THE FORTH RAILWAY BRIDGE
Located 9 miles (14 km) W of Edinburgh, the Forth Railway Bridge is a remarkable cantilever structure which is still regarded as an engineering marvel and is recognised the world over. The bridge was built to carry the two tracks of the North British Railway the 2½ km (1½ miles) over the Firth of Forth between South Queensferry and North Queensferry, at a height of 46m (150 feet) above the high tide. The structure, with its three massive cantilever towers each 104m (340 feet) high, was designed by Sir John Fowler (1817-98) and Sir Benjamin Baker (1840 - 1907) and constructed by Sir William Arrol (1839 - 1913) at the cost of some £2½ million. An earlier project, to be executed by Sir Thomas Bouch (1822-90), for which a foundation stone had been laid in 1873, was quickly cancelled following the collapse of his Tay Rail Bridge in 1879. The new scheme began in 1883, and after seven years, 55,000 tons of steel, 18,122 cubic metres (640,000 cubic feet) of granite, 8 million rivets and with the loss of 57 lives, the bridge was complete. At the opening ceremony on 4th March, 1890, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) drove home the last rivet, which was gold-plated and enscribed to record the event. The bridge remains in regular use, carrying the main east coast line over to Fife and eventually onwards to Dundee and Aberdeen, although the stresses placed on the bridge by modern trains are much less than their much heavier steam-powered predecessors.