Lovely footage of the magnificent Forth Bridge as it spans the Firth of Forth in Scotland. [20] There were no survivors; only 46 bodies were recovered[21] but there were 59 known victims. [note 14] If a casting had blowholes or other casting defects considered to be minor faults, they were filled with 'Beaumont egg'[note 15] (which the foreman kept a stock of for that purpose) and the casting was used. One locomotive, five passenger carriages and one luggage van plunged into the cold and swirling waters below. Parliament passed a bill for the latter scheme in 1870 with a contract to commence over one-and-a-half miles of bridging awarded to Hopkin, Gilkes and Co of Middlesbrough a year later. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? "[143], No further judicial enquiries under Section 7 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871 were held until the Hixon rail crash in 1968 brought into question both the policy of the Railway Inspectorate towards automated level crossings and the management by the Ministry of Transport (the Inspectorate's parent government department) of the movement of abnormal loads. ‘Twas about seven o’clock at night, And the wind it blew with all its might, And the rain came pouring down, And the dark clouds seem’d to frown, And the Demon of the air seem’d to say- “I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay.” When the train left Edinburgh The passengers’ hearts were light and felt no sorrow, But Boreas blew a terrific gale, Which made their hearts for to quail, And many of the passengers with fear did say- “I hope God will send us safe across the Bridge of Tay.”. Before the opening of the Forth Bridge, the railway journey from London to Aberdeen had taken about 13 hours running from Euston and using the London and North Western Railway and Caledonian Railway on a west coast route. [124] At the start of one of these abrasions, a rivet head had lifted and splinters of wood were lodged between a tie bar and a cover plate. 1873: 5 August, the North British Railway obtains initial authority to build a suspension bridge across the Firth of Forth. 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. Our journalists will try to respond by joining the threads when they can to create a true meeting of independent Premium. The hapless Bouch goes down in history as the man charged with building the longest rail bridge in the world – only for it to collapse less than two years later. On the evening of Sunday 28 December 1879, a violent storm (10 to 11 on the Beaufort scale) was blowing virtually at right angles to the bridge. It will be found that all the upper side of this column is of that description, perfectly full of air-holes and cinders. Even at the last minute, Bouch might have gone to his grave less culpable: had the doomed train been blown into the depths from an exposed section of the crossing. Trial borings had shown the bedrock to lie at no great depth under the river. A court of Inquiry (a judicial enquiry under Section 7 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871 "into the causes of, and circumstances attending" the accident) was immediately set up: Henry Cadogan Rothery, Commissioner of Wrecks, presided, supported by Colonel Yolland (Inspector of Railways) and William Henry Barlow, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. [58] When shown defects in bridge castings, he said he would not have passed the affected columns for use, nor would he have passed columns with noticeably uneven wall thickness. [159][160][161][162] The stumps of the original bridge piers are still visible above the surface of the Tay. M/S of man climbing up rope ladder high above the river. The wind pressures reported at Bidston were probably anomalously high because of peculiarities of the site (one of the highest points on the Wirral. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. The original foundry manager left before most of the high girders pier column sections were cast. Both the wrought and cast iron had good strength, while the bolts "were of sufficient strength and proper iron". [41] The shaking was worse when trains were going faster, which they did: "when the Fife boat was nearly over and the train had only got to the south end of the bridge it was a hard drive". Cast-on lugs tended to make unsound castings (Cochrane said he had seen examples in the bridge ruins. A column from the bridge is on display at the Dundee Museum of Transport. 144–152 (Fergus Fergusson), Mins of Ev p. 164 (Gerrit Willem Camphuis), Mins of Ev pp. [7] Witnesses said the storm was as bad as any they had seen in the 20–30 years they had lived in the area;[8][9] one called it a 'hurricane', as bad as a typhoon he had seen in the China Sea. The bolt holes for the lugs were cast with a taper; consequently the bolt-lug contact was by the bolt thread bearing against a knife edge at the outer end of the hole. If only Bouch had not had a previous relationship with – and 35,000 shares in – the construction company. Select from premium Firth Of Forth Rail Bridge of the highest quality. 1850: the ‘train ferry’ was introduced between Granton and Burntisland.This service continued until the Forth Bridge was opened. [74], Samples of the bridge materials, both cast and wrought iron, were tested by David Kirkaldy, as were a number of bolts, tiebars, and associated lugs. And if only the task of the care and maintenance of ironwork had not been placed in the hands of a bricklayer, the oddly-named Henry Noble. the 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) limit had not been enforced, and frequently exceeded. [45] Noble, who was a bricklayer, not an engineer, had worked for Bouch on the construction of the bridge.[46]. [135] Rothery felt that previous straining was "partly by previous gales, partly by the great speed at which trains going north were permitted to run through the high girders":[134] if the momentum of a train at 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) hitting girders could cause the fall of the bridge, what must have been the cumulative effect of the repeated braking of trains from 40 miles per hour (64 km/h) at the north end of the bridge? 427–429 (Sir Thomas Bouch), Mins of Ev pp. [115] (Bouch's own view that collision damage to the girder was the sole cause of bridge collapse[116] found little support). With competition opened up along the east coast route from the Great Northern, North Eastern and North British railways and starting from King's Cross, unofficial racing took place between the two consortia, reducing the journey time to about 8½ hours on the overnight runs. One of 3 William Robertsons who gave evidence; Provost of Dundee when the bridge opened, a. L/S of the Forth Bridge, a steam train is seen travelling across it. Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker designed the Forth Rail Bridge, built (also by Arrols) between 1883 and 1890. [note 23] On the authority of Stewart they had assumed that the bridge was designed against a wind loading of twenty pounds per square foot (0.96 kPa) 'with the usual margin of safety'. The pier foundations were now constructed by sinking brick-lined wrought-iron caissons onto the riverbed, and filling these with concrete. North British could now boast of filching a quarter of potential Glasgow to Dundee traffic from its competitor, due to that competitor’s revisiting – and needing to reinforce – no fewer than 28 old wooden bridges supporting its tracks. 65–72): Thomas Downing Baxter (speed only), George Thomas Hume (speed only), Alexander Hutchinson (speed and movement) and (p. 88) Dr James Miller (speed only), Mins of Ev pp. De spoorbrug ligt ten oosten van de Forh Road Bridge en 14 km ten westen van Edinburgh. [note 30] Had collision with the eastern girder slewed the frame, it would have presented the east side to the oncoming brake van, but it was the west side of the frame that was more damaged. He had seen the train move onto the bridge; then in the northern high girders, before the train could have reached them, he saw "two columns of spray illuminated with the light, first one flash and then another" and could no longer see the lights on the bridge;[note 7] the only inference he could draw was that the lit columns of spray – slanting from north to south at about 75 degrees – were areas of spray lit up by the bridge lights as it turned over.[33]. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. [141], Rothery's minority report is more detailed in its analysis, more willing to blame named individuals, and more quotable, but the official report of the court is a relatively short one signed by Yolland and Barlow. [138] Their report is therefore consistent with either a view that the train had not hit the girder or one that a bridge with cross-bracing giving an adequate safety margin against windloading would have survived a train hitting the girder. Bouch's counsel called witnesses last; hence his first attempts to suggest derailment and collision were made piecemeal in cross-examination of universally unsympathetic expert witnesses. There were other flaws in detailed design, in maintenance, and in quality control of castings, all of which were, at least in part, Bouch's responsibility. Forth Bridge, Scotland The Forth Bridge is a cantilever railway bridge over the Firth of Forth in the east of Scotland, to the east of the Forth Road Bridge, and 9 miles west of central Edinburgh. Windspeeds were normally measured in 'miles run in hour' (i.e. It was a hugely significant technical feat and today remains an icon of Scotland. However he had never checked speed through the high girders. The bedrock lay much deeper than the trial borings had shown, and Bouch had to redesign the bridge, with fewer piers and correspondingly longer span girders. 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