Heritage Locations

Keadby Bridge

A road and rail bridge over the river Trent, originally built with a lifting bascule which at the time was the largest in Europe. Listed Grade II


Period of construction:
1900 - 1949

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

King George V Bridge, Althorpe, Keadby, DN17 4

DN17 4

Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

The King George V bridge was opened by King George V, the chairman of the Great Central Railway company and Lindsey County Council on 21 May 1916.

This Scherzer rolling lift bridge carrying both road and rail traffic across the River Trent was built between 1912 and 1916 by the Great Central Railway to replace a previous swing bridge built by the South Yorkshire Railway in 1866. It carries a double track rail line on the southern side, and the twin carriageway A18 road on the north side.

Its 163ft electricity powered bascule (lifting span) was one of the first of its type in Britain and when built, was the largest in Europe. Designed by James Ball and C A Rowlandson and built by contractors Sir William Arrol & Co. it has three main spans and two approach spans. The western main span was the one that lifted. The Scherzer bascule rolled and rotated on counterbalance. It was electrically powered, originally by a large storage battery fed by petrol-driven generators housed in the engine room beneath the east approach span. This was later modified to mains electricity.

The bridge has not been lifted since 1956. It was widened and the headroom increased in 1960 and the bascule was fixed in position.

Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S., The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J., The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, Oxford, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Bonavia, Michael, Historic Railway Sites in Britain, Hale, ISBN 0 7090 3156 4 (1987)

Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Jowett, Alan, Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland,  Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. (March 1989)

Morgan, Bryan, Railways: Civil Engineering, Arrow, ISBN 0 09 908180 6 (1973)

Morgan, Bryan, Railway Relics, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 0092 1 (1969)

Simmons, J., The Railways of Britain, Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 40766 0 (1961-86)

Simmons, J. The Victorian Railway, Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0 500 25110X (1991)

Smith, Martin, British Railway Bridges and Viaducts, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994)

Turnock, David, An Historical Geography of Railways, Ashgate, ISBN 1 85928 450 7 (1998)

Opening Times:
Open  at all times.

How To Find:
By road: On A18 four miles west of Scunthorpe

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