Posts Tagged ‘Dundee’

The Tay Bridge

June 25, 2013

Do you know it is ten days since I have mentioned railways. It must be time to put that right  so let’s head up to Scotland and take a look at the Tay Bridge.

We’ll start in 1970 and at Dundee. We can see the bridge curving across the Tay estuary, carrying the line south towards Edinburgh.

image002

The bridge is very long at some two and three quarter miles and (I speak as a bridge lover) it is not a lovely structure. It is functional and does the job for which it was built which was to carry trains between Edinburgh, Dundee and the far north. It has done that job since 1887 with some refurbishment and strengthening.

The observant will notice stumps between the piers of the existing bridge. They are the remains of the first bridge, which proved to be unequal to the task for which it was designed. That first bridge was opened on 1st June 1878. On 29th December 1879 a part of the bridge collapsed in very high winds. A train was washed into the icy waters below and all 75 passengers and crew were lost.

Now we leap forward 35 years to August 10th 2005. We are now on the south side of the estuary at Wormit – pleasant scenery is the order of the area (with a railway line).

image004

That train is approaching the bridge.

image006

The bridge is still there of course, and so are those old bridge stumps.

image008

Now they are a bit spooky once you are reminded what happened here.

But the train we are watching heads off over the bridge.

image010

There it goes, with Dundee across the water. The highest distant hill immediately above the train is Craigowl Hill which rises some 455 metres above the waters of the Tay Estuary.