May 4th Royal Albert Bridge

Over the last 160 years, Cornwall has been transformed from a remote and isolated county reliant on mining and fishing to one dependent on tourism and agriculture. Two developments effected this transition: the Royal Albert (rail) Bridge and the Tamar (road) Bridge (April 26th). 

On this day in 1859, the first train ran across the Royal Albert Bridge, two days after its official opening by Prince Albert, bringing it possible to travel between London and Penzance with ease.  It was reputed that the engine driver was so terrified of the journey that he spent several hours drinking in a Plymouth public house immediately before the journey!

Designed by the world famous Isambard Kingdom Brunel, the bridge comprises two 455-foot trusses and stands 100 feet above the River Tamar.

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