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Hungerford bridge (part two)
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The bridge cost £102,000 to build but, although it proved to be a great success, Brunei was not paid for his work for at least a year. Ten thousand people paid the toll daily to cross the bridge, and these numbers grew with the opening of Waterloo station in 1848. The piers were also used as landing places for the steamboat companies, which offered popular trips on the Thames.

The 1840s marked the beginning of railway mania, so it is hardly surprising that as early as November 1845, only six months after the footbridge's successful opening, the London & Brighton Railway Company considered making an application to Parliament to build a railway over it to a new terminus on the north bank of the Thames. With the increase in traffic due to the opening of Waterloo station, the bridge's owners made attempts in 1857 to get permission from the Metropolitan Board of Works to allow vehicles to use it as well as pedestrians, but in the end it was the railways that got the upper hand. In 1859, the year Brunei died, an Act was passed allowing the Charing Cross Railway Company to build a railway line from London Bridge Station to a new terminus at Charing Cross, thus carrying its passengers right into the heart of the West End. (In 1861 they obtained the powers to build a similar bridge to a new terminus at Cannon Street, and this added greatly to the value of the Charing Cross scheme.) In 1860 the company purchased both bridge and market, the latter being the site for the new station. Although only a short extension, it was to prove very expensive to build because of the high cost of buying up the land along the route on which to build the viaducts. The governors of St Thomas' Hospital objected to losing a corner of their garden and forced the company to buy the whole site; they then moved the hospital to its present location opposite the Houses of Parliament.


Hungerford bridge (part two)

From 1860 trains crossed the Hungerford Bridge to and from Charing Cross Station. Attached to the bridge is a steamboat quay, with stairs cut into the bridge piers taking passengers up to the footbridge.



The plans were generally met with approval as adding considerably to the convenience of travelling to and from London. As The Times said,' To enter a station at Charing-cross and roll without interruption to Dover, seems almost too good to be true', adding that 'Frenchmen reaching London will find it pleasant to be set down so much nearer Leicester-square, and with less margin for the terrible extortion of our London cabmen'.

John (later Sir John) Hawkshaw, the South Eastern Railway's resident engineer, designed the new bridge, retaining Brunei's brick piers to save money, and adding four new cast-iron piers. Hawkshaw was also involved in the completion of Brunei's Clifton Suspension Bridge, and he arranged for the chains of Hungerford Bridge to be sold to the Clifton Suspension Bridge Company for use in the bridge over the Avon.

The bridge cost £180,000 to build and when it opened on 11th January 1864 it was much admired for its engineering. The new Charing Cross Railway Bridge made no pretence of being anything but a functional structure, with no claims to architectural excellence. It was a wrought-iron lattice-girder bridge of nine spans, each of the six river spans being of 154 feet. It was 1,360 feet long and 50 feet wide, and carried four lines of track. Two footways 7 feet wide were cantilevered on each side, and a toll was charged to pedestrians using them, though passengers using the steamboats did not pay. To allow access from the footbridge to the steamboat quays, staircases were cut into the piers, and the entrances can still be seen today. Tolls were charged on the footways until 1878, when the South Eastern Railway received £98,540 from the Metropolitan Board of Works to pay for their maintenance.

The bridge was declared free from toll, jointly with Waterloo Bridge, on 5 October in a low-key ceremony, when the key was handed over to a representative of the MBW and the turnstiles were removed.

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