The Forth Bridge also called Forth Rail Bridge or Forth Railway Bridge, located in Scotland 14 km (9 mi) away from Edinburgh is a railway bridge over the Firth of Forth .
The Forth Bridge was described in the Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland as “the one immediately and internationally recognised Scottish landmark”, and it is possible to be added British government to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.The bridge and its associated railway infrastructure is owned by Network Rail Infrastructure Limited. Till 1917 the bridge was the longest cantilever bridge in the world and now remains the second longest.
The Forth Bridge was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker and built by Glasgow based company Sir William Arrol & Co. between 1883 and 1890. During its construction, over 450 workers were injured and 98 lost their lives . The bridge was built in steel alone, and was the first bridge in Britain to use this material alone. More than 55,000 tons of steel were used, as well as 18,122 m3 of granite and over eight million rivets.
Even today the bridge is regarded as an engineering marvel. It is 2.5 km (1.5 miles) in length, and the double track is elevated 46 m (approx. 150 ft) above high tide.
It consists of two main spans of 521.3 m (1,710 ft), two side spans of 207.3 m, and 15 approach spans of 51.2 m (168 ft). The three great four-tower cantilever structures are 100.6 m (330 ft) tall,each 70 ft (21 m) diameter foot resting on a separate foundation.
4,600 workers were employed in its construction. Initially, it was recorded that 57 lives were lost but historians discovered that 98 people died in order for this bridge to be built . 8 men were saved by boats positioned in the river under the working areas.
The Forth Bridge was opened on 4 March 1890 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, and much of the work done was without precedent, including calculations for incidence of erection stresses, provisions made for reducing future maintenance costs, calculations for wind pressures, the effect of temperature stresses on the structure, and so on.
The bridge has a speed limit of 50 mph (80 km/h) for passenger trains and 20 mph (32 km/h) for freight trains.
Forth Bridge Facts
Carries – Rail traffic
- Crosses – Firth of Forth
- Location – 9mi from Edinburgh, Scotland
- Maintained – Balfour Beatty under contract to Network Rail
- Designer – Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker
- Design – Cantilever bridge
- Total length – 2,528 m (8,296 ft)
- Longest span – 521.3 m (1710 ft)
- Clearance below – 46 meters (151 ft)
- Opened – 4 March 1890
- Traffic – 200 trains daily