The Firth of Forth in Scotland is a unique location- perhaps one of the only locations in the world where three centuries of large-scale bridge design and construction can be seen side by side. Here, three parallel bridges cross the Firth of Forth: the 1890 Forth Rail Bridge, the 1964 Forth Road Bridge, and the 2017 Queensferry Crossing.
The Forth Rail Bridge is a steel cantilever through truss, and one of a small number of bridges in the world to be designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was awarded in 2015. The UNESCO World Heritage designation not only recognizes the bridge's "outstanding universal value" but also confirms its protection and preservation as a heritage structure. Among the most famous bridges in the world, the Forth Rail Bridge was the longest cantilever truss bridge in the world when it was completed in 1890. The 1917 Quebec Bridge in Canada is the only bridge to have surpassed its span among cantilever truss bridges. Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker designed the Forth Rail Bridge and construction began in 1882. It is unique for its use of massive tubular members and is also one of the first large-scale uses of steel in bridges rather than wrought iron.
The bridge remains in use by trains today, and was fully blasted and repainted for the first time starting in 2002. The Wikipedia article for this bridge makes an interesting comment about the painting: "In 2011, the bridge was covered in a new coating designed to last for 25 years, bringing an end to having painters as a regular part of the maintenance crew. Colin Hardie, of Balfour Beatty Construction, was reported as saying, "For the first time in the bridge's history there will be no painters required on the bridge. Job done..." -Colin Hardie, BBC News article, 5 September 2011" Colin may have been a little overly optimistic on the qualities of modern paint systems. Careful observers of HistoricBridges.org's enormous photo gallery for this bridge may discover areas where the top paint layer is peeling. Additionally, there are some isolated areas of rust forming. This may not mean the paint system is faulty, however this is a large bridge in a tough marine environment. Most certainly, the painters who were dismissed from the bridge may need to be called back on occasion over the 25 year life of the paint system for spot painting.
View Archived List of Workers Killed During Construction (Taken From Defunct Forth Bridge Memorial Committee Website)
Official Heritage Listing Information and Findings
Listed At: Category A
List Entry Number: LB40370 and LB9977
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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