The Jubilee Bridge - History Re-installed

Take a moment to marvel at one of the oldest rail bridges in India, built in honour of Queen Victoria's 25 years of reign.

By Rail Enthusiasts' Society

Sanjoy Mookerjee

A historical picture of the Jubilee Bridge by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

Jubilee Railway Bridge

The “Jubilee” Railway Bridge was opened by Lord Dufferin, the Viceroy and Governor General of India, in 1887, during the Silver Jubilee year of the reign of Queen Victoria, the then Empress of India. It stands within a kilometre of the oldest Portuguese Church of Eastern India, and only two hundred metres from the classic Imambara (a Shia Muslim congregation hall and mosque) at Hooghly. 

The inauguration plaque of the Jubilee Bridge by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

There is a belief that the railway engineers wanted to present their beloved Monarch a gift of unparalleled engineering accomplishment on the Golden Jubilee year of her reign as a befitting salute from her loyal subjects.

A train passing over the new bridge by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

Jubilee Bridge has a cantilever truss structure constructed exclusively by riveting. It is designed for the end girders to rest on overhangs of the central girder.

Its unique construction also includes pendulum bearings, which perhaps are not seen in any other bridge in the country.

But being near the Bay of Bengal, the bridge substructure regularly suffers from the stresses emanating from repeated tidal movement.

The Jubilee Bridge plate and pendulum bearing by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

The bridge abutments are made of brick masonry, whereas, the piers are partly made of steel.

The Sampreeti Setu bridge by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

Sampreeti Setu Bridge

In 1999, after 112 years, the need for replacement of the Jubilee Bridge was acutely felt by the Indian Railways. Therefore, during 1999-2000, a new double line bridge was sanctioned to be built. Named Sampreeti Setu, this bridge is located by the side of the old bridge. With a Double-D well foundation, it comprises of two end spans of 132.5 metres each and a central span of 150 metres.

Inspired by the Sydney Harbour Bridge, in Australia, Sampreeti Setu has been designed with a continuous steel bow-string superstructure, with open web girder of 417 metres length and height of 45 metres.

Between the old and the new by Sanjoy MookerjeeRail Enthusiasts' Society

The old and the new bridge stand side by side.

Credits: Story

Author: Sanjoy Mookerjee

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