Did You Know?
- Forth Rail Bridge

Forth Rail Bridge

Instantly recognisable because of its unique design, the Forth Rail Bridge was one of the greatest achievements of 19th century engineers.

The original designer was Thomas Bouch - but his rail bridge over the River Tay collapsed on 28 December 1879 and Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker were appointed instead.

The main contractor was William Arrol and construction of the three diamond-shaped steel towers began in 1883.

The bridge stretches 1.5 miles across the River Forth estuary from Fife to Lothian, nine miles west of Edinburgh.

At its highest point it is 361 feet above the water and 55,000 tons of steel, 640,000 cubic feet of Aberdeen granite, 8 million rivets and 145 acres of paint went into its construction.

It was built between December 1882 and January 1890. The number of people employed on construction reached 4,600 at one point.

The last rivet was ceremoniously driven home by the Prince of Wales on 4 March 1890.

From mid winter to mid summer it expands almost by a metre.

It is now one of the largest structures in the world to be floodlit - 1,000 high-powered lights illuminate the 1.5 miles of the bridge at night.

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