Heritage Locations

Bank Quay Transporter Bridge, Warrington

Large structural steel transporter bridge across the River Mersey - the world's only remaining RAIL transporter bridge, having been used to carry wagons of cement from the works to the main line.


Period of construction:
1900 - 1949

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Ineos Silicas, 4 Liverpool Road, Warrington, WA5 1AB


Nearest Town:

Heritage Centre:

The Warrington Transporter Bridge (or Bank Quay Transporter Bridge) was opened across the tidal River Mersey in 1916, at a cost of £34,000, to conect parts of the Joseph Crosfield and Son Ltd soap and chemical works. It was originally one of two such bridges at this location, the other having been built in 1905. Initially it carried railway trucks up to 18 tonnes in weight but was converted for road vehicles in 1940 and upgraded to 30 tonne weight limit in 1953.

The double steel cantilevers on each tower support a central 61m (200 ft) span of riveted mild steel plates and angles. The overall length of the structure is 103 m (339 ft) and it provides 23 m (76 ft) clearance at high water. It was designed by William Henry Hunter, and built by contractor Sir William Arrol.

The firm of Joseph Crosfield & Sons Ltd continued to thrive and grow after his death, producing a variety of chemicals. In 1911 it was purchased by Brunner, Mond & Company and 1919 it was absorbed into Lever Brothers. From 1929, Crosfield was a subsidiary of Unilever. In 1997 it was acquired by ICI and in 2001, When Ineos Capital purchased the company, the Crosfield name was finally lost as it was renamed Ineos Silicas.   

The bridge is listed by English Heritage as Grade II* but is currently on their Buildings at Risk Register because of its poor condition and deteriorating ironwork. It is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The bridge is preserved under a 50 year lease in possession of Warrington Borough Council (expires 2027). The gondola remains intact.

Interested people should join the 'Friends' of the bridge to increase the public pressure to preserve the bridge - see website link below.


Forbes, N. N., Transporter Bridges, Light Railway, ISBN-10: 0900433345 (1970)

Norrie, Charles Matthew, Bridging The Years: A Short History of British Civil Engineering, Edward Arnold, ASIN: B0000CJJ7M (1956)

Rennison, R.W., Civil Engineering Heritage : Northern England, Thomas Telford, ISBN 07277-2518-1 (1996)

Thompson, Dave, Bridging the Years, MailBook Publishing, (2000)

Tyrrell, Henry Grattan, Transporter Bridges, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN-10: 0548505454 (2007)

Opening Times:
No public access available.

How To Find:
By road: On Factory Lane off A5061

Weather Feed currently unavailable.