Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

North Dock Draw Bridge

The drawbridge across the entrance to the North Dock also carried overhead wires to power the trams which ran between the town centre and Port Tennant. There were four gantries carrying the overhead lines – two being mounted on the bridge itself, and two wider gantries being mounted on either side of the bridge. As the bridge was being raised on its hydraulic rams prior to being rolled back, the bridge-mounted gantries were lifted clear of the shore-based gantries and the electrical supply to the wires on the bridge was disconnected. Then, as the bridge was rolled back, the bridge-mounted gantries travelled above the overhead lines running between the town and the bridge. This system allowed the overhead wires on the bridge, and those on either side of the bridge, to remain under tension at all times. As can be seen from the photos, the connection devices on the gantries were quite substantial.

North Dock entrance draw bridge nearing the end of construction in 1903. The view is looking towards the Town

View looking west.

The road bridge and above the high level rail bridge

Tram on the bridge heading for town

The road bridge has been lifted ready to roll back to the town side

Pedestrians waiting on the town side of the bridge for shipping to pass through

The bridge opening -note the three guide arms to locate the bridge in the closed position

People waiting on the Port Tennant side for the road bridge to close

Car followed by a tram crossing the bridge

Two ships entering the North Dock waiting for the road bridge to open to shipping

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