2016: A Longtime Bridge in India is Closed

April 17, 2016

After 129 years of service, the Jubilee Bridge in eastern India was permanently closed. This structure crosses over the Hooghly River (a distributary of the Ganges River) between the city and municipality of Naihati and the town of Bandel in the Indian state of West Bengal.

The bridge was created for railway traffic at a time when that region was part of the Bengal Presidency, a subdivision of the British Empire. Civil engineer Bradford Leslie designed the bridge with assistance from Alexander Meadows Rendel. It was Leslie’s work on this bridge that led to his being named knight commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, a British order of chivalry that been established by Queen Victoria (whose official titles included Empress of India). Construction on the bridge began in 1882. The engineer in charge of this project was Arthur John Barry, whose uncle John Wolfe Barry had overseen construction of the Tower Bridge in London.

Under Arthur John Barry’s supervision, that new bridge in India was completed in 1887. This structure was named Jubilee Bridge to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s ascension to the British throne. The Jubilee Bridge achieved additional renown at the time of its debut as a cantilever truss bridge that was built entirely by riveting and without any nuts or bolts at all. This bridge also had the distinction of being the first permanent crossing over the Hooghly River.

The final train to travel across the Jubilee Bridge just before its closing in 2016 was the Teesta Torsha Express. On the same day that this bridge went out of service, the recently completed Sampreeti Bridge nearby was opened to carry future railway traffic over the Hooghly River in that section of West Bengal.

For more information on the Jubilee Bridge in India, please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jubilee_Bridge_(India)



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