Cannon Street railway bridge across the River Thames. Original antique print published by The Illustrated London News on June 4th. 1863 showing the progress of the works of the South Eastern Railway Company to build a railway bridge across the River Thames.
The following is the text of a ‘blog’ on the ‘In Your Area’ platform of publishers Reach plc.
On this day, 4th June in 1864, ‘The Illustrated London News’ published the above wood-block engraving over the caption: “The South Eastern Railway Company’s Works on the River: View from Southwark Bridge Looking East.”
Cannon Street station was opened on 1 September 1866 giving the South Eastern Railway Company (SER) a terminus on the northern shore of the River Thames and linking to its London Bridge Station.
Close to the Mansion House and the Bank of England, Cannon Street also provided a direct railway link between the City of London and the West End of London.
The wooden scaffolding rising from the river in the ILN illustration would eventually contain four piers, each made of four cast iron cylinders embedded in the riverbed. Cast-iron girders would sit on top of the cylinders upon which would sit the railway line.
Originally named the Alexandra Bridge, after King Edward VII wife, Alexandra of Denmark, Cannon Street Railway Bridge’s four pillars were increased to six when the bridge was widened between 1886-93.
The increased weight of trains resulted in the bridge being made even stronger in 1910-13 and yet again in 1983.