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Transporter Bridges (Hardback)

An Illustrated History

Transport Photographic Books Colour Books

By John Hannavy
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Pages: 269
Illustrations: 366
ISBN: 9781526760388
Published: 3rd February 2020



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Transporter Bridges are a legacy of the closing years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, and served a brief but important need. The huge increase in road transport however quickly rendered them obsolete, and although many were planned, little more than twenty-one were ever completed across the world – five of which were in Britain. Just nine still stand in their original form and currently only five are currently still in use – one each in Spain and Germany, two in the UK, one in Argentina – are unused since the 1960s. They only recently returned to service in 2018 after restoration – and the last surviving 'pont transbordeur' in France returned to service in 2019 after major works. The second of Germany's surviving transporters is currently awaiting repair after a ship collided with it.

But is the transporter bridge about to undergo a surprising renaissance? Proposals exist for three new bridges, all in France – at Nantes, Marseille and Brest – to replace some of those lost during and after the Second World War.

The book is illustrated in colour throughout, using hundreds of photographs – the author’s own modern images and many historic photographs and postcards chronicling the construction and operation of these unusual structures.

A hugely curious and very interesting book.

Read the full Spanish review here

Miniaturas JM

About John Hannavy

John Hannavy is a writer and photographer with a passion for engineering history. His work regularly appears in heritage magazines. A retired academic, he has written extensively on railways and other forms of transport, steam-powered machines, the history of photography, and the industrial development of Victorian and Edwardian Britain. This is his fiftieth book. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and was Centenary President of the British Institute of Professional Photography. The award of a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2002 allowed him to travel the world in the footsteps of pioneer British photographers.

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