Transporter Bridges - an illustrated history

Transporter Bridges - an illustrated history is the first-ever comprehensive history of these unusual and monumental structures.

These bridges are a legacy of the closing years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th, and fulfilled a brief but important need. The huge increase in road transport, however, quickly rendered the majority of 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 2020 after restoration. Germany's second surviving transporter is 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 World War II.

The book is illustrated in colour throughout, more than three hundred and sixty photographs, plans and drawings – my own modern images and many historic photographs and postcards chronicling the construction and operation of these unusual structures. 


Transporter Bridges - an illustrated history was published in hardback in February 2020 by Pen&Sword Transport Books, price £30.



The Victorian Photographs of Dr. Thomas Keith and John Forbes White is still available from John Hannavy Publishing, the remaining hardback copies now reduced to half price, just £10.00 + P&P

To order a copy, use the Contacts page.


The Governor – controlling the power of steam machines will be published in hardback and e-book on 30 November 2021 by Pen & Sword Transport Books. The hardback will be priced at £30. Click on the book cover, below to log on to where you can see all of my currently available books. 

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All images and text © John Hannavy