Forth rail bridge

4 July 2007

The bridge was constructed between 1883 and 1890 to allow the main east coast railway line to continue uninterrupted to northern cities such as Aberdeen. It was designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker. An earlier design by Sir Thomas Bouch was scrapped after his Tay Bridge collapsed. The new design was for a much stronger cantilevered structure which is considered an engineering marvel even today. Around 200 trains cross the bridge each day.

The term "painting the Forth Bridge" is widely used to mean any task that is never ending, a reference to the urban myth that the bridge is continually painted, with workers starting again as soon as they have reached the far side. There has apparently never been such a practice, although the bridge does have a permanent maintenance crew. The bridge is, however, currently undergoing complete repainting, as is evidenced by the plastic sheeting that can be seen covering several parts of the structure. The work began in 2002 and is scheduled to finish in 2009.

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