting them in charge would seem like a great improvement.
Still, you'll always get someone muttering about how you're not a real Goth unless you've sacked Rome...
[*] My dress sense can generally be described as somewhere between anti-goth and goth-adjacent. Still, the dancing can be fun!
The cathedrals post dated Romexit by some centuries. Most took quite a long time to build, required rebuilding after bits collapsed and were often sources of learning from mistakes. In England they required the establishment of Central unifying authority at Westminster.
Here in Scotland they were generally part of the monasteries and suffered from mining activity leaving little remaining today. If you know what to look for you can find mined stones in the walls of houses in St Andrews.
The old Scottish Fifies, sailing boats used mostly for pulling long drifter nets to catch herring, often wouldn't leave port until there was a good chance of force 6.
Otherwise even with the huge amount of sail they had, there would not be enough power to pull the long nets.
I do enjoy this series, some of the engineering feats are incredible.
As a side note, I recently walked the Clyde Walkway, from the Riverside Museum in Glasgow to Strathclyde Park inbetween Hamilton and Motherwell. Walking alongside a major river for such a long way gives a really interesting insight in to the changes of design philosophy and requirements over the years.
I've walked across the top of the Newport Transporter Bridge. The views are wonderful.
My mother is an IET (then IEE) member and they offered a guided tour of this structure. So she asked for a spot and took us along. The party was about a half dozen or so elderly-but-fit male engineers, two or three august gentlemen who operated the transporter bridge, our mother and two small children. We got shown around the workings, climbed up and walked across the top of the bridge, and then took the transporter itself across back to where we started. I think it took an hour or so all told.
When you're walking along the top you can look down and see the river below you through the floor - the walkway is some kind of old fashioned anti-slip open steel flooring that you can see right through. It must have been a great marvel to look at a sailing ship passing below back in the day.
Funniest moment was my younger sibling looking down, pointing down at the seagulls and shouting "Mummy! Mummy! Look! You can see birds flying below us!"
Surely the toilet is up there to give humans a chance to revenge themselves on the birds.
I like this stuff too. However was staying with some friends recently and while two of us were up for it, everyone else drew the line at looking at steam-powered victorian sewage pumps in Leicester. I guess the first 3 words of that phrase are considerably more attractive than the final 4...
"Surely the toilet is up there to give humans a chance to revenge themselves on the birds."
Possibly for the same reason that publicly-purchasable flying cars are mysteriously never a roaring commercial success: possibility of politicians below and disgruntled or simply playful chavs inside.
Assuming the extreme unlikelihood of us having at least a few politicians able to think ahead a little, that could also have been one small contributing factor to the downfall of airships.
Obligatory "What-If" : https://what-if.xkcd.com/11/
It should be remembered that this issue deals with *UN*-intentional impacts. Humans can aim.
I visited in autumn 2019 just before they closed the walkways for the season. The walkway was a little nerve-wracking being so high above everything, but well worth it. I walked over the top, viewed the control room then rode the gondola back. The visitor center at the time was tiny, but interesting. I look forward to seeing what the new one is like.
Obviously, before it re-opens all you can do is gawp at it, but if you are in the area anyway, definitely worth half an hour.
Once it has reopened I can thoroughly recommend a visit. We did the trip a couple of years ago - living not too far away we'd driven past many times over the years, but never actually done the trip.
We parked at the Western end outisde the existing very small museum-cum-gift shop (only room for half a dozen cars), paid our dues and walked over to the other side. The climb wasn't as tiring as we expected, and there are landings every time the stairs turn, so it's not a problem to take breathers. The children were fascinated with the mid-point toilet (and the shop mannequin sat inside), the mechanism - which ran a couple of times while we were up there - and the fact that there is one step more on one side of the river than the other.
Views, as expected, are fantastic in the right weather.
We came back as foot passengers in the gondola, then hopped in the car and went back over again, driving around to the RSPB wetlands centre which is only a few minutes away.
If the wetlands centre isn't your thing then just back towards the M4 is Tredegar House which is a good example of how the other half lived, and might be recognised by fans of Doctor Who or the Antiques Roadshow. A couple of junctions further West you can turn off the M4 and find St. Fagans Museum of Welsh History which is a whole day trip in itself, or if you would rather carry on with the industrial theme, not much more distant, but on slower roads, if you travel north from Newport towards Pontypool - probably on the A4042 - you will eventually find signposts to Blaenavon.
At Blaenavon you will find Big Pit National Coal Museum, the Cadw Stack Square site at the old ironworks furnaces, a small but perfectly-formed heritage railway and a rather good town museum (I think that's the link, but it isn't working for me today).
On the industrial estate through which you travel to get to Big Pit is also the current home of the Rhymney Brewery (again, that site won't work for me today) which I believe has a visitors centre...
I could go on, and on, and on...
Yes, I came here to say much the same thing. A transporter bridge and a lift bridge just a few miles apart in Middlesborough and, as you say, also called The Newport Bridge.
Anyone who has passed through the area on the A19 Tees flyover will have seen it. You can't really miss it as you drive past :-)
Pretty sure the Newport Bridge on the Tees is no longer capable of lifting, which is a shame. I did always think it amusing that the two proper transporter bridges in Britain (that Warrington one is a bit pathetic) were both near Newport.
As a Middlesbrough native, I was also amused when a young lady pinpointed my accent to the Welsh Newport. "Well, you're almost right..."
Pedant alert !
In that photo, the bearings on show are standard sleeve bearings. The rollers are not bearings but drive rollers. It took me a couple of reads before I realised the mistake being made.
And I very much doubt that there's a four speed gearbox, that'll be a four step electrical control for the motor. It would simply have put the motor into a low power mode for setting off (to avoid a big jolt) on the first step, gradually increasing the power with each step.
Commuting between Uskmouth PS and my alma mater at Allt-yu-Yn in the late 70's the transporter was very convenient when time allowed, queues varied and sometimes waiting for several crossings worth of vehicles to cross took too long so the Green Street bridge was the only viable option. With the ever increasing M4 delays caused by the Brynglas tunnels the A48 City bridge takes more through traffic than local at times I'm told, so getting the transporter sorted makes a lot of sense, especially for cyclists.
Note the utter lack of a safety guard
And in 110 years of operations is the number of injuries zero by any chance?
If something is obviously dangerous then people tend to give it quite a lot more respect than something obviously safe. Counter intuitively, obviously dangerous things can often have far better safety records than obviously safe things.
> the Tees Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough, which opened in 1911
https://worldradiohistory.com/Popular_Electricity.htm>World Radio History
Issue for Feb 1912:
https://worldradiohistory.com/Archive-Popular-Electricity/Popular-Electricity-1912-02.pdf (22MB PDF file)
Page 59 of PDF (pg 905 of printing).
Contemporary account of Tees transporter
"Transporter Bridge Over the River Tees
"Recently the great transporter bridge over the river Tees, the most important waterway in northeastern England, was formally opened by Prince Arthur of Connaught. ....." "....a pair of lattice type girders of 570 foot span, with depths varying from 65 feet over the towers to 20 feet at the center. The under part of these girders is 160 feet above the high water mark...a travelling car, 44 by 39 feet, is suspended. ...About 600 passengers and six wagons can be carried at one time."
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022