The Forth Rail Bridge

Let’s talk about this gorgeous bridge. You can see it from Burntisland on a clear day, and it’s just 15 minutes drive away, should you get the urge for a close-up. 

It is of course the famous #forthbridge. It (some say ‘she’ but I need to work up to that) was completed in 1889 after 7 years of construction. In normal circumstances 200 trains a day cross the Forth Bridge, and it’s a listed building as well as a World Heritage Site. 

The Forth Bridge is a cantilever style, a design that’s been used for thousands of years. The designers demonstrated the principle of tension and compression in the bridge in 1887 by seating Japanese engineer Kaichi Watanabe between the bridge’s designers Fowler and Baker sitting on chairs (see pic below, grabbed from Wikipedia). Fowler and Baker are the cantilevers here with their arms in tension, the bricks are the cantilever end piers which are weighted with cast iron.

The cantilever’s three towers are each seated on four circular piers. The little #firthofforth island of Inchgarvie supports one of the bridge’s cantilevers. Inchgarvie itself has a fascinating history (ancient fortifications, mistaken for a warship, used as a prison, etc). It was used as a construction office for the bridge, and some stone from its castle ruins was used in the foundations of the bridge! 

You can get great views of Inchgarvie from the train, look out of the left hand side as you go over to Edinburgh!