Newport Transporter Bridge – Newport – United Kingdom

Newport Transporter Bridge (Pont Gludo Casnewydd in Welsh) is in the town of the same name in south-east Wales, over the river Usk. Designed by Ferdinand Arnodin and opened in 1906, it is the largest of the 8 surviving transporter bridges in the world. It is also the most recognisable symbol of the town of Newport.


The possibility of building a new bridge began to be considered in the late 19th century. The east bank of the river had seen rapid industrial development, which was about to speed up with the building of a steelworks. The existing bridge could not cope with the increase in traffic, and the ferries had already had several tragic accidents.

The county engineer R. Haynes had heard about a French engineer named Ferdinand Arnodin, who had designed a new kind of bridge that could overcome the difficulties in this case, of very flat terrain and a long way between the banks, while allowing high ships to sail through.

After a delegation had travelled to the city of Rouen to examine a similar structure, this type of bridge was chosen and Arnodin and Haynes appointed as joint engineers. It was finally opened on 12th September 1906.

The bridge in figures

  • Distance between towers: 180 metres

  • Gondola crossing time: 90 seconds

  • Weight: 1.164 tonnes

  • Length of gondola: 10 x 12 metres

  • Height of the towers: 74 metres

  • Height of the platform over the water: 54 metres

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Credits and intellectual property

Top picture: ©Newport Museum and Heritage Service

Gallery 1: ©Newport Museum and Heritage Service

Gallery 2: CC BY-SA 4.0 (Creative Commons) WelshDave / ©Newport Museums and Heritage Service