The Riotinto mining basin, in Huelva (Spain), is a fascinating place with thousands of years of history.
The first mining operations in the area began in Antiquity , before the arrival of the Romans, but it was not until the Contemporary Age when they were developed in depth by the British company Rio Tinto Company Limited, which established itself in the area in the second half of the 19th century, building a railway line to serve these mines.
The Riotinto Railway was inaugurated in 1875 with a route of 83 kilometers that linked that mining operation with the city of Huelva. It was in service until 1984, and in the 1990s a part of its route was recovered as a tourist railway. One of the abandoned sections was that of Cerro Salomón, in the town of Niebla, where the British engineer George Barclay Bruce built a bridge that was finished in 1875 and destroyed by a strong flood in 1888.
That same year the steel bridge that still crosses the Tinto River was built, the work of British engineer Thomas Gibson. It is 68 meters long and leads to a 140 meter long tunnel. The bridge is known as Puente Salomón (the tunnel receives the same biblical name) for being built next to Cerro Salomón. Both the bridge and the tunnel were abandoned in 1984. Today both are in very poor condition, as we can see in this interesting video posted yesterday by Aventuras Entresierras:
Here you can see some screenshots of the video. Here we have the bridge with the Tinto River below.
It is the classic lattice bridge, with two masonry pillars.
As we can see in this image, the wooden sleepers are very rotten and the metal plates of the bridge are corroded.
The entrance to the Solomon Tunnel. Its interior is covered with sulfur, as you can see in the video.
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