tracking the bypass

On Feb 27 1983, the track was relaid on the new bypass bridge.

The steelwork was delivered in the first week of 1983 and installed during January and the concrete pour was 9 February.

The first vehicle over the bridge was the 6-ton steam crane. The next morning the Red Ruston was the first diesel locomotive to cross.

43106, 80079 and 4930 returned from main line duties at Hereford on the same day and became the first steam locomotives to cross the new bridge.

The bridge was completed in time for the line to re-open for the 1983 season. However construction of the bypass required lowering the B4555 Highley road to pass underneath it, and consequently increasing the height of the railway embankment. Less than two months later, the embankment collapsed a few yards beyond the bridge. Shropshire County Council and the SVR worked jointly for 14 hours a day seven days a week to reopen the line three weeks later.

planning the bypass

On this day in 1973 SVR’s civil engineer was instructed to begin preparation of a planning application for the bypass bridge.

An EGM of the Guarantee Company was held on 18 May 1973, with around 300 members who attended being asked if the Company should raise the money to build the bridge or abandon Bridgnorth. The decision was taken, with only one vote against, to build the bridge.

From reopening of the SVR in 1970, a proportion of fare revenue had been set aside in a dedicated trust fund to pay for the construction of this bridge. Further fund raising initiatives began following the EGM, and in 1974 an SVRA raffle raised around £800.

After some considerable delay, the SVR was informed by the County Council in early 1982 that the bypass was ‘all systems go’ and that the SVR would be required to fulfil their part of the Agreement and build the necessary bridge to carry the line over it. However an amicable agreement was reached between the SVR and Shropshire County Council, with the Council agreeing to make a substantial contribution towards the cost of the bridge