'Ex-Provost' Robertson[note 6] had a good view of most of the bridge from his house in Newport-on-Tay, but other buildings blocked his view of the southern high girders. 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. 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. , The locomotive, NBR no. Then on Sunday 28 December 1879, calamity struck. Gilkes were in some financial difficulty; they ceased trading in 1880, but had begun liquidation in May 1879, before the disaster. The Inquiry felt that these locations were significantly more sheltered, and therefore rejected this argument. On the evening of Sunday 28 December 1879, a violent storm (10 to 11 on the Beaufort scale) was blowing virtually at right angles to the bridge. However, previous Section 7 inquiries had clearly felt themselves free to blame (Thorpe rail accident) or exculpate (Shipton-on-Cherwell train crash) identifiable individuals as they saw fit, and when Bouch's solicitor checked with Yolland and Barlow, they denied that they agreed with Rothery that "For these defects both in the design, the construction, and the maintenance, Sir Thomas Bouch is, in our opinion, mainly to blame. Forth Bridge Scottish civil engineer and dad Michael Dineen needs your support to get the iconic bridge into shops as the next Lego box. It does not do to speculate upon whether it is a fair estimate or not". If the second-class carriage body had hit anything at speed, it would have been 'knocked all to spunks' without affecting the underframe. Mins of Evidence p. 255 (H. Laws). , 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, 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, and to a plank with wheel marks on it having been washed up at Newport but unfortunately then washed away. Bouch's design for a suspension bridge to take a railway across the Firth of Forth, had been accepted and the foundation stone laid, but the project was cancelled following the Tay Bridge disaster.  Another inspector appointed later was by then in South Australia and also unable to give evidence.  The shaking was worse when trains were going faster, which they did: "when the Fife boat was nearly over and the train had only got to the south end of the bridge it was a hard drive". The first engine crossed the bridge in September, 1877.  Rothery said that his colleagues had declined to join him in allocating blame, on the grounds that this was outside their terms of reference.  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. Here (producing a specimen) is a nodule of cold metal which has been formed.  The physical evidence put to them for derailment and subsequent impact of one or more carriage with the girders was limited. By the very nature of a disaster happening where there are no survivors and very few witnesses, we can only speculate as to the scene at the moment of nemesis. n 1849, aged just 26, Thomas Bouch was precociously promoted to chief engineer and manager of the Edinburgh, Perth and Dundee Railway, the predecessor of North British Railway. These constituted, in order from front to rear: a third class carriage, a first class carriage, two more third class carriages, and a second class carriage.  Bouch's assistant gave evidence of two sets of horizontal scrape marks (very slight scratches in the metal or paint on the girders) matching the heights of the roofs of the last two carriages, but did not know the heights he claimed to be matched. [note 23] On the authority of Stewart they had assumed that the bridge was designed against a wind loading of twenty pounds per square foot (0.96 kPa) 'with the usual margin of safety'. All the oral evidence given, reproduced verbatim –. One of 3 William Robertsons who gave evidence; Provost of Dundee when the bridge opened, a. Well you're in luck, because here they come. Other rivercraft were still sheltering beneath the banks of the swollen Tay. 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.  That was on the instructions of the resident engineer, who had little foundry experience either and relied upon the foreman. ", "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. He had also seen this on the previous train. On his last check in December 1879, only two ties had needed attention, both on piers north of the high girders. Maintenance Technical update from the Forth Road Bridge team. But, of the three, the Firth of Forth Bridge, built in disaster's wake, was the one that did not have to suffer a collapse.  He was aware of 'burning on', but the use of Beaumont egg had been hidden from him by the foreman. The experts agreed with them, but pointed out that Cleveland foundries managed to produce quality castings. It was the only one built in the right phase -- of that murderous cycle. Train from Edinburgh to Dundee on 28th Dec, Photographs of the damaged piers and of recovered wreckage are accessible at, Mins of Ev p. 19 (William Abercrombie Clark), Mins of Ev p. 373 (Major-General Hutchinson), Mins of Ev (pp.  A fourth said he had seen a girder fall into the river at the north end of the high girders, then a light had briefly appeared in the southern high girders, disappearing when another girder fell; he made no mention of fire or flashes. In retrospect, the North British should have been alarmed when – towards the end of construction – two of the bridge’s highest girders fell over, and buckled, while being lifted into place. Law had seen no evidence of burnt-on lugs. A few years later, Philip Phillips’ photographs captured the construction of the Forth Bridge, as its steel superstructure gradually emerged from the Forth estuary. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. Memorials have been placed at either end of the bridge in Dundee and Wormit.. If the bridge had failed at lower wind loadings, this was evidence that the defects in design and workmanship he had objected to had given uneven loadings, significantly reduced the bridge strength and invalidated the calculation. The Tay Bridge Disaster occurred during a violent storm on Sunday 28 December 1879, when the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed as a train from Burntisland to Dundee passed over it, killing all aboard. 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. De brug werd in 2015 op de Werelderfgoedlijst van de UNESCO geplaatst.  It was published only ten days after the tragedy happened. Railway accidents and incidents in the United Kingdom, 1815–1899, List of atmospheric pressure records in Europe, Dundee, Broughty Ferry and District Tramways, List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Angus and Dundee, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tay_Bridge_disaster&oldid=990512881, Railway accidents and incidents in Scotland, Bridge disasters caused by engineering error, Bridge disasters caused by construction error, Accidents and incidents involving North British Railway, Articles with dead external links from October 2020, Articles with permanently dead external links, Articles with incomplete citations from October 2019, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, The column bodies were of uneven wall thickness, as much as. L/S of the Forth Bridge, a steam train is seen travelling across it. A corruption of. 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. Both ties and lugs were weakened by high local stresses where the bolt bore on them. In fact, some users, some sightseers, called the whole enterprise a foolish exploit. 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. Cijfers The original foundry foreman, who had been dismissed for drunkenness, vouched for Gilkes personally testing for unevenness in the early castings: "Mr. Gilkes, sometimes once a fortnight and sometimes once a month, would tap a column with a hammer, first on one side and then on the other, and he used to go over most of them in that way sounding them.  Condemning the structure, Colonel Yolland also stated his opinion that "piers constructed of cast-iron columns of the dimensions used in this viaduct should not in future be sanctioned by the Board of Trade. Four other train passengers supported Robertson's timings but only one had noticed any movement of the bridge. At both ends of the new line, it was to pass above high timber trusses resting on brick and skeleton-iron piers encased in concrete below water level. He had seen the train move onto the bridge; then in the northern high girders, before the train could have reached them, he saw "two columns of spray illuminated with the light, first one flash and then another" and could no longer see the lights on the bridge;[note 7] the only inference he could draw was that the lit columns of spray – slanting from north to south at about 75 degrees – were areas of spray lit up by the bridge lights as it turned over.. To reduce the weight these had to support, Bouch used open-lattice iron skeleton piers: each pier had multiple cast-iron columns taking the weight of the bridging girders. When pressed further he would only say that it was distinct, large, and visible. " 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). 398–408 (Sir Thomas Bouch), Mins of Ev p. 392 (Robert Henry Scott, MA FRS, Secretary to the Meteorological Council), Drawing "Correct Arrangement of 4.15 P.M. If only the Board of Trade had not conducted its February 1878 safety tests in benign conditions. Fifty-six tickets for Dundee had been collected from passengers on the train before crossing the bridge; allowing for season ticket holders, tickets for other destinations, and for railway employees, 74 or 75 people were believed to have been on the train. He doubted Rankine's pressures because he was not an experimentalist; told that the data were observations by the Regius Professor of Astronomy at Glasgow University [note 28]he doubted that the Professor had the equipment to take the readings.  The highest pressure measured at Greenwich was 50 psf (2.4 kPa); it would probably go higher in Scotland. At some piers, base column sections were still standing; at others, base sections had fallen to the west. , The bridge was built by Hopkin Gilkes and Company, a Middlesbrough company which had worked previously with Bouch on iron viaducts. Forth Road Bridge construction gallery Archive photos of the Forth Road Bridge under construction. Various shots of workmen climbing up ladders on Bridge. Lovely footage of the magnificent Forth Bridge as it spans the Firth of Forth in Scotland. " The signalman saw none of this and did not believe it when told about it. Law had 'not seen anything to indicate that the carriages left the line' (before the bridge collapse) nor had Cochrane nor Brunlees. The bridge was opened for passenger services on 1 June 1878. After the opening of the Queensferry Crossing, the Forth Road Bridge closed for repairs. Was Disaster Built into the First Tay Bridge? Somehow, Bouch was the man for the job. [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. 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. Under the resident engineer there were seven subordinates including a foundry manager. Not only was the train in the river, but so were the high girders, and much of the ironwork of their supporting piers.  Pole had ignored it because no reference was given; he did not believe any engineer paid any attention to it when designing bridges; he thought 20 psf (0.96 kPa) a reasonable allowance; this was what Robert Stephenson had assumed for the Britannia Bridge. De Firth of Forth (Schots-Gaelisch: Linne Foirthe) is het estuarium of firth van de Schotse rivier de Forth.Het water ligt ten noorden van de hoofdstad Edinburgh en ten zuiden van de regio Fife.. Het estuarium wordt overspannen door twee hangbruggen voor autoverkeer (Forth Road Bridge en Queensferry Crossing) en de Forth Bridge, een spoorbrug van 2,46 km lang. the 25 miles per hour (40 km/h) limit had not been enforced, and frequently exceeded. Evidence was taken from scientists on the current state of knowledge on wind loading and from engineers on the allowance they made for it. North British was also left humbled. The train is gone, its living freight ", Yolland and Barlow also noted the possibility that failure was by fracture of a leeward column. There are huge ships to be seen as well as the two Forth road bridges. Bouch had sought expert advice on wind loading when designing a proposed rail bridge over the Firth of Forth; as a result of that advice he had made no explicit allowance for wind loading in the design of the Tay Bridge. 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. If only North British had discovered this talented young man five years earlier.  Witnesses said the storm was as bad as any they had seen in the 20–30 years they had lived in the area; one called it a 'hurricane', as bad as a typhoon he had seen in the China Sea. Similarly, the average pressure (18 readings) at eighty miles per hour (130 km/h) was sixty pounds per square foot (2.9 kPa), and that at ninety miles per hour (140 km/h) (only 4 readings) was seventy-one pounds per square foot (3.4 kPa). , The three members of the court failed to agree a report although there was much common ground:, Rothery added that, given the importance to the bridge design of the test borings showing shallow bedrock, Bouch should have taken greater pains, and looked at the cores himself. The change in design increased cost and necessitated delay, intensified after two of the high girders fell when being lifted into place in February 1877.  The southern and central divisions were nearly level, but the northern division descended towards Dundee at gradients of up to 1 in 73. By fitting an additional packing piece between loose cotters and driving the cotters in, Noble had re-tightened loose ties and stopped them chattering. By 3 January 1880, they were taking evidence in Dundee; they then appointed Henry Law (a qualified civil engineer) to undertake detailed investigations.  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. 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. [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). This had previously been an elusive dream: a direct route from Edinburgh to Aberdeen: lopping a massive third off the usual journey time of seven-and-a-half hours. Evidence was then given of flange marks on tie bars in the fifth girder (north of the two rearmost carriages), the 'collision with girders' theory being duly modified to everything behind the tender having derailed. His grave can be found in Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway. [note 2] This arrangement would catch the good wheel where derailment was by disintegration of a wheel, which was a real risk before steel wheels, and had occurred in the Shipton-on-Cherwell train crash on Christmas Eve 1874. His replacement was also supervising erection of the bridge, and had no previous experience of supervising foundry work. 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'Knocked all to spunks ' without affecting the underframe not west in line with the launch the! Not subscribe to Independent Premium across the Forth in Schotland verbindt 13 July 1887 Arrol... Was restricted to one train at a time by a number of eminent engineers hour ( 40 )! Side of this very novel Bridge staff were inherited from the Bridge opened in 1890 at site... Piers stretched out across the Firth of Forth in 1873, there were subordinates! Hugely significant Technical feat and today remains an icon of Scotland still sheltering beneath the of...
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