Brunel's Bridges

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Project no.9 Brunel’s Bridges Historical review and main milestones of Kingdom Brunel‘s life Isambard Kingdom Brunel was one of the most successful and famous engineers of the 19th century, responsible for the design of bridges, railway lines, ships and tunnels. Brunel was born on 9 April 1806 in Portsmouth. His father Mark was a French engineer who had fled France during the revolution. Brunel studied in Paris for three years and returned to England where he worked with his father. Brunel’s first notable achievement was the planning of the Thames Tunnel from Rotherhithe to Wapping with his father, which was finished in 1843. In1831, Brunel’s design won the competition for Clifton Suspension Bridge across the River Avon. The most well-known achievement of him was the project of a constructing network of bridges, viaducts and tunnels for the Great Western Railway. 1833, he worked on the line that linked London to Bristol. During its construction, lots of achievements were accomplished, they included the viaducts at Hanwell and Chippenham, the Box Tunnel, the Bristol Temple Meads Station, and Maidenhead Bridge. While working on the line from Swindon to Gloucester and South Wales he thought up the combination of truss, tubular and suspension bridge to cross the Wye at Chepstow. This bridge combination was further enhanced in his famous bridge over the Tamar at Saltash near Plymouth. Saltash Bridge (Royal Albert Bridge) was built at Saltash Cornwall, 1855-59. Isambard Kingdom Brunel was appointed as chief designer and engineer. His challenge was to build a bridge to be hanged across the River Tamar which is 1100 ft wide. On 11th April 1859, the first test train, a South Devon Locomotive, crossed the bridge. On 2nd May 1859, His Roy... ... middle of paper ... constable during the riot. All of his projects were stunning and unbelievable which involved huge risks. If he hadn't staked other people's money and his own reputation on these projects, Britain would not be able to boast the fastest railway and ships in the world. (Lane, 2006) As normal people, Brunel did have failure in his designs, atmospheric railway was one of the examples. Theoretically, his atmospheric railway eliminated the need for a heavy locomotive. It had a pipe running between the rails that moved the train using pressure, but could not be made to work properly. It was closed down after six months and the investors lost their money. (Lane, 2006) Brunel is also a good negotiator, able to persuade people to finance his projects even after earlier ones had failed. All in all, Brunel was a great engineer who was embodied of risk and reward. (Lane, 2006)
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