Transporter Bridges - an illustrated history

Transporter Bridges - an illustrated history is a project which, like several of my earlier books, has grown out of frustration at not being able to find information I was looking for in any other publications. That started me out on what has become a fascinating journey of discovery.

Transporter bridges are a legacy of the closing years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, and served a brief but important need. The huge increase in road transport, however, quickly rendered them obsolete, and probably not more than twenty-one were ever built across the world – five of which were in Britain. Just nine still stand in their original form and, at the time of writing, only five are currently still in use – one each in Spain and Germany and two in the UK. Another, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, unused since the 1960s, returned to service in 2018 after restoration. The last surviving 'pont transbordeur' in France will be back in use in 2019 after restoration. The second of Germany's surviving transporters is currently awaiting repair after a ship collided with it.

But is the transporter bridge about to undergo a surprising renaissance? At the time of writing, proposals exist for three new bridges, all in France – at Nantes, Marseille and Brest – to replace some of those lost during and after the Second World War.

The book will be illustrated in colour throughout, using hundreds of photographs – my own modern images and many historic photographs and postcards chronicling the construction and operation of these unusual structures. 


This book will be published in hardback in February 2020 by Pen&Sword Transport Books.



The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White is still available from John Hannavy Publishing price £20.00 + P&P. 

To order a copy, use the Contacts page.


Published by PiXZ/Halsgrove in October 2017, price £9.99, is  Edwardian Railways in Postcards a celebration both of the railways themselves and of the art of the postcard photographers, colourists and publishers. Click on the book cover, below to log on to where you can see all of John Hannavy's currently available books. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy