Thursday, 26 January 2017

The Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge

Middlesbrough (Tees) Transporter Bridge is one of only a handful of such things still in working operation around the world. Built in 1911, it is still in regular use, carrying a section of the A178 road across the Tees. Originally it was designed to replace the ferries, which carried the massively expanding workforce across the Tees, to and from the large industrial areas which made the town prosperous in the late nineteenth century.

Now however the area is quite desolate, with a few bits of heavy industry left (some building of wind turbines for the offshore wind farms). Below the bridge lies the rusting hulk of the Tuxedo Royale.

I was given an excellent tour by John, who is the bridge supervisor. Not the bridge master, as the job was previously called (he told me why, but probably wouldn't want me to give the reason here!).

Tuxedo Royale.

New LED lighting.

John, on the upper walkway.

The manual winder.

A fuse.

The winding mechanism in action. The cable needs replacing every 5-6 years.

Paint drips show the different colours the bridge has been over the years. Red, green, blue.