Railway stone bridges of Ukraine

Now the construction of stone bridges is unprofitable since it requires a lot of handwork to process the material and make masonry vaults, it does not lend to mechanization and must be carried out by highly qualified workers.

However, properly operated railway stone bridges stand much longer than their modern reinforced concrete counterparts and can do it for several hundred years! There are few of them left on the territory of Ukraine, but all of them are unique and are outstanding monuments of engineering, attracting the attention of tourists with their beauty.

Viaduct in Vorokhta

The largest stone railway bridge is located in the village Vorokhta. The length of the bridge is 130 m, the width of the central arch is 65 m. A graceful turn of the viaduct connects the two banks of the Prut River. It was built in 1895 by Italian prisoners of war.

Viaduct in Vorokhta
Viaduct in Vorokhta. Picture – Gura Oleh

The construction of the viaduct in Vorokhta was part of the grandiose plan of the Austro-Hungarian government, according to which the railway was supposed to connect the Adriatic and Black Seas. The train, approaching the village from one bank, greeted its residents with a whistle, then circled the center of Vorokhta in a wide arc at a height of several tens of meters and proudly disappeared around the bend. The upper part of the viaduct is very narrow: the locomotive was passing along the track, and the passengers thought that the train was floating in the air.

Unfortunately, it is no longer possible to observe the passage of the train by the viaduct – for the sake of preserving the architectural monument, a backup bridge was built next to it in 2000. Now the Austrian masterpiece of bridge construction is provided for photo sessions for domestic and foreign tourists. Graceful arches, high spans, openwork solemnity of supports look from all angles and at any time of the day.

Among the old stone bridges in Vorokhta, the old Austrian bridge is the most famous, but not the only one. The village is decorated with three more picturesque stone bridges, each of which is more than a century old.

Plebanovsky bridge

Plebanovsky Bridge attracts attention with its high arches at the entrance to Terebovlya from Chernivtsi. A nine-arch stone railway bridge was built in 1896. When laying the Ternopil-Kopychintsy railway. Designed by Austrian engineers, the bridge has been well preserved to this day and continues to be used for its intended purpose, showing unforgettable landscapes to train passengers.

Plebanovsky bridge
Plebanovsky bridge. Picture: holiday. ua

Bridge over the Ingul river

This bridge is a unique monument of railway architecture. The arches of the bridge resemble a Roman viaduct in size, shape, and quality. The pillars of the bridge were built in the 60s of the 19th century, during the construction of the Balta – Elizavetgrad – Znamenka railway.

The metal span has changed many times, but the supports have invariably stood for more than 150 years and survived two world wars and one civil war. The bridge is single-track, although the road itself is double-track. It is located on the northwestern outskirts of Kropyvnytskyi.

Bridge over the Ingul river
Bridge over the Ingul river. Picture: holiday. ua

Bridge-viaduct near the Donetskiy village

Not far from Kirovsk, between the Donetskiy village and Golubovka (Luhansk region) there is a small river. Over this river, near the Siphonnaya station an interesting railway bridge rises. This bridge stood for over 100 years. It was built over a very deep gully with steep banks, reminiscent of a huge canyon. The length of the bridge is 170 m, at the highest point it reaches 40 m.

In 1941, the bridge was blown up, and only rebuilt in 1949. Some parts of the bridge remained stone, and the destroyed sections were made with reinforced concrete.

Bridge-viaduct near the Donetskiy village
Bridge-viaduct near the Donetskiy village. Picture: holiday. ua

Bridge in Yaremche

The bridge in Yaremche was built in 1894-1896 according to the project of the professor of Lviv Polytechnic University Zygmund Kulka. The main builder was Stanislav Ravich-Kosinsky. The bridge was very long – 205 m, the main span of the bridge – 65 m, height – 32 m. The Yaremchansky bridge became a model for many other bridges in Europe.

Bridge in Yaremche
Bridge in Yaremche. Picture: holiday. ua

In 1917, the bridge was blown up during the retreat of Russian troops. In 1920, the bridge was temporarily rebuilt with an iron structure. Realizing the attractiveness of the bridge for the development of tourism in the Prut Valley, the Polish state in 1925-1927 repaired the stone bridge according to the original project with minor changes. However, in this form, the bridge was not destined to exist for long – in 1944 it was blown up again by retreating German troops.

In Soviet times, a new reinforced concrete bridge was built here. So in Yaremche, a unique example of railway architecture was lost forever.

Railway magazine “Railway Supply”

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