Inauguration of the Albert Viaduct, Saltash

Victorian illustration to download showing a picture of the inauguration by the Prince Consort of the Albert Viaduct, Saltash, in 1859. A steam train waits at the station. Crowds cheer and wave their hats as the Prince and his party board the train. The railway line curves as it crosses the river Tamar on a suspension bridge. At the ceremony, the Prince crossed the bridge on the Royal Train, then alighted at Saltash and inspected the bridge on foot. The Cornwall Railway commissioned Isambard Kingdom Brunel to design the bridge. It is a suspension bridge with tubular spans, with wrought iron bow-shaped girders to provide rigidity. To make the central pier, a caisson was constructed and the water pumped out so that the navvies could remove a bed of mud and gravel 20′ thick and level the bedrock as a basis for the pier.