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Facts About the Forth Rail Bridge

Updated on March 24, 2010

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland which connects Scotland's capital city, Edinburgh, with the kingdom of Fife.

The 1.5 mile (2.5km) bridge was the first in the World to be built from steel.

The Collins Encyclopaedia of Scotland describes the Forth bridge as "the one internationally recognised Scottish landmark".

The Forth Rail Bridge is Scotland's largest listed building - meaning no external changes can be made without the permission of a government agency.

For many years the bridge featured in advertising for the soft drink Irn Bru, with the slogan "Made in Scotland, from girders".

During construction a workforce of up to 4000 men made use of some 54000 tonnes of steel and 6.5 million rivets.

The bridge is represented on the 2004 pound coin and on the 2007 Bank of Scotland 20 note.

Despite rescue boats being positioned below the bridge during construction, 57 lives were lost.

In 2005 the bridge was flood lit red for the BBC's Comic Relief telethon.

Even today the bridge is the second longest cantilever bridge in the World - surpassed only by the Quebec Bridge.

One of the original log books of accidents and sickness of workers during construction has 26,000 entries.

Sir Thomas Bouch, designer of the original Tay Bridge had his plans for a Forth Bridge accepted and the foundation stone laid. Construction was abandoned in 1879 following the Tay Bridge Disaster.

"Painting the Forth Bridge" has become a popular term for a never-ending task.

Forth Bridge Books and Gifts


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