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125th Anniversary of the New Tay Bridge
This year marks the 125th Anniversary of the New Tay Bridge.
The Tay Bridge - A Short History
Proposals for the construction of a bridge across the River Tay date back to at least 1854. On 15 July 1870 The North British Railway (Tay Bridge) Act received the Royal Assent and the foundation stone was laid on 22 July 1871. The first engine crossed the bridge on 22 September 1877. When it opened on 1 June 1878 the Tay Bridge was the longest in the world.
However, on the night of 28 December 1879 during a violent storm, high winds caused the bridge to collapse, sending a train with six carriages carrying seventy-five passengers and crew into the icy waters of the Tay. All on board were lost. An ensuing enquiry revealed defects in the design and construction. The Tay Bridge disaster led to new standards for bridge construction in Britain.
A new double-track bridge was designed by William Henry Barlow to be built 59 feet upstream of, and parallel to, the original bridge. The bridge proposal was formally incorporated in July 1881 and the foundation stone laid on 6 July 1883. Construction involved 25,000 tons of iron and steel, 70,000 tons of concrete, ten million bricks and three million rivets. Fourteen men lost their lives during its construction, most by drowning.
The second bridge officially opened 125 years ago, on 13 July 1887, and remains in use today. The stumps of the original bridge piers are still visible above the surface of the Tay even at high tide.
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Quick Facts: 125th Anniversary of the New Tay Bridge is a Commemorative Cover Issue date : 13th July 2012
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