Tuesday 10 March 2020

United Kingdom: Spanning the ages

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  • Two of the railway’s most iconic feats of engineering will be celebrating their birthdays this week.
  • Scotland’s treasured Forth Bridge will be celebrating the 130th anniversary of its opening.
  • Whereas Wales’ landmark Britannia Bridge will be celebrating the 170th year since it went into operation.

The Forth and The Britannia bridges are two of the most treasured and recognisable features on our railway. Both are admired the world over for their pioneering designs and methods of construction.

The Forth Bridge was opened in 1890 and still holds the record as the longest cantilever bridge in the world. It was the first major structure in Britain to be made of steel and its construction resulted in a continuous East Coast railway route from London to Aberdeen.

The Britannia Bridge was completed in 1850 and at the time of construction had the longest continuous wrought iron span in the world. Devastated by fire in 1970, the bridge was rebuilt using the masonry supports used in the original structure, restoring a vital rail link across the Menai Strait.

A testament to the quality and innovation of their engineering, both bridges remain an integral part of Britain’s railway, serving millions of passengers every year.

Notes to editors
More information on the bridges can be found on our website via the below links:


(Source: Network Rail)

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