The Forth Railway Bridge


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The Forth Railway Bridge is one of my favourite bridges to be found anywhere in the World. Construction commenced in 1882, taking 7 years to complete. The design is called a balanced cantilever. Structural engineers who design bridges must also possess an intimate knowledge of how they will be constructed. Has anyone on the forum travelled across it? To think that the only form of road transport that existed at the time of construction was a horse and cart!!

Ron. 800px-Forth_bridge_evening_long_exposure.jpg
I crossed it many years ago on the way to The Orkneys with my then-partner in my P5B Saloon but I have no outstanding memories of it really. It was fun to have crossed it of course, another well-known landmark interacted with & it's easier to look at the view than the bridge itself, much like the QE2 Bridge over The Thames which l traverse regularly, mostly in lorries which it's easier to see the view from. There was a definite sense of anticipation before crossing the Forth though, it's an extremely impressive piece of work.

There was an excellent programme on the failure of the first Tay Bridge some years ago, mainly based on the incredibly detailed glass plate photographs taken at the time. Have you studied that incident at all, Ron?
I didn't even think of that, it was a long time ago. :LOL: l must be getting old.
So the rail bridge would have been part of our view. The anticipation for the crossing holds true though.

Been up to Edinburgh on the train so just short of the rail bridge, also to Fort William on a school trip in the seventies but l guess that was up the West Coast Line & even if we had crossed it way back then, l doubt it would have registered with me. I do recall the local trains up there seeming old fashioned & quaint though.
Forth Rail Bridge
I remember crossing it many times back in the 1950's when going to visit relatives. What I remember most is that when we were on the bridge we would open the window and throw pennies out for luck. Everyone used to do it so I suppose the lucky ones were the bridge inspectors.

Forth Road Bridge
My memory of this is back in the early 1960's when me and my pal decided to cycle across it before it was opened. It was still a bit of a construction site and we got shouted at but we made it over and back. Don't think there was much in the way of Health & Safety back then.

Queensferry Crossing
I decided to take my MGB across it on opening day but alas so did half of Scotland and it took hours snarled up in traffic. I was watching the temp gauge creeping ever closer to the red but I am glad I didn't have the P6 back then or I really would have been worried.

The memories now make me feel very, very old


Well-Known Member
The Forth Railway Bridge is one of my favourite bridges to be found anywhere in the World. Construction commenced in 1882, taking 7 years to complete.
I find it very very difficult to get my head around that incredible construction having been conceived and completed by people who only had horse and cart transportation. Something is 'off' there...
Travelled over the rail bridge many times whilst based at HMS Caledonia (training establishment) above Rosyth dockyard during the early 60's & saw the construction of the first road bridge.
Just above the boat that is moored to the base. In the construction picture. You can see the smoke from the chimney. On having another look I think it may be a steam crane (or stationery boiler) but the pixilation isn't fine enough...