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10 Longest and Oldest Railway Bridge in the World

Bridges are the oldest transportation structures ever known, trans-versing difficult terrains from plains, hills to water bodies. Simply no river has ever been too wide for feats of engineering to demonstrate their technological prowess. Bridges are not only known for transportation but also for international trade.

Some of the oldest bridges date back to 2500 BC and still exist up to date. The longest bridges in the world are mostly found in China. Railway bridges remain the safest, economical means of transport, travel and leisure.

Below are 10 longest and oldest rail bridges in the world listed down for you!

World's Longest Rail Bridge

1. Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, China - 164.8 Kilometers

Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge
  • Length : 102.4 miles (164.8 kilometers)
  • Height : 100 feet off the ground
  • Location : Jiangsu Provice, China
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Danyang – Kunshan Grand Bridge holds the record as the longest bridge in the world. Located between Shanghai and Nanjing, the bridge covers four stops including the Yangtze River Delta-running parallel to it close to 8km, 5.6 miles across the open water of Yangcheng Lake in Suzhou, low rice paddles and the Langfang–Qingxian viaduct.

The high speed railway line was constructed in 2006 and was completed in 2010, at a cost of $ 8.5 billion.The DanyangKunshan Grand Bridge is part of Beijing-Shanghai railway line. Before its construction, it would take four and a half hours to travel from Ningbo to Jiaxing using public means. Right now, it only takes two hours to get to your destination using the Danyang Kunshan Grand Bridge. The bridge is able to withstand any natural disasters including earthquakes and typhoons.

2. Tianjin Grand Bridge, China - 113.7kilometers

Tianjin Grand Bridge
  • Length: 70.6-miles (113.7kilometers)
  • Location : China
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Guinness World Book of Records has termed Tianjin Grand Bridge as the third longest viaduct bridge in the world. The bridge connects Langfang and Qingxian city, and just like Danyang – Kunshan Grand Bridge, the bridge took four years to be constructed, seeing its completion in 2010. Tianjin Grand Bridge is also part of Beijing – Shanghai railway line, stretching 34 miles over the Pearl River Delta and connecting two islands through a 4 mile tunnel.

3. Lethbridge Viaduct, America - 1,624 m

Lethbridge Viaduct, America
  • Length : 1,624 m
  • Height : 5,331 ft
  • Location : North America
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Lethbridge Viaduct is a high level bridge in North America, with high steel rails and trestle. It was built in 1908 -1909, crossing over Oldman River making distances shorter, reducing traveling distance by 5 miles compared to the original route by public transport.

4. Beijing Grand Bridge, China - 48.153 kilometers

Beijing Grand Bridge
  • Length : 29.921 miles (48.153 kilometers)
  • Height : 157,982 ft
  • Location : China
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Beijing Grand Bridge is a railway viaduct connecting the Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Rim. It is ranked as the fifth longest bridge in the world on the Beijing – Shanghai railway line. Beijing Grand Bridge was completed in 2010 and began its operation in 2011.

5. Fabyan Viaduct near Wainwright - 846 m

Fabyan Viaduct near Wainwright
  • Length : 846 m
  • Height : 2,775 ft
  • Location : Alberta, Canada
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Fabyan Viaduct is the second longest steel trestle known in Canada. It was built in 1907-1908 at 195' (59 m) tall over Battle river, popularly known for having 26 steel towers and is still in use to date as the east-west main line of the CN.

6. Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct, Taiwan - 157,317 meters

Changhua–Kaohsiung Viaduct
  • Length : 97.8 miles (157,317 meters)
  • Location : Taiwan
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct is the second longest bridge known in the world. The bridge serves as a viaduct for the Taiwan high speed railway line, linking Baguashan and Kaohsiung’s Zuoying. This bridge can withstand fault movements, earthquakes and in case of a seismic event, the bridge lets trains stop with ease. Changhua-Kaohsiung Viaduct was completed in 2007, with a capability of accommodating 200 million passengers.

7. Bogibeel Rail Road Bridge, India - 4.94 Kilometers

Bogibeel Rail Road Bridge
  • Length : (4.94km)
  • Location : India
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

India has some of the best infrastructures from flyovers, expressways to bridges. The longest railway cum Road Bridge is 4.94km, located over Brahmaputra River in Assam. Bogibeel Rail Road Bridge connects five million people in Upper Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It is now easy to get to upper Assam through the North bank. This rail-road bridge is strategically located, enhancing India’s transport system and supply to its boarders.

Other Longest Rail Bridge in the country are :

  • Vembanad Bridge – 4.62 Kilometers
  • Vembanad Bridge – 4.62 Kilometers
  • Godavari Arch Bridge – 2.75 Kilometers
  • Old Godavari Bridge – 2.7 Kilometers
  • Mahanadi Rail Bridge – 2.1 Kilometers
  • Pamban Bridge – 2.065 Kilometers
  • Sharavathi Bridge – 2.060 Kilometers
  • Zuari Bridge – 1.319 Kilometers
  • Jubilee Bridge, Hooghly

Recomanded Luxury Train tour to India

  • Maharajas' Express train
  • Palace on Wheels Train
  • Deccan Odyssey Train
  • Golden Chariot Train

8. Trans-Siberian Railway Bridges - 9,288.2 Kilometers

Trans-Siberian Railway Bridges
  • Length : 5,773 miles (9,288.2 km)
  • Location : Russia
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Trans-Siberian is a railway is the longest passing across Russia, Urals cities, Siberia and pacific coast. The railway is about 5,773 miles (9,288.2 km) long as it crosses over hundreds of bridges and tunnels. Trans-Siberian crosses 16 rivers in total including Vyatka, Tobol, Chulym, Volga, Ob, Yenisey, Bureya, Ussuri, Amur, Oka, Selenga, Irtysh, Tom, Zeya, Kama and Khor.

Dating from 1913-1916 saw the construction of the longest bridge on the Trans-Siberian railway line. This Khabarovsk bridge was built over Amur River with a length of 2 568 meters. This was however destroyed and rebuilt into a combined road and rail-bridge, 2 612 meters long.

Trans-Siberian has 38 tunnels, bridges and viaducts, a masterpiece that attracts researchers, tourists and historians. Trans-Siberians cuts across mountains, creating several tunnels, with the longest under Amur River, just parallel to the bridge. The railway bridge connects Tongjiang with Nizhneleninskoye, all through to China.

9. Binhai Mass Transit Bridge, China - 25,800 meters

Binhai Mass Transit Bridge
  • Length : 32.78 miles (25,800 meters )
  • Height : 84,645 feet
  • Location : China
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

This is the eighth longest railway bridge in the world located in China, created in 2003. Binhai Mass Transit bridge took three years to be completed before commencing its operations in 2004. This rail bridge is 25,800 meters (32.78 miles) and approximately 84,645 feet. Binhai Mass Transitbridge connects Metropolitan Tianjin to TEDA in China. It is the longest bridge carrying rail, carrying two-way commuter rail.

The train used on the bridge can travel up to 62 miles per hour, the fastest record for any transit system in China. Binhai transit bridge consists of 9 lines with; line 1 having 23 stations at a length of 26.2 km, line 2 having 20 stations at 27.157 km, Line 3 having 26 stations at 33.7 km, line 4 is still under construction having 14 stations at 19.4km, line 5 28 stations at 34.8km, line 6 has 38 stations both a tunnel and a bridge line of 42.6km, line 7 and 8 are not complete, with line 9 being the longest. It has 21 stations at a length of 52.76 km. It constantly receives passengers close to 97,000 on a daily basis.

10. Saale Elster Bridge - 6,465 meters

Saale Elster Bridge
  • Length : 6,465 meters
  • Height : 21,211 feet
  • Location : Germany
  • Bridge’s purpose : High speed railway line

Saale Elsterbridge is Germany’s longest bridge and part of Deutsche Einheit project, completed in 2012. The bridge crosses Saale, river valleys and a number of nature reserves. The bridge is 6,465 meters and approximately 21,211 feet, making it the longest high-speed rail bridge in the entire Europe and in the world. Additionally, Halle city is connected to the bridge by an extra 2.1 kilometer linked to the bridge.

The continuous part of the bridge links Gröbers to Leipzig airport. When it reaches the Erfurt-Halle branch, the Saale-Elster Viaduct can accommodate four tracks opposed to two tracks in other sections of the bridge.

Oldest Rail Bridge

Carrollton viaduct, Baltimore, U.S

Carrollton viaduct, Baltimore
  • Length : 312 feet (95 m)
  • Height : 65 feet (20 m)
  • Location : US

In the history of bridges, Pons Fabricius in Rome is the oldest bridge in the world, built in 62 BC by Lucius Fabricius. 2077 years later, Pons Fabriciushas seen thousands of floods, earthquakes, wars horse carriages, pedestrians and tourists but still stands to date. The bridge is 203ft long, made of rocks, bricks and limestone. Nevertheless, these bridges termed as old were not the longest ever known.

However, in terms of the oldest railway bridge in the world, Carrollton viaduct stands as the oldest rail bridge that is still in use. The first bridge was called Charles Carrollton bridge because he lay the first stone of the rail bridge. This bridge was the first masonry railroad bridge, designed as a two-arch stone bridge by Casper Wever.

Part of the bridge spans the Gwynns Falls while the rest crosses a wagon road. This bridge was completed in the year 1829 and started operating in 1830 on New Year’s Day. This became the first United States’ rail road destination.

In fact, it was already termed as a historic civil engineering landmark by the year 1982. Flashing forward seventy years later, it remains to be the oldest standing structure with the capability of carrying modern high-speed trains with ease.

Causey Arch

Causey Arch

The Causey Arch is also known as Tanfield Arch, built in 1727, most people term it to be the oldest rail bridge still in existence. The bridge is close to Stanley, Durham in England Its purpose was to carry a wagon-way ferrying coal from Tanfield Colliery to River Tyne by horse trucks on rails. Being a single span bridge at 105′ wide and 85′ high, it was termed as the largest in the country for 30 years.

Wood was used to build the rail road but there was the fear that it would collapse just like the one built in 1725. Later, in 1739 the Arch was destroyed and reinforced in 1980s, still in use till date.

Frequently Asking Questions

Q. What are the top 5 longest bridges in the world?

A. Currently top 5 longest bridge in the world are:

  • The Danyang- Kunshan Grand Bridge, China is 164.8 km
  • Taijain Grand Bridge, China is 113.7 km
  • The WeinanWeihe Grand Bridge, China is 79.7 km
  • Bang Na Expressway, Thailand is 55 km
  • Beijing Grand Bridge China is 48.15 km

Q. Which country has the longest bridge in the world?

A. China has longest bridge The Danyang- Kunshan Grand Bridge, China is 164.8 km long.

Q. Which is the longest bridge in Europe?

A. The longest bridge in Europe is in Portugal that is the Vasco da Gama Bridge and it is 12.3 km long.

Q. What is the most expensive bridge in the world?

A. The most expensive bridge in the world is Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco with span of $6.4 billion in design and construction.

Q. Where is the longest rail bridge in the USA?

A. The Lake Pontchartain Bridge is 9.3 km long and carries Norfolk Southern rail line between Slidell and New Orleans, Louisiana. <

Q. Where is the longest rail bridge in the china?

A. The Danyang- Kunshan Grand Bridge, running between Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway. The bridge is about 165 km.

Q. Which is the longest rail bridge of India?

A. The Bogibeel Bridge in Assam is the longest rail cum road bridge in India. It is 4.94 km over Brahmaputra river.

Q. Which is the oldest rail bridge of India?

A. The Pamban Bridge connecting the town Mandapam with Pamban Island was opened in 24 February 1914.

Q. Which is the famous rail bridge in India?

A. The Vembanand Bridge, Kerala connecting Edappally and Vallarpadam in Kochi Kerala.

Q. Which is the largest bridge in Asia?

A. The Danyang- Kunshan Grand Bridge, China is 164.8 km is the largest bridge in Asia

Q. Which is the first longest bridge in the world?

A. The Danyang- Kunshan Grand Bridge, China is 164.8 km is the largest bridge in the world.

Q. Which is the second longest bridge in the world?

A. Taijain Grand Bridge, China is 113.7 km is the second longest bridge in the world.