Its revamp came after the Royal Albert Bridge - which crosses the River Tamar between Plymouth and Saltash, Cornwall - had spent 150 years carrying almost a billion tonnes of rail traffic.
Brunel's original blueprint
We refurbished the bridge’s two main spans and, three years earlier, had unveiled Brunel’s name on the bridge - which had remained hidden for decades - to celebrate the bicentenary of Brunel’s birth.
Ian Frostick, a route civil engineer at Network Rail, said at the time: “The 150 years anniversary is a testament to Brunel’s achievements and to the industry’s commitment to this vital rail link.
“It is a complex job that requires careful consideration, particularly on safety, operations and heritage issues…”
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The bridge was covered in 30 coats of paint; research found the original colour could have been brown.
It was first repainted grey in 1911. Its original colour was never recorded, leaving a gap in the history books.
The Royal Albert Bridge was completed in 1859 and serves as a vital rail link to and from Cornwall.
The bridge had to be supported 80 feet above water level, with a giant cylinder floated out and sunk onto the rock. The bridge’s two 455-foot main spans were built on the shore, floated into position, then jacked up by a few feet per day until they reached the right level.