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The industrial revolution started with the construction of the first iron bridge in the UK. As the need for moving material, as well as people, intensified this spurned the development of the railways which provided the need to build railway bridges.
This talk gives a brief historical overview of the development of the early iron and steel railway bridges with illustrative examples of the some of the more notable bridges which are of historic interest. The talk also highlights some of the early failures which led to the improvement in the processes and materials used in the construction of the bridges.
An overview is also given in the challenges, with respect to corrosion and fatigue issues, facing the bridges in maintaining them for future generations.