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Charles Richardson was Engineer to the Bristol Harbour Railway, constructed by the Great Western Railway and the Bristol and Exeter Railway jointly, from Bristol Station to the quay near Hill's drydock.
This line had heavy works the whole way, the first portion consisting of a viaduct on arches from Bristol Station to near Redcliffe Church, then a tunnel under the churchyard and Redcliffe Hill, and a bascule bridge over the lock between Bathurst Basin and the floating harbour. This bridge could be opened or shut in about thirty seconds, and an ingenious knee-lever arrangement was introduced, which relieved the axle of the bridge when a train passed over.