Tuesday 30 April 2024

Bewildering Bulky Bridge At ...

... Where? (Part 1)

fbb is always up for a challenge and noted this picture in Ray Stenning's Best Impressions Was-twitter-now-X site. The Bus Beautifier from the Bush did give a clue.
You may remember that the UK rail authorities spent an absolute fortune on a brand new Eurostar terminus at Waterloo ...
...  costing lots of millions. None of these millions needing spending if High Speed 1 into St Pancras had been built at the time of building the Tunnel.

But that would have been VERY expensive, so delay the project for a good few years then it becomes VERY VERY expensive! Using Waterloo also involved throwing South West Trains out of two Windsor Lines platforms!

At least when Eurostar moved out, Stagecoach SWT got four platforms back, and very smart they are too.
The scheme also left an unused station at Ashford International ...
... which was fairly useless when it opened and is even more useless now.

Slick new Eurostar trains (as they were then) could spend you from Paris or Brussels, through the slick new Tunnel and then grind tediously through Kent at the pace of a semi fast "local" - and grind even more tediously if they "lost its path" and followed a stopper!

Here is Eurostar at Beckenham Junction ...
... and at Herne Hill.
So, somewhere on this route was Ray Stenning's puzzle picture location.

But fbb. whose brain, like that of Marvin the Paranoid Android, is the side of a planet (a somewhat decayed planet!) knew straight away roughly where it was.

Eurostar ran along lines served from, amongst others, London Victoria station. And boy, are those lines complicated. Imagine throwing a healthy fork full of spaghetti ... 
... at the London street map and this is what you get.
Running from upper right to lower left are the South Western main lines which split at Clapham Junction, (which as its name suggests is in Battersea) with trains to Windsor forking right.

Coming in from the top are routes from Victoria which split as on the above aerial view with one lot joining the South Western at Clapham Junction then promptly leaving it to turn southwards.

The.other Victoria routes leave the aerial view bottom right via Brixton, Herne Hill and Beckenham Junction amongst others.

Can you spot the curve taken by the Overground trains from Clapham Jct round the south London line? Never mind if you are confused, the detail is not relevant to an identification of the Bulky Bridge of our title.

So the old Eurostar route entered our aerial map at the bottom right and aimed at Victoria but therefore needed to turn right to get to Waterloo.

And there it is, crossing a thoroughfare called Stewarts Road ...
... where we find the bridge in question.; right next to a bus terminus. The South Western main line is straight ahead whilst the wall in Ray's puzzle picture is on the right near where the bus is standing.
The route crosses the Waterloo line on a raft rather than a girder bridge; and the wall of this "shed" can be spotted from the estate to the right beyond the bus stop.
The view is from Wadhust Road.
We can see the same construction extracted from a video shot from a train en route fron Waterloo to Clapham Jct.
Even better, we can see SWT trains passing under the shed as a train passes over the viaduct.
The view above is taken (almost) from atop the "mystery bridge" which is now no longer a mystery.

The bridge must have a name, but the obvious "Nine Elms Viaduct" is used for the long line of arches that lead into Waterloo and were built by the South Western Railway.
Then there is the Nine Elms Bridge; a proposal for a new foot and cycle crossing of the Thames.

The Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea Development Infrastructure Funding Study, completed jointly by the GLA, TfL and the London Boroughs of Lambeth and Wandsworth in 2010, identified the need for a new bridge in this location and a total potential developer contribution of £26 million towards the costs of the bridge.

In 2013, TfL completed a study into the feasibility of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge between Nine Elms and Pimlico. This study concluded that a bridge in this location could bring a number of benefits, but that a number of technical challenges would need to be overcome if it is to be built.

Thankfully it is only at the proposal stage, so crackpot ideas are proliferating!

A few might be feasible ,,,
Somebody's got to find the money.

Aha! The puzzle bridge seems to be called the Nine Elms Flyover ...

... not bridge or viaduct!

But while we are there, we might take a wider look around. There's that bus terminus for starters.

And this is not far away!

 Next Battersea Bridge blog : Weds 1st May 

1 comment:

  1. It's five additional platforms, not four. P20-24.