Saturday, March 4, 2012
March 4, 1890, construction is completed on the Forth Rail Bridge, the world’s first major steel bridge and a Scottish landmark. The 2.5-km. (1.5-mile) bridge is a cantilever railway bridge connecting Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, with the kingdom of Fife. Designed by Sir William Arrol, construction officially begins in 1883 and in only seven years, the enormous structure using 54,000 tons of steel is completed and formally opened by the Prince of Wales, who later becomes King Edward VII. The total cost of 57 people lost their lives to make it.
Today, the Forth Rail Bridge is the world’s second largest cantilever bridge, after the Quebec Bridge in Canada. The Forth Rail Bridge remains one of Scotland’s primary tourist attractions and one of Europe’s most visually distinctive structures. After completion of a nearly two-year repainting project, the Forth Rail Bridge’s 1,054 floodlights will be switched back on today in order to coincide with the 122nd anniversary of its inauguration.