The first ever post on this blog was all about Edinburgh, but as it was a first post we weren’t sure exactly what we wanted to do, so this post will revisit Edinburgh in part 2 and give a more in depth look, whilst part 1 will look at two famous Edinburgh Landmarks just outside the city. We went back to Edinburgh specially for the day to see the landmarks and more of the city so that date will be the one appearing on both posts.
Status: Fife, Village, Scotland
Travel: Virgin Trains (Carlisle – Edinburgh Haymarket), Scotrail (Edinburgh Haymarket – North Queensferry), Scotrail (North Queensferry – Edinburgh Waverley), Virgin Trains (Edinburgh Waverley – Carlisle)
Eating & Sleeping: N/A
Attractions: River Forth, Firth of Forth, Forth Bridge, Forth Road Bridge etc
We paid a visit to the village of North Queensferry for two reasons, and the first is on the picture below:
This is the Forth Rail Bridge, one of the most famous landmarks in the whole of Scotland, and even featuring on one of the £1 coins used in the UK. It carries the railway line from Edinburgh over the River Forth to Fife.
The original bridge that was was going to cross the Forth was designed by the same man who designed the Tay Bridge, Sir Thomas Bouch, but after this bridge collapsed his designs were shelved and a new designer brought in, who deliberately designed the current bridge to look strong to reassure the public.
Construction started in 1883, and 7 years later in 1890 it was complete, opening to locomotives in 1890 as the then Prince of Wales (Future King Edward VII) put in the last rivet. We have been over it four times now, one each way to North Queensferry, and again going past here towards Aberdeen and back. The bridge is very tall and gives a commanding view of the second bridge downstream as well as further up the River Forth, and the other way out to sea and back at Edinburgh.
Facts and Figures:
1) Used 10 times as much metal as the Eiffel Tower
2) Until 1917 when the Quebec Bridge opened it was the longest single span cantilever bridge in the world, but remains the 2nd longest.
3) First large scale structure in the UK to be made out of Steel
4) Nearly 200 trains a day use the bridge
5) It is 2,528.7 metres long
6) At it’s highest point it is 330 foot tall
It is a stunning Engineering Marvel and we walked down to the shore line to get the best view of the bridge and it is so tall from underneath, its breath taking.
The second reason we visited Queensferry was to visit the second bridge:
As the Forth Bridge name was already taken, this was named as the Forth Road Bridge, and opened in 1964 after 7 years of construction. It carries the A90 from Edinburgh to Fife.
Facts and Figures:
1) The bridge is 2,512 metres long
2) When it was completed it was the fourth longest suspension bridge span in the world (longest outside the USA)
A third bridge over the River Forth at this point has begun construction, to help remove traffic from the Forth Road Bridge as it can’t handle the amount of traffic that crosses it every day. The new bridge, named the Queensferry Crossing, will also be a suspension bridge and is being built just upstream from the existing road bridge. Construction started in 2011 and it is projected to be finished by 2016.
It will carry the M90 Motorway which is being extended at its terminus before you reach the bridge to carry it across to Fife. If you look carefully at the picture of the Forth Road Bridge you can see some yellow cranes behind the bridge, which are constructing the support pillars of the new bridge.
When the bridge is completed we will go back and see what the area looks like with three bridges there, and get back to you.
North Queensferry is only around 15 – 20 minutes away from the city centre, past Edinburgh Airport and to the river which flows around the outside of the city.
After doing the bridges we headed back into Edinburgh city centre, for some exploration…