Tim's One Photograph a Day

The Disused Rewley Road Swing Bridge.

Rewley Road Swing Bridge.

Rewley Road Swing Bridge: Taking the rails over the Sheepwash Channel.

Taking the rails over the Sheepwash Channel.

The Sheepwash Channel links the Oxford Canal with the Thames. The Rewley Road Swing Bridge used to carry the London Midland line from Oxford to Bicester.

The line was the result of “rail wars” between the Great Western Railway and the London & Birmingham Railway, aided by the Midland Railway. Although the original plans were thwarted, the line was subsequently built, and terminated at a station which is now the site of the Saïd Business School.

Designed by Robert Stephenson, it was built in 1850-1. It was reconstructed in 1890, and again in 1906, this latter incarnation using steel girders.

Passenger services on the route ceased as long ago as 1951. Freight traffic continued until 1984, when the line closed. The Rewley Road Swing Bridge then fell into disuse. In 1986, passenger services returned to the line, but trains rerouted over the fixed GWR bridge behind.

This is one of only two rail swing bridges listed as Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Plans were drawn to restore it as far back as 2012. The scrub and overgrowth have been cleared, but it still looks like there is a lot of work to do.

Photograph Details:

  • Taken: 27 Sep 2017
  • Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 MkIIA
  • Lens: Olympus 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length 14mm
  • F/8
  • 1/40 Sec
  • ISO 200

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