Barnes Bridge is famous as one
of the prominent landmarks at the closing stages of the University
In 1847 an Act of Incorporation
allowed the Windsor, Staines and South-Western Railway to
build a 7.25 mile line from Barnes to Feltham. The line's
Thames crossing, designed by Joseph Locke and Thomas Brassey,
was a three-arch bridge of cast-iron.
Opened in 1849, this loop line
was to prove a useful by-pass for through passenger and freight
traffic avoiding the busy route through Richmond. The
increased traffic led to the ridge being strengthened in 1891
- 95, and a footbridge added on the down-stream side, which
survives to this day.
In the past the railway
organised special train services which allowed spectators
a great view of the boat race from the comfort of a railway.
The footbridge was made especially strong to support the crowds
on Boat Race day. Today, however the footbridge is closed
to pedestrians during the race.