The Forth Bridges, Fife

Black and white photograph, 1961
W Ralston Ltd
RCAHMS: Sir William Arrol and Co Collection

The Firth of Forth is crossed at the Queensferry narrows by two bridges of British and World importance. The older, the Forth Railway Bridge, opened 1890, is referred to as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ and is an icon of engineering. The younger, the Forth Road Bridge, was built some 70 years later. `

The Rail Bridge was of an innovative steel-balanced cantilever design by the engineers Sir John Fowler and Benjamin Baker. The bridge has an overall length of 8,296 feet with the two main spans 1,710 feet each.

The Road Bridge was built in five years using the technique of ‘cable spinning’ developed in the USA, which entailed the ‘spinning’ of two feet thick construction cables on site. The Forth Road Bridge was opened in 1964 and has an overall length of 8,259 feet.