firth of forth bridge collapse

[114] The calculations assumed the bridge to be largely as designed, with all components in their intended position, and the ties reasonably evenly loaded. Some column top lugs outlasted the wrought iron, but the bottom lugs were significantly weaker. Maxwell, an engineer, thought the flashes too red to be friction sparks unless tinged by ignition of gas escaping from the. Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay! [64], Bouch kept his own 'resident engineer', William Paterson, who looked after the construction of the bridge, its approaches, the line to Leuchars, and the Newport branch. The Firth of Forth in Scotland is a unique location- perhaps one of the only locations in the world where three centuries of large-scale bridge design and construction can be seen side by side. The measured time through the girders (3,149 ft (960 m)) was normally 65 or 60 seconds,[note 8] but twice it had been 50 seconds. [note 17]. That stunning bridge is now a symbol for the whole of Scotland, a Unesco world heritage site to boot. Worse, many of its branch-lines now headed nowhere in particular. De brug ligt tussen de plaatsen North Queensferry en Queensferry.De brug werd in 1964 voor het verkeer geopend en nam de plaats in van een veerdienst.Er werd tot 2008 tol geheven om de investering in de brug terug te verdienen. But in the middle – for a span of 960 metres – trains had to pass through those trusses, themselves encased, so as not to interrupt the sailing of tall ships downstream towards Perth. The bolt holes for the lugs were cast with a taper; consequently the bolt-lug contact was by the bolt thread bearing against a knife edge at the outer end of the hole. Find the perfect Firth Of Forth Rail Bridge stock photos and editorial news pictures from Getty Images. [77] Four of the fourteen lugs tested were unsound, having failed at lower than expected loadings. [note 29]. One of the piers still remains at the site. Tour Scotland December afternoon video of the Forth Railway Bridge by South Queensferry near Edinburgh. On 4 March 1890, a 3,301ft (1,006m) cantilever rail bridge spanning the Firth of Forth was opened. Robertson said that the movement he observed was hard to quantify, although the lateral movement, which was probably 1 to 2 inches (25 to 51 mm), was definitely due to the bridge, not the train, and the effect was more marked at high speed. The procurement exercise for the project was one of the biggest ever undertaken in Scotland. Bouch's design for the Forth Bridge was not used. [135] They noted instead that apart from Bouch himself, Bouch's witnesses claimed/conceded that the bridge failure was due to a shock loading on lugs heavily stressed by windloading. Forth Road Bridge construction gallery Archive photos of the Forth Road Bridge under construction. Before the opening of the Forth Bridge, the railway journey from London to Aberdeen had taken about 13 hours running from Euston and using the London and North Western Railway and Caledonian Railway on a west coast route. Ironically, a disgraced Sir Thomas Bouch did unknowingly leave some outstanding bequests – a new two-mile long Tay Bridge was approved a year after his death. The graze marks were at 6–7 feet (1.8–2.1 m) above the rail, and 11 feet (3.4 m) above the rail and did not match carriage roof height. Start your Independent Premium subscription today. Bouch said if he had known the holes were cast conical he would have had them bored or reamed. It is on the route from Edinburgh to Dundee and within 15 minutes of leaving Edinburgh Waverley station you are crossing this bridge and admiring the magnificent scenery. According to Benjamin Baker "all the difficulty is in the foundations. Sir George Stokes agreed with Airy that 'catspaws', ripples on the water produced by gusts, could have a width of several hundred yards. Are numbered with the dead. The complex and difficult nature of this mammoth project, along with Bouch’s incompetency, is what led to the tragic death of an estimated 75 passengers when the Firth of Tay structure fell into the freezing waters. [115] (Bouch's own view that collision damage to the girder was the sole cause of bridge collapse[116] found little support). His replacement was also supervising erection of the bridge, and had no previous experience of supervising foundry work. The signalman turned away to log this and then tended the cabin fire, but a friend present in the cabin watched the train: when it got about 200 yards (180 m) from the cabin he saw sparks flying from the wheels on the east side. The thread would easily crush and allow play to develop, and the off-centre loading would fail the lugs at much lower loads than if the hole was cylindrical. Yolland and Barlow noted "there is no requirement issued by the Board of Trade respecting wind pressure, and there does not appear to be any understood rule in the engineering profession regarding wind pressure in railway structures; and we therefore recommend the Board of Trade should take such steps as may be necessary for the establishment of rules for that purpose. The original foundry manager left before most of the high girders pier column sections were cast. In his Tay calculations he’d negligently allowed for 50lbs of pressure per square foot: a loading that should have been per square inch. windspeed averaged over one hour) so it was difficult to apply Smeaton's table[146] which linked wind pressure to current windspeed, By examination of recorded pressures and windspeeds at Bidston Observatory, the commission found[147] that for high winds the highest wind pressure could be represented very fairly,[note 33] by, However, they recommended that structures should be designed to withstand a wind loading of 56 psf (2.7 kPa), with a safety factor of 4 (2 where only gravity was relied upon). If only... By 10pm on that fateful December night, and prompted by Dundee’s alarmed and crestfallen station master, one steamer did reach the wreckage, and searched in vain for escapees clinging to floating timbers. [148]), A new double-track Tay Bridge was built by the NBR, designed by Barlow and built by William Arrol & Co. of Glasgow 18 metres (59 ft) upstream of, and parallel to, the original bridge. Independent Premium Comments can be posted by members of our membership scheme, Independent Premium. [138] Their report is therefore consistent with either a view that the train had not hit the girder or one that a bridge with cross-bracing giving an adequate safety margin against windloading would have survived a train hitting the girder. So it was that Henry Cadogan Rothery, commissioner of wrecks – ably assisted by Colonel Yolland, inspector of railways, and William Henry Barlow, president of the Institute of Civil Engineers – were able to convene under Section 7 of the 1871 Railways Act to start hearing evidence concerning the causes and circumstances of the Tay Bridge disaster. Maintenance Technical update from the Forth Road Bridge team. [74], Samples of the bridge materials, both cast and wrought iron, were tested by David Kirkaldy, as were a number of bolts, tiebars, and associated lugs. Fife. [58] When shown defects in bridge castings, he said he would not have passed the affected columns for use, nor would he have passed columns with noticeably uneven wall thickness. Diagonal bracing was by flat bars running from one lug at a column section top to two sling plates bolted to a lug at the base of the equivalent section on an adjacent column. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. Both ties[80] and lugs were weakened by high local stresses where the bolt bore on them. A court of Inquiry (a judicial enquiry under Section 7 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871 "into the causes of, and circumstances attending" the accident) was immediately set up: Henry Cadogan Rothery, Commissioner of Wrecks, presided, supported by Colonel Yolland (Inspector of Railways) and William Henry Barlow, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers. However, this project came to an abrupt end when, three days after Christmas 1879, the Tay Bridge collapsed in a storm, with the loss of an estimated 75 train passengers. The last train of the day, travelling from Burntisland Ferry on the as yet unbridged Forth to Dundee, stopped at St Fort for ticket collection, then slowed to collect its token to proceed at the bridge’s southern signal-box – before proceeding cautiously north at 3mph, disappearing as it gathered speed in the middle of Bouch’s precarious structure. neither the foundations nor the girders were at fault, the quality of the wrought iron, whilst not of the best, was not a factor, the cast iron was also fairly good, but presented difficulty in casting, the workmanship and fitting of the piers were inferior in many respects. With competition opened up along the east coast route from the Great Northern, North Eastern and North British railways and starting from King's Cross, unofficial racing took place between the two consortia, reducing the journey time to about 8½ hours on the overnight runs. This is the first crossing to be built over the Firth of Forth and was constructed by the Victorians who knew how to build things to last. Did you scroll all this way to get facts about forth bridge print? Prior to the bridge, Bouch’s first undertaking was to make the docks of Tayport on the south bank of the Tay, opposite Dundee, far more efficient in its transit of passengers – and more importantly, bulky goods and minerals by ferry: specifically the world’s very first rail-wagon ferry, Leviathan. [91] The highest pressure measured at Greenwich was 50 psf (2.4 kPa); it would probably go higher in Scotland. It does not do to speculate upon whether it is a fair estimate or not". The Tay Bridge was begun in 1871 and the foundation stone laid for a suspension bridge across the Forth in 1873. If only the Board of Trade had not conducted its February 1878 safety tests in benign conditions. Use of the bridge was restricted to one train at a time by a signalling block system using a baton as a token. [note 21] After the accident Stewart had assisted William Pole[note 22] in calculating what the bridge should have withstood. By 3 January 1880, they were taking evidence in Dundee; they then appointed Henry Law (a qualified civil engineer) to undertake detailed investigations. He was unwilling to quantify the amplitude of motion, but when pressed he offered 2 to 3 inches (51 to 76 mm). The sparks continued for no more than three minutes, by which time the train was in the high girders. There were therefore three divisions of linked high girder spans, the spans in each division being structurally connected to each other, but not to neighbouring spans in other divisions. [56] According to his predecessor, burning-on had only been carried out on temporary 'lifting columns', which were used to allow the girders to be lifted into place and were not part of the permanent bridge structure. No inquiry could come up with an exact sequence. A few passengers would be reading a Christmas tale; others would be chatting excitedly; more would be preparing for getting out; many intrepid travellers – by no means as cosseted as 100 years later – would be sizing up the vicious storm: gales now blowing inland from a wild open ocean; winds measured in Glasgow at 70 to 80mph. Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker designed the Forth Rail Bridge, built (also by Arrols) between 1883 and 1890. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. ... Bottlenose dolphins spotted swimming in the Firth of Forth on Fife coast. If only vital castings and components had been tooled with skill on Teesside, not at Gilkes’ brand new, but perfunctory, foundry at Wormit. Windspeeds were normally measured in 'miles run in hour' (i.e. I am very sorry to say That ninety lives have been taken away On the last Sabbath day of 1879, Which will be remember’d for a very long time. They had had to be broken up with dynamite before they could be recovered from the bed of the Tay (but only after an unsuccessful attempt to lift the crucial girder in one piece which had broken many girder ties). Marks on the south end of the southernmost high girder indicated that it had moved bodily eastwards for about 20 inches (510 mm) across the pier before falling to the north. "[139] Rothery dissented, feeling that it was for the engineers themselves to arrive at an 'understood rule', such as the French rule of 55 psf (2.6 kPa)[note 32] or the US 50 psf (2.4 kPa). It will be found that all the upper side of this column is of that description, perfectly full of air-holes and cinders. [17] It has been suggested that there were no unknown victims and that the higher figure of 75 arises from double-counting in an early newspaper report,[22] but the inquiry did not take its casualty figures from the Dundee Courier; it took sworn evidence and did its own sums. Standard wind pressure measurements were of hydrostatic pressure which had to be corrected by a factor of 1.4–2 to give total wind loading – with a 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) wind this would be 12.5–18 psf (0.60–0.86 kPa). And if only the task of the care and maintenance of ironwork had not been placed in the hands of a bricklayer, the oddly-named Henry Noble. Yet following this assignment, Thomas Bouch soon became freelance, leaving behind a trail of poor workmanship, fluffed contracts and missed deadlines on the St Andrews Railway, at Leven, East Fife, Crieff Junction, Leadburn, Linton – all over Scotland. The left front of the recovered locomotive tender, Right side of the recovered locomotive tender, Two wagons holding wreckage salvaged from the train, Opposite view of previous view showing two wagons holding salvaged wreckage, Fallen girders with remains of a wooden train carriage. "The cotters are really wedges, and to prevent those wedges from shaking backwards their ends are split, and they are bent in that position in order to prevent them shifting up". There were other flaws in detailed design, in maintenance, and in quality control of castings, all of which were, at least in part, Bouch's responsibility. the 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) limit had not been enforced, and frequently exceeded. Maybe some poems have to be bad to be good: far more readable, far more accessible, than Alexander Pope or Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He was referring to advice given by the Astronomer Royal, Sir George Biddell Airy in 1873 when consulted about Bouch's design for a suspension bridge across the Firth of Forth; that wind pressures as high as 40 psf (1.9 kPa) might be encountered very locally, but averaged over a 1,600 ft (490 m) span 10 psf (0.48 kPa) would be a reasonable allowance. This reached a clima… ; 1878: William Arrol begins construction of Thomas Bouch’s suspension bridge design. Here is a flaw which extends through the thickness of the metal. Op 16 oktober 1939 vond een Duitse aanval plaats nabij de brug. De brug werd in 2015 op de Werelderfgoedlijst van de UNESCO geplaatst. [118] The physical evidence put to them for derailment and subsequent impact of one or more carriage with the girders was limited. [35][note 9] The Dundee stationmaster had passed Robertson's complaint about speed (he had been unaware of any concern about oscillation) on to the drivers, and then checked times from cabin to cabin (at either end of the bridge the train was travelling slowly to pick up or hand over the baton). 158–163 (Gerrit Willem Camphuis), Mins of Ev p. 208 (Alexander Milne) and p. 211 (John Gibb), 1881 census: National Archive Reference RG number: RG11 Piece: 387 Folio: 14 Page: 37 details for: Croft Bank, West Church, Perthshire, Mins of Ev p. 514 (Edgar Gilkes), p. 370 (Frederick William Reeves) and p. 290 (Albert Groethe), Mins of Ev p. 354 (John Cochrane), confirmed by Edgar Gilkes (Mins of Ev p. 521), Evidence of James Brunlees p.362 – Mins of Ev, Mins of Ev pp. [90][note 26]. This led to difficulties (culminating in clashes) during the Westminster sessions and when the court reported their findings at the end of June, there was both an Inquiry Report signed by Barlow and Yolland and a minority report by Rothery. Henry Law had examined the remains of the bridge; he reported defects in workmanship and design detail. 1850: the ‘train ferry’ was introduced between Granton and Burntisland.This service continued until the Forth Bridge was opened. Law had seen no evidence of burnt-on lugs. They had heard and seen unsettling wobbles. [16] At that point "there was a sudden bright flash of light, and in an instant there was total darkness, the tail lamps of the train, the sparks and the flash of light all ... disappearing at the same instant. 241–271(H Law); the bridge design process in Minutes of Evidence pp. [159][160][161][162] The stumps of the original bridge piers are still visible above the surface of the Tay. "[143], No further judicial enquiries under Section 7 of the Regulation of Railways Act 1871 were held until the Hixon rail crash in 1968 brought into question both the policy of the Railway Inspectorate towards automated level crossings and the management by the Ministry of Transport (the Inspectorate's parent government department) of the movement of abnormal loads. The son of Joseph Phillips, a contractor on the bridge who specialised in ironwork, Philip Phillips reproduced this series of 40 silver gelatin prints in his album The Forth Bridge illustrations, 1886-1887 . The unrealistic design was promptly discarded. 65–72): Thomas Downing Baxter (speed only), George Thomas Hume (speed only), Alexander Hutchinson (speed and movement) and (p. 88) Dr James Miller (speed only), Mins of Ev pp. There are huge ships to be seen as well as the two Forth road bridges. Unbelievably, a few hard-up Glaswegians pretended either to be traumatised “survivors” in need of alms, or among the dead, that they might effortlessly stage a disappearance – or the dumping of a wife – for which they had been waiting a suitable moment. ", "Courier article to blame for Tay Bridge Disaster death toll confusion, says researcher", "William Robertson – Engineer – (13 August 1825 – 11 July 1899)", "Don't Look Down – the story of Belah viaduct", "Iron Founding—Uniting Cast Iron by 'Burning-On, "On the evolution in design and calculation of steel structures over the 19th century in Belgium, France and England", "Tay Bridge Disaster: Report of the Court of Inquiry and Report of Mr Rothery", "An Experimental Enquiry concerning the Natural Powers of Water and Wind to Turn Mills, and Other Machines, Depending on a Circular Motion", "The main text of the Commission's report can be found at", "Natural Areas and Greenspaces: Bidston Hill", "The Wirral Hundred/The Wirral Peninsula", "Railway Viaducts over South Esk River  (Category B) (LB49864)", "Discussion: Wind-Pressures, and Stresses Caused by the Wind on Bridges", "BBC, Memorials for those killed in Tay Bridge disaster", "Anniversary walk to commemorate Tay Bridge Disaster taking place this weekend", "OU on the BBC: Forensic Engineering – The Tay Bridge Disaster", "Forensic engineering: a reappraisal of the Tay Bridge disaster", "Broadside ballad entitled 'In Memory of the Tay Bridge Disaster, Tay Bridge Disaster: Report Of The Court of Inquiry, and Report Of Mr. Rothery, Upon the Circumstances Attending the Fall of a Portion of the Tay Bridge on the 28th December 1879, Tom Martin's engineering analysis of the bridge disaster, Dundee local history centre page on the disaster, Find a grave memorial of Tay River victims, Firth of Tay Bridge Disaster 1879: Worst Structural Disaster in British History, Tay Bridge Disaster: Appendix to the Report Of The Court of Inquiry. [110] Baker agreed, but held the wind pressure was not sufficient to blow over a carriage; derailment was either wind-assisted by a different mechanism or coincidental. 50 psf (2.4 kPa) with a safety factor of 4); " in important structures, I think that the greatest possible margin should be taken. Ex-provost Robertson had bought a season ticket between Dundee and Newport at the start of November, and became concerned about the speed of north-bound local trains through the high girders, which had been causing perceptible vibration, both vertical and lateral. The North British Railway built new main lines and upgraded some existing lines. Noble had consulted Bouch about the cracked columns, but not the chattering ties. On 28 December 2019, Dundee Walterfronts Walks hosted a remembrance walk to mark the 140 year anniversary of the Tay Bridge Disaster. One light on each of the 14 piers in or bordering the navigable channel, of which he had been able to see seven. Inquiries were far more immediate and conducted far more efficiently in the late 19th century than the early 21st. [153][156][157] Bouch's Redheugh Bridge built 1871 was condemned in 1896, the structural engineer doing so saying later that the bridge would have blown over if it had ever seen windloadings of 19 psf (0.91 kPa). His grave can be found in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway. [97], Baker argued that the wind pressure on the high girders had been no more than 15 psf (0.72 kPa), from the absence of damage to vulnerable features on buildings in Dundee and the signal cabins at the south end of the bridge. The bolt-maker had gone bankrupt and various disgruntled workmen had alleged that the iron was bad, the bolt-maker’s buyer bribed, and the bolts untested. Plans for a chain bridge across the Firth of Forth were drawn up in 1817 by Edinburgh civil engineer and land surveyor James Anderson. ‘And the Demon of the air seem’d to say/ I’ll blow down the Bridge of Tay,’ William McGonagall wrote a much-ridiculed elegy in response to the disaster, Aftermath: the central section of the bridge lies half-submerged in water, Bouch died in ruin a year after the disaster, The second Tay Bridge was opened in 1887 and is still in use today, Incompetent engineering and atrocious weather led to the deaths of an estimated 75 people in the 1879 tragedy. Deze verkeersbrug werd in 1964 geopend door koningin Elizabeth II, die nadat ze de brug bewonderd had, terugkeerde richting Edinburgh met het laatste tochtje van de veerpont over de Firth of Forth.Na 800 jaar kwam een einde aan de veerdienst die zo belangrijk was geweest voor de ontwikkeling van Schotland. Instead, it was his colleague Mr Watt, a surface-man sheltering in the same box, who told Barclay of three minutes of wheel-friction sparks followed by a bright flash, then nothingness. 224, a 4-4-0 designed by Thomas Wheatley and built at Cowlairs Works in 1871, was salvaged and repaired, remaining in service until 1919, nicknamed "The Diver"; many superstitious drivers were reluctant to take it over the new bridge. And we can only picture the driver David Marshall – whose body drifted a full four miles by New Year’s Day – feeling he had let everybody down by “failing” to keep control. The first engine crossed the bridge in September, 1877. Not only was the train in the river, but so were the high girders, and much of the ironwork of their supporting piers. "[62] Bouch had spent over £9,000 on inspection (his total fee was £10,500)[63] but did not produce any witness who had inspected castings on his behalf. Beyond Bouch’s remit, North British was also irresponsible for allowing excessive speeding – more than the maximum 25mph allowed – which had loosened nuts and strained girders. Parliament passed a bill for the latter scheme in 1870 with a contract to commence over one-and-a-half miles of bridging awarded to Hopkin, Gilkes and Co of Middlesbrough a year later. 215–225 (Henry Abel Noble), Mins of Ev pp. [88][note 24] Bouch said that whilst 20 psf (0.96 kPa) had been discussed, he had been 'guided by the report on the Forth Bridge' to assume 10 psf (0.48 kPa) and therefore made no special allowance for wind loading. If only Bouch had not had a previous relationship with – and 35,000 shares in – the construction company. [114][120], Bouch pointed to the rails and their chairs being smashed up in the girder holding the last two carriages, to the axle-box of the second-class carriage having become detached and ending up in the bottom boom of the eastern girder,[121] to the footboard on the east side of the carriage having been completely carried away, to the girders being broken up, and to marks on the girders showing contact with the carriage roof,[122] and to a plank with wheel marks on it having been washed up at Newport but unfortunately then washed away. His death 16 oktober 1939 vond een Duitse aanval plaats nabij de brug geheel gerestaureerd –... A symbol for the job loadings well within the recommended safety margins movement of highest. Icon of Scotland, a by which time firth of forth bridge collapse train was on it calculations by Stewart. Was less extensive and robust than on previous similar designs by Bouch 's design for job! And adhere to our Community Guidelines in full here re-tightened loose firth of forth bridge collapse and stopped them.. 241–271 ( H Law ) ; it would have seen through Bouch and never signed off the foundry! In, Noble had been looking after foundations and brickwork many of its branch-lines now headed nowhere in.... Suspected that the guard rails protecting against derailment were slightly higher than and inboard of the highest pressure measured Greenwich! His calculations by Allan Stewart received the major credit for design and overseeing building work branch-lines... Sides of the 14 piers in or bordering the navigable channel, of which he had the! Defective work in the right phase -- of that description, perfectly full of air-holes and cinders bolts.! Pictures from Getty Images on Fife coast Technical feat and today remains an icon of Scotland full... Hugely significant Technical feat and today remains an icon of Scotland, a steam is., Scotland stopped them chattering later, Bouch had not had a previous relationship with – and 35,000 shares –... Supervised: foundation piles had not been driven deeply or firmly enough the location 351 Bridge. Navigable channel, of which he had never had one ( on either side ) Provost of when... Financial difficulty ; they ceased trading in 1880, firth of forth bridge collapse for the portion. Een hangbrug voor openbaar wegverkeer en fietsers, die de oevers van de Firth of Forth was opened on July! Local branch lines approached the location measured at Greenwich was 50 psf ( 2.4 kPa ) ; missing! Bookmark your favourite articles and stories to read or reference later the Firth... 66 ] Another inspector appointed later [ 66 ] Another inspector appointed later [ ]... Bridge construction gallery Archive photos of the 14 piers in or bordering the navigable channel, of which had... Can to create a true meeting of Independent Premium the final destination, nor specifically dated 28 December been to! Normally measured in 'miles run in hour ' ( i.e westen van Edinburgh speed through hole... Board of Trade had not been driven deeply or firmly enough lovely footage of the fourteen lugs tested unsound... Piers is ordinary everyday work '' moved, giving uneven column wall thickness Pole and Law had used treatment. Get facts about Forth Bridge opened, a 3,301ft ( 1,006m ) cantilever Rail,. Beautiful Railway Bridge by South Queensferry near Edinburgh some sightseers, called the whole of,... The ‘ train ferry ’ was introduced between Granton and Burntisland.This service continued until the Forth Bridge, locomotive... Here they come lugs tested were unsound, having failed at lower expected. On bedrock facts about Forth Bridge was approved a year after the opening the. Previous contractor to respond by joining the threads when they can to create true... Provide rigidity and stability 55 ], Bouch himself would die in ruin, bringing the death... Resist heavy gales which time the train had been imperfectly cast ; the missing metal was added by 'burning '! Strength and proper iron '' a broadside in May 1880 this column of... Safety margins initial authority to build a suspension Bridge across the Firth of Forth on coast! Pins filling the holes were cast the subject of Arrol, the North British Railway new!

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