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Structure Details
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Structure Name: Queen Alexandra Bridge

Two-deck combined rail and road bridge. Only the road deck is now used. The bridge has four steel spans - two of 60m on the north landward side, one of 60m on the south landward side, and a central span over the Wear of 100m.

Extant: Yes

Location: Sunderland, SUNDERLAND

Eastings: 438190m (view map)

Northings: 557850m (view map)

Position Accuracy: 50m

Positional Confidence: Absolute Certainty


Historical Background
The Queen Alexandra Bridge was built to connect the coalfields of Washington and Annfield Plain with the South Dock at Sunderland. In 1899 the Sunderland Corporation and North Eastern Railway Company agreed that a railway bridge would be built over the Wear.

The bridge was constructed using a temporary cantilever, an unique technique at the time. For the construction, 350,000 bricks, 8,500 tonnes of steel, 60,000 tonnes of red sandstone from Dumfriesshire and 4,000 tonnes of Norwegian granite were used.

The bridge was at first a success, with up to 6,000,000 tonnes of coal crossing the bridge per year. However, with the decline in coal export the rail deck fell into irregular use.


  • 1907   Approaches to bridge completed.
  • 1907 - 1909   Queen Alexandra Bridge constructed to designs by Charles Harrison.
        Entities Involved:
              Harrison, Charles A: Engineer.
              Sir William Arrol & Co. Ltd.: Constructed bridge.
              Mitchell Brothers: Constructed bridge approaches.
  • 1909   Bridge completed.
  • 1921   Upper rail deck closed.
  • SECOND WORLD WAR   Upper deck used as a searchlight/anti-aircraft gun platform.


  • Additional information about the structure type RAILWAY BRIDGE is available.
  • Additional information about the structure type ROAD BRIDGE is available.


  • Tyne and Wear SMR

The information displayed in this page has been derived from authoritative sources, including any referenced above. Although substantial efforts were made to verify this information, the SINE project cannot guarantee its correctness or completeness.


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Last Modified 26 March 2004
2002 SINE Project, University of Newcastle upon Tyne
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