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Original Text (Annotation: EPW039923 / 2030511)

' The Telescopic Bridge. This bridge was built in 1871 to the design of Sir Francis Fox, the engineer for the Bristol and Exeter Railway. It carried a railway siding over the river to the coal yard and docks in the Port of Bridgwater, but had to be movable, to allow boats to proceed upriver to the Town Bridge. Part of the railway siding followed the route previously used by a horse-drawn tram which had later been converted to a mixed gauge rail system. An 80-foot section of railway track to the east of the bridge could be moved sideways by a traverser, making space so that the main 127-foot girders could be retracted, creating a navigable channel which was 78 feet wide. '