L'Atlas des Viaducs de France Tome 2 (La Vie du Rail)

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The second volume of an illustrated survey of all railway viaducts in France, looking at all such structures with a span of less than 150 m, also including some bridges that fall within that specification.

The 19th century development of railways across France was prodigious. The use of wooden bridges, common for roads and paths, was impossible for the railways given the requirement for tonnage and speed. The builders of the time therefore had recourse to structures with a metal deck, or in masonry, or even in bricks. Many have become geographical landmarks that whet the appetite of those passionate about heritage. . A variety of construction techniques are featured, including lower or upper truss decks forming a bridge-cage with variable spans, long-span cantilever arches with cantilevered beams, vaulted arches in masonry, a mixture of metal spans and masonry arches and post-1945 the technique of reinforced concrete. Viaducts supporting narrow gauge lines are also within the scope of the book.

Many structures were reconstructed following the conflicts of 1914-18 and 1939-45, sometimes according to different architectural schemes. Several have been widened with additional tracks. Abandonment of some lines has seen some structures converted into roads, hiking trails or cycle paths. Conversely, around a hundred new large structures have punctuated the new high-speed lines since 1980.

Most of the illustrations are recent high quality colour photographs, interspersed with a few archive black & white images. Several maps are also included showing the locations of featured viaducts. 160 pages. French text. Large format hardback.

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